Sadly, cons aren’t all fun and games. Criminals lurk among fans and know how to take advantage of distracted con-goers. Worse yet, violence is no longer something you don’t have to worry about at a con; at SDCC over the past few years a guy got stabbed, a cosplayer was badly beaten at a hotel, and some zombie walkers got hit by a car. Here’s what I would advise to stay as safe as possible at Celebration:
1. Keep your wallet, purse, and devices secure at all times. Never let anything holding your valuables out of your sight. If you leave valuables in your hotel room, lock them up in the room’s safe or in your suitcase.
2. Don’t bring anyone/admit anyone you don’t know into your hotel room. If someone says he’s from the hotel and you didn’t ask for anything, check with the front desk first. Fans sometimes host parties in their room or even sell merchandise out of their rooms. If you do that, don’t leave anything valuable sitting around and don’t bring in any strangers without anyone else being present. And please, don’t hire hookers. Many of them are just thieves hoping to get you alone so they or their pimps can rob you. Or they’ll bump up their fees for services and when you balk, the gang that employs them will drop by and beat the tar out of you.
3. Secure your collectibles and exclusives. I’ve heard stories about “fans” ripping off others’ stuff. Bring your hot ticket items back to the hotel room or lock them in your car trunk (just make sure nobody is following you).
4. Be careful walking around at night. Most of the areas around the convention center and the Disney parks are relatively safe and much safer than they were in the ’90s, but there are some sketchy areas of Anaheim. Avoid walking alone late at night.
5. If you’re planning to to go Disneyland, buy tickets only from reputable sources. Don’t get them from some shady character on the streets promising a big discount or from Craigslist. They are likely fake tickets.
6. Don’t get into fights and avoid/get away from anyone who seems extremely agitated. Get security if you have to.