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Gallifrey One: The Ultimate Whovian Convention

What makes Gallifrey One so special? What makes it the hot ticket for Whovians and DWeeks? We are going to give you a general overview about what Gallifrey One is, what you can expect there and tips on how to get your hands on these hard to get tickets!

Gallifrey One is the world’s largest and longest-running Doctor Who fan convention. It is a fully non-profit event founded in 1989 by active fans in local Los Angeles science fiction fandom. Gallifrey One boasts some of the best Doctor Who celebrity guests while still maintaining its small con feel. This convention is completely fan run. It features one of kind panels, guest from all walks of science fiction and even the non fiction science community, and almost every part of the Doctor Who universe. Taking place every February over Presidents’ Day Weekend at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, this con is an experience not to be missed.

2018 Highlights: 

Gally (as it is often called) is one of those cons that have a jammed packed schedule. Programming goes on from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm. And even after there are after parties, screenings, dances, masquerades, karaoke events and so much more. There is probably way more that went on at the 2018 event than I could possibly list. I recommend checking out the 2018 Gallifrey One Wrap Up on the convention website. But for now, here are some attendee photos of some of the guest highlights from the con!

Outside the Con: 

The convention is held at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel. It is just steps from LAX international airport. There are plenty of hotels in the area, as well as a variety of places to eat within walking distance.

Child Friendly: 

This is probably the most child friendly convention I have come across. There is a ton of children’s programming available as well as babysitting available.  Children programming does fill up quickly, so I suggest signing up as soon as the programming is announced. There is a courtyard just outside of the convention floor that gives children some room to run around and wind down a bit. There are plenty of food options available at the convention as well as in the nearby neighborhoods. I was able to find food options for even the pickiest of eaters.

Pros of this Con: 

There is so much great programming that there really is something for everyone. There are Doctor Who guests from the audio series, show writers, artist and authors of the comic book series, there are even guests from other fandoms. If you are interested in cosplay, there are panels on cosplay as well. There are writing workshops, discussion groups, ribbon trading, and meet ups of all types. There is a bar and lounge area on the main floor of the hotel that is lovingly referred to as “Lobby Con”.  It is a large area with plenty of seating and room to mingle. At this 2018 Convention Steven Moffat and Sylvester McCoy were both spotted in the loounge area, interacting and hanging out with fans. The con takes place in the same hotel that many of the guest stay in, so seeing the guest walk around is very common. They are not guarded by security like they are at larger conventions. This gives the convention a more intimate feeling and allows for experiences that would not normally happen at other conventions. One of the benefits of a convention that is specifically geared towards Doctor Who fans is that everyone at the convention is a Doctor Who fan. You are in a safe place to express your total love for Doctor Who. It creates a very welcoming and open environment. You are all there to celebrate the thing that you all have in common. The thing that you all love.

#Gally1 nights

A post shared by Monica (@thisdorkynerdgirl) on

Cons of this Con: 

The Vendor/Dealer’s room at Gallifrey One is pretty small compared to most Southern California conventions. It boast only a few rows of vendors. It seems fine for a convention that holds less than 4,000 attendees and despite being small you can still find some truly unique merchandise that you wont find anywhere else, but it would be nice to see an artist alley with a nice variety of Doctor Who art for sale. The con takes place during a holiday weekend and it takes place at the same time as a gaming con in a neighboring hotel. This can make it difficult and pricey to find both room accommodations and parking. If you plan to stay at the hotel from Thursday until Sunday night, be prepared to spend upwards of $800 for the 4 days, 3 night stay.

Cosplay: 

The Cosplay is pretty top notch at Gallifrey One. The fun thing about cosplay at this convention as opposed to other pop culture conventions, is that because it all centers around one fandom, you find some of the most clever, creative and even obscure cosplays. At any given time you can find cosplayers portraying characters from all walks of the Doctor Who universe. You can find cosplays from Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures, Class and even the Big Finish Audio Series (yes, they even cosplay from audio cover art). And if you are new to cosplay and want to learn how to get started, there are plenty of panels that revolve around that.

Con Costs: 

$110.00 Adult Full Weekend
$50.00 Teen Full Weekend (Ages 12-16)
$20.00 Child Full Weekend (Ages 3-11)
Note that the above prices do not include a small EventBrite processing fee, which will be added to each order ($6.22 per adult ticket, less for the others).

Gallifrey One only sells weekend badges. Single day passes are no available.

Parking for locals: 

Parking can be reserved in advance  (AND YOU SHOULD). Parking ranges anywhere from $15 a day to $35 a day. General airport parking lots are available within walking distance of the convention. Arriving early is highly recommened.

Hotel Accommodations: 

Hotel rooms at the Marriott are in high demand and are filled up almost immediately after reservations open. There are many hotels within walking distance near by.  *See YouTube Video Below*

Pro-tip: 

We recommend turning on post notifications for the Gallifrey One Twitter and Facebook accounts so that you stay up to date on hotel announcements, ticket sales, guest announcements and programming information. If you are trying to get tickets or hotel room accommodations on the day they go live, don’t give up on the first sold out screen. try again for the first 20 minutes. Many times the systems just need to refresh and catch up, and you may be able to score the tickets/room that you need.

Overall Impression: It can probably best be explained in this quote from con-goer Doc In The Box Cosplay, “Gally isn’t just a convention experience. It’s a family. A yearly reunion, if you will. A chance to see your closest friends that come from distant places, and an opportunity to make new ones. It’s a place where everyone and everything is celebrated and it doesn’t matter if you’re there in an old TARDIS t-shirt or a screen accurate costume. The amount of joy and love you receive from this convention will leave you wishing the next one wasn’t another year away. It’s definitely an experience that makes you believe things really are bigger on the inside.”

My babies ❤

A post shared by Monica (@thisdorkynerdgirl) on

Gallifrey One RETURNS February 14, 2019 – February 17, 2019. Tickets go on sale April 14th, 12:00 PM PST! 

How to get tickets? 

Check out our pro-tips from our whovian friend, Lady Of Time Cosplay. She gives a really great and really informative review on how to get tickets to Gallifrey One. If you are a first timer to Gallifrey One and serious about getting tickets, the video is worth the 15 min watch.

https://www.facebook.com/events/169029780387728/

Monica Duarte

Born and raised under the California sun. Monica can be found around the Southern California comic book and pop culture convention scene. She can usually be seen either behind the lens of her camera or in cosplay. Lover of all things geeks but especially Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Star Trek.