Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019 Guide

A few name changes over the years, but don’t fret, the event is still the same great geeky fun. Formerly known as Phoenix Comicon and Phoenix Comic Fest, made its debut in 2002. The annual pop-cultural event runs from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, May 26, and will offer four full days of activities, cosplay events, gaming sessions, panels, Q&As, and a variety of other programming.

The event will also feature a long list of special guests, celebrities and famed comic book creators.

Geek icons and actors such as Elijah Wood, Jeff Goldblum, Summer Glau, Paul Reubens, Catherine Tate, Billy Dee Williams, Ray Park, John Barrowman, and Matthew Lewis are on the schedule this year. Famed comic artists and writers Howard Chaykin, Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams are also scheduled to be at the event.

Fan Fusion spokeswoman Kristin Rowan says that organizers put a lot of hard work into making it reality and what they hope will be a successful event.

“Sometimes, it’s just a matter of timing; sometimes, we just get really lucky,” Rowan says. “Our talent relations director [Sara Klick] did an amazing job of getting the right people. Sometimes, things just really fall into place, and they definitely did this year.”

“Every year, we look for the guests that people are asking for. We also look at popular TV shows, popular movies, and the old standby franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, and try to figure out who to go for,” Rowan says.

Other factors come into play, too, she says.

Like most all con events, Phoenix Fan Fusion offers more than just celebrity appearances. Many panels and programming events are scheduled throughout the entire weekend that are devoted to geeky subject matters such as anime, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films. The event will also host two exhibitor halls, an Artists Alley, nerd-oriented activities, discussions, and of course cosplay.

When and Where 

Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019 runs from Thursday, May 23, to Sunday, May 26, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street.

Hours 

Registration will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Programming starts at 10:30 a.m. daily and goes until 11 p.m. on Thursday 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The exhibitor halls on the convention center’s lower level and third floor will run from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday

Admission Cost

Daily memberships cost $25 on Thursday
$35 on Friday
$50 on Saturday
$40 on Sunday.
A full-event pass is $90, and VIP packages, which include various swag and perks, are $400.
Kids ages 3 to 12 can get a $15 “sidekick” pass covering all four days, and children age 2 or under are free with a paid adult admission. There are no age limits. Fan Fusion is fun for all ages, but certain activities are for 18 and older .

Travel/Parking 

Light rail is strongly recommended. Light rail stations are located nearby and fares are $2 for a single ride, $4 for the whole day. If you are parking, plan for garage parking. Parking fees are around $20 and up for the day. For discounts or to reserve a spot, check out the Fan Fusion website.

Entrance Information 

The area surrounding the entire convention center will be enclosed to create a security perimeter. There will be entrance points at both ends, each with prop-checking stations and security screening areas. Bag checks and metal detectors will be used so please prepare ahead of time for this to keep the screening operations as efficient as possible.  It is estimated that the entrance experience will take no more than six minutes from start to finish.

Everyone will be issued a wristband at one of the tents outside the perimeter. Each contains an RFID tag that will be scanned upon entrance. You will be required to wear it at all times.

Food and Beverage

The organizers are stressing the importance of staying hydrated.  With all of the walking fans do during the event, hydration is important.

Fan Fusion attendees are allowed to bring sealed bottles of water into the event. Vendors will have water for sale both inside and outside the convention center.

Snacks, lunches, and other outside food and drinks are allowed at Phoenix Fan Fusion. Food vendors will also be available.

Costumes 

Costumes are allowed at the event. There will also be events devoted to cosplay, and workshops about crafting your own gear. In addition there will be several different fashion shows. The annual masquerade will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday in West 301BCD. Visit the Fan Fusion website for details and schedules.

Props 

Lightsabers, unstrung bows, untipped and non-removable arrows, wands, sonic screwdrivers, and lightweight plastic or foam bats/clubs are all permitted. Shields and armor made from plastic, foam, fiberglass, resin, or cardboard are also acceptable. Just make sure there are no sharp edges. Metal shields and armor can be brought in but might cause issues during the screening process.

The props that are not allowed are any sort of real or replica weapon. Anything resembling a gun, bomb, or explosive device, tasers, slingshots, brass knuckles, metal and wooden swords, edged weapons, and glass or stone props are all banned.

Celebrity Photos & Autographs

Prices will vary. Summer Glau is charging $40 for autographs and $60 for a photo op, for instance, but a picture with Jeff Goldblum goes for $120. Check out the Fan Fusion website for a complete price list.

Schedule For Fan Fusion’s celebrity Q&A’s

Nearly each celebrity guest scheduled to attend the event will participate in a  Q&A session held throughout the weekend. It’s one of the most popular attractions at Phoenix Fan Fusion, expect big crowds.

Schedule

Jeff Goldblum – Jurassic Park
Saturday, May 25
Noon, West 301BCD

Elijah Wood – Lord of the Rings
Friday, May 24
11:45 a.m., West 301BCD

Billy Dee Williams – Star Wars
Saturday, May 25
1:15 p.m., West 301A

Summer Glau – Firefly
Sunday, May 26
3 p.m., West 301BCD

Matthew Lewis – Harry Potter
Sunday, May 26
West 301BCD, 1:30 p.m.

Catherine Tate – Doctor Who
Saturday, May 25
1:30 p.m., West 301BCD

George Takei
Sunday, May 26
Noon, West 301BCD

Ray Park – Star Wars
Saturday, May 25
4:30 p.m., West 301A

Robin Lord Taylor
Saturday May 25
2:45 p.m., West 301A

Paul Reubens
Saturday, May 25
4:30 p.m., West 301BCD

Chris Sarandon – The Princess Bride
Sunday, May 26
10:30 a.m., West 301BCD

Walter Koenig
Sunday, May 26
10:30 a.m., West 301A

Garrett Wang
Sunday, May 26
3:15 p.m., West 301A

John Barrowman – Doctor Who
Saturday, May 25
3 p.m., West 301BCD

Adam Savage – MythBuster
Saturday, May 25
10:30 a.m., West 301BCD

Amy Jo Johnson
Friday, May 24
10:30 a.m., West 301A

Tom Kenny
Sunday, May 26
12:15 p.m., West 301A

Jeremy Shada
Friday May 24
Noon, West 301A

Christopher Sabat
Saturday May 25
10:45 p.m., West 301A

Planning Ahead

It is recommended to attendees to download the Phoenix Fan Fusion app to help manage your experience. (It’s available on both iPhone and Android).

Items to make sure you bring with you to the event, both credit cards and cash, bottled water, a fully charged cellphone, a digital camera, comfortable footwear, snacks, and a bag or backpack for carrying everything.