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About this time last year I flippantly mentioned the Star MegaDo 3 to my husband, and described to him how incredibly awesome it would be to do something like that one day. I wasn’t even entering into a negotiation to go (as is often required when you are married and want to do something that involves a large amount of money and the other party staying home alone with a toddler), as I didn’t even dream it to be a possibility. However, as luck would have had it, he agreed it was a great “once in a lifetime” opportunity and encouraged me to go. We finagled some finances and signed me up. I was beyond ecstatic and wrote about my crazy excitement here.
Goodness what changes can take place in just a year. I learned of the SMD3 long after it was actually announced and tickets went on sale, however I was still able to purchase a ticket without a problem. I didn’t attend a launch party, I didn’t win a chance to buy a spot, I didn’t eat a Wonka bar, I didn’t know a soul going on the trip, I didn’t hold a golden ticket, etc. This year is way different. Unless you are married to an organizer, are the head of Willy Wonka’s Chocoloate Factory, or are sponsoring the event, getting a ticket is going to be tough. When the first One World MegaDo went on sale in the fall of 2011 (shortly after the SMD 3), it sold out within minutes and had a wait list about 100 miles long. When the launch party for Star MegaDo 4 was announced a month or so ago, the launch party filled up within minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I imagine the launch party will be fantastic, but let this sink in – 80 slots to attend a two hour party related to the MegaDo filled within minutes. Shortly there after there were over 200 on the waitlist for a party. A party.
Luckily, thanks to attending some MegaDos and other miles and points events in the last year, I now know several friendly souls on these trips, and a couple of my friends texted and emailed me when the launch party sign-ups opened on Milepoint, so I was able to get my name on the list in time to attend this now-exclusive-by default event. For the OneWorld MegaDo, attending the launch party ensured you got a 24 head start on booking seats for the actual MegaDo. However, this time attending the launch party just gets you entered in a drawing for a chance to book before the general public. Imagine how quickly the actual MegaDo is going to sell out given that the 80 slots for the party were gone within minutes, and the waitlist grew to include more people than there are seats on the actual MegaDo.
Okay, that’s the “bad news”. The good news is that you can guarantee an opportunity to purchase a seat on the Star MegaDo 4 without attending any launch parties or holding any golden tickets. All you have to do is donate to Livestrong. If you didn’t already know this, donations to charity are a key and integral component of all MegaDos. As is described below, 15 seats will be auctioned off to those who are willing to donate the most to Livestrong. The bidding is just getting underway, but so far around $100 will give you a chance to secure a seat.
If you want some more updates, here is a post taken from one of the Head Honchos, PizzaMan himself:
First, for those attending the launch party….
Each attendee of the launch party will receive one entry (and one entry only) into a drawing to be held at the launch party. Give me one ping, Vasily. One ping only, please!
Winners of this drawing will have early access to booking SMD4. We will be selecting 25 winners as follows:
5 BizFirst winners
20 Coach winners
Each winner will have 48 hours to book one ticket once pre-sales open for SMD4. No, you will not be able to book a ticket for a +1. No, your prize is not transferable.
Second, for those who got shut out of the launch party and anyone else who wants to guarantee themselves a seat….
We will be auctioning off 15 pre-sale slots for SMD4. The auction will start tomorrow and run through next week, exact end time TBD based on when we get pre-sales open.
3 of the 15 slots will be for BF seats, 12 for Coach. You can bid on up to 4 slots. Upon full payment of your winning bid, you will have 48 hours to book a seat during pre-sales. After that, you will lose your slot.
All proceeds of the auction will go to benefit LIVESTRONG.
Third, for International participants….
In the past, some have commented that we should guarantee people who participate in the Intl portion of the MegaDO to have a seat on the domestic portion. This year, that is the case. We are holding 80 seats on the charter for people that purchase tickets on the Intl portion.
We will hold 15 BF seats and 65 Coach seats.
We’ll be opening the auction thread up soon.
I know there were some angry and disappointed people for the OneWorld MegaDo when demand unexpectedly way outpaced supply. There may be some more disappointed folks on this go round, but there are things you can do to make sure you are on this trip if you want “an experience of a lifetime”. Your best chances will be to either donate enough to Livestrong to secure the right to purchase a seat and/or go on the international portion for a better shot at 80 seats reserved for those folks. I have never done the international portion of a MegaDo, but am 99% sure I will this time. With a little luck, I will be able to grab one of the 80 seats reserved for folks who are on both the domestic and international portion of this journey.
Hopefully we will find out on Saturday where this fun-filled adventure is heading, and of course you will find me Tweeting and posting all about it as it happens at the launch party. I can tell you that the guesses and speculation I have heard about the trip are very juicy and enticing! I highly recommend that you subscribe to updates from MegaDo.com and closely follow the Star MegaDo 4 threads on Milepoint for details as they are released. Now, I just need to find my “Golden Ticket”…….