Updated on January 16, 2019
The 2019 FanFest at Dodger Stadium is on January 26, 2019. I’m sure most of our readers have heard of it and many have gone in the past. I didn’t go until the 2016 season, and even then, I didn’t arrive until later in the day. Each time I’ve gone it has been a blast and each time I go I learn more about things to do. I will share what I’ve learned about FanFast and how you might be convinced to go or learn something useful for this year.
Updated Details (1/14)
- FanFest web site
- Tickets on sale starting on January 14
- Parking gates A,C and E will be open at 9:30 AM
- 14 and under free autographs will be in Log G from 11-12 noon, 1-2 and 3-4
- Child must be a Jr. Dodger
- Text “FANFEST19” to 41623 for event information throughout the day
- Not working as of January 14
Experience and Autograph Session Updates (1/16)
The experiences are now posted and will go on sale to the public on January 17 at 1:00 PM. Here are the experience highlights;
- Selfie Station ($25) with one of Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Alex Verdugo, Chris Taylor and Tommy Lasorda/Steve Yeager.
- Meet and Greet ($200) with one of Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Fernando Valenzuela, Dave Roberts, Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen
- Train Like a Pro ($60) – a chance to get a professional assessment with Dodgers strength and conditioning personnel
- Play Catch with a Pro ($125) – play catch with one of Scott Alexander, Austin Barnes, JT Chargois, Max Muncy, Tony Cingrani or Ross Stripling
- Tour the Pop-Up Museum ($40) with either Ron Cey or Steve Yeager
- Press Box Tour ($75) with Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser – photo only
- Clubhouse Tour and Locker Photo ($75) – tour of the clubhouse, batting cage, weight room and view all the trophies like MVPs, Cy Young and Gold Gloves. They will stage a picture of you in front of a locker.
- Batting Cage Swings ($20) – take 10 swings in the batting cage
- All-Access Pass ($1000) – do it all
The autograph sessions are also now posted and will also go on sale to the public on January 17 at 1:00 PM.
- Session 1 from 10:10-11:00 AM
- Austin Barnes, Jerry Hairston Jr., Kenta Maeda or Orel Hershiser
- Session 2 from 11:20-12:20
- Dylan Floro/JT Chargois, Alex Verdugo, David Freese or Cody Bellinger
- Session 3 from 12:30-1:30 PM
- Josh Sborz/Tony Cingrani, Matt Beaty/Steve Yeager, Scott Alexander/Rocky Gale or Ross Stripling
- Session 4 from 1:40-2:40 PM
- Dylan Floro/Brock Stewart, Joe Kelly, Jaime Schultz/Edwin Rios or TBD
- Session 5 from 2:50-3:50 PM
- Manny Mota/Dennis Santana, Walker Buehler, Adam McCreery/Keibert Ruiz or Chris Taylor
Dodger Junior Sessions at Lot G for free:
- Session 1 from 11:00-Noon
- Matt Beaty
- Rocky Gale
- Session 2 from 1:00-2:00 PM
- Dennis Santana
- Keibert Ruiz
- Session 3 from 3:00-4:00 PM
- Edwin Rios
- Jaime Schultz
Getting There and Getting In
This year, FanFest will run from 10 AM until 4 PM. During this time up to 30-40 thousand fans will pass through the gates. In order to be one of those fans, the Dodgers have required a ticket to get in. The good news is, they are free. The tickets will be available soon and dodgersnation.com will keep you posted.
All the parking lots will be open before 10 AM and the parking is free. If you have purchased a meet and greet experience that starts at 10 then you will need to get there well before opening. Those details will come later, probably a day before FanFest.
There are various experiences that can be purchased to enhance your day at FanFest. These experiences, that I will detail below, go on sale a few days before FanFest and the tickets go fast. You don’t need to do these to have a good time but you can interact with players and other Dodger personnel that are very difficult to meet otherwise.
Meet and Greet Experiences
The meet and greet experiences are a great way to meet the people you may have always wanted to meet. However, they can be expensive as they were $200 per person. Last year some people were able to meet various Dodger players such as Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Kiké Hernandez. In 2017 I purchased a meet and greet for Fernando Valenzuela, my all-time favorite player.
The experience basically goes like this:
- Earlier in the day you go retrieve your passes and some details at a set of tables near the fan information area where the third base field level seats end.
- About 15-30 minutes before your experience you line up where they told you earlier in the day.
- They walk you to an area, usually the Dugout Club dining area, where they line you up to meet the player.
- Everyone goes through and you get a minute or two with the player. Bring things to be signed (they will sign one thing and might sign more) and get a picture with them.
- They then escort you out.
There are various tours that are available during FanFest at a more reasonable cost than the meet and greet experiences. In 2017 we went on a tour of the Dodger pop-up museum lead by Shawn Green. There was some confusion so he didn’t show up. They later set up a meet and greet with Shawn at the end of the day. The tour was $40 per person but the price will probably be a little higher.
In 2018 we bought a tour of the Vin Scully Press Box for $75 per person. Part of the tour included a photograph with Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser. There were plenty of people on this experience so, while we were waiting, I was able to go over and talk to Dieter Ruehle (the organist) and Dave Styles (one of the game day hosts). I was able to ask a lot of questions about what they do and how some of the things work behind the scenes.
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) January 27, 2018
I’d met Joe before (one of the best humans on the planet) and meeting Orel Hershiser for the first time was awesome.
Great time today! pic.twitter.com/IJPYFYGNEP
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) January 28, 2018
The tours work similar to the meet and greet experiences as you pick up your passes in the same spot and they tell you when and where to meet.
The autograph sessions are controlled chaos. The last few years they have one hour sessions that feature 6 groups of 2 players or coaches or alumni. You purchase tickets for these at the same time the other experiences are available. The prices last year was $25 per person and you get 2 autographs; one from each personnel in the group. For example, last year one of the groups featured Julio Urías and Andrew Toles. For $25 you get an autograph from each. I usually buy 2 tickets for either my wife or one of my sons to get an autograph also.
Some of the things to watch out for with the autograph experiences includes making sure you have enough time to get into line. The lines are very long and you wonder how you will make it though in time. It turns out that these lines are very well oiled machines. However, they won’t allow you to get pictures with the players any more. Get your pictures as you get close. If you get lucky then the people behind you will take a picture as you get your autograph. They were very strict about pictures in 2018 but it does make the lines move along. You can still interact with the players and you’ll find some are real friendly or shy or maybe kind of a jerk.
Things That Are Free
There is a big stage where a lot of players are interviewed. DJ Severe keeps it lively in between player interviews. When the players are coming and going from the stage there are some autograph opportunities. There are a lot of interactive games and other activities all around the edges of the field. Being able to take a quick trip around the bases is something everyone should consider doing.
There will also be autograph sessions for children 14 and under. If you have kids it is something to keep an eye out for. These have been first come, first served in the past.
Other Things Going On
- Some of the food concession stands will be open
- Mystery bags of baseballs (and possibly jerseys) for sale that benefits the Dodgers Foundation
- Dodgers Foundation Yard Sale
- Meet other fans
- Ticket sales
Things To Consider Bringing
In the past we’ve been able to go back to our cars and they let you back in. Given that, there are plenty of things to bring that you can leave in your car. Many of the same rules about what you can bring in are still enforced.
- Layers of clothing – it is January
- Food in a cooler – leave in car
- Autograph pens and items to get signed – you never know who you will run into
- A water bottle
- Something to take pictures with
- A backup power source for your phone – maybe leave in car
- Cash for some items like the yard sale. Mystery bags sometimes takes credit cards
- Patience – some lines will be long
I highly encourage you, especially if you’ve never been before, to go to FanFest on January 26, 2019. If you’ve never had the chance to go on the field and touch the outfield grass for the first time, this is a great opportunity to do it. You can make it as cheap or expensive as you want. You can come at any time between 10 AM and 4 PM and stay as short or as long as you want.
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/2019-key-dates-on-the-dodgers-schedule/2019/01/02/” type=”big” color=”red”] 2019 Key Dates on the Dodgers Schedule[/button]