Updated on January 15, 2020
The 2020 FanFest at Dodger Stadium is on January 25, 2020. 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 (1/15)
- FanFest web site
- FREE tickets available now
- FanFest paid experiences go on sale on January 16 at 10:00 AM
- Parking gates A,C and E will be open at 9:30 AM
- “Due to the construction, FanFest will be held in Parking Lots P and N (outside of Top Deck and Right Field Reserve).”
- 14 and under free autographs
- Child must be a Jr. Dodger
- Sessions are from 11-12, 1-2 and 3-4
- Text “FANFEST20” to 41623 for event information throughout the day
Experience and Autograph Session Updates (1/15)
The experiences have not been posted yet. Last year they had the following:
- A Selfie Station ($35)
- Player Meet and Greets ($250-275)
- Alumni Eat & Greet ($100)
- Press Box Tour ($85) with Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser or Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yniguez – photo only
- Centerfield construction tour ($75)
- Clubhouse Tour and Locker Photo ($65 last year) – 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.
- Run the bases and dugout photo ($25)
- Tour the Pop-Up Museum ($40 last year)
- All-Access Pass ($1000 last year) – do it all
- Autograph Sessions ($30) – the ticket gets you one autograph from 1 player, coach or alumnus.
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 Dodgers Nation 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 Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen. In 2019 I purchased a meet and greet with Corey Seager.
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 *??- SDDODGER (@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 *??- SDDODGER (@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 1 or 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 1 or 2 autographs; one from each personnel in the group.
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 the last few years 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.
The opportunity to get purchase the opportunity to take a selfie with a player was introduced in 2019. There was a long line for it but it did move pretty fast. You are the one taking the picture as it is a true selfie. You don’t get to have someone else take it except with kiddie situations. Don’t bring your SLR camera thinking that it will work for this experience. It won’t.
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.
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
Some Tips and Tricks
Based on talking with others and my own experience at the 2019 FanFest here are some new tips and tricks.
- Get there early if you have appointments, even up to 11:00 AM
- The lines for VIP passes were bad. There is room for improvement for the Dodgers in this area.
- Ask someone for help if time is tight for you
- For the selfie experiences it really is a selfie you take. Make sure you are ready
- If you are getting autographs, consider the front of the line pass
- For meet and greets come prepared with a question or two
- If you see someone struggling with trying to get a picture during a session, feel free to help them out. Plenty of people come solo and can use a hand sometimes
- If you want to do the uniform grab bag, they sold out by 11:00 AM this year
- The line for the garage sale is outrageous. Either go there first or be prepared to wait almost 2 hours
I highly encourage you, especially if you’ve never been before, to go to FanFest this year. 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.