1. What is Wing Ding?
Wing Ding is Gold Wing Road Riders Association’s (GWRRA’s) annual convention, get-together, party, etc. It is our once-a-year chance for our Members, and everyone else who wants to see the world’s largest Gold Wing trade show, to gather to party! The show moves to a different city every year for five days of FUN, Food, Entertainment, Shopping, Education, Riding and Meeting old and new Friends.
2. Where did the name Wing Ding come from?
A Wing Ding (WingDing) by definition is a party…what better way to describe our gathering of Wings? The term was coined by Co-Founder, Shirley Stephens-Garcia, just before the very first Wing Ding in 1979, at the Point Hilton Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.
This started GWRRA’s long tradition of holding Wing Dings in convention centers or fairgrounds that have indoor, air-conditioned facilities. “This was unlike any other motorcycle organization or rally at that time,” says Founder Paul Hildebrand, and still holds true to this day.
3. Why is Wing Ding held over the Labor Day Weekend in September?
Wing Ding’s are currently held over the Labor Day weekend in Septermber for several reasons. Many Members find this time period easier to schedule their vacations; they can tack on to the holiday, thus taking less time off to attend Wing Ding.
Also, many vendors have found that this time period fits well in their rally circuit.
And, this is a good time for the Association to negotiate with cities for “the business” of Wing Ding. Summer is generally a slow time for many cities; and GWRRA can get better deals for our Members on hotel rooms, entertainment, etc.
4. How does the Home Office pick the cities that host Wing Ding?
As you can imagine, selecting a location for Wing Ding is a very complicated process. Our event management team has a very long checklist of physical qualifiers that a city must provide such as:
Space for the trade show, registration, etc.
Sufficient number of hotel rooms for our Members
Sufficient parking lots for the motorcycles
Parking lots for Rider Education courses
Then, there are such items as:
Location of convention center to center of city
Security for Members
Condition of road (construction issues)
Access of major, minor roads to the city
Wagering rules (50/50’s, etc.)
Vendor issues (Can they sell motorcycles, trailers, etc.?)
Is the city/state motorcycle friendly?
Availability for entertainment venues (concerts, opening/closing ceremonies, etc
5. Why should I preregister?
The # 1 reason to preregister is to save money. The cost for a Member to register on-site is $50, while preregistration is only $40.
To be eligible for Preregistration Program Prizes
To secure your spot in a Rider Education course
Knowing how many people might be at our party helps us better prepare for Wing Ding. We actually have a formula, based on preregistration, which gives us a very close estimate of how many will be at the party. This information is invaluable when pre-ordering t-shirts, food, letting the vendors know the anticipated crowd, size of the parade, etc.
6. What does Host Hotel really mean? Is there an advantage for staying there?
The “Host Hotel” is usually where the Association utilizes meeting/banquet rooms and where some priority rooms are booked.
The only advantage for Members staying at these properties would be to be at the same properties as some of the Couples of the Year, Officers or Home Office personnel. These properties are not necessarily any nearer to the facility where the event is taking place.
7. What is included with my Wing Ding registration?
Your full registration fee includes the following:
Access to all entertainment events, talent show, seminars, field events, parades, opening & closing ceremonies (occasionally, there are additional charges for some special events)
Eligibility for Door Prizes
Full Color Pocket Guide
Eligibility for Grand Prizes
8. Is it better to get my hotel room through the GWRRA-endorsed Housing Bureau at the local Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)? Why?
Absolutely. Your hotel reservation is guaranteed by the hotel and backed up by the CVB. If there are any problems before, during, or after your stay, you may call the local CVB for assistance. If you have a problem with a reservation booked outside the block, your only recourse is through the reservation agent.
Please remember, GWRRA is not in the hotel business and has nothing to do with the housing bureau or the CVB when it comes to hotel bookings. GWRRA only suggests to the CVB how many rooms to put in the block and asks for the best possible rate for its Members. (GWRRA receives no commissions or “kickbacks” for these rooms.)
9. Whom should I contact if I have a complaint about my room reservation or a problem with my room, hotel or anything else in the city?
The first place to go if you have any issue with your room is the hotel front desk.
If you get no satisfaction there, speak to the Manager On Duty .
Next level is the General Manager. If none of this works and you are at a major chain like Holiday Inn, etc., contact the Regional Manager.
Finally, contact the local CVB or Housing Bureau set up for the particular event.
10. How do I handle any issues with my Wing Ding reservations?
11. I have friends who are not Members of GWRRA, can they come to Wing Ding?
Wing Ding is open to anyone. They would pay a non-Member rate, unless they decide to join when they get there…then we would make them a deal!!
As a non-Member, they can buy a full registration for $60, or day-passes for $22. Member rates on-site are $50 for the full event or day-passes for $15.
12. If I am registered for a Rider Education course and complete it, how do I get my refund/rebate?
When you COMPLETE a Rider Education course, like an ERC, you present your completion card to a representative at the Rider Education booth in the convention center and receive a $30 refund/rebate.
The reason this is done is that many people were signing up for courses and not showing up. This made it difficult to schedule classes/courses; classes would be half full, and people wanting to take the class were denied because the class was “full.”
13. If for some reason I cannot make it to Wing Ding, can someone else pick up my packet?
The short answer is NO.
The reason is that we have had incidences where people have picked up other’s packets and not given them to the intended people who paid for them. Therefore, you must pick up your own packet and show ID when you do so.
14. Can my children attend Wing Ding? Is there a discount for them? Are there activities for them?
Absolutely! Children 15 and under are FREE!
There are Kids Events scheduled; check the program for when and where. Please let us know what types of events you would like to see for your children, or special family events you would like to see in the future.
15. Do I need an armband for Opening Ceremonies? Other events?
You do NOT need an armband for opening ceremonies.
The International Couple of the Year (ICOY) selection process, which happens the day before Wing Ding starts, does not require armbands.
Any events occurring before the official opening of the trade show do not require an armband.
16. Is there food available at Wing Ding?
Oh, YES! Lots of it!!
GWRRA makes sure that the facility has plenty of concessions, a food court, or on-site food purveyors for our Members with a variety of foods, snacks, drinks and especially ice cream!
GWRRA also looks for an area with plenty of restaurants.
17. I have been to many Wing Dings and can’t seem to do all there is to do. Why do you plan so much each year?
We compare Wing Ding to a smorgasbord and want to offer many, many options for our Members. Everyone has different tastes and our Members are no different. Some like to attend seminars and learn new things. Many like to shop. Many more like to ride in the new areas. Lots like to watch Members sing/show off at the Talent Show or just enjoy other entertainment venues. Some like to learn new lifesaving skills at our Rider Ed events. All Members like to get together and meet old/new friends. And, we hope you want to come back each year to see what you missed the year before.
18. Can I come to Wing Ding for just a day or two or do I have to come for all four days?
Yes, of course. We offer day passes for both Members and non-Members. ($15/day=Members, $22/day=Non-Members)
19. Do you charge extra for entertainment, seminars, rides, tours, etc., as many other rallies do?
No, we do not. Your full registration includes admission to all our events.
The only exception to this would be for special evening dining/entertainment packages.
20. What should a person do first, if they have never been to a Wing Ding?
Preregister with Home Office (Purchase tickets, Rider Ed courses, T-shirts, etc.)
See if others from your Chapter are going
Read Program (September Issue of Wing World)
Decide what seminars are of most interest to you (before you arrive)
Decide if you want Rider Ed. courses/classes & get registered (before you arrive)
Make a plan for each day
See the area
Take the Rides
Take ERC (for example)
Day for shopping trade show
Entertainment, which nights (Talent Show, 4th of July Fireworks, Welcome Party, etc.)
Travel to Wing Ding (Enjoy the ride)
Couple of the Year selection (Day before)
Talent Show & Pre-Entertainment Event (Night before)
Eat a good breakfast before going to the facility
Pick up registration packet & T-shirts, if ordered
Attend Opening Ceremonies
Visit GWRRA Information Booth (Wing Ding information)
Visit CVB Booth (Local information)
Visit trade show
Register for next year’s Wing Ding
Attend Closing Ceremonies
Ride home safely