San Diego Comic-Con 2017 is just around the corner and being prepared for such an event will make the experience extremely enjoyable. In today’s blog, we share our top 5 tips to help you navigate your way through this epic event. This information is especially perfect for the new or novice Comic-Con attendee with some ‘need-to-know-tips’ from three San Diego locals and previous SDCC participants, Sass3.
At the end of this article, be sure to check out the links for your up-to-date San Diego Comic-Con information.
1. Getting there – Qualcomm Trolley Station
San Diego Comic-Con is held at the San Diego Convention Center located on Harbor Drive right in heart of downtown San Diego. Locals usually avoid driving into the area during this time because of the excessive traffic SDCC brings. The BEST way to get to the event, if you are not staying in a hotel in the area, is by trolley. By taking this form of transportation, you can avoid traffic and the disappointment of not finding parking or being charged a huge parking fee. We highly recommend catching the trolley at the Qualcomm Trolley Station. Although there are other stations to begin your ride, we feel this is the best place to start.
Here are reasons we suggest beginning your trolley ride at this station:
- The stadium has a huge parking area.
- When you begin your ride at this location, the trains are not full. The cars get crowded the closer you get to downtown, making it difficult to get on and find a seat.
- The station is well-lit and busy with other Comic-Con attendees. We always feel safe at this location.
2. Plan Your Day
It’s important to know that there are numerous activities, panels, and exhibits offered at SDCC. With the huge crowds, it can deter any attendee from getting to that highly anticipated exhibit or event. Use the San Diego Comic-Con schedule to map out your plan for the day by creating an outline of your possible itinerary. Sass3 usually makes a primary and secondary list. Some panels, autograph signings, and activities may overlap one another so plan accordingly. Another thing to keep in mind is travel time. Moving from one room or area of the convention center to another sometimes isn’t an easy task and will require additional time. Popular panels will have queues forming hours prior to start-time, and people will often spend most of the day, if not the entire day, waiting. Download the Comic-Con app from your phone’s app store to help make planning and getting around SDCC a breeze.
Here’s our suggested planning process:
- Create a priority list of what you want to see: exhibitors, panels, autographs, etc.
- Plan one major panel for the day, whether it’s in the afternoon or morning. Know that you will be waiting for a long period of time, possibly the entire day, especially if it’s a popular one. Sometimes these lines form to receive a wrist band for entrance. It will depend on the venue so be sure to read the schedule.
- Visit exhibits on your off panel day or time.
- Include breaks for lunch, snacks, and restrooms in your schedule.
3. Be Prepared for Huge Crowds
Living in San Diego for at least 30 years, we know how crazy the downtown area is during Comic-Con. Locals not participating in SDCC do their best to avoid the location and surrounding areas if they can help it. The San Diego Comic-Con brings thousands of people to town, and it is simply crowded. People who were unable to secure a badge, visit the outskirts of the convention center because so much is offered to visitors. The streets, restaurants, and establishments may provide activities related to comic books, art, TV shows, and movies. Exhibits for the entire family are also made available to the public outside the convention center. So, even if you didn’t obtain a badge, there are still a ton of activities to do and view within the immediate downtown area.
Now, the San Diego Convention Center will also be congested with masses of people – many times, being elbow-to-elbow throughout the center. It can be a bit overwhelming to some, but understanding the enormity of the event will prepare any new and novice SDCC attendee. Being patient and going with the flow are our biggest pieces of advice!
4. Dress Comfortably
San Diego weather can be warm in July. Typically sunny, the location of the event along the water makes the weather fairly nice for a summer day. Inside the San Diego Convention Center, the temperature is generally comfortable; however, we have experienced some warm days inside the exhibition hall because of the large number of people on the floor. In contrast, we have also encountered a cold panel room, so we highly suggest dressing in layers.
In addition, expect to be walking all day and being on your feet A LOT! The San Diego Convention Center is a huge facility and moving from one end to another, and even from one floor to another, can be a distance. Comfortable shoes are a must during this massive event.
5. Bring a Lunch or Snack
One important tidbit to know is food can be expensive at the center with long lines at the restaurant and snack carts. We always bring some sort of small meal, sandwich, and snack to keep us from being hungry. Often times, we’ll be sitting in a panel room or even in line and hunger hits. We cannot express how grateful we are knowing we don’t need to worry about getting lunch while waiting for our favorite artist, actor, or writer. We usually pack two sandwiches, a small snack, and bottled water for each person. The other option would be to head to a restaurant in the Gaslamp District; however, that would take time away from the center of Comic-Con.
Preparation is Key
Well, those are our top 5 suggestions for San Diego Comic-Con 2017. We hope that our tips will make your SDCC experience a pleasant one. We believe that being organized is essential to create a smooth and enjoyable time. You’ve waited long enough so be ready for the grand adventure and to have fun. We will be there with you fangirling over all things Outlander!
Be sure to check out these links for up-to-date information:
- Outside Comic-Con events
- Twitter – @Comic_Con
- Twitter – @SD_Comic_Con
- Twitter – @OutsideComicCon
- FB – San Diego Comic-Con
- FB – The San Diego Comic-Con Unoffical Blog
- FB – Outside Comic-Con
- Don’t forget to download the Comic-Con app on your phone.
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