Navigating San Diego Comic-Con
June 18, 2015
I joined a few facebook groups this past, and I have noticed there are a lot of questions being asked which could easily be found on the Official Comic-Con website if not Google. There are also many, many blogs (which I found via Twitter) with some great information, and I’ve only been following a few of them. I’ve only gone to SDCC twice (2012 & 2014), but though I didn’t have a con badge in 2013, I went to the Gaslamp District of San Diego to check out all of the free “outside” events. I was also pretty broke that year, so free was better for me since I take my teenaged nieces with me. This year I’ll be heading down to San Diego again for the festivities even without a badge, but sans nieces so I can go to adult (21+, not porn) parties and events!!
Websites and Blogs:
These are great for general information, what to bring, cosplay tips, and past experiences.
Official San Diego Comic-Con website: http://www.comic-con.org/cci
Official San Diego Comic-Con Blog: http://www.comic-con.org/toucan
SDCC Unofficial Blog: http://sdccblog.com/
Outside Events Blog: http://www.outsidecomiccon.com/
These two blogs are great for prepping, past experience information, and cosplay tips (and so much more!!)
The Nerdy Girlie Blog: http://www.thenerdygirlie.com/p/san-diego-comic-con-help.html
Crazy for Comic Con Blog: https://crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com/
This blog is great for those attending SDCC with children:
Comic Con Family Blog: http://www.comicconfamily.com/
If you are planning on taking the Trolley:
San Diego Trolley: http://www.sdmts.com/
I don’t know how you like to prepare, but I recommend checking out the websites listed above. Even if you’re not attending with children, check out the Comic Con Family blog anyway. Please do more research on your own for your specific interests. I’m not a collector (too poor and no room to put stuff anyway) so I’m not too interested in 98% of SDCC exclusive merchandise, but if that’s your thing, there are many, many blogs to help you out.
Follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter (Facebook, too, but Twitter is better for immediate information which is CRUCIAL during the con). If you’re not on Twitter, get on it! No one says you have to tweet a damn thing, but you’ll have a much better experience, trust me. I actually ran into an actress I like on a show by accident at the Hard Rock Hotel, and only recognized her (from behind, no less) because she had tweeted a pic of her in her cosplay about 20 minutes earlier. Otherwise, I probably would have walked right past her and never noticed.
Twitter accounts I recommend:
For obvious reasons (I hope) I recommend following the Twitter accounts for the websites and bloggers above, but here are their Twitter handles for you:
@Comic_Con (Official SDCC account)
I suggest following your favorite shows’, movies’, actors’, artists, etc. accounts as well because they will often post updates if they are or are not attending. Definitely following production companies, too! The local hotels are good to follow as well. Even the Gaslamp Quarter has a Twitter account, and who knows what information they can provide you!
These are “vital” during SDCC for updates:
For these you'll want to have your mobile notifications turned on.
Follow The Nerd Machine now for updates and announcements of the tickets for Conversations for a Cause panels at Nerd HQ. Didn’t score tickets on sale day? Keep following during the con for updates such as Smiles for Smiles opportunities, and last-minute standing room only tickets for Conversations for a Cause panels. Don’t know what Conversations for a Cause panels are? Check out The Nerd Machine’s YouTube Channel for panels from past years. The ticket sales go to Operation Smile, the audience is small (around 250 people), and the entire panel is just the audience asking the panelists questions. These panels are also livestreamed so you can watch them while you are stuck camping out for Hall H or Ballroom 20, too!
Speaking of line-camping, do yourself a favor and follow these two Twitter accounts for line status updates. These are not run by SDCC staff, but rather by fans, but are quite helpful (and entertaining) for line length status and updates.
Line Status and Updates:
Ballroom 20 Line: @Ballroom20Line
Hall H Line: @HallHLine
Apps to consider:
Go! From SDMTS (the Trolley): http://www.sdmts.com/go_app.asp
SDCC Official App: (this is the most recent link from WonderCon a few months ago, but it has the links for download, it just won’t be updated, yet)
As I mentioned above, this is a very small list, but I'm hoping I could provide the basic resources which every SDCC con goer (and those going to the outside events) can use to prepare for the chaos that is San Diego Comic-Con.
Preparation is vital, but being flexible will keep you sane. You are not going to get to see or do everything you want, in fact, you may only get to do/see 40% or less. Make a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup plan, etc. and remember to relax and have FUN! Enjoy each moment and experience!