San Diego Comic Con (also known as SDCC) is happening again for the first time since 2019 (with the exception of SDCC Special Edition in 2021). This had me thinking about what I love and what I dislike about attending San Diego Comic Con.
If you’re going to be in San Diego and want some recommendations on things to do, especially if you’re an introvert, check out our blog here.
So, let’s get the bad out of the way and talk about the worst of San Diego Comic Con.
Worst of SDCC
- Crowds, crowds, crowds, crowds.
Oh my God does SDCC have tons and tons of people. I believe it is the biggest comic con in the world and people come from ALL over to attend.
Not only does that mean you’re penguin walking your way around the convention floor, but barely have room to move even in the general area outside the convention center. So, my suggestion, don’t be in a rush to get anywhere.
- Lines! SDCC is also known as Line Con. You will most likely be in a line for EVERYTHING! Whether you’re waiting to check out a panel for your favorite artist/author/toy-maker/game developer/anime/etc. you are probably going to be waiting in a line. Especially if what you want is hugely popular.
You’ll be waiting in line to use the bathroom, get food, walk into the convention center. It’s nuts! Many people (myself included) have even spent the night sleeping on the ground outside the convention center just to be one of the first ones in. So my tip: know what you want and don’t be too disappointed if you can’t get it.
- The heat. San Diego is known for pretty temperate weather so this usually isn’t a huge issue. However, when you’re walking all over the downtown area in mid-July, standing in line in the hot sun, and walking through crowds of people… it gets pretty unbearable.
Especially if you have a pretty intense cosplay. Of course you can always just hang out in the air conditioned convention center.
- Hotel and parking availability. This one is mainly an issue for those coming from out of town. If you happen to live in San Diego, it’s pretty convenient to take the trolley. But, if you happen to be coming from anywhere else and plan on staying, be prepared to book a hotel wayyyy in advance…like as soon as you get tickets. And don’t drive down, try to take public transportation if possible.
- Flippers! For those who might not be aware of what that means. It means people who buy exclusives with the sole purpose to sell them for more money. The reason this is annoying is because you could be waiting in line for an hour and when you finally get to the register, you find out that thing you were waiting for is now sold out.
Then you happen to check EBay and see listings with pictures right inside the convention. You could buy it second hand, but instead of $15 at the convention, it’s now $175.
So now that some of the worst things about San Diego Comic Con are out of the way. Next, let’s focus on the positive!
Best of SDCC
- The people! This is probably the most important for me. These types of conventions are all about the people. They’re a love letter to fans and fandoms. SDCC brings people from all over the world where you can see old friends or make new ones. This point kind of brings me to the next on the list.
- Inclusivity. San Diego Comic Con (and many other cons) does not discriminate. Love Star Wars? We have something for you! Comic book fanatic? There’s plenty for you to see! Want to dress up like your favorite video game character? You’re in luck! So do hundreds of others! Always wanted to dress up like Harley Quinn but thought you were the only one? Nope! You can’t turn your head without seeing a Harley Quinn.
You get it. There’s basically something for everyone and you can fairly easily find “your people.” On a personal note, this is what I find most appealing about SDCC. As someone who always felt too nerdy for my friends but not nerdy enough for others, it’s heart-warming to see everyone has a place.
- Awesome collectibles, merchandise, etc. There is absolutely so much to look at and so many amazing collectibles, posters, toys, books, statues, etc. You name it, it’s probably at SDCC. Aside from the really exclusive stuff, you should easily be able to find what you want.
- Art and artists. This is somewhat related to the one above, but I felt this deserved its own section. Artist’s Alley is one of my favorite areas of SDCC. There are so many talented artists and creators.
- Panels. From Q&As with actors, directors, producers, authors, designers, etc. to how-tos on various topics, there is an almost endless amount information and knowledge being shared and distributed.
Of course the most popular panels are held in Hall H and Ballroom 20. These are where you’ll find the big names in popular shows and movies and celebrity interviews. You’ll get sneak peeks of the biggest shows and movies coming out.
If you are looking to get into Hall H or Ballroom 20, you’re most likely going to have to sleep outside the night before.
Now every year they seem to change the rules, but most recently they were giving out wristbands the day before, so if you were in line early enough to get a wristband, you could leave and come back. Though I would still recommend going back a couple hours before the panel starts.
The other tip is that once you are in Hall H or Ballroom 20, you can remain. So if you want to see several panels that are happening in one of those rooms, I suggest you stay. There are bathrooms located within the hall.
- Themed activities and restaurants. All over downtown San Diego there are pop up themed activities and restaurants. Want to see a giant inflatable meat-wad? Adult Swim usually has a set up behind the convention center.
In years past there have been American Horror Story attractions, Assassin’s Creed obstacle courses, Game of Thrones photo opportunities and replicas. You can also get a ton of free swag from all around the convention center.
- Celebrity pictures and autographs. If this is your thing, SDCC has it for you. You can buy autograph and/or photo opportunities to any number of celebrities. You might also run into different celebrities while walking around the convention floor or the surrounding area.
As an example, two years in a row, Sean and I got to see the cast of The Walking Dead at Hotel Del Coronado. Sean got to shake Norman Reedus’s (Daryl) hand and we even got a picture with Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha).
Now, I’m not condoning or encouraging you to go stalking or invading people’s privacy. Be respectful, give them their space, and remember they’re human beings too. But maybe, if there’s an opportunity and you ask politely, you can be in luck.
So with San Diego Comic Con right around the corner (July 20-24, 2022) here is my biggest advice:
Be patient. Bring a tiny fold-able chair. Bring a backpack. Pack snacks. Drink LOTS of water. Get enough sleep. Plan out your day. Don’t be too upset when you don’t get into a panel or can’t buy that exclusive item. Make friends with someone who has a hotel near by (you won’t want to carry around your purchases all day). Most importantly: Have fun!
Let us know if you agree or disagree? What do you like or dislike about Cons? Leave us a comment!