San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Survival Guide Part 2: Advice, Tips, & Tricks
Part 2: Advice, Tips, & Tricks
You’ve got your game plan. You are going to hit the Sideshow booth first and grab that exclusive art print, and then you are running to hop in line for that geektastic panel with your favorite comic artists. The rest of the day is down in your calendar, and you’re ready to go!
But what about the small stuff, you ask? Where to eat? How to get around? Have no fear, we got your back.
Getting Around SDCC/San Diego
There will be over 160,000 fellow attendees flocking into San Diego during your five-day nerd excursion. Understandably, that can make it a bit difficult to get around. Sometimes just moving through the convention hall is a chore as you meander slowly, shoulder to shoulder, squished in the aisles like the world’s largest can of sardines.
But there is a trick to it, you see. If you need to quickly get from one side of the hall to the other, you should avoid the aisles altogether. Instead, head out into the lobby. There is less to see, but it will be markedly less crowded, and you can get all the way across the hall in no time flat.
Outside in the city, the streets will be flooded with people, so if you make plans for dinner or an event, make sure you give yourself enough time to walk there. And while it may be tempting to hop on one of the plethora of pedicabs cruising the area, this is not recommended. Yes, they look fun to ride, but unless you are willing to pay over $50.00 or more to go a few short blocks, you are better off using your own two feet.
Hopefully, as mentioned in the first part of this series, you remembered to bring snacks and water with you. If you did not, or if you want something more than a snack, there are food stands placed strategically inside the convention center. That said, they will be very pricey and the lines will be long. Packing a picnic lunch each day to go along with your snacks will save you time and money.
Keep in mind that you will be in for a full day of standing, walking, and waiting in line. As such, you will need your energy and starting your day with a nice breakfast is recommended. Many hotels around the convention hall have restaurants or food stands that start serving breakfast very early in order to accommodate the large influx of hungry con-goers. If possible, consider mobile ordering your food ahead of time and picking it up to avoid a long wait. After all, you’ve got places to be.
For dinner, the large number of restaurants in the Gaslamp District have enough variety to satisfy almost any palate. Most are within a quick walk from the convention hall, however, the wait times will vary with the time of day. In the evening, it is not uncommon to wait over an hour or two for a table at some of the more popular eateries. If you can make a reservation, do so, but keep in mind that the further you get from the convention hall the less crowded it becomes. You can wait over an hour for a table close by, or you can walk a few blocks north and likely get a table in 20 to 30 minutes.
After a few hours of walking, you are going to want to sit down and take a break. Simple enough, right? Eh, not so much. Chairs are scarce in the hall, with only a few lounge areas that are frequently full. On top of that, security will make you move if you are sitting or leaning along the walls of the hall, as it could be a deemed a fire hazard.
Your best bet is to break up your walking by planning to attend a panel or screening toward the middle of the day. This way you can have a seat for an hour or so until you get your second wind. Bonus points if the panel is something you actually wanted to see!
If you are going with a group and you split up (intentionally or otherwise), getting a hold of your party again may be difficult. Cell service isn’t the best in the convention, and the loud noises will drown out the sound of your ringtone anyway.
Instead pick a large, easy to find booth or landmark and designate it the meeting place. Trust us, they will be plentiful. If you are splitting up, set a specific time for when everyone should meet up there for the next event or meal you are planning to do together.
Speaking of your group…
The best way to overcome scheduling conflicts is to work as a team. Trying to get into the big super-hero panel, but there are superstars signing autographs at the exact same time? Less of a problem with two or more people! Person A can run and get the autographs, while Person B holds the group’s spot in line for the panel.
Phone Battery Life
Even though you have your handy, dandy external backup battery (as mentioned in Part 1), you should do a quick Google search on how to save battery life for your particular phone model. Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services, and even LTE when not in use. These few changes can go a long way.
Yes, Convention Funk is real. Please be considerate to your fellow convention-goers by showering AND using deodorant daily.
This one is easy. Be kind. You are all on this journey together, and it should be enjoyable for everyone.
Oh, and one more thing.
As with any Pop-Culture convention, there will be a lot of attendees in cosplay. Many of these costumes will be dazzling works of art, the product of hours upon hours of hard work and dedication.
If you see a cosplayer, and you want to take their picture, they will most likely stop to pose for or with you. Always, always, always ask permission to take the picture. If you want to be in the picture too, ask exactly how you should stand or pose with them. Do not touch them unless they give you permission and/or instruction on how to do so for the pose.
Treat your fellow attendees with respect, and if they tell you no, just move along to your next scheduled event. Again, you’ve got other places to be.
So that about does it! You are now ready for your SDCC trip. As mentioned before, there will be quite a bit of improvising and schedule shifting, and you may not get to do everything you planned too. That’s normal, and you shouldn’t fret about it too much. If you miss one thing, you can make up for it by doing something just as good the next day. And above all else, be safe and have fun!
By the way… Sideshow’s Online Comic-Con is going on right now! Check out all the cool new reveals right here!