OH BOY. I can’t believe comic con only happened a week and a bit ago and I feel SO EMPTY STILL! This was my first time going to a convention out of Vancouver and I went to the mother of conventions, San Diego Comic Con. Those of you who know me personally know that I have a huge ‘geeky’ side. (Is it even geeky anymore? I feel like that this is now a lifestyle and it’s COOL to be nerdy and part of this fandom culture.) I had plenty of nerdgasms (I was literally screaming ahhh ahhh ahh BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) throughout this amazing event; though I didn’t get to do everything I want, it was a blast! I’m not sure how I wanted to break it down in a post so it’ll mostly be an overview of my thoughts, experience at events and places, plus some advice at the bottom!
I registered for a Member ID (a requirement) to purchase tickets online, but they were gone within an hour during that Saturday morning. Luckily, my awesome friend @okradeel got Trade Professional passes and got me a guest badge. For the four day convention + Wednesday preview night, I paid $245USD. My flight was $550CAD via Delta Airlines.
Getting a hotel / Hilton San Diego Bayfront
This was also a lottery process. I entered an “online waiting room” for a chance to enter my information and select the top hotels I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the hotel I wanted; but I got a hotel that was super far away from the convention. LUCKILY, my friend had another group of friends who were going to Comic Con and between my friend’s sister and her boyfriend, we secured four rooms at Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Don’t fret though, even if hotels are a non-walkable distance away from the convention, there are daily free shuttles. Uber is also awesome inexpensive.
This hotel is across the street from the convention! I will talk more about the hotel itself in a separate post! Hilton Bayfront was very convenient as it was the house of the Indigo Ballroom, and there were many panels that took place there. I watched the Nerdist panel (with Chris Hardwick) and the Archer panel + Q&A took place there too (although it was a 3-4 hour lineup and I didn’t go.) My room didn’t have the greatest view, but there was a morning where I saw long arse lineup and it helped me make a quick NOPE decision to line up for whatever there was. There was also an (overpriced to the max) Starbucks at the bottom with lineup way outside the door, and a vendor selling breakfast/lunch throughout the day (fruits costs $3, a hot dog was $7.. *insert eye rolling emoji* And this was in USD too.)
Every con has an exhibitor booth, and of course, San Diego Comic Con would go ALL OUT. A lot of the big autograph signings here too and I was nearly trampled while watching the Game of Thrones cast sign. Sophie Turner’s ponytail is #hairgoals. People yelled “HOLD THE DOOR.” I didn’t even attempt for any autographs as people woke up before the sun rose to line up to try to WIN a ‘raffle’ to get an autograph signature. I much prefer taking a photo with talents than autographs, though I would’ve LOVED to shake Eddie Redmayne’s hand and thank him for being in a Harry Potter movie.
People lined up for HOURS to buy exclusive products (I’m so glad that I got in on preview night and lined up for 15 minutes to get my Harry Potter pins and Hedwig mug.) I didn’t even attempt for the FUNKO booth as it was a madhouse and you had to get a special ticket and all. Lots of freebies were given out, such as posters, pins, t-shirts, more pins, etc. There were tons of awesome displays of costumes and props; absolutely love seeing the details of everything. Virtual Reality was huge this year; many booths had virtual reality headsets and you can immerse yourself in the world of your favourite fandom. I did one at the Teen Wolf booth (even though I don’t watch it,) but it was a neat experience and a shorter lineup. I had to get a ticket with a time slot and then wait in line for my turn.
Did I mention; I SAW TED FU from Wong Fu Productions!! I was actually googling if they were going to be there and for once my stalker skills were not good. Anyway, Ted was there and I bought a few Awkward Animal keychains! (Hopefully next year Phil and Wes will be there! Gah, I legit fan-girled a bit when I asked for a picture. T_T Biggest smile EVER!
The second biggest room of Comic Con with the second longest, frustrating lineup behind Hall H lineup. Saturday was the biggest day, starting off with the Once Upon A Time Panel at 10am. Therefore, it is perfectly logical to wake up at 6am and leave my hotel room to line up before 7am. And even then, I stood in the LONGEST line up I’ve EVER been to date. So long, I could’ve hatched a few Pokemon eggs if I had the app on. Was it worth it?? Yes! My friend and I managed to get a decent seat, we were in the sixth row!
The DC shows (Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl…and mainly The Flash) was at the end of the day; since people don’t clear out of Ballroom 20, my friend and I were literally there till 5:45 (we did save seats when we needed to go to the washroom.) In between Once Upon A Time and the DC shows, we sat through Vampire Diaries, The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, The Grimm..and other panels that I can’t remember (or did I list all of them?) Highlight of The Flash panel? TOM FELTON WAS IN DA HOUSE! They are filming The Flash in Vancouver now, which means I will be running around finding my new TV husbands, Grant Gustin and Tom Felton.
Tom Felton didn’t say much since he’s a new cast member of season 3, but he really didn’t need to say anything at all. There were plenty of Potter fans in the room showering him with love.
Hall H; the biggest room that holds around 7000 people. Hall H on Saturday was something I wanted to do, but sacrificed it or else I’d have to line up for 24 hours + AND then be in Hall H for the whole Saturday. They handed out wristbands for the Saturday panel on Friday 9pm, but people were lining up Thursday already and camped out over night. I didn’t want to lose the whole con experience and I didn’t have a sleeping bag so we did Ballroom 20 instead. The only thing I really wanted to see was the Fantastic Beasts panel and I was almost in tears as I watched the YouTube replay of Eddie Redmayne giving everyone wands and they all did a Lumos Maximus! :’)
But f’ yeah, Sunday is usually less busy and my friend + I got in 20 minutes before the first 10am panel – Sherlock! Benedict Cumberbatch everybody.
If you don’t want to go to panels or shop around at the convention centre, there are SO many things to do outside and at night after the day was over. My friends and I wanted to do the Game of Thrones Hall of Faces but I read the 3 hour line up was not worth the wait. I checked out the Suicide Squad event’s lineup and it was way around the block, so I noped that too. Outside Hilton San Diego Bayfront was Comic Con HQ, where they gave out free posters and free soda! We also got some reddit Snoo vinyl toys.
FX also had a display and turns out Archer DOES have a pretty big following. LOVE that show, anyone else?! We got some free pins from there!
One event that my friends and I did line up for was the MTV Fandom Awards at Petco Park. We were there 1.5 hours before doors opened and waited pretty much another two hours for the event to START. Tis the con life, my friends. We did get one free food item (chicken tacos!) and a free drink. You have NO idea how much a free drink meant to us; drinks cost like $3 USD at the convention itself. It was kind of surreal to watch the MTV Fandom Awards (alright I did leave like an hour earlier) since I used to watch it when I was younger and now I’m practically a grumpy old woman. Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) was the host and Dave Franco + Emma Roberts gave out an award too. An hour into the MTV Fandom Awards, my friend and I got a bit bored and we couldn’t see anything so we decided to leave…and ended up wandering in a dead end alley that turned out to be the back of the stage where actors were doing interviews and taking photos.
I don’t watch Shadowhunters but I couldn’t not ask for a picture with Dominic Sherwood/Jace and Katherine McNamara/Clary when they were out talking to fans!
Other cool things was the Superman statue (at night “False God” is written on it) and the Batmobile!
Can I just drop a picture of my friend’s ah-mazin Crossbones (from Captian America: Civil War) cosplay? 10000 points go to wearing this in 28-29°C weather, making her own fake blood, and carrying all of it to San Diego?!
At Fan Expo Vancouver and Anime Revolution, I see TONS of cosplay. Maybe because I spent most of my Saturday in one area, I didn’t see too many cosplayers and when I did, I was too tired to get pictures and mostly admired them from afar. Honestly, it was wayyy too hot to cosplay and 10 minutes into my costume, I swear I needed to bathe myself in deodorant. It was sweaty hot and the cloth neck wrap wasn’t tucking in very well (as you can see below,) so I will definitely mend my costume to wear again in the future! Overall though, I was quite happy the way it turned out and got some nice compliments (thank you strangers!!) The annoying thing was that props needed to be checked (which is standard) but they had to attach it to your body! I had it attached to my thighs on one day and it was so awkward to walk around with.
Congratulations on getting through this post and all the way to the almost-end of the post!! My final thoughts/advice for tackling Comic con
- Be prepared and patient- comic con is full of lineups and schedule accordingly. Assume minimum two hours and more in a line up for any popular event or item to buy.
- Staying hydrated is KEY and probably why I didn’t pass out and didn’t feel like crap except for day 1. Starbucks at Hilton San Diego Bayfront has a water dispenser and you can get free, fresh water without lining up. If you need caffeine, bring some pre-made coffee packs and maximize the hotel room coffee machine. Coffee at the convention is $3USD.
- Stock up on high protein snacks. My friends and I had granola bars (I can’t eat another one for the next six months.) They helped get through the day (during Ballroom 20 on Saturday, I literally had an apple, a muffin, two granola bars, and a salted pretzel within 12 hours.)
- Panels can be chilly. Getting sick is the last thing you want to do at the convention. I’m glad I stuffed a very light windbreaker in my backpack.
- Know that you can’t do everything you want at the con; I had trouble realizing that is truth. Prioritize and just have fun. Everyone is in the same boat!
Until next year, San Diego Comic Con.
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