As some of you may know, I’ll be returning to SDCC this year with Moviepilot. For many of my coworkers at the office, this will be their first year at the show (and we’re doing some amazing work, including but not limited to creating amazing things in the EW suite) so, I decided to create a document with some of the best lessons I’ve learned at SDCC over the past few years. I added parties, places to find free wi-fi, local eats, and other helpful ideas, so I thought sharing it here wouldn’t hurt, either! While you can get complete lists on informative and awesome websites that cover SDCC year-round, this list is composed of my personal picks and ideas for your experience during the show. Here’s the document I sent around (with a few edits) – hope it helps!
- There is a Ralph’s located within walking distance (roughly 10mins walking) from the convention center on the corner of 1st and G street. (MAP) Ralph’s always has huge sales and specials going on during the show, so if you need to stock up on snacks or grab what will likely be the least expensive water bottle at the con (outside of swag water), make some time and do a run here.
- This blog post (by The Nerdy Girlie) is pretty much my favorite round-up of the most amazing restaurants that you can find in the Gaslamp district – do yourself a favor and try to hit one of these, because San Diego has some of the best food this side of the US. The Burger Lounge and the Old Spaghetti Factory are MUSTS for you foodies!
- Keep your eyes peeled throughout the Gaslamp district for pop-up spots from studios. SyFy has taken over the Hard Rock’s outer cafe area for their show The Expanse (details), but there are free spots, such as cereal lounges and snack shops that pop up during the show as well.
- Adult Swim and Scream Queens will both have branded Ice Cream trucks, dishing out free ice cream throughout the Gaslamp district. If you see one, make sure you grab a cone – it’ll be worth it!
- SDCC attracts a wonderful assortment of food trucks, and they’re usually parked near the back of the gigantic offsite lot. The giant, open space on the image below shows you where the offsite lot is in relation to Petco (east), right off of Park Blvd.
- KFC will have different Colonel Sanders Statues throughout the Gaslamp district that will connect you to free wi-fi. Look for these creepy statues:
- If you see that a booth is “powered by” a mobile company in the vendor hall, there’s a good chance that the sponsor is providing free wi-fi. The Vendor hall is the #1 place where you’ll lose signal!
- The Nintendo Lounge at the Marriott that sits to the right of the convention center always has free wi-fi.
- Most hotel lobbies offer free wi-fi as well. <3
- Please make sure to call your Uber 15 minutes in advance, and be ready for surge pricing. The gaslamp district is small, which makes traffic extremely slow, and Uber is usually backed up with the several thousands of attendees at the show.
- History Channel’s VIKINGS is taking comic-con by storm with a LONGBOAT RIDE that will carry riders to different stops throughout the gaslamp district. All riders get a complimentary drinking horn, which you can bring to local bars for drink discounts!
- Also, look out for free promo cars and bike cabbies! Adult Swim, FX, and Comedy Central (whose Old Timey cars are promoting “Another Period”) will be offering free rides all weekend. They’ll take you around the district if you need to get somewhere fast (usually in a cool, themed car – or carts that look like the Iron Throne), but no cars can drive you to the front of the convention center (that’s reserved for shuttles). You can physically flag these cars down. Be aggressive!
- If old timey cars aren’t good enough for you, Comedy Central is also providing free rides via BUTLERS who will pamper you like a rich southerner during your ride while promoting Another Period.
- With bike carts, it’s proper etiquette to give your ‘driver’ a few bucks as a tip after the free ride. Only SOME of the bike carts are free, and those usually stop being free at 6pm when the convention closes. Prepare for your evening events accordingly!
Parties & Offsites!
Here is a complete, detailed list is everything happening offsite at the show this weekend (via Outside Comic-Con). Highlights below!
JINX party: https://www.facebook.com/events/503671249780120/
Game of Bloggers party: https://crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com/game-of-bloggers-meet-up/
Elijah Wood is back for another DJ set and it’s only $10! http://shrsl.com/?~954g
Geeks Go Glam!
THE party to be at for fangirls at SDCC!
BOOM! Studios is having an open party where fans, creators and producers get to drink together and hang out, Thursday at 9PM at the Hilton Bayfront Bar.
Fashionably Nerdy is going to have some SICK gift bags:
Comic-Con Beer Bust!
from 6-9PM at YardHouse’s Keg Room (1023 4th Avenue)
Beer, Booze, neat sponsors and a good place to rub elbows.
CBLDF Welcome Party
If you’re looking to meet some big comic book industry names, grab a ticket for $10 and enjoy the party!
- Tested’s Cinephile Party 8-11 PM | First come, first served, free! http://www.tested.com/art/makers/531573-join-us-cinephile-our-comic-con-2015-party/
- Every night, Nerd HQ at Petco Park has festivities going on. Lots of celebs stop by, and it’s a good chance to network or just relax after a long day at the convention.
Things To Keep Your Body And Tech Alive
- Always carry water! You may be by the ocean, but it is insanely hot during Comic-Con.
- Get a portable phone charger before the con! You will drain loads of battery at this convention no matter what you do. ;)
- All hotels have lobby bathrooms so you’re never far from them if you’re offsite. In most cases, running next door to the Marriott is a much better option than waiting for con center bathrooms.
- The offsite park (next to Petco Park) is a great place to catch free food and lounges where you can cool off for a bit and watch the same movie trailer play a few times.
I hope this guide was helpful – have fun and stay safe at the show!