San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Preregistration Process Revealed – Randomized Waiting Room Returns


The real question is – will we see the return of everyone’s favorite blue spinning circle?

While we wait for a date for San Diego Comic-Con’s 2015 Preregistration – the first badge sale of the season, in which those who attended the year before have the first shot at badges – we’ve got some news on the Preregistration process for 2015’s sale, set to happen “sometime” next month in November.

The badge sales for 2014 were heavily delayed, all the way to Februray 2014, because EPIC Registration’s system for Comic-Con International and buying badges was undergoing a major overhaul. Despite the delays, though, the system performed well (mostly), and it seems that CCI will be utilizing a fairly identical system for 2015’s sales.

Eligible attendees will once again be given a link to the EPIC Registration waiting room, to enter between 7AM PT and 9AM PT on the day of the sale, where they will once more need to enter their Comic-Con 2014 unique Badge ID (helpfully now stored in your Member ID account under the “Registration Info” tab if you’ve already lost your physical badge again). Attendees will only be able to authorize one computer and one browser to enter the waiting room.

As with last year, what time you enter the waiting room, so long as it is before the 9AM PT start time, will have absolutely no bearing on your actual place in line to buy tickets. After 9AM, the EPIC waiting room will instead randomly line up attendees for their registration session, for their turn to buy badges.

When it is your turn to buy badges, the screen will ask for:

  • Comic-Con member ID
  • Last Name
  • How many eligible attendees you are purchasing badges for

The next screen will display the current badge inventory, and that inventory is held for 15 minutes, so you don’t need to worry about frantically filling out your information.

Attendees will be able to purchase a total of three badges – including one for themselves – for eligible attendees only. If the person you are purchasing for isn’t eligible for Preregistration on their own, then you won’t be able to buy them a badge, and they’ll have to wait until Open Registration at a later date.

You can read our entire Step-by-Step process to last year’s process (which was also identical to the later Open Registration process) to brush up on the system. You can also read Comic-Con International’s official page about the process.

Are you a fan of this system? Let us know in the comments.

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site's resident panel guru.
  • jm5150

    This is still pretty shitty. Attendees are forced to depend on sheer “luck” as opposed to controlling their own fate and logging on early. ..i have horrible horrible luck so it looks like i won’t be attending. Give mmeme chance to have an affect on the outcome and its a different story. This system only rewards the meager.

  • Anon24

    that’s it, I’m done, I am SO done with SDCC.

  • NHL Counterpoint

    Kerry: My big issue—and this was raised by several people at the talkback panel—was that with this switch to the random waiting room, they don’t tell you where you are in line. (You’ll recall in years past, it was always shown but with this change, they removed it.) So you don’t know if you are 5, 500, or 50,000. Those of us at the back just sat and sat for hours without any idea. If we knew we were that far back, we’d just log out.

    Do you know, or can you find out from CCI, whether or not this year with pre-reg and general reg if we’ll at least get to see where we are in line as we wait to reach our turn, so if we are at the back of the line, we can just stop without sitting by the computer for 3 hours? Thanks!

  • I thought I would never get tickets but I did last year and hopefully will this year.

  • Lorna Lewis

    I really wish it was first come first served. I hated waiting for hours with no assurance of getting in. Might as well go to a lottery system like they have for the marathons

  • Kerry

    I’ve asked – if I hear anything, we’ll update here.

  • Kristi Sk8

    Once again get to spend hours waiting without getting anything. I have been attending since 1991 and since doing this waiting room registration I have had to get my badges thru connections since no luck the regular way. The scalpers get in , buy 3 and resell them for lots more. Was even told how one picks up 3 badges with 1 i.d. First name, middle name and initials all have accounts. Please go to the 1 badge per person on the first registration and let us regulars that have been attending longer than the greedsters get registered.

  • Gekko4321

    This sucks. This luck system is BS. Why let casual fans have the same chance as die hards? And keeping the physical badge doesnt matter again? Ugh. More help for the idiots. And how about letting people know their position so they dont waste hours on Saturday morning staring at a screen? It should be like it was before but with better servers to handle the surge. Other ticket sites seem to have figured it out.

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  • Investigatind Detective

    This is such a terrible system. You would never think that EPIC could get worse at this but man do they do their best to surprise people. The hotel lottery is apparently not enough and SDCC is determined to make going to the convention entirely luck based.

    I did this system last year as a favor to someone and without knowing your place in line you just sit watching a blue wheel spin. It’s excruciating and I wasn’t even buying for myself. At the end of it I was able to buy Thursday and Sunday (shocker) but had to watch a blank screen for literally hours wondering where i was in line. In comparison, a few years ago (when they first introduced the waiting room) I had number 19,000+ in line but at least I knew what I could realistically get (same days). If i weren’t interested in those I could log out and not worry about sitting in front of the computer all day. The following year I was better prepared and got 624 in line (and again could set my expectation accordingly). New system removes that entirely.

    I don’t understand why they won’t just go back to first come first served. They essentially reward people who rolled out of bed late with the opportunity to beat the people who were diligent (read every email, was in front of the computer on time, etc.). The “click here and you may be lucky” system is awful.

  • zakin

    I concur that it’s annoying to not know your place in line, but other than that, I’m 100% in favor of the randomized waiting room.

    I care more about fairness than self interest. I don’t think I deserve a better chance than someone else. And really, who has the right to declare themselves more worthy of going than a “casual fan”?

    There is more demand than space. There will be for awhile. Some will win and some will lose. If I lose this year due to a fair system, then so be it.

  • Guest

    I concur that it’s annoying to not know your place in line, but other than that, I’m 100% in favor of the randomized waiting room.

    I care more about fairness than self interest. I don’t think I deserve a better chance than someone else. And really, who has the right to declare themselves more worthy of going than a “casual fan”?

    There is more demand than space. There will be for awhile. Some will win and some will lose. If I lose this year due to a fair system, then so be it.

  • Benjamin Gonzalez

    There is still some control in your own fate and you can affect the outcome but now it’s not as easy as simply showing up early. To increase your chances now you have to put the effort into social networking; teaming up with other members who also plan to pre-register is the way to go. The more people in your group who participate the better your chances. As long as you come into some sort of a fair agreement on how to purchase badges amongst all of you so that no one is left out.

    I’m actually anti-social so this works against me but at least I have a brother who will also participate which is better than going at it solo.

  • The Great Leon

    I hate this method. Comic con has always been about early bird getting the worm. If a person can’t wake up early to click for tickets they shouldn’t go. If you go to Comic con and want to see something specific you will have to wait, the lines are not random and you don’t get some stupid 2 hour do whatever you want time. The pre reg should be a way to teach that.

  • zakin

    The problem isn’t that people don’t get up early enough, it’s that everybody gets up early enough and there’s just plain not enough worms for all the early birds. Pushing it earlier will no longer eliminate anyone as EVERYBODY gets up early enough and clicks on the link at the exact same millisecond. (This is what caused problems with the system continually crashing, “white screen of death”, etc in the past)

  • The Great Leon

    True but I think with that way, people would feel more in control of their fate. They can’t make everyone happy. I have went the last 4 years, so I have seen many pre registration. They had the physical one where you can register at the con you are at. They had the early bird method now this. If I don’t go this year I will be fine, sort of tapped out on it all now. The lining up a whole day in advance for things like Marvel got to me, but I did it. No point in getting a hotel unless you are in a giant group and can split that.

  • Robert Merrill

    Last year I was kind of let down with SDCC after gave been going for over 15 years. It has become to big and most of the time you have to wait in hour long lines just to see some booths let alone panels. I would have an easier time just watching it on YouTube. I think I will switch to WonderCon or just retire from the Con game altogether. Maybe when they figure out how to better organize and be in a bigger venue I will try to go again but just does not seem worth it anymore. Plus they have free stuff outside that is better than what is inside now.

  • Jeffe Johns

    Just curious, why did you wait in line for hours? I logged in at 8:50 to the waiting room 10 minutes before sale and got badge about 40 minutes after that. I think all badges were sold out in an hour or so, so at maximum you only have to wait about an hour. Did you go to the waiting room too early?

  • Investigatind Detective

    No worries on the confrontational thing. Didn’t come off that way at all.

    I logged in for a friend (maybe 30 minutes early) but it basically just sat there for a while. The desirable badges (4 day, Sat and Fri) sold out within an hour or so but the rest wasn’t sold out that quickly. It was a while before she was put at the front of the line and by that point a good amount of time had passed. It wasn’t a 4 hour wait or anything like that (I do think seeing the term “hours” sort of implies that) but it was at least two. I don’t care for the randomization of the room but I could at least feel comfortable with it if they told you where you were in line. Just watching the wheel spin is awful. So glad I won’t have to deal with this year.

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  • GooniesAndy

    I don’t know how people decide they are more worthy than other people. It was always luck – everyone hit the button at the same time and they got in in a random order anyway. And you did have to keep your physical badge. You had to put the number on it into the system a month or two ago in order to be qualified for pre-registration.

  • Gekko4321

    Wrong. You did not need your badge. When u sign in it was pre-set in there for you. They even said its what they did in case u lost your badge. And my point was that there is a way to make the odds of getting tix more in your favor with the old way, the new system takes that all away. You were probably the one who showed up an hour late and tix were sold out and you complained. I liked the old system where people with their stuff together got tix.

  • GooniesAndy

    Mine was most definitely not preset for me. Last year it was, but this year I had to log in and enter the code from each of our badges. I’ve never showed up late for anything. I have gotten a badge every year since 1997 (when you just walked up and bought one), though every year I am prepared for the possibility that I won’t. It’s a game of musical chairs, only there are only half as many chairs as there are people. It’s been about luck as long as they’ve had online reg.

  • GooniesAndy

    In fact, I still have the email I was sent, with the instructions I followed:

    * Retrieve your physical Comic-Con 2014 badge, then log in to your Comic-Con Member ID account and click the “Registration Info” tab.

    * Select the message “Click here to validate your Comic-Con 2014 badge ID to be eligible for Comic-Con 2015 Attendee Preregistration!”

    * Enter your “Badge ID” where indicated. Your badge ID is located at the bottom of your Comic-Con 2014 badge.*

    * If your badge ID matches the Member ID associated with your badge purchase, you will receive a confirmation message and an email will be sent to the address associated with your Member ID account.

    After I did this, I received an email saying:

    “Congratulations! You have completed your Comic-Con 2014 Badge ID validation and are now eligible to participate in Comic-Con 2015 Attendee Preregistration.”

  • Gekko4321

    I forget if it was a blog post like this or an email and I am not wasting my time looking but it told me again this year that if lost my badge, it was prepopulated in the system for me. My badges are in a photo album and I never had to get them. You must admit even having to keep a badge gives one an advantage over people that lose theirs.

  • GooniesAndy

    Interesting. I entered mine and it was not prepopulated for me.

  • Jeffe Johns

    you are definitely correct. there was no pre-population this year. That was for 2014

  • Gekko4321

    Since u seem to be stubborn, this is from the FAQ page. Here u go:

    Q: I don’t have my Comic-Con Badge ID anymore, can you send it to me?

    A: Please log in to your Member ID account and select the “Registration Info” tab. Your badge ID has been stored there for your convenience.  Remember, you are not eligible to participate in Comic-Con 2015 Attendee Preregistration if you did not validate your badge ID by October 15, 2014.

    – See more at:

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