San Diego Comic-Con – Frequently Asked Questions

convention center gaslampThere is no doubt, San Diego Comic-Con is only getting more popular. Almost daily, we get asked by a number of hopefuls new to the scene how they can get tickets to the annual geek pilgrimage, or what it is about SDCC which makes us love it so much.

As always, the official Comic-Con International website should be your first stop for the latest information on announcements, policies and important dates regarding the convention. But as a service to our new and regular readers, we decided to create a FAQ with answers to some of our most-asked questions.

If there are other questions you would like us to add to the FAQ, please let us know!

Last Updated: July 2, 2017

1. What is San Diego Comic-Con
2. When is San Diego Comic-Con?
3. What exactly is Preview Night?
4. How much does it cost to attend San Diego Comic-Con?
[UPDATED] 5. How do I get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con?
6. How many tickets are available?
[UPDATED] 7. How many tickets can I purchase?
[UPDATED] 8. What’s there to do at San Diego Comic-Con?
9. How do I know what the schedule at San Diego Comic-Con is?
[UPDATED] 10. Do I need tickets to experience everything at San Diego Comic-Con?
[UPDATED] 11. How do I pick up my tickets for San Diego Comic-Con?
12. What if I buy a ticket and decide I can’t/don’t want to go?
[UPDATED] 13. Where should I stay at San Diego Comic-Con?
[UPDATED] 14. How do I get to San Diego Comic-Con?
15. What is this about an expansion to the Convention Center?
16. Is San Diego Comic-Con All-Ages?
17. How can I get a free ticket to San Diego Comic-Con?
18. What are these “exclusives” I keep hearing about?

1. What is San Diego Comic-Con?

toucan_logos_cci_1San Diego Comic-Con, commonly abbreviated as “SDCC” (not to be confused with SDCCC, the San Diego Convention Center Corp. which hosts the event) is the biggest “comics” convention in North America (and if you think New York Comic Con is larger, read about the differences in how the two conventions report attendees). We use the term “comics” in quotes because despite the name, SDCC has always been about so much more. Even when it started way back in 1970, the convention was devoted to comics, movies, and fantasy literature — its first logo even had a comic book, a movie projector, and an icon to represent books (or fantasy literature). Since then, it has grown to be a pop culture juggernaut, spanning even further to also encompass television, video games, horror, anime, and much more. Since the beginning of the decade, it has regularly attracted over 130,000 attendees annually. It is organized by Comic-Con International (CCI), a non-profit organization.

To see how SDCC compares with the other larger North American comics conventions in categories like ticket prices, types of panels and number of vendors, check out our handy infographic.

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2. When is San Diego Comic-Con?

SDCC is held annually in the summer, with its specific dates dictated by the San Diego Convention Center. Typically the convention begins in mid to late-July, but it can and has occurred anytime between late June and early August. The convention spans four days, Thursday through Sunday, plus a Preview Night on Wednesday. The convention center, which houses the exhibit hall and the majority of panel programming, is open on Wednesday’s Preview Night from 6PM-9PM, 9:30AM- 7PM Thursday through Saturday, and 9:30AM-5PM on Sunday; however there are several events outside of the convention that spill out into the surrounding businesses and last until the early morning hours.

The dates for 2017’s San Diego Comic-Con are July 19-23.

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3. What exactly is Preview Night?

Although the official start of the convention for the general public is Thursday, the convention actually opens for a limited audience on Wednesday evening, referred to as Preview Night, and is meant to give a smaller crowd a “preview” of what to expect on the exhibit floor. Generally starting at 6PM on Wednesday, Preview Night has grown to also include annual Warner Bros. Television pilot screenings in the convention center’s Ballroom 20, and is the unofficial kickoff to the annual convention.

2017’s Preview Night is on July 19, 2017.

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4. How much does it cost to attend San Diego Comic-Con?

SDCC offers a variety of tickets, or “badges”, depending on your preferred pricepoint and availability. Badge prices for 2017 increased slightly, with adult badges ranging from $60 for a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday badge (up from $55 in 2016) or $40 for a Sunday badge (flat to last year). All four badges could be purchased for $220 and combined into a four-day badge. Prices for junior attendees (13-17 years old) are roughly half the adult prices, and attendees 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

If you’re interested in attending Preview Night to get an early start on your shopping, it is available only by first purchasing all four of the main daily badges, Thursday through Sunday. If that requirement is met, a Preview Night badge may also be purchased for an additional $45. This meant that in order to get a “Four-day with Preview Night” badge package, you’ll be spending $265 (up from $245 in 2016).

Here’s a handy graphic showing all the prices for 2017:

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5. How do I get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

member idScoring badges to SDCC is one of the most challenging, and controversial, tasks in one’s quest to attend the convention. For first-timers, it can also be a little confusing.

First, the basics. If you want a shot at purchasing a badge, you first need to create a Member ID. Creating this ID will not only allow you to take part in the badge purchase process, but it will also put you on the official mailing list where announcements regarding purchase dates are made. Simply put, no Member ID, no badge. The Member ID system also closes before badge sales without prior notification, so if you’re even considering attending the convention, create a Member ID before it’s too late.

Now, in regards to the purchase process itself, there are typically two sales that occur prior to every year’s SDCC: Returning Registration (formerly Preregistration) and Open Online Registration. A third badge sale, Badge Resales, occurred prior to 2014 – but it was done away with in 2014, and is unlikely to occur again anytime soon due to low numbers of returned badges.

Returning Registration is for previous year’s badge holders who want to attend SDCC the following year. These used to be made available onsite during the convention, but high demand created a frenzy with those wanting to return and forced CCI to move these sales online.

The 2017 Returning Registration as held on Saturday, March 11. Only general attendees – those who did not attend as volunteers, press, professional, staff, or any other type of special attendee – are eligible for this sale. Also new this year, you don’t need to validate your badge to be eligible for Returning Registration.

New for 2016, badges are now equipped with RFID technology, and are physically mailed to US attendees to the address in your Member ID (and you have until May 18, 2017 to confirm that address). If the badge is lost or stolen, Comic-Con International can “deactivate” it remotely using the RFID, and issue you a new badge – however, you’ll need to pick up that new badge on-site. International attendees, and children under the age of 12 (who can register for free during the actual event), will still need to pick up their badges on-site.

Open Online Registration is for everyone who has a Member ID. That is, for new attendees as well as returning attendees who were not able to purchase a badge (or all the desired badge days) during Returning Registration. This is where the bulk of the tickets are made available to the public. For the past two years, badges during Open Online Registration have sold out in about 60 minutes. The 2017 Open Online Registration occurred on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

In both badge sales, only single day badges are offered, albeit in limited quantities. For anyone who purchases four single day badges (or four single plus a preview night), you will receive a single combined badge during on-site registration.

CCI uses a third-party ticket vendor, EXPO Logic (who acquired former operator EPIC Registration), for badge sale processing and fulfillment. Everyone who qualifies for Returning Registration or Open Registration receives a personal Registration Code, which can only be used on one device. The waiting room opens 1-2 hours prior to the actual sale, and when the time comes, the system sorts everyone in a randomized order to purchase their badges. You then have 15 minutes to complete the purchase, or your session will expire. Also, everyone is allowed to purchase badges for two additional qualified individuals – meaning, they qualify for registration on their own and have valid Member IDs – or three individuals total if someone in front of the line already purchased their badge for them.

Badge Resales are not guaranteed to happen, and no badge resale occurred since 2013 due to a lack of returned and cancelled badges. For those who do require a refund, a 10% badge processing fee will be kept by CCI.

There are other ways you can attend SDCC. You can get a complimentary (i.e., free) professional badge if you can qualify as a creative professional, though trade professionals still must apply and pay for a badge. From CCI’s website, a creative professional is someone who takes “an active role in the creation, design, writing, editing, or production of comics, animation, films, books, video games, or toys”, where trade professionals are “agents, publicists, managers, executives, marketing, sales, business development, advertising, legal representatives, and other industry professionals who need to attend the convention for business reasons.” Applications for professional badges for SDCC 2017 were due by September 30, 2016 — and registration for approved Creative Professionals and Trade Professional Registration will occur at a later date.

If you work for a website or media outlet, which can be anything from a blog all the way up to an anchor on television network news, you can try to be approved as press in order to get a complimentary press badge. To apply as press, applicants fill out the form on CCI’s website. Press applications for SDCC 2017 were due by April 28, 2017.

One of the more popular ways to get a free ticket is to become a San Diego Comic-Con volunteer. Volunteering has proven a very popular way for fans to attend the convention and help contribute to making it an awesome event for all of us. As a nonprofit organization, CCI depends on the contributions of its volunteer corps, over 3,000 in 2013. Per CCI’s website, if you are chosen to be a volunteer, you can pick any day for your 3-hour assignment, and in return you get a complimentary badge for that day! The best part is that you are free to enjoy the show when you’re not on assignment, and you get your own exclusive Comic-Con volunteer t-shirt. Volunteers are legacy, in that if you were one last year you get first dibs for the next year.

Volunteer registration for 2017 is full.

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6. How many tickets are available?

This is hard to say, because CCI does not publish the number available for each badge type. But as we stated previously, the general attendance numbers state there are 130,000 attendees (badge holders) annually.

Wondering how difficult it really is to score a badge to Comic-Con? We offer some rough estimates in this handy infographic.

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7. How many tickets can I purchase? [UPDATED]

The 2017 Returning Registration policy allows you to purchase up to three badges, as long as everyone you are purchasing for had a valid Member ID and is eligible for Returning Registration on their own. In Open Registration, you may also purchase up to three badges, but users only need a valid Member ID (and to not have already purchased all four days with Preview Night in Returning Registration).

The policy in the past has always been flexible in that, if someone was ahead in the queue and was able to purchase a badge for you, you could use your spot in line to purchase three badges for people other than yourself (again, so long as each person is eligible on their own). So, a couple of different combinations were allowed – either yourself and two others, or three people other than yourself. Either way, the buddy system is your friend.

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8. What’s there to do at San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

Nickelodeon TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles booth floor displayThe better question is, what’s there not to do at San Diego Comic-Con? If you enjoy anything entertainment-related – games, movies, television, even nightlife – you’ll find plenty of it in San Diego during SDCC.

Officially, San Diego Comic-Con offers thousands of hours of programming, otherwise known as “panels”. These panels take place in the many rooms inside, and now in venues surrounding, the San Diego Convention Center, and get the most media attention due to the many celebrity appearances and newsworthy surprise announcements that take place during them.

Also inside the Convention Center is the Exhibit Hall, hosting nearly a half million square feet of space housing booths from big Hollywood studios all the way down to mom-and pop comic vendors. For 2017, over 730 exhibitors were listed as being in attendance. Many of the big exhibitors sell exclusive merchandise you can’t find anywhere else but at SDCC, hand out free swag to attendees, host celebrity signings, and many other events which attract a crowd.

You can find a copy of the 2017 Exhibit Hall map by clicking here.

CCI also hosts other events at and around the Convention Center during SDCC, such as the annual Eisner awards, the Independent Film Festival, the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival, the annual Masquerade, and more.

In addition, many companies will host their own events in the areas surrounding the Convention Center, commonly referred to as “offsite events“, which take place during and after Convention Center hours, making SDCC an event that goes all-day and all-night.

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9. How do I know what the schedule at San Diego Comic-Con is?

The official San Diego Comic-Con programming schedule is announced exactly two weeks before SDCC by CCI (with Wednesday and Thursday events being announced two Thursdays prior, Friday events announced two Fridays prior, etc.). Closer to the event, CCI will also post an Autograph schedule, for various signings held by CCI. This means that when you purchase a ticket, you won’t know exactly what the schedule is going to be, or who is going to attend.

In addition to the official schedule, many of the exhibitor booths in the convention center may have their own autograph or giveaway schedules. That information is released by each individual company, and the best way to keep track of those announcements is by following us, The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog, because no one else is crazy enough to try to track all the different companies.

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10. Do I need tickets to experience everything at San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

In the past, folks generally did not require a badge to participate in an offsite event. But in recent years, it seems even SDCC outgrew the convention center and its normal surrounding venues and started occupying other hotels and spaces in the area, such as the nearby Horton Grand Theatre, both of which required a SDCC badge for entry.

Although there were still plenty of awesome events in the neighboring businesses and venues that were open to the public last year, the trend seems like events where SDCC badges are required will continue for the foreseeable future.

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11. How do I pick up my tickets for San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

Let’s say you are one of the lucky ones, and you were able to score a badge for San Diego Comic-Con (congratulations, by the way). What next?

Beginning in 2016, Comic-Con International now mails badges individually to U.S. attendees, to the address listed in your Member ID (unlike last year, you won’t need to enter a mailing address during check-out). You had until May 18, 2017 to confirm the address in your Member ID is correct.

The one exception to this is for those who entered an international mailing address Comic-Con International won’t be mailing badges internationally, so those impacted attendees will either need to pick them up on-site or to enter a domestic shipping address. Children 12 and under will also still register for free on-site, as always.

On-site badge pick-up will take place at the convention center for 2017. All attendees also picked up lanyards, souvenir programs, the WB bag, and more in Sails.

Also new in 2016 is that badges will be equipped with RFID technology. That means that if your badge is lost or stolen, you can inform CCI, and they will deactivate the badge remotely. From there, they’ll issue you a new badge – which you can pick up onsite. They won’t mail the badge twice.

RFID scanners are designated with a sign, and located at entrances and exits to the convention center, Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom. You need to tap both in and out.

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12. What if I buy a ticket and decide I can’t/don’t want to go?

You might be asking, why would anyone want to go through all this trouble to score one of the toughest tickets in town, only to decide not to go? We’d joke, but sometimes circumstances are no laughing matter — a change in financial status, an illness or death in the family, and other personal situations take precedence. If you find yourself in a circumstance where you need to return your badge, CCI offers a Cancellation/Return policy where you can submit your refund request online. There is, however, a deadline when refund requests need to be submitted by — for 2017, this was May 18, 2017. There is also a 10% handling fee that will be applied to all refunds made by the deadline.

It is important to note that SDCC badges are non-transferrable, meaning you can’t give yours to a friend if you can’t use it; or worse, if you try to sell your badge to someone else. If you get caught, you may be banned from the convention for life.

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13. Where should I stay at San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

Omni Hotel Gaslamp DowntownThe hardest part of Comic-Con may be getting a ticket to attend at all, but securing a hotel is a very close second. CCI books a large block of rooms at hotels (62,922 “hotel room nights” to be exact, according to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation) not only in the Gaslamp (the downtown area that’s closest to the convention center), but also as far out as Mission Valley and other areas around San Diego, at a reduced con rate — both with pros and cons depending on your needs. They then offer these hotels to attendees in two different hotel sales — the first of which is called the Early Bird Hotel Sale, which typically launches in March. In years past, this hasn’t included any hotels in the Gaslamp, only hotels located further out.

In 2017, the Early Bird Hotel Sale started on March 23 and was available through May 1.

This is followed by the General Comic-Con Hotel Reservations (or what we (un)affectionally dub, Hotelpocalypse). CCI uses a third-party vendor, onPeak (formerly Travel Planners), to run the reservations.

The process changed for 2017. New this year, you were directed to enter a waiting room, similar to badge sales. You had one hour in which to enter the waiting room. Following that, you were randomly selected to enter the form (which was similar to previous years) to fill out a list of your preferences and requirements (and we recommend checking out our guide to familiarize yourself with the process). The questionnaire ranges from number of guests in the room, nights you’ll be staying, to hotel preference. You ranked exactly six hotels in the order you wanted them, for both downtown and Mission Valley/airport ares — though you didn’t have to choose hotels in both areas. In the event that none of your hotel preferences wound up being available, you could choose if you wanted onPeak to slot you in the closest available hotel, or if you were only willing to accept hotels on your list. Hotel submissions were processed in the order of the timestamp in which you gained access to the form (supposedly, anyway).

The General Hotel Sale took place on April 26, 2017. You can find details about that sale, as well as 2017 hotel prices, here.

If you aren’t lucky enough to secure the hotel you want through onPeak, all hope is not lost. Almost every hotel still has rooms available at non-convention rates, though they’re significantly higher. You can also try other routes, like searching for roommates through social media, or there’s always camping out on the sidewalk (really, some people do this). A few of the hotel rooms also open up a few weeks later, as people release rooms.

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14. How do I get to San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

Once you’re in San Diego, there are several different ways to make it to the actual convention. The city offers great public transportation, which includes the MTS Trolley. There’s a stop on the Green Line located directly across from the convention center (Stop: Convention Center Station), so if you’re staying at a hotel near a trolley stop, this is a great option for getting around. However, if you’re trying to get to the convention center from the airport, there is no trolley station there — instead, you’ll have to use the bus, or, our recommendation, book a Super Shuttle, of which you can find annual discount codes online.

For those driving to SDCC, CCI offers paid parking at various lots around the convention center. They pre-sell parking passes through a third party vendor called Ace Parking, with prices ranging from $25-$40 depending on how close the lot is to the convention. This is much cheaper than what rates at non-Ace lots will be during the con, and you won’t have to worry about your lot being full.

Parking passes have moved to a lottery-based system. Attendees who were selected to buy parking were put into Groups, with set time frames to purchase. All remaining inventory went back on sale to the general public on June 12, 2017.

Perhaps the easiest way to get around during Comic-Con, though, is by using the Comic-Con Shuttle Service. Starting on Wednesday afternoon, the shuttle buses offer over 55 stops all over the city including downtown, Mission Valley, and hotels near the airport on Shelter Island and Harbor Island. They run 24 hours a day all the way through Sunday evening, though service is a little slower after midnight. Lines for the bus can get long, though, so you may have to wait — but no experience at SDCC is complete without a line.

You can find a copy of the 2017 Shuttle Service schedule by clicking here.

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15. What is this about an expansion to the Convention Center?

The city of San Diego had planned an expansion project of the Convention Center, but the project has recently hit some major setbacks (even as it’s gotten some good news as well).

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16. Is San Diego Comic-Con All-Ages?

Eric Jacobson brings Bert out.

Eric Jacobson brings Bert out.

Yes it is. As stated above, attendees 12 and under are free with a paying adult, and don’t require a member ID. Accompanying adults just need to register their child at the badge pick-up desk onsite.

Comic-Con International prides itself with booking family programming on the schedule, as well as family-friendly booths on the exhibit floor like Hasbro, LEGO and Nintendo. And Sundays are generally regarded as Family Day, with several panels and events tailored for the kids. For example, 2016’s Sunday family panels included panels like a reunion for Animaniacs, a look at Marvel’s Disney Kingdom imprints, and much more.

Granted, some of the programming, booths and cosplay can be a little, well, mature, so for the times when you want to go see the cast of The Walking Dead but don’t want to take Junior, Comic-Con International also offers on-site day care for children six months through 12 years of age. For a fee, the day care staff keeps kids entertained with snacks and activities while the parents are free to attend the more “adult” festivities.

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17. How can I get a free ticket to San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

Buying a ticket to SDCC might be a near-impossible task, but there are also a few ways you can attend for free. You can get a complimentary (i.e., free) professional badge if you can qualify as a creative professional. From CCI’s website, a creative professional is someone who takes “an active role in the creation, design, writing, editing, or production of comics, animation, films, books, video games, or toys”. Registration for both Creative and Trade Professionals for 2017 is now over..

If you work for a website or media outlet, which can be anything from a blog all the way up to an anchor on television network news, you can qualify for a complimentary press badge, but only if your application is accepted by CCI. To apply as press, you can find more information on CCI’s website about how to apply — though the deadline for 2017 was April 28.

One of the more popular ways to get a free ticket is to become a San Diego Comic-Con volunteer. Volunteering has proven a very popular way for fans to attend the convention and help contribute to making it an awesome event for all of us. As a nonprofit organization, CCI depends on the contributions of its volunteer corps, over 3,000 in 2013. Per CCI’s website, if you are chosen to be a volunteer, you can pick any day for your 3-hour assignment, and in return you get a complimentary badge for that day! The best part is that you are free enjoy the show when you’re not on assignment, and you get your own exclusive Comic-Con volunteer t-shirt. Volunteers are legacy, in that if you were one last year you get first dibs for the next year.

Volunteer Registration for 2017 is full.

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18. What are these “exclusives” I keep hearing about?

Many companies – whether it be comics, toys or collectibles – manufacture and sell merchandise you can buy only at San Diego Comic-Con. These are commonly referred to as “exclusives”. They are generally limited in nature, meaning only a small quantity are produced, and can range from comic variants (issues with different covers from what was available in retail), to figures with variant coloring, to molds and statues which aren’t available anywhere else. The packaging of these items — the boxes these exclusives come in — can be an “exclusive” of their own, with new artwork or special display and window packaging than what is available at retail.

There’s a bit of a debate as to what constitutes an “exclusive” nowadays, as many are available online as a pre-order before Comic-Con, but also available to those who aren’t even attending SDCC at all. These are commonly referred to as “convention exclusives”, a general term used for product available in conjunction with Comic-Con but also available to the general public, or sometimes available at San Diego Comic-Con and other conventions, but not to the general public. Confused already? The main thing that signifies something as an “exclusive” product, however, is generally that no matter which retail model it follows, it still retains its limited nature and special packaging. Some companies also put up remaining quantities online, but only after Comic-Con. This depends on the manufacturer and their policies, which are usually stated when the product is announced.

Exclusives can be purchased at the manufacturer’s booth on the exhibit floor. For example, a Hasbro exclusive can be purchased only at the HasbroToyShop booth on the exhibit floor, with remaining quantities available online after the convention. Product is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, although some companies do reserve stock to allocate across all days of the convention, for people who only have a specific day pass.

Exclusives are also one of the most popular aspects of the convention, with professional collectors and fans alike scrambling to pick up a limited-issue comic or statue, to display that one-of-a-kind keepsake from their Comic-Con experience.

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For anything else, and to receive continual updates about San Diego Comic-Con 2017, we recommend you follow the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog via social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and on tumblr.

Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments!

  • Pingback: San Diego Comic-Con – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [UPDATED Jan 10] | Gamerz N Geekz()

  • Nascarnbroncosfans

    Also note: Car pool to the Con with someone. The traffic after 530 am on any given day is a huge hassle, After 6 am then your wait from the 5 freeway could be up to 90 minutes finding a parking spot. I get to the con somewhere between 4:30 and 5:10 am to be assured of choice parking.

  • Jermaine C

    Anyone here have preregistration eligibility that will help a poor ol
    fan and his darling girlfriend get passes? I was invited last year and
    am not eligible for PreRegistration

  • Jeff Forehand

    When should I get to the convention center to get in line? (Both for the convention center main floor and Hall H)

  • apple2apple

    Hi Jeff! When you’re wanting in line for Hall H for a certain panel, the main thing to think about his how popular will this be. If its in Hall H, its popular. If its in the morning, or the first half of the day, you will probably be camping over night outside. (It can be chilly, be prepared) Later in the day you may be able to line up later but still early considering the time for the panel. (1-2 hours MINIMUM) (< someone correct me if I'm somehow wrong!) They do not clean rooms in between panels, so its literally first come first serve all day. They do have bathroom passes, so people often get in and then leave for a bit, and come back.

    Going inside the convention center: This depends. What do you plan on doing? Buying exclusives or just seeing the floor? Buying exclusives get there pretty early. I've never waited for the Hasbro or Mattel line (these are seperate lines to get tickets for the ability to purchase items), but we did go around 7am to get inline inside-upstairs to get inside and got these DBZ scouters that my husband wanted. Also that same line is good for just checking things out. Honestly we got about a good 30 minutes once inside to just walk the floor before they opened the front doors (the flood gates).
    Hope that helped!!!

  • Lupe

    When you say I can purchase 3 badges for 3 people does that mean I can purchase a Friday and Saturday badge per person or can only purchase let’s say 3 Friday badges?

  • Ultron

    This may be a dumb question, but I’m new to comic con and I am trying to go this year but I’m confused on how the whole panels work. So I’m really interested in going to the marvel panel because I’m a big fan but do panels only occur once and on one of the four days only? Or do they happen everyday? I understand they don’t publish the schedule until 2 weeks before comic con but how am I supposed to know which days to buy badges for if I don’t know what will be occurring on which days?

  • dwaede

    You have to buy badges for all 4 days the day they go on sale or you have zero chance of getting them later. They sold out this year in like 10 minutes or so.

    Sorry but if you don’t have them already you might as well try and buy someones pass on craigslist or ebay.

  • dwaede

    If you want to go to a Hall H show and there is anything popular on that day, get in line around 6-7pm the night before.

    If there is nothing super popular on the Hall H day like Game of thrones or walking dead, then you might be safe getting in line around 10 or 11pm the night before. I remember last year talking to someone around 9pm the night before the walking dead panel about the guy at the front of the line. He had been there since around 3pm the day before. Basically he had been in line for 36 hours.

    It is INSANE.

  • Maya Franklin

    Hi! I was wondering if I had the ticket for friday and not thursday, if it will be possible to wait in line starting thursday night like everyone else for a friday event. Will it be possible to pick up your ticket the day before on thursday or do you have to have the thursday and friday ticket?

  • apple2apple

    I believe you can! Its not like hanging outside the center requires a badge. However, just make sure you have that badge when you go to enter the building. I’m not sure the process of getting your badge when its only one day.

  • jai c

    I’m a registered volunteer for 2014 and the confirmation info I received said that I was able to volunteer for all days so I could get a badge for all days, and also got entry into Preview Night. This will be my first time volunteering. Any advice on how to sign up for hour blocks for each day and how to get set up so I can attend Preview Night? Do you know if there will be more emails for volunteers as we get closer to the Con? And…will I post more inane questions? Yes, most probably. Thanks!!!

  • Kerry

    You’ll need to pick up your badge before you enter the building – but sometimes people in line are nice enough to hold your spot while you run to get it. You can also sometimes swing by late in the day the day before and go ahead and pick up the next day’s badge, if the volunteers are feeling nice.

  • Gloop

    Last time I volunteered we lined up outside Hall-A & as they let us in to register they gave us the option if we wanted to work on Thurs & told us the areas that were open. So upon completing your hours you head back to the volunteer booth,you can check for work openings for the next day. As for preview night upon finishing registration if you wish to attend it they would give a patch to wear so that you look around the exhibit hall.

  • jai c

    Thank you so much for replying! From what ive heard it sounds like a mostly straightforward process; I’m just super excited and easily confused.

  • Fred Lee

    Hi all. It’s my first time to Comic Con, and I’m a bit confused about the badge pick-up. I was able to get Thursday, Friday, and Saturday badges. When Comic Con says,

    “If you have purchased two or three single day badges, you may pick up all of your badges on the first day they are available for pick-up. For example, if you have purchased a Saturday and Sunday badge, you may pick them both up on Saturday.”
    Does this mean that I can pick up the Friday and Saturday badges on Wednesday along with my Thursday at the T&C hotel? Thanks!

  • Shell

    I have a 4-day pass and want to register a child. Would I have to register her every day or is it possible to register her all 4-days with my 4-day? Hope that made sense!

  • ylleks

    Hey Guys,

    This is my first time at SDCC. So I have a Thursday badge and was wanting to pick it up Wed night but am arriving late. Does anyone know how late the distribute badges? Or if a friend has a picture of my id and my barcode could she pick up my badge or do I have to be present? If I have to be present, how early to they start doing badges on Thursday?? Any help would be great!!

  • Danielle Smeltzer

    I purchased 4-day passes for myself and two adult children. Can I pick up theirs when I pick up mine? They are arriving later than me at T&C. Thank you.

  • UovoVerde

    What is NerdHq?

  • melvin

    I lived in another country what I need to do to buy un less trees tickets fot the comic con of 2015 and where I can buy a pack of hotel and tickets ?

  • Jessica Mora Chavez

    Can I participate in pre registration and also later in the epic registration?

  • Pingback: San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Pre-Prep List | San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog()

  • B4L

    Am I guaranteed Th/Fri/Sat if I buy consolidated pass instead individual days?

  • Kerry Dixon

    You can’t buy “consolidated” passes anymore – just single days, and if you get all four days or all four days with Preview Night, they’re automatically consolidated.

  • Investigatind Detective


  • Investigatind Detective

    Separate smaller event that takes place at the same time as SDCC. It’s fun and a nice alternative to the madness of SDCC.

  • Investigatind Detective

    Nope. they have to pick up their own badges.

  • Audrée-Anne Garceau

    If I want to see The vampire diaries at 2015 SDCC, when do I have to be in line? The night before or in the morning? If I get there in the morning, will I have a chance to get an autograph?

  • Ero Lovespell

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  • nieve

    Do kids over 13 need their own registration code or can a parent who is registered can get them a junior ticket?

  • adam


    we were the first ones to be pulled in for this years ticket purchase. we selected the amount of tickets we wanted to purchase but on the next page where we enter our IDs and names, the add on name would not validate even though it was copied and pasted FROM YOUR WEBSITE and it is ELIGABLE for purchase!!!!! we filmed the whole thing because we didn’t know what else to do. we are going together on a once upon a lifetime trip to America and always dreamed of visiting comic con…. only to find out that during ticket purchase your system fails us.

    see the link to the video with prove

    and here are screencaps

    we were allowed to buy tickets and couldn’t because of your system. please HELP us. we would like to visit comic con on either Thursday or Friday. please let us visit. my girlfried is in tears right now.

    thank you!

  • JellyBeanRainbow

    Last year – 2014 – there was no line for The Vampire Diaries. I just walked in the moment the panel began.
    It also depends on what panel is after the VD, if there’s something iconic, like Dr. Who or Walking Dead, people will be just sitting in there waiting for later panels.

  • Investigatind Detective

    You may want to email CCI directly as this site isn’t affiliated and can’t help you. Best of luck

  • Nazgul

    Thank you for this very informative blog! I’m a veteran of Toronto’s FanExpo, but this year I was lucky enough to get two badges to SDCC so this will be my first time at this mecca of geekdom!! We’re staying with a relative who lives in the area, so the only thing I’m really concerned about at this point is parking, as I wasn’t two times lucky and did not get a chance to buy a spot…:( Not yet anyway.

    BTW, any tips for families? I’ll have two cosplaying kids in tow (6 and 2 years old, respectively)…:D

    Looking forward to more tips and info!!

  • I, and three others want to go to 2016’s Comic Con for Friday, Saturday, Sunday. After reading all of this I am really worried that there is no chance of getting in. Is there anyone that knows other wise? I am also worried about how many badges you can buy at once. Do people camp out side of the convention center? Would getting a hotel be the best choice? What is most important to bring to Comic Con?Can my guardian buy a badge for herself and three juniors or is that not aloud? Please respond I am a first time attendee and I would appreciate any feedback.

  • Can an adult buy a badge for herself and three juniors on the same member ID?

  • I, and three others want to go to 2016’s Comic Con for Friday, Saturday, Sunday. After reading all of this I am really worried that there is no chance of getting in. Is there anyone that knows other wise? I am also worried about how many badges you can buy at once. Do people camp out side of the convention center? Would getting a hotel be the best choice? What is most important to bring to Comic Con?Can my guardian buy a badge for herself and three juniors or is that not aloud? Please respond I am a first time attendee and I would appreciate any feedback.

  • Diane S

    The 3 people work on first, second then third. You are able to chose what days are still open on your turn. Then whats left on second and so on.

  • Diane S

    the tickets are purchased online. Every person that wants a ticket must have a members ID. They are free so just go to the comic-con site. That is the easy part. getting a badge is a matter of luck. The person that gets to the head of the line in the epic waiting room(online) Signs in and can get a badge for himself and two others.I live in San Diego so can’t say where is best to stay. The tickets will go on sale for pre reg(this is limited to people that bought tickets last year) and open reg(that is for anyone that did not get a ticket last year or did not get one in pre reg) I’ll be honest, it’s not an easy thing to get a ticket/badge for any days of Comic-Con. Get your members ID and watch the site to see when tickets go on sale and pray. Have all your info ready and as many people that want to go in your group (online) and ready to buy. I have been lucky the last few years. The truth is SDCC has way more demand that space. They could easily sell out even if they had 5x the tickets.
    I wish you good luck and hope this helps

  • Gabs

    Can someone eligible for pre-sale purchase badges for others who aren’t eligible for pre-sale? Thanks!

  • Kerry Dixon

    Unfortunately, no. In Preregistration, everyone you purchase badges for must be eligible for Preregistration on their own.

  • cudiekie

    Can I get a spot to do a show or small play in comic con if so how do I do that

  • Adlaker12

    I really wanted to go but i see there is little chance of getting a badge for this year. I wont make the same mistake for next year.



  • Paul Ledbetter

    Will I be able to use a credit card to purchase exclusives? And which booth sells them, the hasbro or the hasbrotoyshop booth?

  • Dr. Whom

    Up in the FAQ you say “Applications for professional badges for SDCC 2015 were due by October 31, 2015.” You mean, if I’d had my paracousin’s TARDIS I could’ve applied for a pro badge months after the con? Wow, I’d better get in touch with him so I can go back and have done that!

  • Elaine Roberts

    Everybody that works and volunteers at the Masquerade needs to know that stamps are hard to wash off and they need to go. They should use stickers or wristbands. Stamps are art stuff rather everybody likes it or not.

  • Moira Poptart Irene BrowningSm

    So are all the Panels free to get into? Also are there photo ops and signatures with the celebrities and does that cost extra?

  • Benassi

    I’m trying to register for a member ID, but they won’t send my confirmation code.. I already asked to resend a couple times.. can anyone help me? Did I miss the registration time or something?