Attendee of the Week: Ariel Estandarte

Every week from now until San Diego Comic-Con, we’re celebrating you: our readers! So let’s meet this week’s Attendee of the Week:



Ariel Estandarte


Where are you traveling from? 

Orland Park, Illinois (suburb of Chicago)

How many years have you been attending?

I’ve been attending since 2009. Had a 10 year streak (until pandemic hit)

What was your favorite panel and why?

The Big Bang Theory panel in 2010 . I loved the theme song sing-a-long with the band The Barenaked Ladies and the cast. 

What is your favorite exhibitor or artist booth and why?

My favorite booth has got to be the Marvel booth. I love the exclusives they sell and the comic creators that they bring but also love the stage where they bring casts from the MCU movies and TV shows. I once spent eight hours staying in one spot to see casts from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron. I was able to see them up close and get some selfies.

What’s your favorite item you’ve ever taken home from the convention (swag, exclusive, merch, etc.)?

One of my favorite items I got at SDCC was the 2010 Hot Wheels Invisible Jet. I didn’t realize it was an empty package ( that was the April fools day joke) until I got home. It’s something like this that you can only get at SDCC. 

What was your favorite autograph session and why?

It was getting the autographs of the cast of the The Walking Dead season two. I was lucky to win a ticket for it (I was lucky that while I was drawing the ticket, one of the winning tickets was sitting right on top of the pile in the box where I was drawing from). The cast was so friendly and even their support staff offered to take pics for me. 

Tell us about your most memorable celebrity encounter?

One of my most memorable “celebrity “encounters was when I thought I bumped into Tom Cruise. I thought I was so lucky to get a selfie with him and then I found out from my sisters at home that I was seen on Entertainment Tonight taking a selfie with the fake Tom Cruise that Entertainment Tonight brought to SDCC to trick fans. It was hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. I was wondering how his security let me get that close. 

What is (or was) your favorite offsite and why?

It can only be Nerd HQ. The opportunities to see celebs and take photo ops was amazing . I loved the swag they had there and it was great place to hang out.

What is your favorite thing about San Diego Comic-Con?

My favorite thing about SDCC is the atmosphere of being at the the convention of all conventions. Just seeing the convention center and surrounding areas turned into the happiest place on earth for pop culture nerds makes me speechless.

What are you most excited to see/do/experience at the con after three years away?

What I’m excited about this year at SDCC is seeing my convention friends that I haven’t seen in three years. These people share memories of SDCC with me that I just love to reminisce with.  I also can’t wait to walk into the convention center after all this time. There’s something about walking into the hall after getting off the escalator and just seeing the immensity of it all. I even miss the security guards yelling “ no running!!” 


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