Update July 2009: I’ve got a newer, longer list of Comic-Con Tips over at Speed Force.
Based on experience from the last few San Diego Comic-Cons, here are a few recommendations:
- Pre-register, as early as possible! Not only will it save you money, but the line to pick up badges is always much shorter than the line to sign up. (If you’ve ever stood in line to register, you know what I mean. If you haven’t — well, let’s just say you might not get in until afternoon.)
- Go for at least two days. One day is no longer enough time to see everything.
- Do not set foot on the convention floor on Saturday. Go to panels instead.
- Stay somewhere nearby, preferably with convenient trolley, bus, or shuttle access. Barring that, leave really early so you can find parking.
- If you’re getting a hotel, reserve your room early. Perhaps as much as six months early. Otherwise you’ll end up paying way too much to stay at the Super 8.
- Get a Day Tripper bus/trolley pass. You can get one for 1-4 days, and you can even order it online and have it mailed to you. There are two trolley stops in front of the convention center (yes, it’s that big): Convention Center (of course) and Gaslamp Quarter. In downtown San Diego, trolleys run every 15 minutes during the day, every 30 minutes in the evening, and run until around midnight (later on weekends).
- If you’ve got a good costume, this is the place to wear it.
- Don’t forget to bring a camera and lots of film/memory!
- Bring a change of clothes so that you can wear your T-shirt or costume at the con and then go to a nice downtown San Diego restaurant for dinner.
- Speaking of dinner, make reservations! This is A) downtown in a major city, B) a weekend, and C) during a convention with 100,000 people, most of whom will be looking for a restaurant. Alternatively, look for dinner as far away from the convention center as possible.
- Pre-register for next year, if you plan to come back. We saved $25 each.
(Note: the target audience for this list is the type of person who has already mastered the concepts in Aubrey’s Guide to Con Hygiene.)