- If you purchased a Thursday pass, you can pick it up Wednesday night. The Thursday line wasn’t terrible, but picking up badges ahead of time would have been great.
- You can bring your own food and drinks. It will save you a TON of money, and it may save you from some lines and slightly less desirable food. (Disclaimer: most of the food I had was decent to good for convention-type food; however, if you want something specific, you better bring it yourself.)
- Wear a backpack. Even if you don’t bring one with you, use the one they provide. It is very useful to hold things, especially when you decide to buy souvenirs.
- Buy souvenirs early. People go nuts buying things, and if you need a specific size or item, it will probably be gone. Also, some bargains can be found on Sunday.
- Hall H is nearly impossible to view. People lined up for Hall H as soon as the queue opened Wednesday afternoon, slept there in sleeping bags, and only had a possibility of making it in on Thursday. If you really, really want to see a panel, you might need to follow their example. If you can live without it but would like to try, you might have a chance. Might. (I heard a few people managed to make it into a couple of afternoon ones without waiting all day Friday and Saturday. Sunday was the easiest. I walked right into the Supernatural panel.)
- Devise a game plan. You need a strategy if you’re going to see and do nearly everything SDCC has to offer, including Petco Park.
- Convention hotels include bus transportation. It is free and an excellent way to make it back and forth. However, if you can afford it, staying in the Gaslamp Quarter would be the best, since it is across the street from the convention center.
- Don’t wear a costume with gloves if you plan to use the mobile app. (Duh)
- If you can stay awake or aren’t busy waiting in a line, the nighttime after-parties are fun.
- Plan at least one day where you are out of costume if you’re a cosplayer. That way, you can take pictures more easily and peruse the main floor without your costume getting in the way.
- Give yourself extra days before and after the convention to rest or do other things in San Diego.
Most importantly, have a good sense of humor about everything and have fun!
PS: Some San Diego natives and other Californians don’t realize how popular and well-known their convention is. I overheard one group discussing how “absurd” it would be for people to fly to San Diego from other areas of the country (not to mention the world) to visit the convention, much less to put their lives on hold for a week, pay for a hotel, and take time off from work. Considering I did all of these things, I must be extremely absurd! 😉