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Going to Comic-Con? Here’s what to know before you go


SAN DIEGO — The time has officially arrived, San Diego.

San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner and thousands are expected to flock to the Convention Center to immerse themselves in their favorite franchises.

For those that were able to snag a badge, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Comic-Con to help make your experience as smooth as possible.

If you still have questions about the event that aren’t covered in this article, check out Comic-Con’s official website by clicking here.

What is the badge policy?

Everyone attending Comic-Con, including children, must have a valid and confirmed Comic-Con badge connected to their Member ID account. Each badge features a unique barcode and RFID sticker, according to organizers. They are non-transferable.

Organizers say security checks will be performed to ensure that only the person listed on the badge is admitted to the event using that badge. You will be asked to present a photo ID to confirm your identity.

Valid badges or confirmed registration will be required for access to any part of the San Diego Convention Center, including the front drive, terraces, sidewalks, Plaza Park area or the Ace Parking underground garage during the event.

If you lose your badge and need it replaced, Comic-Con officials say attendees can do that at the Attendee Badge Solutions Desk in the Registration Area of the convention for a nominal fee.

I don’t have a badge. Can I still go?

Unfortunately, those without tickets are not permitted into Comic-Con and all badges available for this year have been sold out.

Getting to the Convention Center

Whether you’re driving or taking public transit, there’s plenty of options for fans to get to the downtown Convention Center.

For those driving to the Convention Center, Harbor Drive from First Avenue to Park Boulevard will be closed to all vehicular traffic — including bicycles, scooters and skateboards — throughout the duration of Comic-Con.

Parking at ACE structures is open for reservation online. Prices start at $20 per day and is subject to availability.

Reservations can be made for the following garages: 101 West Broadway, 6th and K, 707 Broadway, Diamond View Tower Special Events, Hard Rock Hotel Valet, Hilton Bay Front, Horton Pacific, MTS, Padres Parkade – Special Events, Park 12 The Collection, Park It on Market, San Diego Central Library, and Tailgate Park 1046. The San Diego Convention Center lot has been sold out.

Fans who want to avoid parking can use public transit to and from the convention.

Local attendees can hop on the MTS Trolley, which stops right at the Convention Center in two different spots: across from Hall A at the Convention Center Station and near Hall D at the Gaslamp Station. More about how to use the Trolley to get to Comic-Con can be found here.

The COASTER Commuter Train and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner are available for those coming down from farther north. Both stop at the downtown Santa Fe Train Depot, nearby the Convention Center.

Free shuttles are also available across downtown, Mission Valley and hotels near the airport on Shelter and Harbor Islands. Those taking the shuttle just need to show their Comic-Con badge before getting on.

Shuttle service kicks in Wednesday, July 19 for the convention’s Preview Night. From Thursday, July 20 to Saturday, July 22, service will begin at 5 a.m. and run until 1 a.m. Frequency of trips changes throughout the course of the convention. The shuttle schedule can be found here.

What time does the Convention Center open?

Doors open each day at 9:30 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. On Sunday, doors close at 5 p.m. Late night events may be held at off-site locations.

Exhibitors and Programs

Inside the Convention Center, fans will be able to walk around, checking out one of the hundreds of exhibitors or attending one of the weekend’s many panels.

Over 550 exhibitors are listed for this year’s Comic-Con, including fan tables, artists and more. The exhibitors will cover everything from comics and merchandise to video games and television. A map and full list of exhibitors participating in Comic-Con this year can be found here.

The schedule for programming, including workshops and panels, has been released for fans to plan their days during the convention. While Comic-Con is missing some of its trademark attractions amid the ongoing Hollywood strikes, there’s still plenty to get excited about.

FOX5SanDiego.com has compiled a list of the most exciting activities set to take place during the weekend, which can be found here. Fans can create a schedule for their must-attend programs by using Comic-Con’s MySchedule feature or the Comic-Con app.

How do I get into a certain panel?

To obtain entrance into a panel, you will need to get in line ahead of time. Some panels might be harder to get into due to high demand, so guests are encouraged to get to the Convention Center and get in line early.

Are COVID-19 policies still in place?

Organizers say yes, if the convention chooses to modify requirements or limits for attending.

Everyone attending Comic-Con may be required to wear an approved face covering regardless of vaccination status, or provide verification of full vaccination status or proof of negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.

The latest information about COVID-19 guidelines can be found here.

What can I bring to the convention?

Bags are allowed into the convention, however, they could be subject to search for prohibited items.

Outside food and beverages are not allowed to be brought into the building. Firearms, handcarts, trolleys, rolling luggage, oversized strollers, drones, e-cigarettes or vaping products, and selfie sticks or comparable devices are also prohibited from the event.

Are there rules about cosplay?

Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters. However, functional props or weapons are not allowed as part of fans’ costumes.

Simulated or costume weapons may be allowed if they’re approved. All costume props and weapons must be inspected daily at one of the Costume Props Desks, located in the lobby of Hall E and in Lobby C2, between the escalators.

They will be approved if they’re in compliance with the following guidelines:

  • All costume props and weapons must conform to state and federal law.
  • Projectile costume props and weapons must be rendered inoperable.
  • Functional (real) arrows must have their tips removed and be bundled and zip-tied to a quiver.
  • Costume swords must be tied to your costume in such a way that they can’t be drawn.

Costumes featuring stilts must also be approved by the Costume Props Desk.

According to organizers, security will escort cosplayer to the Desk if elements of their costume are not already tagged with approval.

Can I bring pets into Comic-Con?

Aside from designated service animals, pets are also not permitted into the event. If your service animal does not have a proper vest, the disabled services booth in the lobby of Hall A has stickers available that will go on your Comic-Con badge.


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