This year was our sixth San Diego Comic-Con! SDCC 2017 took place at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday, July 23. Follow along with us as we recount our experience at the con!
Once again, SDCC used an RFID system for badges, and mailed out most badges, rather than have you pick them up on site. We had acquired 4-Day badges without Preview Night, which safely arrived in the mail several weeks before the event.
Usually, I get off work at 5pm, but I worked an earlier shift so that we could get an earlier start when heading down to San Diego. Josh picked me up at work at 3:45pm in Santa Ana, and we headed straight down to San Diego. Traffic was pretty horrible, so although we only had to drive about 90 miles, it took almost 3 hours to get there.
Both Josh and I hadn’t had any luck in the Hotel Lottery, but our friend had some extra luck, and ended up with an extra room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, about a 1/2 mile away from the convention center, which he generously transferred over to us. Check-in didn’t take very long, and we were placed in a room on the 27th floor, which had a very nice view.
By the time we got all settled in, it was about 7pm, at which point we decided to head over to the Marriott and pick up the official Comic-Con merchandise that we had pre-ordered. Apparently a lot of other people without Preview Night badges had the same idea, because the line was long and took about an hour and half to get through. There were two lines: one for pre-orders, and one for those buying on site. You would think the pre-order line would move faster, since we just show our confirmation email, and they go grab whatever you had already ordered, but it didn’t seem like our line was moving any faster than the other line.
We were pretty hungry by the time we finally were able to pick up our merch, so we headed over to Kansas City Barbeque, which was across the street from our hotel. Apparently their claim to fame is that scenes from Top Gun were filmed there. We happened to sit right near the corner where the characters had sat in the movie.
After we finished eating, we headed over to House of Blues for the 3rd annual Game of Bloggers part that Tony Kim (aka Crazy4ComicCon) hosts. It was very well attended, and we were able to meet up with several friends there, including Jason Koh (CorgiKohmander), his wife Diana, Steve and Sully from The Nerd Fu, and met new friends as well that we had only known on Twitter before that. Oh, and Max Landis (writer of Chronicle, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and more) happened to be there. We didn’t talk to or get a photo with him, but a few people from our group did.
We didn’t stay at Game of Bloggers too long, as we were both tired from having been at work at 6am that morning. Along the mile walk back to the hotel, we passed by Spreckels Theater, where the Conan O’Brien shows would be filming (which we unfortunately would not be attending).
One amazing-sounding offsite that we wanted to check out was the Westworld offsite. They would be accepting reservations starting at 9:30am, for the offsite experience for which the hours were 11:00am – 8:30pm that day. Our Thursday plans were pretty flexible, so we decided to try to get in line a couple hours early and see what happened. When we arrived at the Hilton Bayfront (where the reservations were going to be taken) at 7:30am, we were informed that the line had been already capped at 120 people. Oh well, it was worth a try.
Seeing as how we had some time to kill, we walked over to Mary Jane’s at the Hard Rock Hotel for breakfast. Usually, the restaurant is themed as an upcoming SYFY network show, but this year it was themed as a gaming lounge. I was a little disappointed, because usually the menus are more themed, and you get some swag, but not this year. Also, it seemed that we were there a little too early for any gaming to be going on, as it looked like there were still setting up.
After we finished eating, we decided to go over to the convention center and try to pick up our bags, books, and lanyards. In the past, when you picked up your badge on site, you would be given these items upon picking up your badge. However, since we were mailed our badges, we would have to pick up these items on site. All badge pickups, as well as bag pickups, were located in the convention center this year, up in Sails Pavilion. According to the schedule, badge pickup started at 8:30am. We figured that it would probably be the same for bag pickup.
Well, upon arriving at the convention center, we kept being told different things about where to go for bag pickup, and it seemed that many people were trying to find out where to go for this as well. There was a dedicated line for badge pickup, but it didn’t seem like there was one for bag pickup. Finally, we found a line near Hall D where the people in front of us had been told that the line was for bag pickup. So we stayed there. It’s not like there was anywhere else to go anyway. The sidewalk in front of the convention center was so packed, you could hardly move. So we waited there for about an hour. (Come to find out later that the reason for the delay of getting people into the convention center was because the “Everything Else” line — which is the line for everything other than Hall H — had been accidentally moved into Hall H!)
Once we actually got through the convention center doors, where we scanned in, it seemed like it was not a line for bag pickup after all, it was pretty much just a free-for-all. We headed over to the escalators to go upstairs to Sails Pavilion to pick up our bags. When we got to the top, there was just a massive crowd of people, also wanting to pick up their bags, books, and lanyards. It took almost another hour to get through that mess. We ended up getting Supergirl and LEGO Ninjago bags. One nice addition to the bags this year was that each bag also included a superhero pin. Both of us received The Flash.
After collecting our bags, books, and lanyards, it was around 10:30am, we headed over to Hall H for the Kingsman: The Golden Circle panel, which was scheduled to begin at 11:00am. Click here for our recap and photos of that panel!
Below you can check out photos of the sights we saw around downtown San Diego while walking around on Thursday morning!