FAQ

For information on how to purchase Comic-Con International 2103 badges, we recommend you visit our Badge Purchase FAQ.

The following FAQ contains valuable information about attending Comic-Con International.  Please check back closer to Comic-Con 2103 for updated information and details.

Why do I have to wait until 9:30 am to get into the Exhibit Hall? With such a large number of attendees to coordinate, the Comic-Con staff, exhibitors, and security need the few available morning hours to set up and get ready for the day’s events.

What is the fastest way to get into the Exhibit Hall when the show opens in the morning? For the safety of the thousands of people who attend the show each day, Comic-Con needs to control the lines for entrance into the Exhibit Hall. There are two lines that you can wait in. When you enter the Convention Center, you will be directed upstairs to these two lines. One is located in the Sails Pavilion across from Attendee Badge Pick-up; the other is via the Bayside Corridor from Room 20 down to Room 27. These lines move first, and most of the people in them are let in before entry is allowed through the front doors of the Main Lobby. Of course, you can always just sit and wait for the line to be done and then walk in. Please note that there is also a separate line for Programming in Hall H (see next paragraph). People with disabilities should contact the Disabled Services desk in Lobby A to access a separate waiting area.

Where’s the Hall H line? The Hall H line begins outside the Convention Center near the glass doors directly in front of Hall H—look for the large sign marking the start of the line near the grass. If you want to get in line for Hall H programs before the doors open in the morning, make sure you are in that line and not in the line to get into the Exhibit Hall or the line to go to Attendee Registration, which runs parallel to the Hall H line outside in the morning. The Hall H line continues into Plaza Park outside the Hall H end of the building. 

Comic-Con International

Photo by Kevin Green

© 2012 SDCC

What are all these lines for? Depending on where the line is, the reasons vary. There are often long lines at the ATMs in the lobby, the Starbucks, and FedEx, each of which is quite popular. On the Upper Level, there are lines for the various Autograph sessions, Badge Pick-up, popular programming events, and (on Saturday) the Masquerade. In the Exhibit Hall, a line could be for an individual booth event or for the concession stands. To find out which line is which, please look for the various directional signs marking those areas. 

Does my membership badge get me into everything?  All event spaces have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though a badge is needed to get into all programming events, it does not guarantee you access to an event that has reached its capacity limit. For the Masquerade, you will also need a ticket to view the show in Ballroom 20, but these tickets are complimentary.

Do I have to wear my badge all the time? Yes! Always wear your badge and hang onto it! You’ll need your badge to get in the front doors and into the Exhibit Hall. You will also need your badge to attend any Comic-Con function, including the programs at the Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton Bayfront Hotel; the Anime, Film Festival, Fulfillment Room, Films, Games, and the Hospitality Suite at the Marriott Marquis and Marina; nighttime events at the Convention Center; and Convention-sponsored parties. If you’re asked to show your badge, please do so.

    Your name and contact information are encoded in your barcode. Do not let anyone scan your barcode unless you want that person to have your mailing address. Please do not give away your badge to people outside the Convention Center when you leave Comic-Con. You may think you’re doing someone a favor, but it is not hard for someone to figure out how to scan your badge and get your mailing address and personal information. Also keep in mind that security will be spot-checking badges against IDs. Hold onto your badge! 

Comic-Con International

Photo by Sergio Palacios

© 2012 SDCC

You sold out early this year . . . can I pre-register for Comic-Con 2014? There is no onsite preregistration for next year’s convention at this year’s show. As a 2013 attendee, you will have priority registration for 2014.

Where is the Blood Drive? If you wish to give blood, please sign up at the Blood Drive booth in the Sails Pavilion upstairs at the Convention Center. The Blood Drive is at the Omni Gallery at 628 L St., across from the Omni Hotel (that’s next to Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play). You can give blood on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 or on Sunday from 10:00 to 3:00, but please check in first at the booth in the Sails Pavilion.

My friend is inside the hall with my badge—can you let me in to find her? No, but you can use the message area on the Information Board located in the Lobby of Hall C to leave her a message. It is strongly recommended that prior to entering the convention you arrange a meeting point with all members of your party just in case. Keep in mind that there is no paging.

How do I get to the Anime, Film Festival, and Fulfillment rooms at the Marriott and the programs at the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront? Check the maps in the onsite Quick Guide that show exactly where these rooms are located in their respective hotels. Follow the signage outside to the rooms you’re looking for, and don’t be shy about going outside the Convention Center . . . there are great programs and events at both the Marriott and the Hilton that you’re going to want to see!

Comic-Con International

Photo by Kevin Green

© 2012 SDCC

What are the Eisner Awards? Considered the “Oscars” of the industry, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards will be held Friday night at 8:00 in Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront. 

I heard you need a ticket to attend the Eisners—is that true? There is no charge for the Eisners; all you need is a four-day or a Friday badge. However, it’s a gala event, so you are advised to dress nicely. If you want to purchase alcohol, you will need ID (no matter what your age!).

What is the Masquerade? The Masquerade is the on-stage costume competition held on Saturday night, starting at 8:30 in Ballroom 20 at the Convention Center.

I heard you have to pay to attend the Masquerade—is that true? There is no charge for the Masquerade; all you need is a four-day or a Saturday badge. Because of limited seating in the Ballroom itself, a ticket is required for those seats ONLY, but these tickets are free and are available to those who get in line on Saturday (see the article on page 10). Tickets are not required for viewing the Masquerade in the Sails Pavilion or the overflow rooms.

Where are the Films rooms? There are two Films rooms. In the Convention Center films are shown each night in Room 4, Thursday through Saturday. At the Marriott Marquis & Marina, films are shown all day in Marina Ballroom D Thursday through Saturday. A special film screening will take place on Wednesday night in Marriott Hall 1 & 2, during Preview Night.

Where can I get something to eat? There are several food stands operated by the Convention Center available in the Exhibit Hall, on the Upper Level, and in the Main Lobby. Food stands on the Mezzanine will be open until 9:00 pm. The Convention Center now has a sit-down restaurant, Tides, located next to Hall A. It’s open 11:00–4:00 Thursday through Saturday and 11:00–2:00 on Sunday. You can also find snacks and sodas at the Comic-Con Hospitality Suite at Marina Ballroom G at the Marriott (Thursday through Saturday nights from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am). If you’re attending programs or events at the Marriott Marquis and Marina or the Hilton Bayfront, both hotels offer a number of dining options, including Starbucks. The Marriott also features Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion and the Marina Kichen Restaurant and Bar. The Hilton Bayfront’s dining options include the Fox Sports Grill, Vela, Odysea, and Bay Breeze. 

Photo by Sergio Palacios

© 2012 SDCC

Where do I find out if my favorite artist, writer, actor, etc. is signing autographs? A list of autograph signings will be listed on our website shortly before the show, as well as in the onsite Events Guide.  If your favorite is associated with a booth or publisher in the Exhibit Hall, check the “Around the Booths” section of this guide to see whether the person is listed as appearing at the booth, or go to the booth for possible signing schedules. For schedule changes, please check the onsite newsletter, available every morning at the registration desks, the Freebie tables, and the entrances to the Exhibit Hall.

Where do I get an official Comic-Con bag?  You can obtain your official Comic-Con bag when you pick up your badge and badge holder at Badge Pick-up in the Sails Pavilion on the Upper Level. There you will also get your free copies of the Souvenir Book and the publication you’re now reading, the Events Guide. Bags and publications are one per attendee; please do not ask for extra bags.

I got a ticket for a giveaway when I was at a program. How do I exchange it for the actual item? Giveaway tickets from most programs and seminars are redeemable at the Fulfillment Room, located in Marriott Hall 3 in the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina, next door to the Convention Center at the Hall A end of the building.

If I leave, can I come back in? Do I need a hand stamp? You can come back into the Exhibit Hall and all the events (space permitting) as long as you have your Comic-Con badge with you and it’s valid for the day you wish to reenter. Single-day memberships are valid only for the day for which they are purchased. You do not need a hand stamp. Please note: Some of the bigger programming rooms may require a ticket to leave and return, and that ticket is good only for the specific panel. Check at the door if you need a bathroom or food break.

How late are you open? The Exhibit Hall is open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm Thursday through Saturday and from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday. The programming rooms upstairs and on the Mezzanine have events running until late at night on Thursday through Sunday, including anime and film screenings. At the Marriott, gaming and films continue to 2:00 am or later, Thursday through Saturday.

Do you have child care? How much does it cost? Child care is offered by KiddieCorp, a licensed childcare provider. They are located in Room 29CD of the Convention Center and are open Wednesday from 5:30 to 9:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm, and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Rates are $11 per hour for children 6 months to 2 years old, and $9 per hour for children 3–12 years old.

Where do the shuttle buses go? How late do they run? Shuttles buses run 24 hours a day! The shuttle buses can take you from the Convention Center to downtown hotels and other locations (such as Horton Plaza, Ralph’s Grocery, parking lots) as well as hotels in Mission Valley, Shelter Island, and North Harbor Island. If you have questions on the Shuttle service or any special needs, ask at the Shuttle Info Desk outside of Hall E.

I have a paper cut—where can I get a Band-Aid? The Convention Center First Aid station is located at the south end of the main lobby in Hall C. An EMT is on duty during Exhibit Hall hours.

Where can I find parking? We encourage you to use public transportation (the Trolley stops opposite the Convention Center, at both Hall A and Hall E) and our Shuttle service, which stops at several of the available parking lots downtown. You can also check the Parking section of this website for additional details. 

Where’s the ATM? In addition to the ATMs located next to the escalators in Hall C, ATMs can be found in front of Hall E, next to the Starbucks.

Where is the closest bank? There are several bank branches close to the Convention Center, including one on First Ave. between G St. and Market St. and one in the East Village on Market St. near Park Blvd. Additionally, there are a number of branches on Broadway, just north of Horton Plaza. There is also a bank in Horton Plaza itself, in the traffic circle behind the mall.

I’m tired of carrying all the stuff I bought. Is there somewhere I can store it? Bag Check is available from the Convention Center for a nominal fee ($2.00 per item) and is located in the lobbies of Halls E and F. If you would like to purchase boxes to ship your items, you can visit the Business Center, located in the lobby of Hall D.

I lost my wallet—what should I do? Check at the Show Office in the Hall C Lobby. If you get home and realize you may have left something at the Convention Center, please contact the Convention Center’s Lost and Found.

I’m lost—what do I do? Look for the people on the front drive outside of the Convention Center with the “Ask Me!” T-shirts! They can provide general information and directions. They have desks in front of the Hall B1 and Hall E2 doors marked with large banners that say Information; the latter is also the Shuttle info desk. In addition, look for the large “You Are Here” maps at every entrance to the Exhibit Hall, on the walkway, and other areas. 

My costume has a weapon . . . will that be a problem? No functional weapons are allowed at Comic-Con International. Please be aware of the following guidelines:

• Simulated or costume weapons are allowed as a part of your costume subject to prior approval by security and compliance with the following:

• All costume weapons must be inspected at the security station in Lobby E.

• All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law.
• Projectile costume weapons must be rendered inoperable. 
• Costume swords must be tied to your costume in such a way that they can’t be drawn.

• After each person’s costume weapon has been checked, it will be tagged by security, and you will be given a wristband to wear to designates that your weapons have been checked. Security will escort you to the security station for inspection if your costume weapon is not tagged.

            If you do not want to have your costume weapons inspected or tagged, or if you are not willing to comply with these policies, please do not bring your costume weapons.