San Diego Comic Con is truly a worldwide phenomenon that now sees well over 150,000 visitors converge on downtown San Diego for four days of fun and excitement. Although the entire event has something to offer, the star of Comic Con is undoubtedly Hall H. This 6,500-person-capacity venue plays host to the flashiest and most sought after panels and discussions, which makes it notoriously hard to get into especially for the more popular Friday and Saturday events. In fact, the events in Hall H are so popular that you need to know exactly what to do to get a ticket and be prepared to spend hours waiting in line the day before you want to get in. Therefore, here is everything you need to know to ensure you don’t miss out on the excitement of Hall H.
How to Get Into Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con
1. Know the Rules
The exact process of getting into Hall H can change from year to year, but in recent years, Comic Con International has been using the same basic wristband and ticketing method. This means you will want to familiarize yourself with the rules before setting off for the Convention Center, as running afoul of the rules could see you potentially get kicked out of line and lose you chance to enter Hall H.
The basic process involves going to the Convention Center and waiting for hours in the Next Day Line in order to get a wristband that will guarantee you a ticket to the next day’s Hall H panels. However, this doesn’t mean that you will need to miss out on a whole day of Comic Con just to get into Hall H the next day, as you and your friends are allowed to share line duty.
The official rules state that one person can hold space in line for five people, which means that you and your friends can take turns waiting to ensure no one has to miss out on valuable Comic Con time. Still, it is important that you follow these rules. The line is self-policing, and anyone who attempts to cut in line or save space for more than 5 people will almost instantly be called out by others in line and forced to leave.
2. Make a Plan
Since you and your friends will need to share line duties, it is a good idea to make a concrete plan ahead of time. This means firstly determining which Hall H panels you want to see most to determine which day you want to go. From there, you and your friends can create a line-sharing schedule to ensure that everyone can still see the events they want to without risking their seat in Hall H the next day.
3. Pack Your Gear
If you’re not concerned about where you sit in Hall H, it will be enough for you to wait in the Next Day Line until the evening when the wristbands are handed out. In this case, you’ll still want to make sure you bring whatever food, drinks, chairs, umbrellas and other items you may need to make your waiting more comfortable.
4. Wait in the Next Day Line… and Then Wait Some More
On the day before you want to get into Hall H, you’ll want to show up fairly early so you can get a good spot in the next day line. The line begins near the Adult Swim tent on the lawn of the Hilton Bayfront hotel and then stretches back around from there. Although some people start lining up early in the morning, you should still be able to get a wristband if you line up later. However, it’s important to keep in mind that seating is given out on a first-come, first-served basis, which means that you’ll get better seating if you show up earlier.
5. Collect Your Wristband
Officials usually begin to hand out the Hall H wristbands in the evening once that day’s Hall H events have finished. The wristbands are split into four groups—A, B, C and D—and there are 1,500 people in each group. Group A is for the first 1,500 people in line, and this group will be the first let into the hall the next day. Group A is then followed by B, C and D in that order.
If you want to ensure you’re in one of the first few groups, you and your friends need to be prepared to spend hours waiting in line. Nonetheless, even if you’re in Group A, you could still end up sitting at the very back of your group if at least some of your friends aren’t prepared to wait overnight.
7. Camp Out Overnight to Ensure the Best Seating
If you want to ensure you sit near the front of your group, you’ll need to camp overnight on the nearby lawn. After the wristbands have been handed out, officials will move everyone over to the grass area where you’ll have a very small space to attempt to sleep the night. Of course, not everyone has to stay overnight as long as you maintain the 1 to 5 ratio.
8. Make Sure You’re Back in Line Before 7:30 am
Officials begin condensing the line back down in the morning around 7:00 am, and it is usually best for everyone in your group to arrive back by this time. The line will then be closed at 7:30 am, and anyone who is not back by then will automatically forfeit their place.
9. Wait a Little Bit More
After 7:30, officials finally start letting people in beginning with Group A. However, people are only let in one at a time, which means it usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours for all four groups to get in.
10. Enter Hall H and Enjoy the Best Comic Con Has to Offer
Once it’s finally your turn, all that is left is for you to pass through the turnstiles and then take your seat to enjoy all of that day’s Hall H panels. If you plan on staying all day, you should be able to move up and find better seats later on as many people only stay for a few panels. Either way, sit back and reap the rewards that your previous day’s waiting and perseverance have earned you.