This year Brianna and I were lucky enough to go to San Diego Comic Con, something we have been dreaming of going to for years. Last year we went to New York Comic Con and, from the articles I’ve seen counting attendance, those are the two biggest ones in the United States. So, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the two if someone is having trouble deciding on which one they want to go to.
In this post I use the abbreviations SDCC for San Diego Comic Con and NYCC for New York Comic Con 🙂
*Also I went to NYCC in 2016 so NYCC’s policies and stuff could have changed since then*
It’s no surprise with big conventions, or any convention really, that you have to wait in lines. Lines to get in, lines to buy stuff, lines to get into panels. It’s all about those lines.
The line to get into NYCC was confusing, we were told to go to several different places before finding a line that wasn’t even part of the line to get in. By the time we got to the doors there was a large mob of confused, upset people cutting in lines. It was a mess just getting in the door.
For SDCC the lines getting in were more organized, there were barriers set up so people couldn’t cut in line (though sometimes it did happen). The barriers led people to the main entrance where they could tap their badge and get right on in. Once people were in they could wait in line for what they wanted as they waited for the convention center to officially open. BUT there was one problem with the signing area. The autograph area has an open back where people would cut in that way and get in line for the autographs they wanted instead of waiting in the front like everyone else. So, there was still a lot of cutting and rightfully upset people.
I didn’t go to any big panels at NYCC last year, so I can’t say how those lines were. But, most of the panels I went to at NYCC you just had to be there a few hours to an hour before. Both convention centers don’t clear the rooms so it’s best to get there ahead of time. I heard that NYCC had a lottery system for big panels this year, so it could be different as well.
My problem with SDCC was the lines for panels. You had to be there hours ahead. If you wanted to get into any of the bigger panels like Game of Thrones or Marvel you have to line up DAYS ahead. People would buy four day passes just to line up on Thursday for a Saturday panel. So you have to waste your time in line instead of doing what you paid for, for a CHANCE at getting in. The only good thing about this was that people would have line buddies. So they would take shifts in line, someone takes the morning, someone the afternoon and so on. But if you don’t want to wait days ahead, I would just suggest NYCC instead. For the bigger panels at SDCC, however, they had people who would help you find seats for your group.
Getting there, food and sitting
SDCC did NOT have a lot of places to sit down. After walking for ten hours straight and standing all day there weren’t a lot of seat available and the ones that were, were halfway across the convention center (which took like an hour to get too because there was so many people xD). If someone sat down in an uncrowded area some people let you be but another staff member would walk up and tell you to move even if you weren’t in the way of anything.
NYCC there were more places to sit AND more food in the convention center. SDCC sold pretzels and cookies and had some stands that sold pizza and sandwiches but that was about it. NYCC had chicken, french fries, sandwiches, Starbucks and there were nearby places to eat like Subway.
SDCC had shuttles from A LOT of the hotels nearby that were open 24 hours (for the majority of them). But I heard NYCC this year didn’t have any shuttles.
SDCC was so big that it didn’t feel organized to me. The art wasn’t all together, the media companies not all together, not even the book stands. Everything was all over the place. When I went to NYCC it felt more organized and everything was together.
SDCC has bigger panels and more buzz but I would rather go to NYCC. I had too many problems with SDCC, I almost don’t want to go back. I understand it’s a bigger event but there’s no way I’m waiting in line four days for a panel even if I want to see it. I sadly feel like SDCC wasn’t worth it in the end plus it was WAY more expensive for me to go there. Also, they just announced that they are adding ANOTHER extra fee, $5 for a handling fee per member. To be honest, the tickets were very expensive, $5 isn’t much until you see the final total and your wallet cries.
SDCC was fun but not as fun as NYCC, but the shuttles for SDCC seemed nice! I stayed at a closer hotel that didn’t have one but the buses dropped you off at the door if your hotel had a shuttle. I would recommend farther hotels for SDCC because walking back to your hotel with a ton of bags from the con can get exhausting, especially in the heat and from a long day of walking.
*Also, on a side note. I’m not trying to rip on SDCC they work really hard to keep everything going, as does NYCC. I just prefer NYCC to SDCC*