If you're driving into San Diego, allow at least an hour more than you think you need. Traffic in downtown San Diego pretty much comes to a standstill during the convention. As for parking, plan on buying a reserved parking pass in advance. They go on sale in the spring and are a lifesaver! Even if you plan to park at a trolly stop and take the trolly into downtown San Diego, make an advanced plan for parking there too since the lots fill up quickly.
Speaking of the trolley, if you're going back and forth between the Gaslamp District and the San Diego Convention Center, factor in the trolley stop out front. It seemed every time we wanted to cross Harbor Drive we were held up by the passing trolley, or worse a train.
And finally there are the practical issues, like finding a bathroom and a reasonable meal. This year we figured out the Hilton Bayfront, located right next to the convention center, was the best bet for both. The Hilton's bathrooms might actually be the best kept secret of Comic-Con! Since there are so many people coming in and out it's easy to sneak in and use one of their public restrooms which not only have shorter lines, but are much cleaner than those at the Convention Center. This year the Hilton also had an outdoor grill where you could pick up a burger, hot dog, or sandwich in less than ten minutes.
There was one less line to wait in this year, the one to pre-register. For the first time all 2013 badges will have to purchased online. Tickets for the SDCC 2013 are expected to go on sale early next year, hope you don't mind waiting.
[Photo: John Matthews]