San Diego Comic-Con: Badge Pickup Tips

It’s finally here! You’ve made it to San Diego, the con starts in mere hours, and it’s time to get things started by picking up your badge!

Check your barcode email for directions.

If you forgot to bring your email, you can pull it up on your phone. If it’s not available on your phone, you’ll need to head to the help desk/guest services table at registration. They can look up your barcode once you’ve provided them with photo ID. This can take a while, so be prepared for a long line.

At the top of your barcode email should be directions in big, bold letters. Are you attending on a press or professional badge? Look for “Registration Downstairs.” Attendee with Preview Night? “Registration Upstairs.” These notes will help you determine where to start. If it isn’t clear:

  • Anyone who has access to Preview Night should pick up their badge at the convention center.
  • Anyone who does not have access to Preview Night but does have a four days (Thursday through Sunday) should pick up their badge at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.
  • If you have three or less single-day badges, you will need to pick them up at the convention center the morning that the first badge is good for. (For example: if you have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badges, pick up all three on Friday morning at the convention center.)
    • Bonus tip: be sure to also get the plastic badge holders for each individual day. You may need to specifically ask for these, and you may have to stand in a separate line to do so. Do it. Otherwise, you’ll need to stand in line for registration again each morning to pick those up. The paper badge alone is not enough.
  • Volunteers should report to Marina Ballroom G in the Marriott.
Convention Center Pickup

Pickup at the convention center is simple: attendees head upstairs while press, professionals, and those who need to register with disabled services stay downstairs. The lines may look long but once registration is open, they move very quickly.

If you are picking up on Wednesday and will be attending Preview Night, you can head into the Sails Pavilion to wait in line to access the exhibit hall when it opens at 6:00 PM. These lines will be let in first, so if you’re planning to run for the exclusive you’re dying for, you’re better off waiting in line. Don’t wait downstairs outside for the lobby doors to open – you’ll be waiting for at least 20 minutes.

If you are picking up at the convention center later in the weekend, you can often show your barcode in lieu of your badge for things that require a badge before registration opens in the mornings. Keep in mind registration often opens early but a line will also form even earlier in the morning. You can use a barcode and your photo ID to pick up Hall H wristbands the night before.

Town & Country Pickup

This is where things can get confusing. If you have four days of badges (what we used to refer to as a “four-day without Preview Night” prior to the con switching to only selling single-day badges) but do not have a Preview Night badge, you can and should pick up your badge on Wednesday. However, you can only do so at the Town & Country Hotel.

Feel free to show up earlier than the usual advertised opening time of 3:00 PM; they usually open early. They opened at about noon in 2014.

The Town & Country is in Hotel Circle. This is very convenient for folks staying out there, but inconvenient for those staying in the Gaslamp. Traffic around the Town & Country on Wednesday will be atrocious: try these tips for avoiding the congestion.

1. Take the Trolley.

The walking route from the Green Line Fashion Valley station to badge pickup at the Town & Country hotel.

The walking route from the Green Line Fashion Valley station to badge pickup at the Town & Country hotel.

It’s $2.50 each way on the MTS trolley – much cheaper than a cab or an Uber, and extremely easy. If you’re coming from the Gaslamp, pick up the Green Line toward Santee at the Gaslamp Quarter or Convention Center stations. Exit at the Fashion Valley stop. When you exit, you will be facing the Town & Country. Behind you will be the Fashion Valley Mall. Head downstairs to ground level, cross the street, and cross over the foot bridge into the Town & Country parking lot. Head into the hotel and follow directions to the convention center, where badge pickup is held.

If you are arriving any time after noon, expect to be able to follow a steady stream of pedestrian traffic through this area. You’ll notice lots of cars parked in this dirt lot behind the hotel.

The entrance to the foot path from the Trolley station onto Town & Country property.

The entrance to the foot bridge from the Trolley station onto Town & Country property.

If your hotel isn’t walking distance to a Green Line stop, you can wait for the Comic-Con shuttles to start running at 3:00pm and take the shuttle to the convention center. Cross the street and pick up the Green Line at the Gaslamp Quarter or Convention Center stations. Follow the directions above to Fashion Valley and then to the hotel.

Why not just take the shuttle all the way there? Well…

2. Take the Shuttle.

It’s definitely an option. And it’s quite simple: consult the shuttle route map to see what route your hotel is on: if you’re on the Red Route, you can take it directly to the Town & Country. Everyone else will need to take their shuttle to the convention center, then transfer to the Red Route.

However, be aware: you’re susceptible to traffic in the shuttle busses, and it does get quite bad around the Town & Country on Wednesday. Also, the shuttle bus is probably the most popular option. While it is free, you should also plan to wait in a long line for a bus.

3. Take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

This is like driving, except you don’t have to do the driving. You will still be aggravated by traffic, but hey – at least you’re chilling in the back seat! The traffic might cause you to rack up quite a fare, though – keep that in mind before picking this expensive option. See the driving directions below for alternate routes you can suggest to your driver. Remember Uber and Lyft drivers may not be as familiar with the area’s side streets, so be prepared with maps or a GPS assist.

You can use the Lyft code COMIC to get a $20 ride credit that’s specifically good this weekend in San Diego.

4. Drive yourself.

Easily the worst option, but certainly do-able if it’s your only one. There is parking available at the Town & Country, but you will need to be ready to handle some very bad traffic. Some also choose to try to park in the dirt lot behind the hotel, or in the Fashion Valley Mall parking lot (which is also used for Trolley station parking). Be warned that technically it’s not allowed to park in the Mall lot – be careful not to get towed.

If you drive, try out redditor wellifyouinsist’s alternate route:

Redditor wellifyouinsist's alternate route.

Redditor wellifyouinsist’s alternate route.


Anyone heading to the Town & Country should also take along Town & Country PDF map of the grounds, which will help slightly with getting your bearings around the resort.


It sounds complicated, and it can be confusing at first glance – but once you’ve got your badge, you’re good to go for the weekend!