Comic-Con Veterans On How to Survive The Infamous Hall H

By  · Published on July 24th, 2014

© Cody Miller / Film School Rejects

This year marks my fourth visit to the San Diego Comic-Con. If I’ve made one rule for the convention, it’s this: stay away from Hall H. The line is long, generally smelly, and often unpleasant. Over the years the wait has become worse and worse. People just don’t wait for hours, they wait overnight.

There’s an infinite amount of great stuff at Comic-Con and in San Diego, so why spend one’s time waiting in line?

Most of these panels, including the teasers and the often awkward Q & As, wind up online anyway. Plus, most people live tweet the juiciest details from these panels. There’s not much to miss. There’s plenty of reasons not to go to Hall H, but there’s an argument to be made that the wait is worth it. However, before you can have your head explode from too much cool, you have to survive that never-ending line. Since nobody from FSR is going this year to do all that waiting, as we’ll be too busy giving you plenty of awesome coverage, we asked some of the Movie blogosphere’s finest on how they get through a night of waiting.

Here’s their tips for surviving Hall H:

Erik Davis,

Hall H is a weird land where you’re trapped inside this enormous space with thousands of other people for hours on end. On paper it sounds pretty horrible, and sometimes it is – especially as you near six straight hours and the people around you all smell like a mix of body odor and hot dogs. But then there are these little pockets of moments – when an adorable little kid gets up and asks a nerdy question to his superhero idol, or the crowd of 6,000 roar to life after viewing a few minutes of never-before-seen footage from a huge movie coming out. Those are the moments that make Hall H a special place, and worth the hassle every single year. As far as surviving your days in Hall H, it’s like any other long, exhausting festival. Hydrate constantly, but bring in your own cheaper water from a deli so you don’t have to pay crazy prices for a drink. And stock up on granola bars because the ten-dollar pizza will hurt your wallet and won’t keep that energy up for an entire day’s worth of content.

Germain Lussier,

I’ve been doing to Comic Con for a decade and, in that time, I’ve perfected almost every single piece of the experience. That all changed a few years ago when camping out became almost necessary for anyone to get into Hall H. So these days, who knows. The best piece of advice I can give for Hall H though is load up on supplies early.

If you plan on staying in Hall H all day, there are bathrooms and concessions but the concessions stink. The best thing you can do it go to a nearby restaurant or store and buy yourself food the night before. I recommend the Ralph’s on G and 2nd. Go in, buy a few drinks, a pre-made sandwich, snacks. This way you can just put that under your chair and not have to line up and spend $10 for nachos.

Alex Billington,

As the crowds have grown, Hall H has become harder and harder to gain access to. My best advice is to pack for a full day, bring food, drinks, power, things to do, and prepare to camp out if you’re aiming to get in on a day like Saturday. Once you get in, setup camp by one of the big TV screens, and enjoy the show and understand that you probably will have to stay in that exact same, very uncomfortable metal seat for the entire day if you want to make it to Marvel. Luckily, there’s some food nearby, but it’s still a bit rough so make sure you know what you’re in for – and that includes getting a good shower and wearing deodorant so we can all make it through safely to the end. My only other tip is that – you don’t really need to be near the stage, just near one of the big hanging TV screens – that will give you the best view of the event the entire time (including of all the important footage that you’re about to see).

Edward Douglas,

The first thing you should ask yourself is how much do you REALLY want to get into Hall H? Unless you just want to be in the same enormous room as the cast of your favorite shows or see footage from movies that haven’t come out yet, it might not be worth it. Most of the cast will generally only talk for 15–20 minutes before fielding questions from the audience, which aren’t usually that great. You might have better opportunities to meet these people at signings they have throughout the con, usually before or after the panels.

It’s very hard to get into Hall H in the morning especially on Saturday which promises the most high profile panels like Warner Bros in the morning, followed by Legendary and then Marvel Studios later in the day. There is a slight possibility that the hall might clear out a little bit in the time between but don’t count on it. On other days, like Thursday and Friday, it’s probably going to be easier to get into Hall H, especially after big panels like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, after which many people will leave. That will be a good time to get in for the Fox panel which has a lot of promising movies.

Also, if you do get into Hall H, I’d recommend trying to stay awhile because standing in line for an hour or more just for one panel is kind of a waste of time. The same can be said about Ballroom 20 and the Indigo Ballroom, both which will have a lot of TV stuff this year, even shows as popular as the ones in Hall H, and there’s often a line to get into them as well. (If you’re a fan of TV, they’re a better bet for sure.)

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Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.