Countdown to San Diego Comic-Con 2010

It’s difficult to believe that San Diego Comic-Con 2010 is only a bit over 6 weeks away. As the clock ticks down to July 21st, we’ll be bringing you all of the most relevant SDCC-related updates and news. A well-informed con attendee is a happy con attendee. Just keep repeating that mantra, because in this first countdown article I will help you get prepared for the biggest comic convention in the country.

First things first, be sure to download and install the official Comic-Con app for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. With the app installed, you’ll have access to the latest news, programs, exhibitor information and maps while on-the-go. Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent app for Android or any other mobile platform.

Next, I suggest you follow the official Comic-Con Twitter feed and Facebook page for all of the latest updates direct from the source. For those fond of RSS readers, Comic-Con has an official RSS feed that you can reference from your favorite reader app.

Next up, transportation. If you’re not staying within walking distance of the convention center, you’ll need to know how to get around and park. For 2010, Comic-Con announced an expanded shuttle route for guests staying at hotels outside of the downtown area. For those staying in Mission Valley and Shelter Island hotels, the newly-expanded shuttle service may be just the ticket.

For those brave souls who are planning to drive into downtown and park, an advanced parking pass via ACE and Five Star, two of the largest downtown parking companies, is the best way to go. Keep in mind that in-and-out privileges do not apply. You’ll need to plan on parking for the duration of your daily visit.

Where are you staying? Hands down, the smoothest way to experience the con is to stay at a hotel within walking distance. Of course, that means paying the somewhat steep prices for the downtown hotels. Comic-Con has made it a bit easier by putting all of the hotels in the vicinity in one place. Of course, this late into the game, most of the nearby hotels are already booked solid.

That said, rooms are available a bit further out and you can always taxi or shuttle in. For instance, at the time of this article, a room at the Quality Inn Sea world Area is available for a mere $179 a night. With free wi-fi and a complimentary daily shuttle service to the convention center, things could certainly be worse.

Even if you’re not up close and center, there are some ingenious ways to get yourself downtown with minimal hassle. If you live or are staying anywhere north of Downtown San Diego, the Amtrak Coaster runs up and down the San Diego coast between Oceanside and Downtown.

The Coaster’s Santa Fe Station brings you right to Kettner Blvd and Broadway and you should be able to hoof it over to the convention center pretty easily. Alternately, if you happen to be in the Mission Valley area, or anywhere along the trolley line, the San Diego Trolley (SDMTS) is a good alternative to trying to drive in and park Downtown.

Now that we have the logistics of attending SDCC out of the way, be sure to stay tuned as we delve into some of the more entertaining aspects of the 41st annual San Diego Comic-Con. We will be covering exhibitor and programming announcements as they get released.

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