Your questions answered! Here is my guide to Dallas Comic-Con 2014. The convention is at a new place this year and they are expecting almost double the attendance. That said, my experience is based off of Dallas Comic-Con at it’s previous location and previous owners. I have done my best to find the correct answers and base my responses off of what I am anticipating. This should give you a general idea of what to expect. Please send me additional questions, corrections, and additions to my email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them in! Enjoy and I hope to see you there!
Dallas Comic-Con 2014 Guide
Friday May 16: 4pm-9pm
Saturday May 17: 10am-7pm
Sunday May 18: 10am-5pm
Dallas Convention Center
650 South Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Kids $10 with adult ticket
All 3 days: $79 (only available as pre-registration)
Dallas Comic-Con is selling spots for parking in advance. My largest recommendation would be to take the DART if possible, as it drops you off right at the convention center. If for some reason you cannot take the DART (costume, etc.) here is the link to parking. I’m sure there will be additional parking beyond this website, but my largest recommendation above all will be to arrive as early as you can to ensure a decent spot.
Q.Can I bring food/water bottles to Dallas Comic Con?
A. By technical standards I don’t think you are supposed to. But everyone does. I always make sure to pack my Camel water bottle and a bunch of granola bars. As long as you’re not toting in a cooler, I think it’s totally fine to load up your purse/backpack with some easy to grab snacks.
*Dallas Comic-Con Virgin*
Q. I’ve never been to DCC. How can I decide whether I want to go or not?
A. This year at DCC is going to be new for all of us. It is going to be at a newer, larger convention and is going to be run by a whole new company. The best argument I can make to go (besides all of the awesome events, guests, and panels) is that this year is a milestone for comic conventions in Dallas. If DCC goes off as it is being hyped to be, it will be a very, very large convention and bring a lot of attention to Dallas. I think it’s really cool to say you are a part of that!
Q. How can I make sure I have the BEST experience at Dallas Comic-Con?
A. The best advice I can give to have a great time is to not be too scheduled and to expect the unexpected. Things happen – guest stars get sick, cancel appearances, and timings change unexpectedly. Go in with an open mind, back-up plans if needed, and just enjoy yourself!
Q. How is it compared to other conventions in dallas?
A. Size wise – if the numbers of attendees come through as anticipated, it will be the largest comic book, sci-fi, anime convention in the city (perhaps even the state). Because Dallas Comic-Con is expanding their guest list beyond sci-fi and comic book guests, this will draw in crowds that typically wouldn’t venture out to comic book conventions. For example, voice actors from Dragon Ball, Pokemon, and Adventure Time will bring in the anime crowd. Be prepared for a lot more vendors, more guests, and more room to walk around! On the flip side this is also going to mean more traffic, lines, and crowds than we are used to at smaller conventions like AnimeFest and Sci-Fi Expo.
Q. What does a typical day consist of? What’s a simple play-by-play of the day?
A. A typical day varies from person to person. It depends on what your interests are and why you’re attending the convention. But, here is a very basic run-down of what a very standard day could be!
- 1. Get dressed and ready to go
- 1a. Cosplaying? Make a checklist the day before of everything you are planning on wearing so that you can check it off as you get ready the next morning. Not cosplaying? A checklist is good to have anyway. Camera? Water bottle? Phone? ID/Credit card?
- 2.Get directions and drive to the convention
- 2a. If you are planning to get there when the convention opens, plan on getting there at least 2 hours in advance for the best parking/spot in line. Especially if you haven’t pre-registered. If you do not care about lines/aren’t in a rush, take it at your own pace.
- 3. Arrive: pay for parking, park in garage/available lots
- 3a. Bring cash for parking ($10-$20)
- 4. Get in line to get your badge
- 4a. Don’t forget your license/emails with receipt barcode of badge purchase
- 5. Enter convention
- 5a. Grab a schedule and establish a good meeting place in case you and your buddies get separated. Go over the schedule and narrow down what you want to do if you haven’t already pre-planned. (Sometimes there are some last-minute schedule changes, too!)
- 6. Plan your attack
- 6a. Grab a map and explore! Before you commit to doing something, it’s always best to get a feel for the convention floor and where everything is. Best bathroom? Panel rooms? Dealer’s room? Food? You never know when you may need to make an emergency run to the artist alley for a last-minute print! This is also a good time to scope out your food options like where the food trucks are parked, what’s available at the con, and what restaurants are nearby for after-con endeavors.
- 7. Wander around
- 7a. Wandering around is some of the most fun. A lot of the day consists of just walking back and forth to the same places. While this may not sound thrilling, just wait. There is always something new to see and always something happening. Cosplay red carpet, celebrities roaming the convention floors, and random acts of awesomeness make each experience unique!
- 8. Attend at least one panel
- 8a. I usually aim to go to one or two panels. More than two sometimes eats up the day too much for me. Between waiting in line for the panel, waiting for it to start, and then getting out, it all ends up being anywhere from a 2-4 hour experience. Worth it for some panels, not so much for others. Especially since the convention hours are relatively short (10-7, 10-5) there may be other things you won’t want to miss out on.
- 9. Talk to artists/dealers and buy something unique
- 9a. Artists work is unique and a lot of times are convention exclusives! I always try to buy at least one piece I really like and go out of my way to meet the artist. This gives you a deeper connection to the piece you get and makes you really treasure it! Although a lot of things you find in the dealer’s room you can find online and at retailers, there are a lot of vintage and rare pieces that you can’t! In addition, some of the dealer’s are some of the coolest people you will ever meet!
- 10. Remember to take pictures
- 10a. This may sound obvious but I always seem to forget! If you see something cool, take a picture. Chances are you may not see it again!
- 10am: arrive, park, get in line
- 11am: enter building/get badge
- 11:15-12:30: explore dealer’s room, artist alley, convention floor
- 12:30-12:45: Grab food to eat in line
- 12:45: get in line for 2 p.m. panel
- 2:00: enter panel
- 3:00: exit panel
- 3:30: go get autographs
- 5:00: back to dealer’s room
- 6:00: Final walk through
Children’s admission: $10 with adult ticket purchase
Q. Is Dallas Comic Con kid friendly?
A. Yes! A lot of conventions go out of their way to make sure that children are welcome. Dallas Comic Con is no exception! There is a lot for kids to do, and there is even a kids cosplay contest.
Q. Do cosplayers take pictures with kids? Is that okay?
A. Absolutely! Ask any cosplayer – posing with kids is usually the best part of a convention! Don’t be afraid to stop someone and ask for a picture, most are more than happy to pose!
Q. How does getting a photo with a celebrity work? Do I just walk up with my phone/camera?
A. Very rarely can you take a photograph with a celebrity at their booth for free. At DCC most celebrities will have specific “photo opp” times where fans will line up with pre-purchased vouchers to get a photo with their choice of guest. These photo ops start at $30 and are more expensive the larger the guest.
Q. Can me and my friend/fiancé/partner get a picture together with a celebrity? Does that cost extra?
A. According to Epic Photo Op: The price of a photo is the price per posed picture, not per person. There is a limit of three people in each photo (excluding children 3 years or under, and media guests). (Thanks John Abbott!)
Q. What’s the basic cost for autographs, as well as group deals for autographs from entire casts that will be there?
A. Autographs run anywhere from $35-$85+. Typically there are no “group” deals on autographs and celebrities charge separately.
Q. We are scheduling an itinerary but you mentioned waits can get kind ridiculous…what has been your best and worst experience with autographs or photo ops?
A. Best experience is that I am able to just walk up and get the autograph I want with no wait. Worst experience was that I waited a long time to meet an actor, and then he had to leave for the day, so I waited over an hour for nothing. A lot of times a long line can be worth the wait though. For example, I waited about an hour to meet Felicia Day and she was amazing. She even did a shout out video for my professor (and yes, I got an A).
Q. How early do I need to line up for a panel?
A. This really depends on how popular of a panel it will be and the day. Typically in the past at DCC the rule of thumb is to line up about an hour before the panel. However, with the attendance list expected to nearly double this year you may want to keep tabs on your panel up to two hours before it begins.
Q. What should I wear to Dallas Comic Con?
A. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. For guys, typically a nerdy shirt, jeans (or shorts), and sneakers are a classic convention look. Ladies have looks all over the place – I’ve seen anything from casual tee and shorts to full decked out high heels and short skirts. If you’re planning on staying a while I’d just advise you wear something comfortable! Unless it’s for a cosplay, conventions typically aren’t the best place to test out new footwear!
Q. Is it required for me to cosplay in order to go to DCC?
A. Not at all! Even though cosplay is a big thing right now, typically there are less people dressed up than not!
Q. I’m not planning on cosplaying, but I do want to wear a costume. Is that okay?
A. YES! To many cosplaying means taking the role of the character and not breaking said role. Whether that’s your definition or not – dressing up in a costume and just being your kooky self is 100% awesome!
Q. I am planning on cosplaying but my materials are heavy/hot. Is there anywhere I can sit down and take a break without being asked for photos?
A. Yes!! There will actually be a Cosplay Hideout lounge
Q. We are still on the fence for Cosplay. Do you always go in costume?
A. I don’t always go in costume, but when I don’t I usually sport some sort of nerdy apparel.
Q. What are your personal experiences, both good and bad with going in costume?
A. The fun thing about going is costume is getting to show off your work (if you made it) and getting your picture taken! It’s fun to have some spotlight. Also, you can connect with people who love the same fandom as you, because it’s pretty obvious what you love. The downside is it can be hard to do lots of things because you are being stopped for photos, your costume is restrictive and doesn’t allow you to do other activities. For me, a lot of my costumes don’t have pockets so I try to integrate some sort of carrying device (backpack that fits, utility belt I can put money in etc.)
Q. You might not know since its a new company, but what has been your experiences with other Cons and prop guns?
A. Make sure your prop gun has the orange tip and is plastic. Metal guns and props are prohibited at DCC.
*After the Con*
Q. I see the convention ends at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Is there anything going on after?
A. There will be an official after party Saturday night!
Q. Do I need to get a hotel room?
A. If you are going all 3 days (or even 2) getting a hotel sometimes makes things a lot easier, especially if you are in cosplay or planning to stay out late. Most of the hotels are filling up quickly, so the earlier you book the closer you can get.
Recommended hotel list: http://www.fanexpodallas.com/travel/
Q. How much money should I bring?
A. This really depends on how much you are able to spend and what you are looking at getting. Tickets at the door can be purchased using credit card. Most vendors take card, but it’s usually a lot easier to pay cash and sometimes vendors are willing to cut deals for cash sales. If you are looking to get some high-dollar items, bring enough to support that. If you aren’t looking for anything particular, my go-to amount is $100 in cash for food and misc. spending.
*Dealer’s Room / Artist Alley*
Q. Should I try and bargain in the dealers room?
A. Most vendors are willing to haggle a bit. Just make sure you are courteous and not pushy about it. In my opinion, it’s usually easier to strike a good deal on the last day of the con. Most times big retailers are unable to make further markdowns on their merchandise, but have convention exclusive sales.