Remember that dance rave in The Matrix: Reloaded? NYCC is pretty much like that for four days straight. In 2018, the convention broke its own record with 250,000 fans in attendance. So, before you hit up this party, you’ve got to be prepared. Batman has his catch-all utility belt, but you’ve got this quick list. Here are five ways to prep for New York Comic Con to make sure you are 100 percent ready for your own personal hero’s journey.
Make sure you know how to get to the Convention and where you’re staying
Just like Superman needs a Fortress of Solitude and the Avengers need a home base, it’s just as important to know where you’ll be staying when you’re not at the convention. Hilton locations near the Javits Center will make it convenient for you to walk to the convention. NYCC happens at the Javits Center on the West Side of Manhattan. This means that hotels in the midtown area near Times Square are pretty convenient. Here is a list of nearby Hilton locations that will put you within walking distance, or a short subway ride away from the convention:
- DoubleTree by Hilton Times Square West
- The Distrikt Hotel
- Homewood Suites by Hilton NY Manhattan Times Square South
- DoubleTree by Hilton Times Square South
- Hilton Garden Inn Times Square South
- Hilton New York Midtown
If you’d prefer to step away from the hustle and bustle of the West Side of Manhattan, you can easily find Hilton locations in various parts of the city such as the stylish Bernic Hotel near Grand Central Terminal, the newly renovated DoubleTree by Hilton in the famed Chelsea neighborhood, or even the Hilton Garden Inn TriBeCa – only a few minutes from the Ghostbusters Firehouse! If you’re a New York City newbie, here’s one thing to remember about walking around the city: generally speaking, walking north or south will feel shorter than walking east to west. So why does this matter? Well, the Javits Center is basically the corner of 37th Street and 11th Avenue. So, if you’re concerned about a short walk, you want to get a hotel as close to 11th Avenue as possible. For example, the DoubleTree by Hilton at Times Square South is only two avenues away from the convention.
The best way to get to the Javits Center via Subway is by taking the 7 train to its last stop, which is Hudson Yards. From there, just follow your cosplaying, badge-wearing comrades, or ask someone rocking a NYCC staff shirt to direct you to the best route to the convention. One savvy tip: if you see a traffic jam, and you’re already to 8th or 9th avenue, it might be faster to get out and walk. From 8th Avenue and 37th to the Javits is about a 15-minute walk. Is your car gonna get there faster?
Get your badge + get fan verification
The first essential step is to make sure you have your passes for NYCC. This can be done fairly easily by checking out the official NYCC website and selecting which kind of pass you want. The next step after that is to register your badges by getting fan-verified. Fan Verification is the best way to make sure you have access to everything NYCC has to offer including exclusive lotteries, convention alerts and more. Make sure you use your badge at the scanners next to the interactive wayfinding kiosks for a chance to win 2 tickets to NYCC 2020 including 4 nights accommodation at the DoubleTree Times Square West!
Plan out your schedule well in advance
If you want to see a specific panel at a specific time, just getting to the convention at the exact time won’t guarantee you’ll make it to see what you want to see. In fact, most big panels have lines which start hours before. So how do you squeeze everything in? Once all the panels and events are finalized on the NYCC website, study the entire schedule. Decide what you want to see and determine how much time each panel or event will take. Be realistic, and make decisions that will make you happy. Sometimes that means you’ll only be able to hit two big events on a given day before you need to head back to your hotel room and take a nap. But, you also might want to give yourself a “free day” where you can just wonder the convention floor, taking in all the merch sections, the art, and of course, the cosplay. Bottomline, if you make yourself a solid itinerary — complete with back-up plans — you won’t be sorry.
Decide what you are wearing and carrying around
If you’re a cosplayer, this is huge. Got a giant, realistic Captain America shield? That’s cool! Do you want to carry it around for 8 hours? Hmmm, maybe not. Also, if you’re bringing in a cool prop, make sure you consult the NYCC weapon’s check policy before you decide to haul that 10-foot-long sword on the 7 train. Cosplay is the heart and soul of New York Comic Con, but being safe and practical matters too. No matter what you’re wearing, make sure you can find room to bring a bag with a water bottle, or, have a friend with you that can carry that stuff; and then, maybe trade-off and hold the backpack when it’s your turn to be the Samwise Gamgee of the relationship.
Remember what this is all about
Ever notice how Slyvia Tilly is still making jokes even when she’s stressed? Or how the Doctor usually has wisecrack ready when their sonic screwdriver breaks? Rocking these kinds of mindsets is the best way to have a good time. There’s a lot of people at the convention, and they all want what you want: to celebrate their fandom. It might feel crowded. It might feel hectic. But, channel your inner Luke Skywalker and zen-out before you come. This is going to be fun. Enjoy it.