This is a great outing for the whole family, if you can handle large crowds and standing in a lot of lines. We stood in line three hours for tickets to the Masquerade Ball and then had to come back a few hours later and stand in line for an hour to just to get into the ballroom. Important to note, this was one of the smaller lines. Here's a tip, you don't even have to go inside or buy the expensive tickets while waiting with your fingers posed over the buy-it-now option on your computer screen only to find out they sold out in five minutes last year, because just sitting outside and people watching is an event in itself. Of course, I am not suggesting that it is not better inside. It is. But a lot of the activities are outside of the Convention center. You can see some of the most elaborate costumes walking by as the people stay in character from the vantage point of one of the restaurants that face the strip and the Convention Center. We were in awe at the amount of work that goes into one single outfit. We found everyone approachable for pictures and information.
What I do recommend, if you are wanting to brave the fan storm, is that you do your homework! Download the Comic-Con app that tells you who, what, and where everything is. Then pick your top two items to do every day and prepare to stand in line chatting with all types of folks. While in line, you can people watch and visit. Bring snacks. What ever you do, bring snacks! Because you really have to leave the convention for good food, it takes away of your time inside. Then again, you can people watch from some of the nearby restaurants as well.
Biggest tips I wish I had known: Wear comfortable shoes at all times. You will walk, walk, walk. Know the schedule before hand and come prepared to stand in long lines, be patient, maybe bring a good book or buy one autographed while you are there. Check the bus schedule! That is the most important. They start and stop at different times. We were on the red route about a mile away and after walking all the way there at midnight with tired kids after the masquerade, we found out they picked up in front of the Comic-Con starting at 11:30 pm. Yep, that just happened. We had to walk all the way back. Last, always know what limited edition item you want to buy and get in line early for it. They sell out quickly and the lines are insane if you wait too long. Look for the one thing that would make your trip worthwhile if you could score, and concentrate only on trying to get that. But don't be disappointed if you don't get one. You can always find it later on eBay.
The big granddaddy of them all is the one in San Diego, which is scheduled for July 9-12 2015. Not to worry if you can't make it all the way to California, there a mini-cons all around the country to enjoy. The local one we attended made a great introduction, and the best part was watching the kids just stare gape-mouthed at all the creativity from the fans. To be honest, it was not just the kids, we were all in awe.
For dates and locations of Comic-Cons near you check @ http://www.upcomingcons.com/comic-conventions
For the granddaddy of them all, check out http://www.comic-con.org/frontpage