Comic-Con 2018: THR's Guide to Parties (and Activations) in San Diego

The late-night scene at the fan confab continues to shrink as more film and TV outlets opt to skip pricey parties and the event as a whole. Meanwhile, Amazon, Hulu and USA, among others, look for eyeballs beyond the convention center with elaborate activations.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

After the convention floor closes and the sun sets at Comic-Con, stars and industry insiders alike escape the crowds and cosplay for San Diego's party scene. Only it isn't as burgeoning as it once was as several film and TV outlets are again opting out of the pop culture confab.

Here is The Hollywood Reporter's full guide to parties at this year's Comic-Con International, set to kick off Wednesday, July 18, with Preview Night. THR will continue to update this as more events are announced.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 (PREVIEW NIGHT)

2 Blog 2 Furious, the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog's annual party. 6-9 p.m., McFadden's Pub, 731 Fifth Ave. Free and open to all.

• Rotten Tomatoes Press Mixer. 7-10 p.m., Bar 207 at the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

THURSDAY, JULY 19  

• Wired Cafe. The annual industry and party lounge returns to San Diego. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Free.

• Den of Geek's happy hour. 6-8 p.m., Horton Grand Hotel courtyard. Invitation only, RSVP required. 311 Island Ave. 

• Fandom party. Sponsored by Fox's The Gifted. Food, themed drinks, games and music from DJ Mark Ronson. 7-11 p.m., Float at the Hard Rock, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required. 

• Alpha Book Club Happy HourFree and open to the public. 7-8 p.m., Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave.

• Rock the Block VIP Party. Sponsored by Fire TV and Dolby Atmos. 517 Seventh Ave. 9 p.m.-midnight. 21 and over. RSVP required.

• After-Con party featuring DJ Kristian Narin (Game of Thrones). Doors at 9 p.m., 21 and over. Open to the public, RSVP required. Omnia, 454 Sixth Ave.

FRIDAY, JULY 20

• BuzzFeed and The CW present Spells and Spirits. 5-8 p.m., Altitude Sky Lounge, 7036, 660 K St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Warner Bros. TV cocktail media mixer. 7-9 p.m., Float Rooftop Bar at the Hard Rock, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• IMDboat Party. Sponsored by Atom Tickets. Kevin Smith hosts the executive-heavy, invitation-only party. Fifth Avenue landing, behind the Convention Center. 7:30-10:30 p.m. RSVP required.

• IGN party. Sponsored by Amazon Studios' Jack Ryan. 8 p.m., Andaz Rooftop, 600 F St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• National Geographic's Nerd Night celebrating the season two premiere of Mars. 8-11 p.m., Hotel Solamar, 465 Sixth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Aspen Comics' 15th anniversary party. 8-11 p.m., Mission Brewery Cellar and Loft, 1441 L St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Syfy fan party: Fan Creators/It's a Fan (Made) Thing. Free and open to all, RSVP required. 9 p.m.-1 a.m., The New Children's Museum, 200 W. Island Ave.

• Nerdist and Legendary Television's Lost in Space party. The dance party, featuring a guest DJ set by the Lost in Space "Robot," will take place at the Oxford Social Club, 435 Fifth Ave. Invitation only.

SATURDAY, JULY 21

• TruTV's Impractical Jokers block party. Third annual event will feature the Tenderloins overseeing a day of special appearances, a zipline 3D photo experience, White Castle food truck, DJ and more. 1-9 p.m., the Park at Petco Park. Open to the public, first-come, first-served.

• Bill Prady's annual League of Extraordinary Nerds party. 3-7 p.m., Pool Club at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. RSVP required.

• NBC party. Time, attendees being kept under wraps. Gaslamp Square. Invitation only. 

• 20th Century Fox TV, FX and Fox cocktail reception. 7 p.m., Craft + Commerce, 675 Beech St. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Entertainment Weekly's annual star-studded closing night celebration. 9 p.m., Float at the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave. Invitation only, RSVP required.

• Syfy fan party: Harry Potter/Wizarding Weekend theme. Free and open to all, RSVP required. 9 p.m.-1 a.m., The New Children's Museum, 200 W. Island Ave.

ACTIVATIONS

Castle Rock activation | Tour the town of Castle Rock's bed and breakfast and explore its vast forest, with surprises around every corner. Visitors will question what's real and begin to understand why Castle Rock is called the unluckiest town on Earth as they journey through the multi-room experience. A Hulu campsite lounge will also serve as a refuge from the chaos of Comic-Con while offering a preview of the Hulu series. Intersection of Front Street and Island Avenue, Thursday-Sunday.

DC Universe activation | The forthcoming subscription streaming service is offering a look at its upcoming content as people can walk through original, classic and comics soon to be available on the platform. The larger than life installation will also have interactive spaces that bring iconic characters and stories to life. Thursday-Sunday. Preregistration: http://dcuniverseexperience.com/

FXhibition | Cable network FX sets up camp again on the lawn of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for its annual activation featuring installations from shows including Legion, American Horror Story, Mayans MC and Archer. Includes the Legion Chamber and AHS Eccentricities Gallery, Mayans deconstructed bike zone, Archer sound boxes and more. Register in advance at FXSDCC.com. noon-6 p.m., Thursday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday.

The Good Place experience | Immerse yourself in the philosophical world of the NBC comedy as the activation transports attendees into the neighborhood depicted on the series. Guests can become part of the scene and relive unforgettable moments. Thursday-Sunday, Gaslamp Square between the convention center and Hard Rock Hotel.

Jack Ryan Training Field | Experience the world of Amazon's forthcoming drama with a VR experience at the park at the corner of First Street and Martin Luther King Promenade, across the street from the convention center. The 30-foot-tall facility uses Optitrack 4D and Oculus Rift tech to create experiences ranging from rappelling from a helicopter and ziplining. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.

Mr. Mercedes Immersive Experience | Be the first to play the VR escape room game Mr. Mercedes: Lair Escape on the HTC Vive Pro, the next generation of VR headsets. Play Mr. Mercedes: Finders Keepers, the augmented reality adventure game to collect clues to unlock never-before-seen content and special prizes. 643 G St., Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Pre-registration details: att.com/MrMercedesSDCC.

Project Blue Book headquarters | An immersive experience surrounding History's forthcoming UFO drama is set for the Petco Park parking lot. The event will offer attendees a chance to send a message billions of miles into space. Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Free.

The Purge's Purge City store | The immersive experience transports shoppers into the world of USA Network's The Purge with a tongue-in-cheek, one-stop shop for the perfect Purge Night, where "Purge City" staff will help visitors stock up on emergency candles, masks and energy drinks. Shoppers can also take part in product demos, photo ops and get a glimpse of the TV series based on the Jason Blum feature of the same name. Free. 215 Tony Gwynn Drive, Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

South Park activations | Comedy Central is hosting a Cartman-themed escape room for the animated favorite in which 10 fans will have a limited amount of time to solve a series of puzzles using what they know about the show to free themselves. Thursday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., San Diego Wine Center, 200 Harbor Drive #12, across from the convention center. Free.

The Walking Dead's "Dead Quarters" | The activation returns for its second year as the immersive experience features a curated walk through settings (the Sanctuary) on both the flagship drama and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. Plus a 22-foot zombie slide, photos with Negan's "flaming Lucille" and other activities. Martin Luther King Promenade in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel at Fourth Avenue and L Street. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday.

Want to be included in this guide? Send submissions to Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com.