The last Comic-Con I attended was in 2019, and you know what happened after that one. Although I wasn’t able to make it to 2022’s con, I was more than ready to be back for SDCC23. Comic-Con has this energy, when you’re there, that is so contagious that you can’t help but want to go back asap. That’s how I felt this year, despite the lack of TV/movie panels and press rooms this year.
Suffice to say, it was quite different. However, even though I am used to experiencing Comic-Con in another capacity (ie. attending press rooms and panels), this year, I was able to attend it as a fan and press. I attended a few things as press, but I was able to tend to my duties and be a fangirl at the same time. It was the best of both worlds for me! I got to attend some amazing and fun activations and off-sites while there.
Without further ado, I present the off-sites/activations of SDCC23!
The Pop-up Offsite of “The Haunted Mansion”
This was nowhere in the con’s agenda, so it was a great and spooky surprise! The line was short, and my sister and I waited about half an hour in line. If you’ve been to Comic-Con, you know that’s the best wait time outcome ever.
When you entered, you received a poster. Then, you entered a room that was set up to reflect a room in the Haunted Mansion, complete with Madame Leota. There was enough spooky occurrences in the room, including one spook that actually made me jump a bit!
Once you left that room, there were a few opportunities for photo-ops. My favorite was the one where I was included in a picture with the characters in the movie!
Overall, it was a quick but memorable offsite.
HULU ANIMAYHEM: ENTER THE 2ND DIMENSION
I am all about the off-sites, and this was one of the most intricate ones I’ve been to! From “Bob’s Burgers,” to “Futurama,” to “Solar Opposites,” there were multiple rooms in the off-site that you can become part of the show.
There were so many fun photo-ops available for fans, as well as interactive experiences. The setup was amazing, and those in the off-site seemed to be having a great time posing next to their faves. Plus, the line for this off-site was 24/7 BUSY.
When you left, you received a green, 2D book bag, as well as “Solar Opposites” and “Futurama” pins. I received some of the best swag from this off-site! Major kudos to Hulu for this interactive off-site.
NBC’s Quantum Leap Activation
I think my favorite off-site/activation came from NBC this year. In the past, I’ve been impressed with their off-sites, such as “The Good Place” from 2018.
In this activation, you visited (or should I say leapt through?) three realms of TV shows: “Law & Order,” “SVU” and “Organized Crime,” “The Voice” and “Chucky.” I was entertained in each TV realm because the actors within the activation really made you feel like you were part of the shows. To exit each TV show, you had to complete tasks as a team. My favorite was definitely having a karaoke session in the world of “The Voice.” There was something so freeing about singing (horribly) “Don’t you (Forget About Me)” with a group of people.
I really enjoyed how interactive this activation was and how into it the actors were! It made for a great time and experience.
Paramount +’s The Lodge
Speaking of cool off-sites, Paramount +’s The Lodge was a good time. There were photo-ops and experiences for fans of “Yellowjackets,” “1923,” “Spongebob” and more. Also, there were themed drinks!
We went after the convention hall had closed, so it was fun to do something that provided some relaxation and fun at the same time. Plus, you got some awesome swag, which is always a plus.
Freevee’s “The Jury Duty” After Dark Experience
After the exhibit floor and off-sites had closed down, my HNS colleague and I headed to Freevee’s “The Jury Duty” After Dark Experience. It was a party that had enough references to the show and games that made it for a perfect way to close out the day.
Again, more themed drinks!
FX Immersive Activation
FX usually has a space by the Hilton Bayfront for their activations. Within the activation, they have various shows for convention-goers to experience. If you’re up to the challenge!
This year, they brought immersive activations for shows like “What We Do in the Shadows,” American Horror Story,” and more. FX always goes all out with their activations, and this year was no different. They create the world of their shows right along the bay front, which makes you feel like you’re part of the show.
Comic-Con, you may have brought a different experience this year, but I still had a great time! It’s always a good time, though, so not surprised. Also, a quick shoutout to the “Only Murders in the Building” activation that gave out some memorable swag — I got Rare Beauty mascara that I was jazzed about.
Check out more SDCC coverage from Hollywood News Source here.