Here we are again folks, the dream all entertainment junkies dream of: San Diego Comic-Con, where hordes of superhero fans, sci-fi lovers, cosplayers and entertainment geeks descend every year to bask in the glow of all things fandom. Of course, there's plenty of anticipation around big films, but the TV panels from hit shows including Star Trek: Discovery, The Walking Dead and more have people tingling with excitement too.
While it's true that badges are required to witness all the earth-shaking news happening in real time inside the convention center, Comic-Con has plenty of eye-popping spectacles and ways to be a part of your favorite show out on the streets as well. Here's a rundown of the most anticipated TV events happening outside the convention center, no lanyard required. Don't forget to stay glued to social media! Lots more is sure to pop up and people will be posting about it all weekend.
The Walking Dead's "Dead Quarters" returns for its second year with its curated walkthrough settings from The Walking Dead and its companion series Fear the Walking Dead. There's also a 22-foot zombie slide (!!!) and a place to take photos with Negan's "flaming Lucille," his cherished barbed-wire baseball bat that was set on fire in a memorable Season 8 episode. Martin Luther King Promenade at Fourth Avenue and L Street.
South Park has a Cartman-themed escape room where up to 10 fans try to solve a series of puzzles using what they know about the show (taco-flavored kisses for my Ben? Scott Tenorman's chili?) to get out. San Diego Wine Center, 200 Harbor Drive #12.
Castle Rock, the new spooky drama set in the Stephen King city where the horror author set many of his stories, is offering a tour of Castle Rock's bed and breakfast where guests will question what's real as they go through the multi-room experience, and see why Castle Rock is called the unluckiest town on Earth. A Hulu lounge will serve as a refuge amid the Comic-Con madness while offering a preview of the series. Intersection of Front Street and Island Avenue.
The Good Place Experience will drop people in the philosophical afterlife of the NBC comedy, inside a neighborhood constructed for SDCC. Expect an interactive experience, giveaways, digital fun, and opportunities to get photos and videos with some of the iconic elements from the series. Pre-register at www.thegoodplacesdcc.com to get a customized wristband with RFID technology, to take place of the full-sensory activation. Also, Tin Fish Restaurant on the Gaslamp peninsula transforms into "The Good Plates" with branded menus and more (expect some of the series' trademark food puns). No Kid Hungry will donate 50 percent of the sales to help end childhood hunger in America. Gaslamp Square (between the Convention Center and Hard Rock Hotel.)
Amazon Fire TV's "Fast Forward to the Future" activation lets people have an immersive, hands-on experience with the future of television and the full Fire TV portfolio, with a chance to escape into fan-favorite shows, including HBO's Game of Thrones, NBC's The Good Place, and Prime Video's Jack Ryan.
DC Universe's activation lets visitors walk through original, classic and comics soon to be available on the comic giant's forthcoming streaming platform in an over-the-top experience that will bring iconic characters and stories to life. Pre-register at http://dcuniverseexperience.com/
FXhibition has FX setting up camp on the lawn of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for its installations from shows including American Horror Story, Legion, Archer and more. See times and register in advance at FXSDCC.com.
Marvel's Cloak and Dagger takes over Petco Park with an interactive experience that has fans propelling backwards via a bungee cord to simulate the titular duo's repelling powers, and a slow-motion recording to capture it all. Petco Park.
Star Trek is doing a fully immersive Star Trek: Discovery Mirror Universe experience that offers an opportunity to take a photo with Emperor Georgiou's Throne; it also showcases props and costumes from the series' Terran Empire and has an official Star Trek shop with Comic-Con exclusives. Lucky pedestrians can also get rides in free "intergalactic" pedicabs (read: a chair attached to a bike, basically) inspired by the design of the U.S.S. Discovery's captain's chair. The pedicabs will feature the chair's distinctive stitched black seats as well as video monitors built into its armrests, which in this case will screen trailers for the highly anticipated second season of the show. As an added touch, each vehicle will display an illuminated U.S.S. Discovery delta shield on the back. Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery, 363 Fifth Ave.
The Purge's Purge City store is a cheeky fun experience that transports people into the world of USA Network's upcoming thriller The Purge, where staff will help visitors stock up on crisis must-haves like emergency candles, masks and energy drinks. 215 Tony Gwynn Drive.
Jack Ryan 'sTraining Field is a VR experience brought by Amazon's forthcoming drama; it's a 30-foot-tall activation that uses Optitrack 4D and Oculus Rift technology to offer rappelling from a helicopter and ziplining with a VR experience. First Street and Martin Luther King Promenade.
(TVGuide is owned by CBS, parent company of CBS All Access on which Star Trek: Discovery appears.)