1. Vikings (History)
Raise a horn (they’re being given out in the Gaslamp) to the show’s dearly departed Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and head to the San Diego harbor for an authentic Viking funeral, complete with a custom-built longship that will be set on actual fire. The activation serves as “a really powerful way to set the stage for what will happen this season,” according to Dan Bragg, senior vice president of marketing for A&E, History and Lifetime.
Not the mourning type? Get your battle on at the Warrior’s Allegiance booth where you can create a video of yourself decked out in medieval gear, swinging a sword at one of Ragnar’s four sons, to share on social media. And be sure to snag a limited-edition Vikings comic book created by Michael Hirst exclusively for SDCC.
2. Midnight, Texas (NBC)
Step into the supernatural world that’s a safe haven for vampires, witches and things that go bump in the night as Midnight, Texas, debuting July 24, takes over Gaslamp Square.
The activation will feature iconic locations from the show, including the Pawn Shop, Fiji’s house, Tattoo Parlor, Olivia’s Armory and a pet cemetery. Tin Fish restaurant will transform into Home Cooking, the eatery featured in the series, with live tarot card readings taking place inside.
“A full-sensory experience in each part of town will immerse fans deeper into the world of Midnight as they continue their journey inside lead character Manfred’s house,” according to a press release from NBC. “Once inside, Manfred will expose guests to a thrilling 4D experience.”
Don’t leave town without a sharable motion graphic photo branding fans as “outsiders,” (the show’s tagline is “only outsiders fit in”), and play around with four Snapchat filters and hidden Snapcodes to unlock custom videos, content pieces and games.
Midnight, Texas is based on the book trilogy by author Charlaine Harris, whose past novels inspired HBO’s True Blood. Catch her, and other cast members, for a book signing of “Midnight Crossroads” on Friday, July 21 from 5:45 - 7 p.m. at the Gas & Go pop-up station adjacent to Tin Fish, ehem, Home Cooking.
3. The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
If you got your hands on Lucille, how well could you handle the bat? Test your swing at the Negan Batting Cages as part of AMC’s Deadquarters in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel.
Also visit the zombie fan zone for the chance to meet cast members from both shows, and don’t miss the Fear the Walking Dead signing from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 22.
4. The Tick (Amazon)
He’s big, he’s blue, he’s bulletproof, and he’ll be at Comic-Con. Or, well, a 20-foot animatronic version of the superheroe’s head will be there, as part of a 3D billboard on the corner of 1st Avenue and J Street. Fans will be able to bring The Tick to life by controlling the animatronic’s emotions from inside Amazon’s “House of Bezos” lounge—a multi-room replica of the warehouse and other locations from the show, located at 1st along the Martin Luther King Promenade.
The activation also includes a scavenger hunt, custom swag, unique photo takeaways and a place to relax or charge your phone. It’s an overall experience that’s sure to be, as The Tick would say, neat!
5. Impractical Jokers (TruTV)
Swing by Petco Park for the Impractical Jokers Annual Block Party on Saturday, July 22, from 11:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. The carnival atmosphere features a VR experience where fans can test their balance by walking along the same tightrope the Jokers crossed during their 100th Episode Live Spectacular.
Fans can also step into a sumo wrestling ring, see if they can outlast Murr on a mechanical bull, or simply pop a squat on the grass and watch the chaos unfold.
Plus, don’t miss a live presentation of Impractically Speaking: the Impractical Jokers Live Web Show at 7 p.m., and an exclusive viewing of a never-before-seen episode of Impractical Jokers at 8 p.m.