Like every convention, there are a limited number of tickets available to anyone interested in the convention. Unlike a lot of the smaller cons, though, SDCC does actually hit their hard cap every year. This means that badges will only be available during the online pre-sales (so no on-site sales will happen, like smaller cons might have). Most people will only qualify for general admission (or child depending on their age.) So, unless you work in TV, movies, or comics, you probably don’t qualify for an industry badge. There are also a limited number of badges for press, but those also require very specific requirements.
For normal badge purchases, there are a couple different “waves” that open. The first “wave” of badge purchases are for returning guests. These only allow a select number of lucky attendees from the previous calendar year (and only the previous calendar year) to have the opportunity to purchase badges. Not everyone from last year will make it in, nor will everyone get the number of badges they want. Following about a month after that is the second “wave”: Open registration. Open registration will have not only new guests attempting to get tickets, but also people who did not get their tickets (or all the days they wanted) in the returning registration.
Now, if you’d like to participate in any of these, you’re going to want to pop on over the the SDCC website and make an account. Every single adult person in your party needs their own account. Period. There’s a one badge per person rule. Now, as much as some people you may know will complain about this because they always share social media and email accounts, this can actually help you in the end. When the registrations open, each person will get their own code. This will be emailed to you earlier in the week before the registration opens. Saturday morning, you’ll open the link at the designated time, put your registration code in, and wait until the sales open. Each account that’s in the waiting room has the opportunity to get in and buy not only their own tickets, but also tickets for two other people.
Now, if the odds are in your favor, you (or someone in your party) will get in. If that’s the case, just select the days that you want that are available and check out! If you don’t get in, never fear, there’s always next year. I know that sounds disheartening, but you are actually part of a minority if you get tickets. I cannot tell you how many people I know who don’t get in, some of them have even been returning badge holders!