San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) 2015 kicked off Thursday, bringing fans from all over country to downtown San Diego with a glimmer of excitement in their eyes.
For some, the annual pop culture and comic book convention is a family affair.
Roseana Monsen told NBC 7 she’s attended Comic-Con for the past seven years with her family, including her two kids, 16-year-old Zach Robbins and 8-year-old Isabella Robbins.
Each year, in an effort to stay organized and see everything on their wish lists, Monsen said she makes a list of which panels they want to see and which exhibits they want to peruse.
She also said her family takes the Trolley to avoid having to find parking in the busy downtown area.
This year, Monsen said she and her kids are most looking forward to checking out the “Hunger Games” panel on Thursday. Isabella said her heart was set on seeing anything having to do with “Once Upon a Time.”
Sisters Miya, Miara and Moria Thomas flew into San Diego from Florida for their first trip to Comic-Con.
They bought bus passes to get around town easily and planned to use Uber as well to make their way to the Convention Center each day.
On Wednesday, the sisters were able to get into the much-talked-about taping of Conan O’Brien’s TBS talk show, which is being broadcast from the Spreckels Theatre on Broadway all week.
“That was so exciting; so cool,” said Moria with a big smile. “They got the audience really pumped up for it. It was so exciting.”
The sisters said they were looking forward to attending panels for some of their favorite TV show, including MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and “Orphan Black.” They also planned to attend some offsite events to really experience the fandom and excitement of the Comic-Con activities engulfing the streets of downtown.
NBC 7 also spoke with a family from Temecula who drove to San Diego bright and early Thursday morning and camped out in front of the Convention Center, eagerly waiting for those doors to open.
“You have to get a jumpstart on everything,” one fan said. “For the last five years, we’ve been doing this. It’s been great – a nice time for all of us.”
The Temecula family said they were most excited for the “Star Wars,” “Game of Thrones” and “Walking Dead” events at Comic-Con. The Hasbro booth was also on their “To Do” list. They also planned to camp out Friday night to get their place in line for signings of “The Flash” and “Gotham.”
A family from Ohio was also camped out in front of the Convention Center with a group of 10 family members and friends who have come together for the event for the past four years.
“It’s an exclusive event – it’s Comic-Con International. It’s exciting,” said one member of the group.
Many of those fans were also looking forward to autograph signings by their favorite stars.
Comic-Con fan Bobbie Rivera was visiting San Diego with her family and said her children were very excited to see “My Little Pony” and anything LEGO at the event. Rivera said she was just happy to be vacationing in San Diego, Comic-Con aside.
Robert Edwards, like many fans, was hyped for the “Game of Thrones” panel and also hoped to see some exhibitions from NASA on the Convention Center floor.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer welcomed fans to the city Thursday with a speech outside the Convention Center while accompanied by some costumed characters from “Star Wars.”
“The Force is strong with San Diego, and the Force is even stronger with Comic-Con,” Faulconer said.