Game of Thrones: Survive the Realm Experience
Where: Omni Hotel Gallery
When: 7/24-7/27: 11 AM - 5 PM
Did you watch the Red Wedding and think "Hey! I'd like to be part of that 'Game of Thrones' scene!"? Okay, maybe that's not the best example, but there's little argument that HBO's adaptation of George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels is highly popular with Con attendees.
Little has been released regarding HBO's exhibit this year, but it's thought to be a free event for anyone wishing to participate. However, the event held last year - which included the Iron Throne - was for badge-holding attendees only, so it's entirely possible this year turns out to be a Con-exclusive as well.
Expect to see the standard giveaways of commemorative photos, t-shirts, buttons and other various swag. Now if Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was there handing out free dragons, that would be something...
Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Bridge Escape
Where: Petco Park Interactive Zone
When: 7/24 - 7/27
Before Sleepy Hollow premiered last Fall, Fox brought in a slew of Headless Horsemen to Comic-Con 2013 and they were a big hit with fans. Anyone brave enough could walk right about to the noggin-deprived character dressed in Colonial-era British clothing and snap a picture with him.
After a successful first season, Fox is bringing the infamous Horseman back to the Con and is one-upping their game. This time, fans of the show will be able to experience the same terror as Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) by crossing a mockup of the iconic covered wooden bridge made famous from the story.
Along with appearances by the cast and crew of Sleepy Hollow, visitors will also wear a pair of Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets (which you can see showrunner Mark Goffman wearing HERE) as they try to cross the bridge without losing their heads.
On the Set with Vikings
Where: 450 2nd Avenue
When: 7/24 - 7/26
Most of the off-site experiences being offered to fans at the Con involve having them feel immersed within the world of their favorite show. However, History Channel is taking it one step further by treating guests as if they actually ARE characters on the show.
Fans of the hit History Channel show Vikings will definitely want to head over to 2nd Avenue at some point as hair and makeup artists will be on hand to transform them into battle-weary Nordic Vikings. The transformation doesn't stop there, though, as visitors will also have the opportunity to pick a profile and weapon for their new character, then be placed into three scenes featuring Vikings ships, a raging battle and plundered villages.
Once the experience is over, they'll be given a 30-second video to share with all their social media friends.
Assassin's Creed Obstacle Course
Where: Martin Luther King Promenade Park
When: 7/24 - 7/27: 10 AM - 6 PM
Assassin's Creed is not only an award-winning video game, but next year it'll also become a movie starring Michael Fassbender as Desmond Miles. The most talked about part of Assassin's Creed is its unique gameplay, which gives the player exceptional parkour abilities.
Ubisoft is giving everyone who's in good enough shape (read: not me) the chance to show off said parkour skills (read: still not me) on an obstacle course that includes the following activities: Rope Climb, Degree Swing, Venice Rings, a Rolling Tube, a Tic Tac Climb Down and a 25-Foot Leap of Faith. Those who are fit enough to finish the entire course (read: will never be me) will earn a limited edition t-shirt.
If bruising your body for a piece of clothing isn't your thing, then swing by the attached Schick demo station for a free shave instead. We're assuming it's not gender exclusive, but I'm getting my legs done anyway, so it doesn't matter.
Borderlands Prequel Laser Tag
Where: Top Floor of Petco Park
When: 7/24 - 7/26: 11 AM - 5 PM
A few years back, 2K Games released its breakthrough video game Borderlands for just about every console imaginable (except the Atari Jaguar, which still bums me out). It became an instant hit with gamers for its unique coop game play.
For Comic-Con this year, 2K Games and Gearbox have partnered with Nerdist to give visitors a unique chance to play Borderlands in a massive laser tag arena set up on top of Petco Park. They'll be running three 10-minute games an hour, consisting of two 25-person teams blasting the crap out of each other (with light) each day - so there's plenty of opportunity to give it a go.
While the event is free for anyone, attendees with SDCC badges will be given priority access. So go and have fun, but remember - don't aim for the eyes.
As you can see, even if you never set foot inside the Comic-Con convention center this week, you could still have a wonderful - and more importantly FREE - time while hanging out in San Diego.
So go ahead and dress up like Kira from Xanadu, Batman, Thor (the male or female version), Walter White or just come as yourself. We promise that you'll have a great time during San Diego Comic Con 2014.
Also, the SDCC Unofficial Blog has a great CALENDAR of almost every event taking place from Wednesday to Sunday, including cosplay meet-ups, fan films premieres and for-pay events, so be sure to check that out.
Follow me on Twitter - @MoviePaul - and watch as I haplessly experience each of these free activities.