12 July 2011
This is complicated, so pay attention.
4-day badges with Preview Night:
You can pick them up at the Con beginning at 3:00 pm Wednesday. You can also pick them up offsite at the Town and Country Hotel at the same time, but then your access cuts off at noon on Thursday. You can, however, pick up your badge any time at the Con.
4-day badges without Preview Night:
You can pick them up at the Con beginning at 8:30 am Thursday morning. OR you can pick them up offsite at the Town and Country Hotel starting at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, though obviously you can't enter the Con until Thursday morning. I don't care where you're staying; if you have this kind of badge, it makes sense to visit the hotel and waste time in line on Wednesday rather than on Thursday. Once again, your Town and Country access cuts off at noon on Thursday.
Thursday single day badges:
Same deal. You can pick them up at the Con beginning at 8:30 am Thursday morning. OR you can pick them up offsite at the Town and Country Hotel starting at 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Again, I would strongly recommend visiting the hotel on Wednesday and enduring the line there rather than wasting time on Thursday at either location.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday single day badges:
You can only pick them up after Wednesday, only at the Con, and only on the day of your first badge. There is no Town and Country for you. And while you can pick them up all at once, you will have to stand in two lines; first in the regular badge pick-up line for attendees, and then in a special multiple-badge line.
The Town and Country Hotel is at 500 Hotel Circle North in San Diego. You can take the Con shuttle there on the Mission Valley Comic-Con shuttle route.
Some advice: when you show up at the Con, sometimes the staff steers you to the wrong line. It's chaotic, it's noisy and everyone's irritated, so things get misunderstood. Once you're in line, ask the people ahead of you what line it is. (There are multiple categories of lines.) Otherwise you could spend an hour in the volunteer line, only to get sent to the back of the attendee single day badge line. I really have seen this happen more times than you can imagine.
See here for the official Con instructions.