Planet Preflight 2023
Welcome to Planet Comicon Kansas City 2023! Talk to anyone who has been to Planet Comicon over the years and there would be dozens of different ways to experience the event. Whether you’ve been with us since the very first Planet in 1999 or you’re making your first trip, preflight planning will allow you to make the most of your journey. Please use this guide to help plan a fun, safe and out-of-this-world galactic adventure to Planet! We look forward to seeing you at Planet Comicon Kansas City, March 17-19!
1.) Download the Planet Comicon App
Be sure to download the Planet Comicon Kansas City mobile app. The Planet Comicon Kansas City App will be the Chewie to your Han as it helps you navigate your way around PCKC. Whether you want to buy tickets, search comic creators and featured guests, peep the weekend schedule, or just take an intergalactic moonwalk around, the Planet Comicon Kansas City app is your place for the most updated information. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
2.) Check out our Panels and Programming
Planet Comicon Kansas City panel programming is open to Planet Comicon attendees at no additional charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Any exceptions will be clearly noted. PCKC’s panels are a huge hit throughout the weekend as fans with common interests gather together to listen to featured celebrity and creator guests tell their story and answer your questions, learn cosplay costume tips, offer industry advice and insight, and much more. Sitting in on panels is a great way to kick back during a busy day of exploring the massive show floor. Check out the panel programming schedule and keep an eye on the schedule to plan your sessions!
3.) Plan your trip to Planet Comicon
Centrally located in Downtown Kansas City, Bartle Hall is surrounded by over 40,000 parking spaces. Parking information and the opportunity to reserve parking is available on our site. Attendees should also consider the FREE KC Streetcar, which operates on a 2.2-mile route throughout downtown, serving many of Kansas City’s most popular attractions, destinations and parking areas. Many of our hotels and after-hours events are within walking distance of Bartle Hall!
4.) Pick up your Credentials
Tickets for Planet Comicon Kansas City are available at the door but purchasing advance admissions will expedite your takeoff to Planet Comicon. When you purchase advance admissions, you will receive a confirmation email that you use to access a QR code. Bring that QR code message to the Will Call desk where you will receive your Planet Comicon admission wristband. Planet Comicon will also have two early pick up locations in 2023 so you can get your wristband in advance and be ready to go!
Elite Comics, 11842 Quivira Road, Suite 1300, Overland Park, KS
Thursday, March 16, 11:00 am – 6:30 pm (early pick up only)
Bartle Hall, 2200 Lobby, Kansas City, MO
Thursday, March 16 – 11:00 am – 8:00 pm (early pick up)
Friday, March 17 – 11:00 am – 8:00 pm (two hours prior to show open)
Saturday, March 18 – 8:00 am – 7:00 pm (two hours prior to show open)
Sunday, March 19 – 8:00 am – 5:00pm (two hours prior to show open)
Get your wristband early and be ready when the doors to Planet Comicon Kansas City open. For the official show hours and will call hours, visit PCKC’s FAQs page: https://planetcomicon.com/faq/.
5.) Grab a Locker
Bought too much loot? Carrying a bag clashing with your Cosplay? Securely store your things with Pop Up Lockers! Lockers are $40 for the entire weekend or $15 a day (cash, card or electronic payment). You get your own key to come and go as you please! Lockers are staffed the entire time and cameras are in place to keep your stuff extra secure. Pop Up Lockers will be located in the Lobby of 3800 just off the exhibit floor. Reserve your Pop Up Locker here.
6.) Meet Your Favorite Comic Creators and Celebrity Guests
Planet Comicon Kansas City offers you the opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite comic creators and celebrity guests. Don’t be nervous, that’s why they are here. Whether you consider yourself a Potterhead, an honorary member of the Coruscant Guard, or simply a pop culture fanatic, you can come face to face with the stars and creators of your favorite comic books, TV shows, movies and sci-fi world. We do suggest you bring cash if possible as many creators, celebrities, crafters and vendors only accept cash. If you run short, ATMs will be available in the exhibit hall. Planet also offers photo opportunities with guests. Check out the full list of Planet Comicon Kansas City guests!
7.) Understanding Photos with Guests
Part of the experience in meeting guests at PCKC are the photos you take with them. There are two different types of photo opportunities with Planet’s celebrity guests.
Celebrity Tables: Guests may offer photo opportunities at their autograph table, using the fan’s camera/phone. These are often cash transactions and are at the guest’s discretion. This will vary by guest and be at the discretion of the guest.
Photo Ops: Photo Ops, taken by a professional photographer, are taken in our Photo Ops Area behind Celebrity Row. These will be available on a specific schedule and may be purchased in advance and at the show. In addition to single guest photos, there are opportunities for duo and triple photo ops with certain guests. Note that you can have up to four individuals plus the celebrity or celebrities in the photo. Some guests will have a plexi barrier in their photo op. We do our best to keep our photo page up to date with the most current information. For more information and to purchase Photo Ops, please visit the Planet Comicon Photo Ops page.
Proper etiquette and rules on autographs and photos is available here.
8.) Prepare to Shop Comics, Collectibles, Merch and PCKC Exclusives
With nearly eight football fields worth of exhibit space Planet Comicon Kansas City is a collectors dream. There are hundreds of creators and vendors for you to peruse and plenty of opportunities to add more comics to your collection, pick up your favorite collectible, or snag something you’ve always wanted. Whether you’re 3-years-old or 93-years-old, there’s something for everyone at Planet.
9.) Commission an Artist
Yep, even that’s possible. There is nothing more unique than an original illustration from a Planet Comicon Kansas City guest so while you browse artist alley, see which guests are doing commissions for custom work created on the spot at Planet Comicon!
10.) Plan an Outfit
While the celebrity and creator guests get a lot of attention, oftentimes Planet Comicon Kansas City’s cosplayers steal the show. Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, comic or video game. Live characters from your favorite movies, comics, games and shows will roam the Cosplay Showcase amidst realistic sets and backdrops which provide a wealth of fun photo opportunities. Planet Comicon Kansas City will also host internationally known cosplayers.
Planet Comicon Kansas City is dedicated to providing a safe and fun environment for all fans and while most cosplayers love it when you want to take a picture with them, Planet Comicon Kansas City reminds fans to ask politely first. Do not touch a cosplayer, their costume, or their props without permission.
And as a reminder, for the safety of all Planet Comicon Kansas City guests, all prop and costume weapons are required to be inspected and tagged at the check-in desk inside the convention center lobby.
Not feeling up to a costume for Planet Comicon? No problem! Planet Comicon Kansas City welcomes you just the way you are!
11.) Cosplay to a New Stratosphere
Planet Comicon Kansas City is the biggest cosplay event in a six-state area. Planet hosts the biggest cosplay contest in the midwest, plus there are cosplay photo meet-ups, a cosplay showcase, masquerade parade, and a young fans cosplay showcase. Planet encourages anyone who wants to attend in costume to do so! Most importantly, Planet is dedicated to providing a safe and fun environment for all fans. We have strict anti-harassment standards and guidelines geared toward respecting others.
Attendees can also enjoy the PCKC Cosplay Contest held Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 pm in Grand Ballroom Room 2501! Costume contestants will compete for their share of more than $15,000 in prizes from Nebraska Furniture Mart, 3DHQ, and B&B Theatres! The contest will be hosted by Ming Chen and Luna Flaire. In addition to the contest, there are top notch cosplay guests at Planet who are ready to meet their fans PLUS some incredible partners with cosplay tips, ideas and inspiration. Planet Comicon Kansas City is a place for all cosplayers to gather and celebrate. Whether you’re a novice or a Master-level cosplayer, all are welcome.
For more information on all things cosplay, visit the Planet Comicon Cosplay page!
12.) Visit the Planet Entertainment Zone (PEZ)
The Planet Entertainment Zone (PEZ) is the place to come when you are looking for something stimulating and fun to do! The PEZ combines creative, high-energy activities, interactive displays, esports, sampling, giveaways, and for the kid in everyone. There are over 60 different performances and demos throughout the weekend on the Hy-Vee PEZ Stage, along with a host of partners and activity showcases! The PEZ includes a retro arcade, classic pinball machines, drone racing, photo ops, and more!
New this year are interactive exhibits by FlipSwitch VR, Oklahoma Tourism, Boulevard Brewing, LevelUP Arena, Old School Gamer Magazine, B&B Theatres, Solid State Pinball Supply, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Bordner Home Improvement, Minddrive, U.S. Air Force and many more!
There is a lot to see and do in the PEZ. Check out all the entertainment, schedule of activities and more PEZ highlights on the PCKC website!
13.) Get Your Game On
Join us in room 3501E for over 10,000 square feet of tabletop gaming! Thanks to the combined libraries of Mindgames and Magic and ReRoll Tavern, we will have a HUGE game library consisting of over 200 of the most popular board games and card games on the market, all opened and ready to be played! Our staff of experienced game masters will help you pick the perfect game and even help you set up and learn games you haven’t mastered yet! Games can be checked out from the library for free.
ReRoll Tavern is also running a Dungeons and Dragons Epic Tournament and Magic the Gathering Tournaments throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, Mindgames and Magic is again hosting a Warhammer 40K Tournament!
Esports offers an ever-expanding universe of entertainment at PCKC. All weekend long, Planet will be hosting a variety of tournaments and gaming activations with our partners at Unified eSports.
This year the wizards from LevelUp Arena are in the house providing prized tournaments and free play opportunities for all of our attendees. Come to Booth P69 in the Planet Entertainment Zone to sign up for a tournament or just to play your favorite games on their equipment. There are several prized tournaments you can enter and if you have a COD team consider joining the COD tourney that pays out $5,000.00. The COD tournament is being hosted by LevelUp at their facility in the Hy-Vee Arena. If you enter that tournament, your team members will each receive a ticket for either Sunday or Friday at Planet Comicon. This year we have a special esports showcase planned! Come check out the Planet Border Battle as MU and KU Square off in a Mario Kart match and Couch Co-op challenges! See the complete list of tournament schedules here. To pre-register for any of the tournaments, use this link.
14.) Get Graded with our Comic Book Grading Services
Planet is pleased to announce that several of the major professional grading services will be on site at PCKC. These include CBCS, JSA, and One Stop Comic Shop. Each will have booths in the exhibit hall and these companies will be taking submissions of comic books and other items for grading and will also provide a signature verification service for select creators at the show.
Go through your collections, find those books you feel should be “slabbed” and bring them to Planet. In addition to having your books signed by prominent creators, you may also obtain witnessed signatures for creator guests and celebrity guests. Additional fees may apply. Get all the pertinent comic book grading information on our grading page!
15.) Plan to Refuel at Planet Comicon
Staying hydrated and eating quality food is a must at Planet Comicon Kansas City! Drink plenty of water throughout the day and plan for a few stops at one of Bartle Hall’s food and snack destinations. You’ll find refreshments, light snacks, and full meals in our designated dining areas.
Plus, for those 21+, Boulevard Brewing Company will continue to showcase the bold and adventurous world of the Space Camper Universe (SCU), which features Space Camper Cosmic IPA, the most popular IPA in Kansas City. Learn the origin story of Space Camper (did you know it begins at Planet Comicon?) and stop by Boulevard Brewing Company’s booth for samples while checking out their mission to save the Earth – the only planet with beer!
16.) Planet After Dark – PCKC After Hours Fun
No time for sleep Planet people! When Planet Comicon Kansas City’s doors close, the entertainment doesn’t stop. There is little to no time to sleep because the fun keeps going as the sun goes down. In conjunction with several incredible downtown Kansas City partners, Planet’s list of After-Hours events for 2023 includes:
- The USS NIGHTHAWK Star Trek Pop-Up Bar in the Hotel Kansas City
- Space Patrick’s Day After Party with Boulevard Brewing Company
- Boozy Broomstick Pop Up Bar at B&B Mainstreet Theatre
- PCKC Galactic Glow Party at McFadden’s + Masquerade Parade and Dance Party at Kansas City Live! Stage
Planet Comicon attendees can show their credentials all weekend for free admission to these events (unless otherwise noted) and enjoy exclusive specials for Planet guests!
The full list of activities, hours, and locations is available on our Planet After Dark page on the website.
17.) Make Sunday a Family Day!
Any day at Planet Comicon is a great day to bring the family but Sunday is especially easy because Sunday is Family Day and Youth 12 & Under get in FREE with a paid adult admission. You can bring up to (4) youth/kids per each paid adult.
Planet Comicon also offers discounted admission memberships for Active Duty Military, Teachers, Librarians and First Responders. Thank you to all the true superheroes out there!
18.) Be Yourself and Enjoy Yourself
Ready to go? So are we. Planet Comicon Kansas City is about the fans and we’re excited to welcome everyone to the event. This is the 24th year for Planet and we strive to make each show better than the last. Please take care of yourself and be respectful of your fellow Planet people. Remember, there are many ways to experience Planet Comicon Kansas City. Be yourself and enjoy yourself and you’ll be on your way!
We’ll see you at Planet Comicon Kansas City, March 17th – 19th, at Bartle Hall!
Friday, March 17, 2023 • 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 18, 2023 • 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 19, 2023 • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm