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Ahh, Thursday night....

That sweet, sweet time right before the con starts. Part relaxation day, part badge pick-up day - Thursday was created so that people who pre-registered can come and pick up their badge early - and therefore avoid the "scary line" on Friday morning. But Thursday has become an "event" in itself. Thousands of people come on this day and stand in line for their badges........ some come in cosplay and others stand in line and play on nintendo DS picto-chat. :blink:

I usually come on Thursday as well, but only to pick up my badge. I live in Washington, DC [40 mins away], so I don't hang out in Baltimore. I've always wondered what people do on Thursday night. There was one story of a guy who got in line 4:00 pm wednesday but wasn't actually going to con..... he was shipping out Friday morning. He was so dedicated to Otakon he wanted to participate in the "Thursday gathering".

What does Thursday mean to you? Do you do anything exciting on this day - any Baltimore activities or is it just a day to get your badge and chill in your hotel room? Should Otakon add events on Thursday? I don't know how realistic this is, but I personally would like to see maybe the dealer's room open [to please the dealers] and maybe the video game room. Anything else would perhaps be too much. What do you think?

Share your Thursday stories here...................

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For 2007, it started early when I went up to the light rail and down to BWI to intercept a friend coming in from Milwaukee. Then we headed up to my house so he could drop his stuff (though we'd be hauling it all to the Hyatt Friday morning). Then we went up to the light rail again, and down to the BCC. We covered the wonderful events of the line for our respective podcasts, then my buddy decided to go sightseeing. We hit the Top of the World exhibit then chilled out around Harborplace. After picking up badges and press passes, we had dinner with some friends at Tir Na Nog, this cool bar in Pratt Street Pavilion. Then we went back to my place and called it a night.

For me, Thursday is a warm-up day. A day to hang out with friends, chill, screw around before the big day hits.

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Thursday night for me is usually spent receiving our remaining guests (aside from a few who fly in on Friday morning), and hosting an industry and guest reception. And of course taking care of eight thousand last minute details and unexpected crises.

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Thursday is when all of staff who doesn't have critical Thursday jobs gets routed into either line-wrangling or registration. :blink:

Unfortunately, it's unlikely (in the extreme) that the dealer's or video game room would be open on the Thursday night pre-con - particularly the dealer's room. They spend the entire day Thursday, and a bunch of Friday morning, setting up their booths, loading all their stuff in, making everything look just-so for the big opening Friday morning. The video game room also has considerable set-up.

Bottom line, it's somewhat of a miracle that everything is ready to go first thing Friday morning. Registration can open Thursday night because a.) the computers and lines are set up already; b.) the staff for areas which don't start until Friday can be commandeered into line-wrangling and registration-helping.

:blink: My friendly advice would be to follow Aresef's example: Get into Baltimore, check into your hotel, do some sightseeing, get in line around 6PM, get your badge, have some good dinner at one of the restaurants downtown, and enjoy a night with your friends before you embark on the zany madcap adventures of Otakon.

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Much like Aresef, Thursday is a warm up day. I live in south central PA (not far from Baltimore, but enough to make a commute a pain in the butt), so my friends and I pick up our badges Thursday night (around 8 the lines are faboo), drive home and chill until early Friday when we leave for the hotel. Checking in on Friday is also a pain (especially since I'm a cosplayer), but I'm happy to say we have the hotel room thursday night this year, so I foresee much more relaxation pre-con.

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thursday is when i get to the hotel, sleep for 5 hours after being awake all night the night before....go get my badge at 5pm come back and take another 2 hour nap......direct my roommates on how to get to the room...go back to sleep and wake up bright and early, energized for the con all weekend

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For me, Thursday night was awsome - the weather was nice, cosplayers were out, I was with all my friends, and the Inner Harbor just seemed to be buzzing. I thought it was really smart of Cali. Tortilla to stand outside the BCC and hand out coupons..... super smart marketing :). I also hadn't been to otakon since 2002 so it was nice to be back after a long time.

I read somewhere that Comic-Con has a special Thursday night dealer's room were if you pay a little extra you have the option of going shopping before the con actually opens. That's mainly for the fanboys and wanting to scoop up limited edition stuff. I don't know how much stress something like this would add to otakon staff but I figured the dealers wouldn't mind setting up early if it means they'll have more business. Is there any type of activity that can be up and running on a Thursday night? [something simply maybe?]

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I read somewhere that Comic-Con has a special Thursday night dealer's room were if you pay a little extra you have the option of going shopping before the con actually opens. That's mainly for the fanboys and wanting to scoop up limited edition stuff. I don't know how much stress something like this would add to otakon staff but I figured the dealers wouldn't mind setting up early if it means they'll have more business. Is there any type of activity that can be up and running on a Thursday night? [something simply maybe?]

Not really possible. Thursday, we are setting up the entire convention and it takes a real long time for the Dealer's to unload, not to mention the staff is still showing up on Thursday and have to get themselves settled for the long weekend ahead. Every single staffer who is around Thursday has their hands full with set up and Pre-reg pick up Thursday night...

Let's see..what do I do Thursday before con...well I have no idea this year since I am moving to a new section and department from where I had been for 4 years before 2008...so...we'll see what I'll be doing aside from helping out with set up if need be..

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Would you folks go to the Geppi's Entertainment Museum (over across the street in that red brick Camden Station headhouse) if it were open on Thursday and open late? Say, go there before getting in line, or visit after picking up your badges?

For those who don't know, the GEM is a museum dedicated to the collection of one of the ultimate comic-book/pop-culture collectors in the world--Styeve Geppi, the owner of the largest comic-book publishing/distribution company in the world. Comics made him rich, so he decided to give back and share his collections. There are comic books, toys, animation cells, collectibles, original art, and all kinds of goodies all over the walls. The anime/manga selection is thin at best (more like nonexistent, though the staff is working on that).

You would still have to pay to get in, but we'd do something like "show Otakon registration paperwork and get discount/half off/whatever".

You know, heck with that, I wanted to get some industry types to host a reception there for Otakon members.

So: it'd cost something, but would that be a bad way to spend Thursday day or night?

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I thought the Geppi's museum only stayed open till 6pm in the spring/summer months. Either way that mueum is cool and would be a great place to start up some early Baltimore sightseeing.

Thursday usually means a number of things for me. It means waking up at some godawful early morning hour to triple check all of my bags. Harassing any roommates who haven't yet paid their share of the room fee. Visiting my bank to deposit any last minute money and checking to make sure my funds are in order. Getting to the room and unpacking. Going to the lines around 7. (Congrats again on the lines last year...actually there wasn't a line... :)) Finding misc. friends hanging around the Inner Harbor, and going to eat before dropping into a dead sleep around 11pm. (I'm an early bird.)

Can't wait to do it all again in August.

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Much like Aresef, Thursday is a warm up day. I live in south central PA (not far from Baltimore, but enough to make a commute a pain in the butt), so my friends and I pick up our badges Thursday night (around 8 the lines are faboo), drive home and chill until early Friday when we leave for the hotel. Checking in on Friday is also a pain (especially since I'm a cosplayer), but I'm happy to say we have the hotel room thursday night this year, so I foresee much more relaxation pre-con.
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Would you folks go to the Geppi's Entertainment Museum (over across the street in that red brick Camden Station headhouse) if it were open on Thursday and open late? Say, go there before getting in line, or visit after picking up your badges?

For those who don't know, the GEM is a museum dedicated to the collection of one of the ultimate comic-book/pop-culture collectors in the world--Styeve Geppi, the owner of the largest comic-book publishing/distribution company in the world. Comics made him rich, so he decided to give back and share his collections. There are comic books, toys, animation cells, collectibles, original art, and all kinds of goodies all over the walls. The anime/manga selection is thin at best (more like nonexistent, though the staff is working on that).

You would still have to pay to get in, but we'd do something like "show Otakon registration paperwork and get discount/half off/whatever".

You know, heck with that, I wanted to get some industry types to host a reception there for Otakon members.

So: it'd cost something, but would that be a bad way to spend Thursday day or night?

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My Thursday lol. Get to Baltimore around 2:30..go to my hotel and check in. After checking in go down to the Inner Harbor and and get dinner. After that maybe walk around for a little bit before getting the pre-registration done around 7ish?..then going back and getting plenty of sleep for the next day. :)

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Thursday is the day that I throw a nonstop spaz fit, do most (if not all) of my Sunday cosplay (and usually end up finishing it in the Otacafe the next morning), make some friends for the con the next day (I joined the Blue Army on Thursday.), and then stay up the entire night before the con, dying everyone's hair until I'm sick of fumes. I like this ritual.

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My thursday involves countless trips up and down the line making sure that there's no shenanigans going on. Every once in a while I get a break and get to run errands inside the BCC or help lay out the massive amounts of tape that we use to set up lines.

About the video game room or dealers room opening on thursday: don't count on it. Thursday is when we do the majority of the set up for the con, including those two rooms. I'm not sure if the dealers have access to the room on thursday to set up, but when I get down there for my shift on friday (my real Otakon job is dealers room SpecOps) most of the dealers are unpacking and setting up, so opening the DR on thursday is definitely out. Even if the video game room was set up in time for anyone to use it before we closed down for the night, the rest of the con still isn't set up and having non-staff in the BCC would slow our setup down considerably; that's why we ask you to leave the BCC after you get your badge on thursday, too.

We try to do what we can for you guys to make Otakon the best it can be, but doing this would only hurt the con in the long run.

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i have a quick question and i know this may sound completely retarded but would it be possible to let a few people waiting in line help out with say minor work like moving gear off trucks or down halls in exchange for a quicker registration? of course you would have to check there id but i figure a few extra hands would be nice to take the stress off of you guys and speed up the line

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My best guess is that the powers-that-be would appreciate the offer, but it would cause too many headaches if we did that. First of all, on thursday the staff have a hard enough time getting into the BCC because of the SAFE people not always being clear about who to let in and who to keep out (I've had to call people higher up in Otakon to come vouch for me that I was actually allowed in before SAFE would let me into the building before). Beside that, there's going to be an issue with how many people we pick (no matter how many we pick it'll never be as many as the attendees would like) and how we pick them. Once you're picked and inside then you have to be divided up between departments and given jobs.

Set up would go faster if we didn't have to deal with all those headaches along the way, but thanks for the offer.

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i have a quick question and i know this may sound completely retarded but would it be possible to let a few people waiting in line help out with say minor work like moving gear off trucks or down halls in exchange for a quicker registration? of course you would have to check there id but i figure a few extra hands would be nice to take the stress off of you guys and speed up the line
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I live in the city of baltimore about 10 minutes away from the con and i drove by there wednesday (cause im always downtown) and i saw the guy waiting there xD i was so surprised he was so dedicated lol, Thursday is ssooooo much fun, to me its as important as the other days. I get there very early thursday morning, cosplay as little charactres that im not gonna be friday,saturday or sunday. I make sure to be with a group cause if not we cant take bathroom breaks and bring pizza ^_^ yummm. sit on a blanket play some games talk to looads of people and then after we get our tickets we hang around and talk to people (till we get kicked out) then go to the hotel or back to my house. Thursday is great and soooo much fun. it is recomended to new commers to prereg and come thursday ^_^ this will be my 8th year at otakon ^_-

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I love Thursday...there's just so much "omg otakon!!!" excitement in the air, and most people are so full of energy. There's almost a magic to it, because it's before most of the con craziness starts but everybody's really hyped up for what they know is about to come, but thing's in the area are still for the most part "normal".

I also love thursday because MOST of the people I room with at Otakon are people I only get to see in person once a year at the con, so it's nice to just hang out with nothing scheduled to get in the way and catch up on things. That and our hotel room always has tons of video games hooked up to our tv lol.

We like to go down to the harbor and just kind of hang out...and we have a kind of tradition of always eating dinner at the Hard Rock Thursday night. Sometimes we also go to ESPN zone to play the games, but it's kind of pricey.

Edited by moonbunnychan
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I love Thursday...there's just so much "omg otakon!!!" excitement in the air, and most people are so full of energy. There's almost a magic to it, because it's before most of the con craziness starts but everybody's really hyped up for what they know is about to come, but thing's in the area are still for the most part "normal".

I also love thursday because MOST of the people I room with at Otakon are people I only get to see in person once a year at the con, so it's nice to just hang out with nothing scheduled to get in the way and catch up on things. That and our hotel room always has tons of video games hooked up to our tv lol.

We like to go down to the harbor and just kind of hang out...and we have a kind of tradition of always eating dinner at the Hard Rock Thursday night. Sometimes we also go to ESPN zone to play the games, but it's kind of pricey.

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Puffy and Moon -

you guys are SO right. I feel the energy too and only Otakon has that. Number-wise Otakon may be #2 in the country but I still think that it's #1 overall. Expo is industry-driven and I feel that it doesn't really count. Only a fan-run con can generate so much support, hype, and engery like otakon does. I never here of Expo doing that. ^_^ but anyway, enough about Expo......

It also sounds like you guys have a lot of fun. Thurs for me is just going to pick up my badge, hang for a minute, and then go back home. LOL...... I should really do more than that this year. I've never actually eaten at any of the resturants in the Inner Harbor either. ^_^ I will definately take advantage of some of the social gatherings/activites that happen on Thurs.

As far as the hotel goes..... I never get a room on Thurs, mainly because its too expensive to book a room for 3 nights and I cant take off from work too much to even stay in the Inner Harbor all day. But I wouldn't feel comfortable staying in a room full of people that I don't know. How does that work out for you? [or maybe that should be another thread......]

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Puffy and Moon -

you guys are SO right. I feel the energy too and only Otakon has that. Number-wise Otakon may be #2 in the country but I still think that it's #1 overall. Expo is industry-driven and I feel that it doesn't really count. Only a fan-run con can generate so much support, hype, and engery like otakon does. I never here of Expo doing that. ^_^ but anyway, enough about Expo......

It also sounds like you guys have a lot of fun. Thurs for me is just going to pick up my badge, hang for a minute, and then go back home. LOL...... I should really do more than that this year. I've never actually eaten at any of the resturants in the Inner Harbor either. ^_^ I will definately take advantage of some of the social gatherings/activites that happen on Thurs.

As far as the hotel goes..... I never get a room on Thurs, mainly because its too expensive to book a room for 3 nights and I cant take off from work too much to even stay in the Inner Harbor all day. But I wouldn't feel comfortable staying in a room full of people that I don't know. How does that work out for you? [or maybe that should be another thread......]

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Puffy and Moon -

you guys are SO right. I feel the energy too and only Otakon has that. Number-wise Otakon may be #2 in the country but I still think that it's #1 overall. Expo is industry-driven and I feel that it doesn't really count. Only a fan-run con can generate so much support, hype, and engery like otakon does. I never here of Expo doing that. :ph34r: but anyway, enough about Expo......

It also sounds like you guys have a lot of fun. Thurs for me is just going to pick up my badge, hang for a minute, and then go back home. LOL...... I should really do more than that this year. I've never actually eaten at any of the resturants in the Inner Harbor either. :blush: I will definately take advantage of some of the social gatherings/activites that happen on Thurs.

As far as the hotel goes..... I never get a room on Thurs, mainly because its too expensive to book a room for 3 nights and I cant take off from work too much to even stay in the Inner Harbor all day. But I wouldn't feel comfortable staying in a room full of people that I don't know. How does that work out for you? [or maybe that should be another thread......]

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Ah, well '07 was my first year but I can tell my story:

- Woke up @ 8 PM

- Prepared for a 3 hour car ride

- Dropped my Grandmother at my Aunt's house

- Continued to the Radisson where we arrived around 1pm

- Got in line just when it started to drizzle

- 2.5 hours later, got my badge

- Stayed at the hotel overlooking the activities book

- Slept

Although, there was supposed to be a Gaia meeting we had planned but I circled around the area we were supposed to meet but didn't find my friends. Hopefully we'll be able to find each other this year. Any one interest and a fellow Gaian. Feel free to PM me, I can give you the link to the thread.

But I must say, for being my first convention and Otakon, it was a nice feeling. Easily tops as one of the 3 best weekends I've ever had. Sad how I could only stay for 2 days : \

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Although, there was supposed to be a Gaia meeting we had planned but I circled around the area we were supposed to meet but didn't find my friends. Hopefully we'll be able to find each other this year. Any one interest and a fellow Gaian. Feel free to PM me, I can give you the link to the thread.

But I must say, for being my first convention and Otakon, it was a nice feeling. Easily tops as one of the 3 best weekends I've ever had. Sad how I could only stay for 2 days : \

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Twas my first convention as well. I think my Thursday basically went:

- woke up around 9 AM

- Left between 11 and noon

- Drove for about 6 hours (was supposed to be five, but rain and traffic delayed me. if you can do the math, I hit Baltimore just about at rush hour)

- checked into the BWI Microtel and hauled my stuff to my room

- took light rail to the BCC, got my badge (only about a 30 minute wait here I think), went back to hotel (luckily the weather was fine when I got mine)

- Went to Arundel Mills mall, ate at Chevy's (mmmm...) and watched the 5th Harry Potter movie (probably a bad idea since it got out at midnight and I had to get to the BCC early the next morning to get into the ridiculously long line).

I basically didn't know anyone else who was going, so I largely just did my thing last year. Maybe I can find some stuff to do this year, though if I stay in the BWI area, that means I have to either leave by the time the light rail stops or pay for the $25 cab ride down there.

Ah, well '07 was my first year but I can tell my story:

- Woke up @ 8 PM

- Prepared for a 3 hour car ride

- Dropped my Grandmother at my Aunt's house

- Continued to the Radisson where we arrived around 1pm

- Got in line just when it started to drizzle

- 2.5 hours later, got my badge

- Stayed at the hotel overlooking the activities book

- Slept

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I don't remember if there was a thursday pickup the last time I was at Otakon... Shows you how long it's been. *sigh* Anyway I just want to get in. Get my registration sorted and crash. Then I'll be up and at-em early for Friday. Looking forward to the line ride. I hear it's just like standing in a real line! :)

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Thursday we arrive and get our car parked then meet up with some friends we only get to see a few times a year. After getting settled in and waisting some time, we get into line around 5:30ish. since we don't have much to do other than wait, then we usually kick back and talk/eat/drink till it's time for bed.

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I've never been to a Thursday night Otakon Event...for me it's always been ritualistic that I get up at 4:30, leave from the suburbs of Philly (delaware county), hit the road by 5 AM at the latest, and then wait in line, get my badge, AND RUN TO THE DEALERS ROOM LINE

did it that way for 06 and 07 , this'll be otakon #5 for me, and I'm thinking bout seeing if i can get in there thursday night hmmm

Question:

Is the line to get in Friday morning any shorter if you pick up Thursday night?

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Friday's line is arguably not shorter if you get your badge on Thursday night, but it moves much faster because you just walk in once the doors open (as opposed to having to do the pick-up stuff Friday morning). Keep in mind that after the doors have been open for an hour or so, there is little to no line, and what is left moves very quickly.

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I've never been to a Thursday night Otakon Event...for me it's always been ritualistic that I get up at 4:30, leave from the suburbs of Philly (delaware county), hit the road by 5 AM at the latest, and then wait in line, get my badge, AND RUN TO THE DEALERS ROOM LINE

did it that way for 06 and 07 , this'll be otakon #5 for me, and I'm thinking bout seeing if i can get in there thursday night hmmm

Question:

Is the line to get in Friday morning any shorter if you pick up Thursday night?

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Friday's line is arguably not shorter if you get your badge on Thursday night, but it moves much faster because you just walk in once the doors open (as opposed to having to do the pick-up stuff Friday morning). Keep in mind that after the doors have been open for an hour or so, there is little to no line, and what is left moves very quickly.

Actually, if you have a badge already, you should not be entering via the Pratt Street Registration entrance, anyway. You can enter at any of the other entrances.

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My Thursday revolves around 3 rituals:

1.) I read my Dramacons (Long Live Svetlana!!) religiously to get me hyped up for a super awesome con weekend! Which is done mostly when I'm supposed to be doing something super important (...like working!).

2.) I live pretty close to the Baltimore area it only takes me maybe 30 minutes at the absolute worst to get into the City. Mostly, I pick up my 'group' so they can also get their badges.

3.) While in line my friends and I usually gripe about how freakin' hot it is and how we should've waited until 7ish to avoid the rush, usually some dehydrated person who is extra irritated by our whining will say something to us but we don't engage instead we've had some actually convert to our whinefest! ...but we do this because we love it! Plus, you meet a lot of different people in line some cool and some just...ummm? very different people :P

On a side note, I'm coming around 7:00 this year (hopefully) because it's August and it's hot, hotter than hades! That and it will just be me and my sister which will be totally awesome because we have loads of fun together. Plus, I don't have to worry about if people have their IDs....like last year :)

Though meet ups and get together's sound like a lot of fun if anyone is starting any, let me know!

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Friday's line is arguably not shorter if you get your badge on Thursday night, but it moves much faster because you just walk in once the doors open (as opposed to having to do the pick-up stuff Friday morning). Keep in mind that after the doors have been open for an hour or so, there is little to no line, and what is left moves very quickly.

Actually, if you have a badge already, you should not be entering via the Pratt Street Registration entrance, anyway. You can enter at any of the other entrances.

Right. The line is still long for every door, though - but it moves quickly.

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the line on thursday isnt even necessary to stand in. if you just wait and go get your badge at like 7-8pm there is no line and you can get your badge in less than 10 mins. but i think some people like standing in line on thurs because its fun for them.
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I've always been a bit baffled as to why people stand in line for hours on Thursday during the daytime...well except I've heard from a couple people who do that they enjoy it as a kind of social experience. It takes all sorts, I guess. lol. I prefer to spend my time mostly in air conditioning.

And I forgot, last year my friend's birthday fell on Thursday, so we threw him a birthday party. One person asked him to go to 7-11 with him, and while they were gone we decorated the whole room in Hello Kitty streamers and a bunch of old Sailor Moon and Pokemon party decorations we had found online and I had a Hello Kitty cake I'd brought from home and managed to keep hidden in the closet till that night and ate it off of DBZ plates....it was maybe the best pre Otakon Thursday ever. lol. (and the cake actually turned out to be real handy for 3am snacking all weekend long)

It's kind of a shame more people dont stay Sunday night too...talk about dull...all that energy from Otakon is like, sapped out of the air and it's kind of almost depressing. lol.

Edited by moonbunnychan
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And I forgot, last year my friend's birthday fell on Thursday, so we threw him a birthday party. One person asked him to go to 7-11 with him, and while they were gone we decorated the whole room in Hello Kitty streamers and a bunch of old Sailor Moon and Pokemon party decorations we had found online and I had a Hello Kitty cake I'd brought from home and managed to keep hidden in the closet till that night and ate it off of DBZ plates....it was maybe the best pre Otakon Thursday ever. lol. (and the cake actually turned out to be real handy for 3am snacking all weekend long)
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So, what's faster?

Being in the front of the main entrance to get your badge Friday morning since like 6:45 AM

OR

Picking up your badge Thursday night, and going into the other line around 7 AM.

Which of these will get me into the dealer's room line faster?

I imagine the line for those who already picked up their badges is probably longer than the one for those who havent yet picked up their badges, or am I wrong. But I'm just wondering, if I'll get into the actual convention faster if I go thursday night, or will it be faster if I go Friday.

Thanks!

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So, what's faster?

Being in the front of the main entrance to get your badge Friday morning since like 6:45 AM

OR

Picking up your badge Thursday night, and going into the other line around 7 AM.

Which of these will get me into the dealer's room line faster?

I imagine the line for those who already picked up their badges is probably longer than the one for those who havent yet picked up their badges, or am I wrong. But I'm just wondering, if I'll get into the actual convention faster if I go thursday night, or will it be faster if I go Friday.

Thanks!

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im also thinking of going to dinner thursday night after picking up badges, i did last year with a bunch of friends and my boyfriend :D it was was fun, i go to a very nice restaurant called mathews on eastern avenue :P they have whole pizzas for like 8 dollars everything is reeeeally cheap and its nice ^_^

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Well, you have to remember that people have to rush back home because they (or their parents) have jobs to go back to the very next day. I usually stick around until late Monday morning (I always start my vacation at Otakon). But still, I get to feel a bit sad when the con's over and I see a lot of my fellow attendees just sitting right outside the Convention Center waiting for their ride to pick them up. Most looked tired while others have the "Well, what are we going to do, now?", look in their faces.
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