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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:07 PM   #46
Llytix
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I had an amazing time at ALA! Although yes, Saturday night was pretty crazy with all the drunks on the pool deck and the stench of alcohol everywhere..and some people were even smelling pot? Geez. Another problem, as Chireiyu mentioned was Doki Doki Maid Cafe. :/ I checked to see if it was open Friday evening of the con and they weren't there and eventually came up and said they didn't have an event that day and so everyone had to leave. I went the next day, Saturday, and had to wait in line for at least an hour. I looked in, and they were all playing games and what not. Which is typical, yeah, maid cafes. But the thing is it looked like they didn't have a time limit for how long people stayed in the room so people were staying there for a long time while others waited to get in. After a while, my group just said forget it and left along with a couple of other people in line. So that was a disappointment. Dont get me wrong, I love Maid Cafes. But next year, try finding one that is more structured and punctual, and scheduled and actually pays attention to time management. Also, it kinda feels like the hotel is getting kinda small for how many people were there this year..


But as an upside, Masquerade was really great this year, I had a blast watching it at least! The Starlight Ball was also pretty okay, I had fun there as well.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #47
E. R. Laurell
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Originally Posted by chireiyu View Post
What really added some negative points to my ALA experience other than the abnormally large amount of people with con funk was the Doki Doki Maid Cafe. I'm sorry but please PLEASE invite a different maid cafe to ALA next year. They practically ruined my day 3. I would elaborate more on how horrible my experience was with them but I know they're not exactly affiliated with ALA. (But if you really want to know you could probably find my blog post through google or something...)
I had a pretty great time at ALA this year, despite their being a bunch of drunks roaming the late hours, but like Chireiyu here, I was a bit disappointed with the events Doki Doki Maid cafe put on.

I went up with a group of friends to the 18th floor on Friday to try to attend their maid cafe event, and it turned out that the staffers there had no idea where the maids were, and everyone waiting in line was turned away and told that there was no event for the night. I have no idea what was the reason behind that but it put a damper on the night, since they were on the programming and the poster outside the room itself. I believe of all the scheduled events for that day, only one group actually did an event?

I decided to give them a try again on Saturday, and while this time they actually showed up, I ended up waiting over an hour, in a line that barely moved, before I ultimately decided that it was nowhere near wasting my time. From what I observed, they were operating a restaurant style maid cafe, where people come in for their food and stay and play games for as long as they please, and more people can only come in when those people decide to leave, and personally I think this is a really bad way for a cafe to be run at a convention. I've been to other maid cafes at conventions, where they have scheduled sessions so you know exactly when you'll be able to get in, or even presale tickets so you have a guaranteed spot, but waiting around with no word of progress left a sour taste with me. I didn't bother to come by on Sunday. From what I remember, they also didn't show up when they were scheduled to hold a cafe on Day 1 of PMX. I don't think I'll be bothering attending another of their events in the future.

PLEASE find a maid cafe that knows what they're doing and shows up on time.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:17 PM   #48
NekoMimi16
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I'm going to sound like a broken record but here's my experience. xD

Venue: WAAAAAAAAAAY too crowded. I understand that once a con has a hotel/space that they like and who likes them they don't want to move, but there's little space to walk. I had to constantly ask people to move because they were having gatherings at the elevator lobby, on the escalator platforms, on the staircases, and in front of doors in general.

Service: I liked the constant badge checks since I've been to cons this past year who would let any one in at any given time. I feel foolish for buying a pricey badge to enjoy the con only to have someone who didn't drop a cent get the same entertainment. Sorry.

Attendees: This was my main problem and it has NOTHING to do with the con itself. I blame them for none of it. xD I was people watching and playing with my phone when I spotted a photographer ask a cosplayer for her photo. The cosplayer smiled, had her shot taken, and walked away. After she was out of hearing distance the photographer looked to their friend and said "Wow, that was the worst ____ I've ever seen!" I found that disgusting. Also, my husband and I were a yaoi paring and someone said it was gross. Lovely people.

I will try to miss ALA next year since they kept the venue. I don't want to get crushed by the crowds again. ^^ Hope everyone else had fun!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #49
Anagon
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I wasn't saying anyone was targeting me, I just feel that the people at ALA really are respectful with their alcohol consumption, and I know some people are sensitive to that. ALA is a party con, there's no way to deny that, and at a party con there will always be a few that can't handle their shit. Luckily most people at ALA take care of one another.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #50
W4RH0US3
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I had a lovely time at ALA this year
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Unread 01-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #51
catcrissy
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I had an awesome time at ALA this year, this is my second time attending ALA (last year's ALA was my first ever convention)! I really do like how there was less crowding on the pooldeck this year, last year I narrowly avoided being accidently pushed into the pool (thank you to the cosplayer who caught me before I hit the water!) However, I do agree the convention seems to be outgrowing it's space, the lobby area (where starbucks is) is way too crowded and the ballroom level seems to be crowded in more areas than others.

Also, maybe some more seating would be good on ballroom and the lobby because some of My cosplays involve short to really puffy skirt which makes it nearly impossible for me to sit in the bean bags or along the walls when all the benches are taken. Cons Suite and the water in the halls is a life saver. Light refreshments at COn Suite really helped my friends and I out between meals when we are rushing from gathering to gathering, event to event. the water really helped during vents like the dances.

Drinking I didn't see as a big issue. Only when the people who can't control themselves were wandering the halls did I see it as a problem. I do agree there should be an Arisia (I think that's what it was called) code or something to the parties and to keep them more contained.

I also agree about Artist Alley Outgrowing it's space. When I was in Dealer's hall, I only really bought 2 things and nothing really struck my interest, however I spent nearly all my money up in Artist Alley. It was really small and cramped and the booths were very small, not giving the artist's really enough space. Maybe they could try blending Dealers Hall and Artist Alley together downstairs so Artist Alley kind of has 1 and a half rooms?

Ala was still amazing and I hope to attend next year!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #52
ScarletRhapsody
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Arisia is a local con up here that's in two weeks. I just happened to be looking at the website and it so happen to have a nifty guidelines section for parties.

Moving forward...good things...masquerade. I always like the the backstage experience. It's one of the better backstage at the green room experiences I've had. I like the mini repair station. Thanks for wiping out the stain on the dress! I also like the food. Lumpia, yeah! I know it's not really a meal, but I have a very small appetite, so I was good for a while.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 11:04 PM   #53
dragunov23
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Originally Posted by NekoMimi16 View Post
Attendees: This was my main problem and it has NOTHING to do with the con itself. I blame them for none of it. xD I was people watching and playing with my phone when I spotted a photographer ask a cosplayer for her photo. The cosplayer smiled, had her shot taken, and walked away. After she was out of hearing distance the photographer looked to their friend and said "Wow, that was the worst ____ I've ever seen!" I found that disgusting. Also, my husband and I were a yaoi paring and someone said it was gross. Lovely people.
Ok i gotta be honest...that is the most disgusting comment ever! What the hell was that photographer doing taking her photo then if he took her picture in the first place? Honestly, we go to cons to get away from this kind of shoelaces (i'd say the word but i dont wanna risk dirtying this feedback with unnecessary profanity). How horrible! I hope karma can bite that phony in the "ask me no more questions"!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 11:48 PM   #54
OniCourseMusha
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Also can anyone advertise the Starlight Ball a lot more on into the main website and put the dress code rule? I've seen couple of people lined up being too curious that they failed to research that the event is a dress code event. I had to tell few people who lined up that they most likely can't get in depending on staff. Plus it builds more people who aren't dressed up for the event to show up. I understand towards the end of the ball dress code check is pretty laid back and the event is dying but people who dressed up feels like they've been cheated when they see few more people inside aren't properly dressed.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:15 AM   #55
Enkai
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Overall, I loved ALA, a little too much if the fact that I STILL don't have my voice back is any indication (con flu...plus a little too much karaoke).

A few items:

The good -
The karaoke room! The last time I was at ALA was 2 years ago, and I don't remember that awesome software that lists all the people in line. That was very useful, and the staff was all very helpful.

My husband was excited by the addition of the pachinko machines in the gaming room (mostly since, due to the language barrier, he couldn't figure it out when we went to Japan back in November)

The things I love about ALA are still the same: it's very cosplayer friendly with the photo studio, the repair station, the couches in the halls and all the water! When my voice first started giving out on me, the easily accessible water was most appreciated.

I didn't go to a lot of panels, but I enjoyed what I did. The "Music of Yuki Kajiura" panel was a tough decision to go to since it was opposite masquerade, but I'm so glad I did. It was great to see a panel that got so in-depth intellectually, and was a lot of fun for the geek aspect. I'd love to see more panels like that.

The bad-
I heard somewhere that ALA is in a contract with the LAX Marriott till 2014 or 2015 (I think it was facebook when ALA announced that the Marriott was booked to capacity). If that is the case, maybe registration should be capped a little lower. It was really crowded this year, and it did affect the overall enjoyment of the con.

The hubby and I were confused at how the hall cosplay awards were given. We were wearing our Nobunaga and Nouhime costumes (avatar), and one of the judges gave my husband one of the big shiny rosettes for his costume. The hubby and I both agreed that honestly, I probably should have been the one to get that, but the judge was so distracted by the chainmail and how intimidating his costume was, that he didn't even bother to ask us anything about workmanship. The process involved for getting the gradient+butterflies on my kimono was just as time consuming, and it involved a lot more trial and error. I was doing something I couldn't find any info on people doing before. Chainmail is tedius, but it's very straightforward. I was a little put off that somebody given the power to judge costumes was just distracted so much by the tall guy in the giant armor that he didn't take any time to actually judge the costume.

Are the AMV categories self-selected, because 3/5 of the "drama" videos really should have been in action. Just because it's not mindless beating people up all the time does NOT mean that it's not an action theme.

The pointless complaining ('cause it's not anything ALA can do anything about)
We were on the ground floor this year, which was a mixed blessing. Not having to deal with elevators was nice, but people really need to learn how to be quiet in the halls at 3AM when people are trying to sleep.

Needed moar SenBasa. T.T
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Unread 01-09-2013, 12:40 AM   #56
Amethyst Nat
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Ah, another ALA come and gone. I think it was just as great as the last 5 years I've been! Well I wasn't fully able to enjoy it this year since I wasn't feeling well and some poor time management, and I am still distraught about missing the vocaloid gathering, got the time wrong. But those were all on my part.
Anyways, my thoughts for this year.
-, I guess there did seem to be more people this year. They did a good job of organizing the pool area so it wouldn't be swamped this year, but my problem was the lobby was very crowded and so were the elevators. I don't agree that ALA should move though, I really like the marriot location. Maybe if they open more spaces for the con?

- True, not too much variety of vendors in the dealer hall, though I found a couple of good things, and there should be more room for the artist alley
-My experience in the masquerade was a great as it was the last couple years I've been in it. Everyone was super nice, it was organized well, especially in lining up to go onstage, back in the green room was cozy and with free good food and drinks, and everyones performances were great and I'm glad mine went well, and the post masquerade meeting afterwards is a very good idea. Shame they didn't show amvs during the halftime show this year and to be honest I'm never really interested in the angel hearts dancers,, though their outfits are always so lovely. But I throughly enjoyed the improve comedy!
-Con Suite is awesome for free snacks, and better yet, free breakfast!! It was a little cramped though and it's good they have rules for it, though maybe they could get a bigger room net year? Speaking of food, there needs to be more food options at the con as the restaraunts in the lobby are expensive and not everyone can venture out more then a few blocks out of the hotel, especially at night.
-I always enjoy the cosplay repair room and those helping out and the variety of materials available. But one thing I have noticed every year is that they don't have detangler. Also my friend claimed they were not helpful to her.
-I always really appreciate the free iced water and beanbag and benches to relax everywhere!
-A lot of panels sounded fun, shame I only got to go to a couple of them. I guess the fact that they often start off schedule is good for those who are late, but tends to get disorganized..

All in all, I'm glad to have come this year and enjoyed the con experience and seeing all the wonderful cosplays, and looking forward to next year!
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Unread 01-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #57
CodeShogun
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This is my 2nd year attending ALA and I truly enjoy myself a lot.

Let's go with bad first: It's kinda overcrowding to the point where it's hard to move around in lobby. This make it for me hard to move around with big weapon so I opted to drop it after short time.

I find myself enjoying Artists Alley a lot more than Dealers Hall. But the room that AA is in was very small to the point where it's hard to move around in it. I'd like for AA to be in other room where it's little more bigger so most of us can walk around .

The programming is kinda lacking and nothing really grab my attention at all. I only attended one panel but that was super fun because I'm into old school stuff.

The good: The staff. They were very understanding of my disability and tried their best to help me out so I truly appreciated it a lot.

Pool deck is badge mandatory. Make it easier for me to move around but seems to me that badge policy is kinda inconsistent at some time but this is better solution.

The people, lol.

Iced water and place to sit, which are greatly appreciated.

Also, I like the feature where you can line up to talk to Chaz, although I haven't take advantage of that myself. I thought that was very neat and I have never seen it before at other cons I've been to.

Con suite. Get high point from me.

Honestly, I can list some of the complaints about some stuff but they don't really concern the con itself. I just hope that people can policing each other on alcohols and stuff better but we'll see what happen.

Out of all cons I've been to, ALA is truly cosplayers paradise and I sincerely hope that they can continue that, even if their programming is bit lacking.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 11:10 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by OniCourseMusha View Post
I understand towards the end of the ball dress code check is pretty laid back and the event is dying but people who dressed up feels like they've been cheated when they see few more people inside aren't properly dressed.
I felt bad for feeling this way, but I did feel cheated when I saw people without formal attire inside the formal towards the end of it. I dragged my dress onto an airplane and took the time to put it on just because of this event. I agree that it should be on the front page of the website.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 02:00 PM   #59
chireiyu
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Oh yes, I must also mention that I loved the many decorated benches as well as the beanbag chairs scattered throughout! There was always a place to sit and rest for a while without having to resort to sitting on the floor. I also appreciated the nice fresh water. I have a thing against water fountains so that was a definite plus. ^^
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Unread 01-09-2013, 03:13 PM   #60
sHiNHaWk
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I love that there is water everywhere so that we don't get dehydrated, but I wish that food was easier to come by. The con suite only serves light snacks and the hotel restaurants are restrictively expensive, so we have to leave the hotel to get food. It would be nice if there were a bunch of microwaves available to con-goers so that we could heat our own food. It would also be cool if the con suite stayed open later.
Do keep in mind that attendees aren't supposed to get their entire con sustenance from the con suite. Besides, restaurants aren't even that far away. Carl's Jr. and Denny's are both a short walk from the hotel.
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