Out of Momocon, Dragoncon and AWA, I like AWA the best even though I'm not as hardcore into anime as I used to be. I think once I'm a few years older I'll go back to Dragoncon to see if my opinions on it change.
So, there's the hotel and then there's the mall connected to it. That's your AWA.
The crowd there is fairly chill. There are a lot of young people present but they're usually with their parents anyway. The con goes on 24/7 from Friday to Sunday (seriously, I woke up in the middle of the night between Fri./Sat. because I could hear people cheering on the ground floor. I was on the 12th floor). Crowd control is really good. Con staff is polite as far as I can tell. There are even police officers there for the more serious things.
Artist Alley and Dealer's Room are amazing! I love going in there the most. Of course, wait until Sunday for those deals! Also, all the vendors are so polite, especially in the artist alley. I'm not kidding. They're so easy to talk to (but if you stand too long, you'll be buying something for sure THEY'RE THAT FRIENDLY). Cosplay wise, it's pretty diverse. You'll see a lot of amazing cosplays there.
Some tips tho?
If you're not planning to stay in the con hotel, the Sheraton is your best bet. It's connected to the mall by an outdoor walkway/bridge. I stayed there a few years ago so I can't recall much about it. If you are gonna stay at the con hotel, then everything below should help you.
When you get to the con hotel, you can either choose between paying for hotel parking or free parking at the mall which is on the back side of the hotel. I always park at the mall because it's free. You can walk through the mall to get back to the hotel. If you get lost, ask someone. Also, watch out for cosplayers walking all over the streets.
If you want a double queen bed, CALL THE HOTEL when registration opens. Request for the beds or you will not get it. I tried to request for doubles via online last year, ended up with a king anyway (though I was doing an experiment this time). Even then, get to the hotel as early as possible on Thursday or Friday morning to get that double.
Getting your con badge is pretty simple. The lines aren't long if you go early. You can either show them you badge information via smartphone or print it out.
You can check out via TV on Sunday so no need to rush Sunday to get out of the room to turn your cards in. Leave the cards in the room.
Elevators are evil. There is a trick though! If you're riding up to your room, get on the elevators on the 1st floor. If you try to get on from the 2nd floor, you'll be waiting for a long time. Also, when the con gets busy, you'll be asked to get off the elevators on the 2nd floor instead of the 1st when going down. If you're not trying to get to the main floor, just get off on the 2nd floor anyway. You'll understand what I'm saying when you see the layout. You can't ride up to ride down or vice versa. You also can't ride up to the top floor; staff will boot you from the elevator before then. If you can take the stairs, do it. Weird note: the hotel is 13 stories, but we have no 13th floor.
There's no free wifi at the hotel, but if you have unlimited data on your phone, you can tether. However, there is free wifi in the mall area. Bring your own food. If you don't want the cleaning ladies in your room, leave the door sign up (of course). The front desk might call though just to see if you're alive though lmao.
There are ATM machines near the dealer's room and artist alley and they're fairly cheap to take money out (which is good).
If you want to go the more popular events, line up early (like an hour) to get in. I'm not talking about getting good seats either, I mean to get into the panel. Our rooms aren't that big tbh.
That's kind of... the basics really. At least that's all I can recall. Hope some of it is helpful!
Shatterdome ATL, AWA
Allison Argent (3x23) - Teen Wolf 100%
Mako Mori - Pacific Rim 100%
Honekoneko (kigu) - PaSwG 90%
Levi (WoC) - SnK/AoT 95%
Fran - KHR! 90%
Rilakkuma (kigu) 100%
Last edited by Padmik : 03-02-2014 at 12:42 AM.