Otakon, A Japanese Anime Convention Trip Report!
About This Page: This is a discussion on Otakon, A Japanese Anime Convention Trip Report! within the Globetrotting: General Trip Reports, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Otakon, A Japanese Anime Convention Trip Report
Hello everyone and welcome to my first Trip Report!
Here is my Pre-Trip ...
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
I'm not going to repost all the trip details here since they are in the top post of the thread linked above. If this is bad etiquette, please let me know.
On Wednesday night my boyfriend Zac arrived just as we were eating dinner. Spaghetti and meatballs. I was only picking at it since I was way too excited to feel hungry. But once Zac arrived and sat down to dinner my stomach relaxed and I ate my fill.
Zac started helping me pack after dinner. I'm good at packing, but with all the various costumes I had to pack as well as the essentials, I wanted some extra help. He was glad to help me go through my checklist with me and help me fit everything into my suitcase. Don't you just hate when you underestimate how much space you'll need? I do. I used my small pink suitcase instead of my larger one. But by the time I realized this, I didn't feel like unpacking and repacking. Thankfully, most of my costume items go on hangers.
Linda arrived shortly after I finished packing aside from the last minute things. She settled her things down and we watched some videos in my room. After Dad went to bed we moved downstairs to the den. We set up the sofa bed for Zac and then watched Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. It seemed to drag on, but I think that's because I had seen it before. I remember really enjoying it the first time I watched it.
We went to bed after the movie was over. Zac was on the sofa bed downstairs and Linda slept in my room on the floor. I tried my best to make enough room for her. I set my alarm, I believe to 7:30 although I can't quite recall now. We had to be out of the house by 10 AM since we were meeting up with Marissa and Melissa at Marissa's house for breakfast. They live only 15 minutes away but I needed time to shower and pack the last minute things.
Up Next: Belle Mishaps and Inconsiderate Roommates
Thursday Belle Mishaps and Inconsiderate Roommates
Thursday morning arrived and as I could have guessed, I was up really early. Of course my body was telling me "Time to get up for work!" and I had to tell it that I was on vacation and to leave me alone. I also had to resist the reflex of checking my Blackberry for work email.
I went downstairs to wake Zac up and I let Linda sleep longer since she had a very long drive yesterday coming down from Connecticut. Not to mention she was driving down to Baltimore today.
I woke Zac up and then went to shower and pack my last minute things. There wasn't much, just toiletries and some pajamas that I had washed the night before. I brought all my stuff downstairs and then popped Tinker Bell into the blu-ray player. I needed something to do to get rid of the nervous/excited energy. That and I adore the Tinker Bell movies. Zac was ready to leave at this point as well and we had another hour until we had to leave the house.
I paused the movie to go wake Linda up and then went back downstairs to watch. We got about halfway through the movie before it was time to leave. I said goodbye to my Mom and off we went to Marissa's house for breakfast. When we got there she had started making pancakes
Melissa arrived not long after and juice was passed around. After eating some pancakes we decided that Linda, Zac, and I would go our own way and Marissa and Melissa would drive down without us. We knew we were taking two cars but we had originally thought we would caravan it down. I had to go to my fitting for my Belle costume as well as pick up my (early) birthday cake from a local bakery so we didn't see the point in making them wait around.
I had to make a few stops before we hit the highway. We went to the bank so I could deposit everyone's room checks and then the supermarket for some last minute in-room food. I got Disney Fairies fruit snacks (go figure ), Juicy Juice individual bottles, instant oatmeal, and a Disney Fairies Color Wonder book. I had always wanted to try one of them. :3
We headed for the turnpike after that and were on our way to Baltimore. The drive down was uneventful and we even played a car game until Linda said it was distracting her from driving. Oops. We made it to my Seamstress' house outside of Baltimore in good time, arriving around 1. The only things was, they weren't done the dress yet. We were supposed to pick up Linda's friend at the train station at three. My seamstress assured me that it would be done by then. Low and behold, it wasn't. But they were done with the fitting parts and said they would call me when it was finished. Thankfully, Linda's friend texted her that he didn't need a ride anymore and had found a taxi so we weren't as rushed. We did however want to get to the hotel so we decided to come back later for the cake.
When we got to the hotel we found out that Melissa and Marissa had already checked into our room. I found it odd that they were able to do that without me being there (More on this during post-trip section). Linda parked the car in the temporary parking and we unloaded all our luggage and costume items. We decided to take shifts in bringing things up until Linda could park the car in the hotel parking lot. I went up first with some of my things. What did I find? Melissa sleeping in one bed and Marissa sleeping in the other. I was really peeved . They knew that Zac and I were going to share a bed and apparently that didn't matter to them. They didn't even offer to help with our stuff when they saw me struggling to get in the door. I guess the door opening had awakened them.
I put my stuff down and went back downstairs for more stuff. Let me point out that this was a very long process. Otakon's attendance was over 32,000 people this year and the Holiday Inn is one of the closest and most popular hotels to the convention. It took almost five minutes to get an elevator going down. By the time I caught up with Zac, Linda had parked the car and both were ready to bring stuff up. I told them a trick I had figured out to go up which was to walk up one floor and call the elevator from there. That way, you wouldn't have to wait in line. It worked, although I'm not sure how much time it saved. On the way up I told Linda and Zac about what I saw and they were as equally pissed off. But we swallowed those feelings and made it to our room.
After unpacking I was full of energy (somehow) and decided that we should go for dinner. At this point it was after 5 and we were all hungry. We braved the heat (it was in the high 90s and humid) and walked the half mile to Edo, one of my favorite Japanese restaurants. Even though I drank water the whole way there, I was still melting. It took me a good while to cool down and not feel sick once I got in the restaurant. But it was well worth it. Zac and I got three sushi rolls and Linda got udon soup. We got an eel cucumber roll, philadelphia roll, and black dragon roll. The eel was so tender it melted in your mouth. I felt so much better and a lot less cranky.
We got a text during our meal that Belle was ready but it was rush hour and traffic was terrible. We arranged to pick it up around 9:30 the next morning. I called the bakery and asked if we could pick up my cake the next day and they said it was no problem.
When we got back to the room Melissa had moved to the other bed (thank heavens) and Zac and I collapsed onto our bed. We looked at a couple books I had brought down and he gave me some early birthday presents. He gave me a Sailor Uranus and a Sailor Neptune plush doll. They are super hard to find now and I thought it was really nice that he gave them to me.
We got ready for bed and fell asleep after promising him that I wouldn't go Commando for this trip and it would be a nice relaxing one.
I forgot to mention before but after dinner we picked up our convention passes. I can't believe I forgot that detail!
The way it works is if you pre-registered for the convention you can pick up your badge the day before. Most people line up just before it opens early in the afternoon. I do the smart thing and wait until after dinner. It's a lot cooler and the line is almost non existant.
They always have a number of different choices for badge pictures and I always choose the cutest one. <3 The line, as I figured, only took about ten minutes to get through (as opposed to a couple hours). It was wonderful to step into the air conditioned convention center. I saw many people already in costume and felt left out that I wasn't wearing one. I decided to make up for it by being awesome the next day.
It's Friday! Which means picking up Belle and my cake. All the other years that I have gone to Otakon I love to wake up first thing in the morning, get into costume, and get to the con as fast as I can. This year was different though because I had to pick up my costume!
I got Zac and Linda up around eight and we got ready in normal street clothes. We were out of the door on time but had a bit of a snafu with the parking lot. Apparently we were supposed to get our parking ticket validated at the front desk so we could come and go as we pleased. This whole process made us late along with the usual Baltimore traffic.
We got to my Seamstress' house and Belle was ready! I tried it on and it fit perfectly. My Seamstress asked if she could take some pictures in the backyard so she could add it to her portfolio. I said definitely!
I forgot to bring the right shoes! And I forgot to put the apron on!
We left after the short photo shoot to pick up my cake at a nearby bakery. Of course I forgot the apron for Belle and we did a quick turn around to pick it up. Then we got my cake. It was so pretty! It had lavender balloons on it just like I asked for. No one seemed to give me any weird looks towards my costume.
We went back to the hotel and Zac got changed into his Integra costume. It came out nicely as well. Linda changed into Judith from Tales of Vesperia (a video game). We headed off to the convention which was a short three block walk away. I was already feeling the heat in my costume but I was too excited to care.
Zac and I walked around for a bit to get used to the atmosphere and the people. There were a lot of people. Otakon's website posted after the convention that over 32,000 people were there! We decided to wait for the Dealer's Room until tomorrow. We knew it would be mobbed the first day. Not to mention there are more sales the more days go on. We hit up the "Ota-chan" room which has a lot of arts and crafts for kids. Anyone can go in though and I usually see mostly adults in there anyway. I didn't see many interesting things to do this year so we went back out.
I decided that it was getting close to lunch time so we phoned Linda and decided to meet up for lunch. We went across the skyway (a long walkway between the convention center and a mall type area) and got to the food court. It had completely changed since I was last there! I started getting the hungry anxiety but Zac assured me we'd find something. I managed to locate a chinese counter service place and Zac and I shared a meal combo. Orange chicken, bourbon chicken, and lo mein. It was very tasty and I was soon feeling much better.
Then we decided to check out the Sailor Moon panel for a little while until it was time to go to the Disney photo shoot. However, it was all the way across the convention center and in the Hilton to boot. So by the time we got there it was pretty much time to turn around.
I got to the Disney shoot. It had started early and to my disappointment and the start of a trend, I missed the Beauty and the Beast section.
I managed to get in some group shots and Zac managed to get some pictures while battling the horde that was taking pictures.
As you can tell he was mainly trying to get pictures of me, not everyone. There were some absolutely amazing cosplayers there. Tons of villains and other characters. My favorite was a tie between Ursula (tentacles and all) and Cruella de Ville.