21 JULY 2011
Pre-registration is gruesome as expected. People began lining up around 3 a.m. When I got in line, it ended at Joe's Crab Shack behind the Marriott; it was still back there by the time I got into the Hyatt 90 minutes later. And there is another colossal line inside the hotel.
They are issuing 2400 badges a day. Only a percentage of those include Preview Night, so it's entirely possible to wait four hours and not get the badge you want. The sales of each kind are monitored on a giant board, but because it's hard to tell how many people have gone before you, knowing the percentages sold doesn't help calculate your chances accurately. A lot of the tail-end people ended up dropping out to come back tomorrow.
It's a safe bet the following mornings will be worse, because there will be more badged people to contend with. Today the only people even eligible to pre-register are those with Preview Night badges and those who picked up their four-day or Thursday badges last night.
All of which boils down to camp out or don't count on getting the kind of badge you want, if you get a badge at all.