Tips for first time NYAF attendee's

So, once again NYAF(New York Anime Festival) is drawing near. This year will be my second year, and last year was fun, but somewhat of a disappointment because I was unprepared and didn't know what to expect, so I thought I'd make something like a basic guide for those who plan on going for the first time this year so you can enjoy it as much as you can.

-Purchasing Tickets

It's best to purchase tickets online, because purchasing them at the door will cost $5 more and they might sell out. You must bring your ticket to the festival, and when you hand it in to the lady who collects them, she'll give you a pass that you wear around your neck. Don't lose it because if you leave the center for food or something, you'll need it to get back in.

-Make Sure to Bring Plenty of Money

Last year i brought $75 dollars to cover the train fee, some food for when I'm hungry, and of course souvenirs from the festival. And last year, all I got was 2 manga's (one was free), a lucky star dvd of the first 5 episodes, japanese soda, and cat ears with a matching tail. nyaf is rather expensive, so this year I plan on bringing $100+. I'm not saying you should too, but there are many things you will want to buy when you get there so I suggest you bring a good sum of money

-Look on the website beforehand!

Of course to buy the tickets you have to go on the site, but while you're at it, take a look at the site. View what panels will be there, special guests, the kinds of booths, times of performances if there are any, contests, etc. This way you can have a vague idea of what you plan on doing and buying while there. Not all the events are all three days, so look at which events are on which day. Also, if you know what you're going to do, look at the time schedules so you know when to do it! It'd suck if you missed one of the main reasons you decided to show up.

-Getting to Jacob Javits Center

I shouldn't have to tell you this, but just in case I'll do it anyways. It's best to google map or mapquest how to get there before hand. If you're like me and live near in New York, but not in NYC then it's best to get directions from Grand Central Station to the Jacob Javits center because most likely if you're taking a train, which I highly recommend, then you're going to end up in Grand Central, and then you'll be set to walk from there to the center. And eventually as you get closer, you'll see cosplayers who are most likely headed there as well, so you can just follow them the rest of the way if you're unsure of where to go. Which brings me to the next tip.


Last year my best friend and I weren't sure about cosplaying because we didn't know if many other people would do it. When we got there, MANY people were cosplaying. Some was less flamboyant than others though. You don't have to cosplay, no one will ridicule you if you don't. And there are little accessories for you there if you suddenly decide you want to cosplay a little such as ears, tails, and funky hats. But if you know for certain you want to cosplay, I suggest you bring your own outfit because there are outfits there, but they range from $50-100, and sometimes even more. Also, don't worry about being laughed at while walking down in NYC in your cosplay, because 1)yeah you'll get a few looks here and there, but most people have seen weirder, and it's nyc so they're not that shocked. 2)chances are you're not the first cosplayer they've seen since many people attend this event and are walking around in a funky costume, just as you are. But if it makes you feel better you can just bring your outfit and change in the bathroom at the festival (it's indoors just in case you didn't know).


I'll get straight to the point with this one. There are beverages and some snacks like hot pretzels and stuff. There may be real food there this year, you never know. But last year there wasn't so I'm going based on that. You might not be worrying about hunger in all the excitement, but if you do, there is a near by McDonald's. You may pass it on your way there so you might know what direction to walk in, and if not just ask someone who works at the place where you gave in your ticket, they will most likely know where that is or any other near by fast food restaurant.

-Arriving and Leaving

Last year I got there around 45min-1hour after it started. You don't miss much if you arrive a little late. I heard there was quite a line for those who got there when it started, so I suggest going a tad bit late. But not too late like 3 or 4 hours, because then you'll miss some events and panels, and the booths might not have as much as they had before. And before you leave make sure you've visited all the events and panels you wanted, and bought everything you wanted (or had enough to buy), and make sure you have enough money to get home if you're using public transportation :]


The booths there are basically people selling things like manga, anime dvds, fan art, posters, accessories(like cat ears, tails, little book bags, cheap jewelry, hats and what not), clothes(lolita fashion, shirts, cosplay), and other anime related stuff. And they DO cost money, and quite a bit as I stated in the "make sure to bring money" tip.

Hotels and Trains

Someone commented asking for some tips on this. Now to be honest, I don't know much about it since I just take the train there and back. But as I said before, the site helps alot with that. Heres the direct link to that: As I said before it's best to get for train tickets that will land you in grand central so you can just google map or mapquest directions from the station to the festival. But just to make sure, go to the train station the day before and see what trains take you to nyc and where in nyc do they take you, that way you can go home and mapquest away. Sorry if this seldom helped you, but like I said, I don't know much about hotels and stuff.

Hope This Helped!

Well that's about all I can think of to help you enjoy your first time attending nyaf. Of course, I'll be attending(with my best friend), and we're going on Saturday. So if you have any other questions, want to meet me there, have any comments or opinion on this guide or just want to chat and be friends, you can post on this this thread or add me on myspace: just make sure you tell me you're from this site when adding me or I'll deny it.

8 years, 11 months ago
226 1 4

5 replies (reply)


This was useful in basic convention expectations. Anyone who hasn't been to an open convention in the middle of a city like NYC will benefit from reading this. In my case, most of this can apply to any con so I'm generally prepared. I think the one thing that would be great to add to this is hotel arrangements. I'd have no clue what to do and what's the best route to take for this if I were to stay at NYAF (which I'm not, but still).

My biggest concern has always been getting there and back without screwing up on train stops. Do you have any recommendations for what trains to take once you get in NY? I will likely wind up in Penn Station, but I'd love for someone with experience to point me in the right direction. =]

P.S. I'm interested in meeting anyone from this site, but I'm only going to be going on Saturday once I finally purchase my ticket...

8 years, 11 months ago
4755 1 3 10

How long did it take to write all that? It was worth it though cus it's gonna help next year when I go to the NYAF for the first time. And my mom's making me a link costume which is good because she makes professional costumes for this theatre company so now it will be EPIC!!

8 years, 11 months ago
6567 1 5 10

Heh this is a nice guide. You have great instructions, and tips. The money thing is what I need to remember. About $200 is a good amount for a weekend, and $75 is good for one day (unless a person plans on buying every expensive item they see) So...the amount would actually vary from person to person.

8 years, 11 months ago
1809 1 9

Here's a map to the convention center =)

8 years, 11 months ago
6516 2 4 11

Thanks!! This really helped me out. I'm going to the 2010 NYAF this yr with my fiance. He's been there before but this will be my first time and he said that the info you gave was really good ^^

8 years, 3 months ago
156 1 5

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