1. If I'm not staying in the Hyatt, am I going to be missing out on stuff?? Is it okay if I come to the Hyatt without having a room??
All you'll miss out on is the 24-hour madness that is ACEN. Having a room in the Hyatt is great, you can literally wake up in the middle of the night and run down to the video rooms and catch a couple hours of anime, even in the middle of the night. Yeah, it's OK to come to the Hyatt without actually having a room. Our first year going in 2003 we stayed at a Motel 8 about 10 miles away, some people stay at other nearby hotels and still others just commute from home. If you're interested in finding a room there, go ahead to the Operations section and go to the Convention Site subsection and see if anyone has space in their room, or start another thread asking if anyone has space.
2. This sounds dumb just asking but, I know there is a masquerade 'contest.' If I'm not going to be in it, is it alright to still dress up??
Yup, that's what's called Hallway Cosplay. Just head on over to the Masquerade section of the forums and read the cosplay rules, there's a specific section that pertains to hallway cosplay with some important need to know rules and restrictions. Examples are no props longer than 4 feet and nothing can stick off of your body more than 6 inches. Like I said, read the rules for more info.
3. About this badge thing, what is the nickname you get on it? Is that just like for fun, or like if you hated your name and wanted ppl to call you something else?
The nickname is just what is in large bold letters on the badge front. If you want it to be your name, put it there. Otherwise, put anything you'd like, as long as it's not inappropriate.
4. Does it cost money to get a badge or do you just get a badge when you register?? oO
The badge is what you pay for when you register. It's what gets you into any con related rooms and the dealer's room.
5. I've heard stories of ppl who weren't anime fans going to cons, then getting into anime...I'm bringing two friends with, and they aren't big anime fans like me. Are they still going to be able to have fun??
Sure, they should be able to have fun, just as long as they're open to new things and don't already have a strong dislike of anime. Remember though, they'll have to register as well, so they'd have to be willing to pay money for something they might not like.
Thank you, and sorry for the trouble ^.~; hopefully these questions weren't too obvious, I feel embarassed just asking.
Off to work on costumes!!
No problem, if you can think of anything else, ask. Someone will give you an answer.