1. Late night screenings are for suckers. For two reasons: A) they screw with your sleep schedule if you are planning on attending movies the next day and B) you miss the parties.
2. Early morning screenings are for suckers. If you're partying the night before, that 9:15 AM showing suddenly seems to be extremely early, I don't care what time you're used to getting up in the morning.
3. Sugar is your friend. No matter how much sleep you get, with so much going on, you're bound to be fighting sleep during some screenings. Bring something to munch on that has sugar, not just for the buzz, but to keep you active. Red vines bites seemed to work pretty well.
4. Be adaptive. Each year, we've had to find new ways of getting tickets. When online pre-orders failed, we'd in the past woken up early in the morning to grab the extra daily tickets at the box office. That didn't really work this year, so the wait list line became our friend. Towards the end of the week, the wait lists were too long, the best way to get tickets was begging.
5. If you want to party, go the first weekend. It was like spring break on the first weekend of the festival. Most of the people were there to either party or celebrity sight-see. The place was a zoo.
6. If you want to see movies, go during the week. Tickets seemed to be available everywhere for the Monday-Thursday shows. I ended up seeing about 75% of my films on those days. I got some online before the festival, even though I had a crappy purchase timeslot. I was also actually able to walk into the box office at 10 AM and still buy tickets on Wednesday.
7. Take a day off. If you are going for the full week, take a day or at least half a day to do something besides watch movies. There's plenty to do. Skiing and snowboarding top the list, but we chose to go tubing. It's great fun and a nice way to recharge.
8. Man cannot live on pizza & noodles alone. There's plenty of places to eat on Main Street. You don't have to stick with one place. And if you want cheap, don't forget that there are places off Main Street (hello Burger King!)
9. Swag comes early. If you want free stuff, leave the party early. They tend to run out of swag if you're around till the very end.
10. Double or triple sock it. One pair of socks just won't do it. When you spend hours out in the cold, you'll appreciate the ability to feel your toes.
Man, I wish I was still there...