I am likewise a little disappointed about the party. Of course - not many options for a large crowd event in New Orleans. A agree with previous post - maybe a big headliner or something would have made it more interesting.
Last year - Orlando - Islands of Adventure ROCKED!!! Microsoft was first class all the way - everything was free, park was limited to Microsoft attendee's - well done!
So - we'll have a great conference - learn lots of stuff and make great connections. However - kicking footballs and watching people get drunk because of nothing else interesting to do - probably means an early flight home on Thursday.