I think if you are checking the boards with some regularity... say, at least every couple of days, you should see the announcement for when pre-reg and hotel come out. My first year of Fanime (2010), I was in Italy when hotel reg occurred, so I was not checking things as much and I still managed to get a room at the Hilton.
Watch the boards and watch Twitter. That seems to be the two quickest ways to find out about things when they open. The website seems to be the last thing updated, at least from what I remember of the past. It's not -too- far behind, but when you are relying on your timing, the boards and Twitter seem to be the most instantaneous.