Harry Potter is in O-Town again… this time at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando and for a rather unique event… Ascendio 2012. The event started on Thursday and finishes today and it has been a chance for Potter fans to meet authors, literary agents, attend theatrical shows, Wrock, enjoy programming sessions, meet Cast Members, attend the Hillywood show panel, get an autograph at the StarKid session and so much more.
I’d never attended one of these events before so really wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be a unique and kind of cool event…if you are into this world! The organizers have literally gone out of their way to provide a memorable experience to their nearly 1,000 strong attendees and there’s been multiple things for them to do over the four days.
Of course, a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been an essential element but a full itinerary has kept guests fully occupied back at the Portofino Bay Hotel. The event has had many panel discussions as well as a chance for attendees to wander around the vendor hall to buy the latest goodies and get up to all kinds of mischief at some of the weird and wacky events being held!
Some of the stars who have been present have been Afshan Azad (Padma Patil in the last five Harry Potter films), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley in many of the Harry Potter films – pictured at start of post), Hilly and Hannah Hindi of the Hillywood Show. There’s also been a whole host of authors, editors and agents such as Aimee Carter, Beth Revis, Connie Neal, Diana Copeland, Kele Moon, Lev Grossman, Libba Bray, Mark Reads, Michelle Hodkin, Veronica Roth, Ben Schrank, Carlie Webber, Joanna Volpe, Lindsay Ribar and Saritza Hernandez. There’s also been a StarKid session with Matt & Nick Lang, Devin Lytle, Nick Strauss and Joe Moses along with Pat Brady.
The event was a chance for me to watch the rare game of Quidditch…and it was a sneak peak as the Quidditch World Cup is due to be back here in Kissimmee next April 13-14, 2013. About 2,000 athletes and 20,000 spectators are expected to descend on Central Florida for Quidditch World Cup VI, based on the game invented by Potter author J.K. Rowling.
“We run with broomsticks instead of fly,” said Hannah Lindgren, the World Cup’s director. “We often compare it to rugby for its physicality, but it also has aspects of soccer, basketball and dodgeball.”
We look forward to hosting the games …oh, and attendees, please note that we won’t be charging for parking at our vacation homes. It was quite a shock to turn up at the hotel yesterday and see the whacking huge rates they now charge to park a car for a few hours. Frankly it’s criminal… maybe Harry Potter can do something with his wand about this?
More photos from the event at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com