On July 12, HPEF is Going Back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™! Harry Potter Fans Descend on Ascendio Fancon in Orlando

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Since 2003, HPEF's Harry Potter fan events have become annual celebrations of all things Harry Potter where the fans gather to explore J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, films and fandom in person, in formal programming sessions, and in casual meetups in restaurants, bars, cafes and Common Rooms, Wrock concerts and Quidditch pitches, fanfiction readings and fanart galleries. On July 12, HPEF's final fancon - Ascendio - showcases three days of fandom magic at the Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando.

Make no mistake about it. This is a magical place. Some of the fans spoke of weeping the first time they entered this space. Others described it as a kind of homecoming as they were able to enter a world they had previously known only through imagination.

On Thursday, Harry Potter fans will converge in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure for Ascendio’s exclusive after-hours event. http://hp2012.org has all the details about this magical event that's a must-do for all Harry Potter fans.

In July of 2010, HPEF hosted Night of a Thousand Wizards, the first fan event at Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Professor Henry Jenkins described it as a homecoming, and wrote:

Make no mistake about it. This is a magical place. Some of the fans spoke of weeping the first time they entered this space. Others described it as a kind of homecoming as they were at last able to enter a world they had previously known only through their imagination.

On July 12, 2012, hundreds of Harry Potter fans - some in costume - will return to The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. Fans will enjoy magical experiences, seeing - and being photographed in front of - Hogwarts TM castle lit up into the wee hours of the morning, gallivanting through Hogsmeade™ in full costume (a privilege extended exclusively to our event!), zipping through lines for The Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and more!

Also attending Night of a Thousand Wizards 2 - to enjoy the Park and meet Ascendio attendees - are Harry Potter cast members Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) and Afshan Azad (Padma Patil), members of Team StarKid and the Hillywood Show, podcasters from Mugglecast, YA authors, “Potter Pundit” John Granger and more!

In fact, John Granger will be hosting a discussion of all things Harry Potter starting at 10:30 on the patio behind The Three Broomsticks™, exclusively for NoaTW2 attendees.

Tickets are available starting at $155 per person at Ascendio's registration desk at the Portofino Bay Resort on July 12, and online through July 9 at http://tinyurl.com/NoaTW2 - more information, as well as the evening’s costume policy, can be found on Ascendio’s website at http://hp2012.org/?page_id=864

Night of a Thousand Wizards 2 is hosted by HPEF as part of its ASCENDIO convention, which takes place at the Universal Orlando Loews Portofino Bay Resort from July 12 - 15, 2012; event information and registration are at http://hp2012.org, as well as at http://twitter.com/HPEF and http://www.facebook.com/Ascendio2012

ABOUT HPEF: We've played Quidditch in ballrooms and in the water, we've dressed in costumes and danced on cobblestoned streets. We hosted the first Wizard Rock concert in 2003 and saw Chris Rankin kidnapped by Death Eaters in 2005 and by Dementors in 2008. We Wrocked Around the Rock, had Christian Coulson write in our diaries, liveblogged analyses of geography, alchemy, nomenclature, spells and whether Snape loved Lily (granted, that was in 2003) and whether Draco would be redeemed (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007). Fanfic writers who presented at our first fancons have written best-selling novels and musicians who performed in the round grace our televisions weekly.

At past event, we mourned Sirius Black and Albus Dumbledore and Dobby - and Snape - and watched deleted scenes from the first two films while sitting in inflatable armchairs. We sat on the floor to watch Team StarKid acoustically perform "Going Back to Hogwarts" despite all the ladies in the cast being absent, and we toasted with beverages inspired by the books as we talked, again, about the characters, places, stories and spells.

HP Education Fanon, Inc. (HPEF) is a U.S.-based educational non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to producing academic symposia on the Harry Potter books and cultural phenomenon. Our past events include Nimbus – 2003, The Witching Hour (2005), Lumos (2006), Prophecy (2007), Portus (2008), Azkatraz (2009), and Infinitus (2010). Ascendio is is not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported directly or indirectly by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Butterbeer™ beverage. HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and ©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s12) Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2012 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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