August 4th, 2010
01:54 PM ET
"It's been a rough year at Hogwarts", the student chorus sings throughout "The Final Battle," a musical based upon the final full act of the last book in J.K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” series.
The statement couldn't be further from the truth at the brick and mortar version of Hogwarts castle at Universal Orlando, which has been a massive success since its opening in the summer of 2010.
Infinitus, a convention for Harry Potter fans run by HP Education Fanon, Inc., a group devoted to organizing academic symposiums, added to this summer's attendee total. About 1700 fans were given the chance to visit the new attraction in Orlando, Florida during the muggle-free "Night of a Thousand Wizards” event at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
From the Forbidden Journey ride to the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, witches and wizards had to work hard to hold on to their authentic-tasting butterbeer and pumpkin juice.
It may be safe to say admission to the park was the biggest draw for convention-goers, but the symposium itself featured an array of attractions. There was a vendor room where one could buy authentic house robes and school ties from Alivan's, plus a live quidditch match and wizard chess.
With days worth of panel discussions like "Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grade Alchemist?" and "Severus Snape, Jedi Master," Infinitus was a massive undertaking, highlighting the talents and the passions of people who adore the story of "the boy who lived" from start to finish.
One night, a massive line snaked around the lobby of the Loews Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando as attendees waited to see the aforementioned musical “The Final Battle,” created by university students Mallory Vance and Lena Weinstein.
The play was rehearsed by the massive, global cast and full orchestra over a period of nine months via Skype. The live musical itself was a triumph, but it's the ingenuity of its creators and the enthusiasm of the audience that was particularly impressive.
HPEF recently announced they will be putting on another event, this one called "Ascendio," from July 12–15, 2012 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, the home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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