Dates:  July 17-20, 2003

Location:  Orlando, FL

Minister of Magic:  Gwendolyn Grace

Special Guests & Keynote Speakers: Judith Krug, Ari Rapkin, John Granger, Connie Neal, Roger Highfield, Philip Nel

About Nimbus 2003

From July 17 through July 20, approximately 600 Harry Potter fans, enthusiasts, scholars, and students converged at the Swan & Dolphin hotel at Walt Disney World for dozens of hours of discussions of the books, as well as a feast, two showings of both Harry Potter films, an amazing auction and what was, overall, a magical weekend  of “firsts” for all concerned.

The Keynote Luncheons were presentations from two industry professionals: Judith Krug, at that time Director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, who discussed banned books and the cases against Harry Potter in particular; and Ari Rapkin, at that time a graphics engineer for Industrial Light and Magic, who brought some amazing footage of the special effects process for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” including outtakes of the computer-generated character Dobby.

Over 65 presentations, panels, and round-table discussions were held on Friday and Saturday, along with the two Keynotes and an opening plenary panel on the Marauders.

Nimbus also featured the first-ever Wrock Concert: The Switchblade Kittens played for Friday night’s party and featured their songs about Ginny, Harry, and the Wizarding World.

Informal Programming and Special Events:

  • Quidditch
  • Double-Feature Double-Feature Pyjama Party
  • An interactive Quest with puzzlers and scavenger hunt
  • The Founder’s Feast at Disney’s EPCOT Center
  • FictionAlley’s Birthday Party at the Dolphin’s Copa Banana
  • Worst HP Merchandise contest
  • “Birds of a Feather” meetups

Magical Coincidences: The first-ever Harry Potter Conference of its scale and type was also the beneficiary of a remarkable coincidence: The fifth book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” was published just three weeks prior to the event. Moreover, the organizers had already decided to highlight Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew (“the Marauders”) as mascots for the event–and as a result, the atmosphere took on something of a “wake” for a beloved (or hated) character.

Here are some photos from NIMBUS!

2 comments on “Nimbus

  1. I attended Nimbus as Prof. McGonagall. Hundreds of black-robed fans brought the magic of Hogwarts to life, moreso than any convention since. The vendors were out in full force with wonderful offerings like a real Quidditch set. Every aspect of Nimbus was exhilarating. It inspired me to become a presenter at several future conventions.

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