Soooooooooooooooooooooo, I went back to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour for its grand opening. Twas just as good the second time round but I must admit that the day was more about the Red Carpet later that day.
This time everything had been constructed. The first time round Privet Drive, Tom Riddle’s Grave and Godric’s Hollow weren’t quite finished but in just over a week they had all been entirely transformed. Buckbeak was also moving this time, if you get your timing right he bows down to you.
But I have to say the main difference is the fact that it was full of people, full of fans. Almost everyone was dressed up in their wizarding robes, carrying their wands and sporting their circular framed glasses. Squeals of delight were coming from every single direction and once again, when it came to the model of Hogwarts, people were overwhelmed and tearing up and gasping in awe.
It really was amazing being able to go back so soon and watching everyone act the way I must have been acting the week before. It was a privilege being able to go when it was almost empty but the magic is more apparent when it’s full of people, when all the fans are packed together in one of the most desirable destinations of the Harry Potter universe.
Anyway, because it was the opening day a red carpet had been laid outside and a great throng of people had gathered, already hanging over the barrier in anticipation. When I joined them a couple of hours later I didn’t think I had a chance of getting near the front, I was stuck beside a family, the young boy who was being picked up by his mum so he could see wouldn’t stop moaning and kept kicking me (by accident I’m sure), so needless to say I was a tad annoyed.
But miraculously, while I was watching Alex Zane interviewing the stars, the family decided to leave the main crowd which left a wonderful space in front of me, wonderful because I could see the vibrant carpet. Yet, because I was busy watching the interviews I didn’t even notice their absence straight away, luckily nobody took advantage of my distraction.
I had with me my Tales of Beedle the Bard book with me (I learnt the hard way last year that the smaller book would be best) anyway, long story short….
Sporting a dodgy pony tail, Tom Felton was one of the first to arrive and one of the las to leave. I’ve never really realised before how dedicated he was but he went and signed every single thing he could. I was near the entrance of the tour so was near the end of clamouring fans, and people all around me kept asking where tom was until eventually he came into view. He was on the other side and people screamed out his name and without even flinching he carried on signing everything and posing for photos. He carried on down that side and when he got to the last person came straight back up to our side and carried on with pen in hand (when I said thanks to him he said ‘it’s my pleasure’).
The stars had to be hurried on, David Thewlis, Warwick Davis and Evanna Lynch all had to rush past and both Warwick and Evanna seemed genuinely disappointed as everyone screamed at them and they had to carry on into the building.
David Yates and David Barron (who’s a producer on the films) were both really nice too. Yates was very chatty and asking people if they had been in yet and seemed pleased by the turnout while Barron, whenever someone said thanks, said very sincerely ‘Thank you for being a fan’. Nick Dudman (who is responsible for all the creatures you see in the films) was pretty cool too, he seemed a little surprised that people wanted his autograph. Chris Rankin (who played Percy Weasley) waltzed by towards the end and seemed pretty greatful.
I almost managed to get Mike Newell’s autograph (director of Goblet of Fire which I’m watching now), as well as Alfonso Cuaron’s who is responsible for Prisoner of Azkaban, then there was George Harris (Kingsley Shacklebolt), Harry Melling (Dudly Dursley) Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas) and David Bradley (Filch) but I just missed out on them, although my mum did manage to get Alfie’s and also Nick Moran’s, who played Scabior.
Anyway, he one I’m most excited about is Rupert Grint’s, after the premiere of the last film I didn’t hold out much hope, he sped through them all and he gave out autographs few and far between. But this time he was almost as attentive as Tom, he took his time and signed everything in front of him. When he got to me, and this is not an exaggeration I promise, I said ‘thanks Rupert’ and he actually looked right at me (I was behind a person which makes it more surprising), smiled and said ‘s’alright’. I might sound like a bit of a fan girl at the moment but considering at the start I didn’t think I was going to get anyone’s I consider this a very excellent outcome.
Twas a good day indeed…..and me and mum are already planning on going back to the tour a third time!