Just back from a trip that was magical in its own right, 14-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Raven Devanney shares what it was like to be part of the Red Carpet excitement as Universal Studios celebrated the Nov. 21 DVD and Blu-ray release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Also enjoy the video of her interviews with the Harry Potter stars.
The Red Carpet Thrill of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’
By Raven Devanney
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the newest and final installment in the Harry Potter series. I had the great honor of going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla., a the Universal Studios Adventure Island for the Red Carpet event celebrating the DVD and Blu-ray release of the last film. While I was there, I was able to explore the park, ride the attractions, meet and interview celebrities and attend the red carpet.
On the first day I arrived at the beautiful Royal Pacific resort, the Florida climate was shocking and warm considering that I had left Colorado with snow on the ground. I went to the theme park the next day with Ranny and my mom to do my stand-ups (introduction to the weekend). It was so fun because I got to meet some other reporters and critics, who were really nice to me and very impressed that I was only 14.
The rest of the day rushed past so fast. My media badge was like an express pass to skip the lines to the rides. I went on the Dragon Challenge, which is a crazy-fun roller-coaster that swoops you up like you’re riding on the back of a dragon. Then I went on the Forbidden Journey inside of the Hogwarts Castle. The castle itself was so incredible: The pictures on the wall had conversations with each other and the books on the shelves in Dumbledore’s office moved around and sorted themselves. The spot-on attention to detail was breathtaking. Life-sized holograms of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore appear on your way through the castle. Then the ride comes. It’s a flawless mix of projection screens and perfectly crafted animatronics and sets. I rode it multiple times. That should be your top-priority ride when you visit Adventure Island.
Later that day, I interviewed Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley) and David Yates (director). Rupert was my favorite to interview because Ron has always been my favorite character. I asked him what it was like growing up with the Harry Potter cast and he told me it was like his family and a big part of his life. He said that the Wizarding World Theme Park was even better than the set because on set there were hardly any full-scale buildings but in the theme park you are completely immersed into the magical land of witchcraft and wizardry.
The next night was the Red Carpet event. A lot of fans were lined up waiting to see their favorite stars and watch the fun begin. The red carpet stretched through Hogsmead and was very exciting. I got to interview several other cast members on the red carpet. I asked James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley, respectively) what it was like working on set together and how they related to their characters. They replied by telling me it was very easy to work with each other because they were brothers. They related to their characters a lot, except they said, “We’re not ginger,” gesturing to their hair. After all of the interviews, which lasted about two hours, we went to the after-party for the press and cast members. There was an abundance of English delights and butterbeer (be sure to try the frozen kind).
After the fest and a fantastic performance by the Frog Choir, directed by Warwick Davis, the evening was finished with a spectacular fireworks show above Hogwarts Castle. Then all the rides were available to enjoy. It was almost creepy going on an empty roller-coaster, but it was very thrilling.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend that I will never forget!!!
Photo at top: Raven Devanney interviewing Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 red carpet event at Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla.