UPPER WEST SIDE -- Hundreds of Harry Potter fans filled Dante Park across from Lincoln Center on Monday for the premiere of the final installment in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2."
But after close to a week of waiting, some fans cursed their fate after event organizers handed out armbands to see the stars close-up without any apparent consideration for how long they'd been waiting.
Staffers doled out armbands granting access to stand on the red carpet to "people getting here two hours ago," said an angry Tanya Mignone, 23, of Queens, who set up camp near Lincoln Center three days ago. "We've been out here dying of heat. I think it's really, really messed up."
Mingnone was one of the lucky few behind the barricades at Columbus Ave. from 63rd to 64th streets to eventually get a wrist band, unlike one woman who had been standing next to her for three days and flew in from Puerto Rico for a chance.
"Please!" some fans begged as a man in a black suit and a Warner Bros. lanyard around his neck attached the bands to fans' wrists in an apparent haphazard manner. Fans formed a line and were told to write numbers on their arms showing what order they were in. But then event staff handed out the bracelets at different points in the line without going in order.
Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Some fans waited as long as six days -- sleeping in the park on Columbus Ave. between 63rd and 64th streets -- for a chance at a front-row view of their favorite actors as they walked the red carpet Monday evening. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, is expected to walk the red carpet when the event starts at 5 p.m. Monday, as are co-stars Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley).
"It was like a giant Harry Potter sleepover," said Natasha Tsakiris, 21, who flew in from Toronto over the weekend for the premiere and slept in the park Sunday night. "This has been like a 10-year dream."
Friends Bridget Clare, 20, Jenifer Krumm, 21, Christine Krumm, 19, and Allysone Pereira, 15, who hail from cities across the country, became friends during the premier of the last movie. The group waited six full days before learning that their hopes of front-row views of the red carpet gala might have been in vain.
"They got our hopes up so many times," said Jennifer Krumm, who said organizers told them they would not be allowed up close to watch the red carpet. "We hope after six days something comes out of it."
But some in the park said there were a few unexpected positive surprises in the run-up to the premiere.
Actor Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy, stopped by the park Sunday night in his car and delivered several boxes of pizza.
"It was chaos," Kristen McGovern, 26, said.
Some other fans were relieving the series before seeing the final installment.
Joshua Cajas, 14, from Queens was rereading the "Deathly Hallows" while he waited for the premiere.
"You've got to see the stars before the movie," said Cajas.