SEATTLE, Washington — Calling all Harry Potter fans: Seattle, Washington’s coolest dad has created a wizarding world and we got a look inside this real-life version of Diagon Alley before it began its journey to a new home to help children.
Johnathan Chambers said his kids always wanted him to create something special for Halloween.
"I posed a question to my girls, 'What can we do for Halloween or Christmas?' It was in the summer, to like go big. And one of them said, 'Diagon Alley'," he said.
Chambers was fully committed to making this the best Diagon Alley fans had ever seen, but he had to leave his job to accomplish this project.
He decided to create the real-life Diagon Alley in his driveway. Chambers has been a creative director for more than 20 years and focusing on the details was his forte.
At this Diagon Alley, muggles are allowed in. They walk into a magical filled with an assortment of shops and items on Hogwarts' supply list. There is Olivander’s Wand Shop, Eyelops' Owl Emporium, Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions and Flourish and Blotts where students buy their school books.
Once word got out about the Diagon Alley Project, fans from around the world flocked to see this wizarding world in Washington.
“They walk in the door and some of them have burst into tears. It’s been incredible," Chambers said.
From overzealous screams, hysterical cries and a few marriage proposals, the Diagon Alley Project became a bigger success than Chambers ever imagined.
As thousands of muggles roamed through their fantastical getaway, Chambers and his family realized they had an opportunity to make an even bigger difference. They decided to collect donations from visitors to raise money for cancer research. They raised $45,000.
We visited Diagon Alley as Chambers was beginning to disassemble it for its next phase. He donated it to Camp Kory, a camp for children who have serious medical conditions, so the kids can now enjoy it.
Through this magical creation, the Chambers family also started their own non-profit to continue their quest to bring joy to those who need it most.
As for his next big adventure, Chamber’s plans on building the Death Star from Star Wars.