This Father Built a Secret Street Behind His Daughter’s Closet, and It Seems Pretty Ordinary Until You Look Inside
The famous Diagon Alley! Who hasn’t dreamed, as a child, to walk along this street from Harry Potter?! 6-year-old Ella from London was probably the happiest child, when on her birthday she found the entrance to this street inside her closet. This isn’t magic outside of Hogwarts, it’s even cooler. Ella’s dad Dylan spent a few months recreating the Harry Potter universe from scratch, and 100% nailed it.
Here at Bright Side we love surprises. This time we couldn’t pass by such a miraculous birthday present and not share it with you. Grab your notebooks and learn how to be the coolest of dads.
Ella is a big Harry Potter fan.
According to Ella’s dad, Ella was very impressed by the first film, after watching they started reading the first book, which was also something special, Dylan shares. As the family had to cancel their vacation this year, dad wanted to make something special for Ella’s birthday and came up with the following — to build the well-known Diagon Alley in a narrow room behind his daughter’s closet.
Dylan is not an artist by profession, he works as a business analyst. At his job, they’re usually encouraged to submit new ideas, as he shares. So Ella’s dad decided to cover the narrow room with sheets over the windows and doors and create a little Potter universe in there.
The plan was to finish the project by Ella’s birthday.
As Dylan says, the idea appeared in April and it took a few months to work out how to do it — he bought materials, drew up plans, and built a model of the street. And at the end of August, he started building it in order to finish by Ella’s birthday at the end of September.
Many tiny details like books and feathers were bought off the internet. Dylan also reached out to friends, to help carve the shop fronts out of wood, and his mom, to paint the signs, and of course, he spent hours putting it all together himself. This superdad admits it was kind of a marathon doing it mostly by himself, but music helped him through it. He was even listening to the Harry Potter soundtrack at some point.
Ella found it out while playing hide and seek and hiding in the wardrobe, just like in The Chronicles of Narnia.
It took Ella some time to find the secret room, as she and her dad were playing hide-and-seek. But once she hid in the wardrobe (just like in The Chronicles of Narnia movie), she saw it.
Ella pulled back the curtains behind the wardrobe, walked into it, and said “Can we keep this here forever?” She then explored each shop and opened presents that dad had hidden in the stores — in Ollivanders Wand Shop, Eeylops Owl Emporium, and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour. As Dylan confessed, they played in there all weekend!
According to Dylan, this is the most expensive gift Ella’s ever received (over £1,000), but it was totally worth it.
Ella’s dad admits that he first put this story on his private Facebook page to share with friends and people’s comments were really heartwarming. So he decided to share it more widely, in case others might want to do something similar. Now people from all over the world leave comments saying things like “we should do this at our house.”
Dylan shared that, one time, an elderly woman messaged him and said that it brought a tear to her eye as she had had a kitchen built for her when she was a child, and 50 years later she still has it.
In the magnificent replica of Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, Ella and her dad even made their own ice cream. The dad shared that he dressed up as Hagrid and tried to do his best impression of him to make his little girl laugh.
What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever given or received? We’d be happy to see your comments and pics in the section below!