Interview: Working at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Alphonso Sanchez is your everyday, regular Floridian, who works at Universal Studios Orlando. “I guess it’s just genetics but it could be how much I hang around the park.” Sanchez says. “It’s really more of a lifestyle.” Sanchez, of course, is talking about his job at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hogsmeade and Hogwarts opened first in Orlando back in 2009, and thankfully is now open at Universal Studios Hollywood as of this April.
While it proved to be a massive success for USOrlando, they made an even larger expansion in the year 2014 with part two, Diagon Alley.
“Most people are familiar with Hogsmeade but I actually work in the newer Diagon Alley at Ollivanders wands.” To describe it, Diagon Alley, basically recreates the very scene from the first movie, when Harry is first introduced to the World within the Muggle’s land of London. Sanchez goes on to say, “We have everything from it, like the enchanted brick wall, the Owl Post, and Gringott’s Bank, obviously.” There’s even a motion-friendly ride within Gringott’s Bank that takes you on a perilous quest amongst a dragon. “But honestly, the real stars here, are the ones working the stores and booths.” Sanchez confirms. “We have to stay in character — as wizard or witch — from the moment we step onto the park until closing time.”
Universal installed an automatic replica of the Hogwarts Express — not to mention of King’s Cross Railroad station — to not only transport the guests to and fro Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, but also between the sister parks of Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
When asked about the possibility of an expansion for the other parks, Sanchez smirked. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”