Wizards of Waverly Place is a television show that aired on Disney Channel from 2007 until 2012. The show told the story of the Russo family, a relatively normal family living in New York City. There is only one thing that sets them apart from other families, and it is not the Sub Shop that they own: all three of the kids are wizards in training.
Their father was a wizard and passed his magical DNA onto his children. Now the Russo children have to learn as much as they can about magic before the family wizard competition that will determine which Russo sibling will get to keep their powers. There can only be one family wizard, so it is imperative that they pay close attention to all of the lessons; however, they are teenagers, after all, so often they find themselves distracted during wizard lessons.
Alex Russo is the middle child and only daughter of the family, she loves to disobey her parents and use her magic to make her life a bit easier. All three of the Russo children struggle with maintaining a normal life as well as keeping their wizard life a secret from all of their friends and classmates. Here are the things that fans tend to forget (or have missed entirely) about this beloved series. There's so much to it that isn't immediately evident to people who have watched the show, so we're here to uncover those tidbits that have been swept under the rug.
25 Alex Was Originally Going To Be Called Julia
Alex Russo is one of the main characters of the show. Many of the storylines revolve around her and the antics that she is always dragging everyone into. She's impulsive, and much-loved by the fans.
It is hard to believe that at one point, pretty late in the creation of the television show, that she had a completely different name.
Eventually, the writers realized that Russo was the last name they wanted to use and changed Alex’s first name to better fit it.
24 The Title Was Changed Around A Few Times
When a show is created, there are a ton of different changes that it goes through in order to find the perfect formula that will both attract an audience as well as keep an audience. In an Instagram post, David Henrie, who played Justin Russo, revealed that the show actually had a different title when the pilot was shot. It was revealed that the writers were throwing around a couple of different names for the show including “The Amazing Hannigans," “The Amazing O’Malley’s,” and “Disney Wizards.” The writers quickly settled on “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
23 Alex & Selena Are Of The Same Descent
It is pretty rare that an actor or actress shares the same descent as the character that hey are playing. However, Selena Gomez and Alex Russo are both of Italian and Spanish descent.
Selena is the only one on the show who shares this connection with her character.
Alex has stated numerous times that she feels a special connection with Alex as they share a lot of commonalities, besides Alex being a wizard! When the show ended, Selena said that she was sad to let go of the character but would always keep a piece of her close.
22 Alex & Justin Were Originally Going To Be Twins
Justin is the older brother to Alex and the two seem to butt heads quite a lot. Alex is a free spirit who hates to follow any sort of rules. Justin, on the other hand, is a bit of a goody two shoes. Even though they are very different in personality, they are equally as close to one another. But they were originally supposed to be a lot closer! The writers of the show wanted to make them twins; this got changed during the course of production.
21 Wizards Is Disney's Longest Running Show
Disney Channel has had a ton of successful shows over the years. They have a knack for delivering shows that tell a story most people can relate to.
Wizards was a bit of a different concept that they never tried before, but once the first episode aired many fans were hooked.
People of all ages like this fun show that told the story of some kids growing up while also trying to navigate the wild world of magic. To date, Wizards Of Waverly Place is Disney's longest-running show.
20 Joe Jonas Auditioned For The Role Of Justin
Joe Jonas has always shown an interest in acting; he and his brothers even landed their very own Disney Channel show called Jonas. However, before starring on his own show Joe auditioned for the role of Justin Russo. Justin is the oldest of the Russo siblings and prefers to play by the books as opposed to breaking the rules. However, he is always there to help his sister out of whatever predicaments she finds herself in. Although Joe would have made a fine choice for the role, the producers decided to cast David Henrie for the role. Joe went on to get his own show.
19 Dallas Lovato Was Meant To Be A Regular On The Show
Dallas Lovato is the older sister of the super famous Demi Lovato. Like her younger sister, she showed an interest in the entertainment industry from a young age and was even cast on Wizards Of Waverly Place as a series regular. However, she was cut from the pilot and never made her on-screen debut. In episode nineteen of the show, Dallas made a small appearance in the show. Like Demi, Dallas was pretty close to Selena as they had known each other since they were young. Nowadays, Dallas works as a pageant coach.
18 David Wrote Two Of The Episodes
When the show first started David was just a young actor trying to find his place in the world. But as the show progressed he realized that he was very interested in behind the scenes work.
David wrote two of the episodes for the show.
David is credited with writing "Alex's Logo" and "Meet the Werewolves." David wrote and, of course, appeared in both of these episodes, so he had double the work that everyone else had. Since Wizards, David has continued to explore new things including directing a short film and taking on some complex roles.
17 The Show Was Originally Going To Take Place In Ireland
Wizards of Waverly Place is a unique show, so it was important that the creators of the show found the perfect group of people and location for the show. One of the earlier locations that was considered was Ireland. Ireland is a country full of interesting heritage and locations that would have been a great place to film. However, the producers settled on New York City, as it was more relatable to US viewers. New York City is filled with people who have unique backgrounds and interesting stories to tell just like the Russo family.
16 Each Cast Member Took Something From Set
After working on a show for so long, it can be very easy to get attached to everyone and everything. Cast members taking props or even parts from the set are not an uncommon practice, as it is a great way to hold onto some of the memories that took place on the set and the show.
Most of the time, producers and writers even take something from the show because they have put so much time and effort into making sure that everything goes smoothly. This was the case with Wizards; everyone took something!
15 The Series Finale Is The Most Watched In Disney History
Wizards was one of Disney's most popular television shows to date, as it attracted a large audience for basically its entire run. The series finale of the show featured the Russo siblings finally competing against one another to see who would be able to keep their powers and who would have to give them up. Alex came out on top. However, Justin was also able to keep his powers when he was granted the position of the new headmaster of the wizarding school. Max was not too upset about losing his powers, as he was gifted the Sub Shop from his parents.
14 The Spells Were Created From The Producer's Names
The spells that the Russo siblings and the other wizards on the show used sounded very well thought out and pretty complicated. There were so many spells that the wizards used that it was pretty much impossible to keep track of them all, at least for viewers. The Russo siblings had to retain as much information as possible so that they would be prepared for whatever challenges they faced in the wizarding competition amongst each other. The spells were actually different derivatives of the producers' names; pretty clever on the writers' part!
13 The Russo Family Was Originally Going To Own A Magic Shop
Of course, the Russo family ended up owning the "Waverly Sub Station." This sandwich shop is where everyone in the family worked, and it was a place where they could all be together. The Russo family were originally going to own a magic shop, which would make sense since more than half of the family are wizards. However, the Sub Shop gave them a good cover as they appeared as a normal, working family. When Max lost his powers, his parents told him that they wanted him to take over the Sub Shop when he was older.
12 Alex & Justin Dated In Real Life
Selena and David were both pretty young when they started working on the show, but when they met they hit it off right away. Way back in 2010, they were spotted getting pretty close on a couple of dinner dates according to an article by Popsugar. However, the two of them decided to call it quits when things started to get weird. Nonetheless, the two have remained close, even after the show came off of the air. They regularly hung out on set and even outside of work. Selena and the rest of the Wizards cast attended David's recent wedding.
11 Waverly Place Is An Actual Street
Waverly Place may just be a street, but it is very important to the Russo family story. It's the main place where most things take place. The Russo family lives and works on Waverly Place, as that is where their Sub Shop is located.
This is also where the Russo kids learn most of their magic, as their "magic lair" is located in their house.
The family experiences some of their highest highs and their lowest lows on Waverly Place, so to think that this is an actual street that people reside on makes the show seem that just more real.
10 Greg Sulkin & David Henrie Became Really Good Friends
David Henrie played Justin Russo the oldest of the Russo children. Gregg Sulkin, on the other hand, plays Mason, a werewolf who sweeps Alex off of her feet. The two of them are able to seek solace in one another, as they have finally found someone they can share their biggest secret with. On the show, Justin was a bit wary of Mason as he was protective of his younger sister; not to mention that Mason dated Justin's current girlfriend. However, in real life, the two of them became very close. The two actors even bought houses right next to each other.
9 Wizards Vs Werewolves Was The Most Watched Episode
In this episode, Mason and Alex share their secrets with one another while Justin continues to search for his vampire girlfriend. Once Justin finds out that Mason is a werewolf, he decides to use him to track down Juliet, his girlfriend.
Once they get there, it is revealed that Juliet and Mason dated 300 years ago.
Mason gets flustered and professes his love for Juliet; this causes Alex to throw the necklace he gave her and run off. Eventually, the two make up. A fight between Mason and Juliet results in Mason becoming a wolf forever and Juliet losing her vampire abilities.
8 Selena Gomez Still Has Alex's Wand
When the show ended, all of the cast and crew took things from the set that reminded them of their time on the show. Selena felt very connected to Alex Russo, so when the show ended Selena grabbed the one thing that seemed to connect them above all else: Alex's wand. During the course of the series, Alex always kept this close, usually in her boot. This wand allowed her to do magic and manipulate the world around her. This wand also landed her in a great deal of trouble because she was constantly doing spells she wasn't ready for.
7 Alex & Justin Used To Play Games In Between Scenes
While filming a television show, there is typically a decent amount of time in between takes where actors are just waiting around. Some actors prefer to keep to themselves and stay in their dressing room when they are not filming, whereas others prefer to mingle with one another.
The cast of Wizards seem to be very close with one another, as they were often seen out together even when they weren't filming!
Selena and David seemed to develop something of a sibling bond and enjoyed having thumb wrestling matches in between takes in order to pass the time until they were needed on set.
6 There Is A Rent Poster In The Sub Shop
The Sub Shop seems like a great place to hang out. They have good food, a hip design, and it seems to be a very laid back atmosphere. Although all of the Russo children worked there, they often chose to hang out there in their free time as well. One thing that some fans noticed was that there was what appeared to be a Rent poster hanging in the Shop. Rent is a popular musical that was on Broadway. The placement of this poster was intentional and not an accident or coincidence.
5 The Hardware Store On Waverly Place Is Named After the Creator
The Russo kids spend a lot of time on Waverly Place, especially right outside of the Sub Station. This is where they grew up and is basically like their backyard since they live about the Sub Station. There is a hardware store located on this street that is named after the creator of the show, Todd J. Greenwald. Greenwald is no newbie when it comes to Disney shows, as he worked on the first season of Hannah Montana as both a writer as well as a consulting producer.
4 Selena Originally Thought Max Should Win The Competition
Max is the youngest of the Russo siblings, and so he often finds himself a couple of steps behind his older brother and sister. When the show first starts, he is struggling with learning all of the spells and magic facts that he is required to know. When it comes time for the family wizard competition, Max does a pretty good job holding his own against his older siblings, however, in the end, he is unable to win. Selena felt like he should be the one to keep his powers; however, the writers decided to go a different route.
3 Wizards Has A Bunch Of Harry Potter References
Most people know that Harry Potter is the leading place for magic. However, Wizards did a pretty good job of depicting a magic world that was both interesting and realistic.
That is not to say that the writers did not have their fun and include some Harry Potter references in the series.
Once the Russo kids start attending Wizarding school, then there are a ton of Harry Potter references; for example, the robes and the thick-rimmed glasses. Some of the Harry Potter references are very subtle and would only be picked up on by a true Harry Potter fan.
2 Wizards Premiered On The Same Day As Twitches Too
Twitches Too is about twin sisters who were separated at birth but end up finding each other. One of them was raised by a single mother, and the other was raised by rich parents. Eventually, they find their way back to one another only to discover that they are anything but normal.
They have powers that make them witches. They also have a whole dimension that is counting on them to save it.
They must delve into an entire world that they never even knew existed. In the end, they have a bond stronger than they ever thought was possible.
1 Gigi Played A Mean Girl In Another Disney Show
On the very first episode of the show, Alex is rushing around to get to a crazy sale that only lasts ten minutes. She wants to finally beat her arch enemy, Gigi, at something. Of course, this blows up in Alex's face when she tries to use magic. But this is not the first "mean girl" role that the actress who plays Gigi has had on Disney! Skyler Samuels is the actress behind Gigi, and she has played the role of "mean girl" on two other Disney Channel shows. Skyler can be seen on That's So Raven as well as The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody.