I don't think I've ever been this excited to write a blog post as soon as I got home from an experience or event. I was going to post my last Australia post, and schedule this one, but what the heck, you can have this one first and then my last Australia one later in the week. So yesterday I took my god-daughter up to London to have the Cinderella Experience at Harrods in Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It's a wonderful experience for children which truly does bring the Disney magic to life, for both the children and the adults!
When Disney got in touch about the experience I knew my four-year-old god-daughter Rosie would absolutely adore it. She's Disney obsessed, and every time I see her we watch Disney films together - she even got me hooked on the Princess and the Frog! So we booked a day to go along, and counted down the weeks.
We didn't tell Rosie what she was going to be doing, we just told her we were going to London. We'd previously taken her to Harrods at Christmas time for the Christmas Grotto, which she loved. We went to the Disney Cafe for lunch, and although we thought it would be a typical kids themed cafe which had 'rubbish food and a is bit cheesy', it was actually really good, and Rosie adored the free Minnie Mouse ears (given to every child), Mickey Mouse shaped pizza, and decor of the cafe. However, we weren't too impressed that it cost £5.50 for a child's orange juice. That's more expensive than a Coca-Cola in Mahiki!
But anyway, we had a wander round the toy section and then it was time to go for the experience. Rosie still knew nothing...we led her to the entrance of the Boutique, where a 'Fairy Godmother in Training' knelt down and asked if she was Princess Rosie. Rosie nodded shyly, and was given a special name-tag and a magical buzzer which would buzz when it was time for her to be transformed.
As soon as the buzzer went a few minutes later we went back and were introduced to Helen, Rosie's Fairy Godmother for the afternoon. Helen was absolutely brilliant, Rosie can be quite shy as she has problems with her speech and gets words confused, but Helen made her feel so comfortable the whole time. She led us down a hallway which resembled a castle, and towards a big screen where the Fairy Godmother was. But she didn't appear until Rosie waved a magic wand and said the magic words - Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!
Before we knew it it was time to enter the huge blue doorway into the makeover suite. The doors gently opened and it was like stepping into Cinderella's powder room. Fairy godmothers-in-training floated around the room singing sweetly along to the Disney music playing over speakers, and another little girl was already in a chair getting her hair done. Rosie's face lit up, a smile beamed across her face as she took all of this in.
I looked at Rosie's mummy and daddy and we all just gave that 'I'm really impressed' face adults do when they're surprised by something. Although we were excited, there was a part of us that was quite skeptical - would it be cheesy? Tacky? No. It was completely magical. All of us found ourselves being taken in with the atmosphere and drama, and imagining we were actually in a real life Disney film and a boutique full of real life fairy godmothers.
Rosie was lifted into a special chair, and given the option of which hair and face paint she'd like. She chose the bun, and the butterfly face paints. Then it was time to put her Princess dress on before getting made up. She walked out of the changing room and over to the mirror, and I think her face says it all....
I have never ever seen her smile so much! She twirled her dress around excitedly, beaming into the mirror and curtsying to everyone. And that was before her hair and makeup had been done! My heart felt as though it would burst with happiness. It melted. Completely. To think that I could give Rosie such an incredible opportunity through this blog just made me want to cry. Seriously, forget the free Michelin-starred dinners, forget the free holidays and hotel stays and amazing event invites; t h i s, has been the proudest and happiest moment of my blogging life.
We finally prised her away from the mirror and got her back into the seat so Helen could start on her hair, while another fairy godmother did Rosie's nails. Lilac and pink, obviously.
The Fairy Godmothers kept her entertained with items from various Disney films and questions about the characters from the films. And naturally, throughout the makeover, magic was used at every moment possible.
When it was time for Rosie's Tiara to arrive, eyes were closed, pixie dust was sprinkled, and after saying those magic words 'Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!' a tiara appeared in Rosie's tiny little hands...
Her face lit up and she could hardly believe her eyes! She kept saying 'it's so lovely' over and over again, as if she couldn't believe it was her very own tiara! Helen placed it gently onto her head, and then put the Veil over the back of the bun, securing it with the matching hair clip.
Then it was time for the face paints, and with a little more pixie dust....Rosie was ready to be a fully fledged Princess!
When Helen turned the chair around so Rosie could look in the mirror that smile re-appeared in full force!
She got down from the chair and ran to the big mirror, twirling around in circles and just smiling and smiling in front of the mirror, telling us 'I'm so beautiful! I'm so pretty!'. For just one day, make believe had become a reality, and this little girl was a real life Princess with her own Magic Kingdom. It's almost every little girl's childhood dream come true.
But the magic wasn't over just yet, oh no. After all, she couldn't be Cinderella without her glass slippers! After posing infront of her very own Royal Coach, she sat on the red velvet seat and Helen the Fairy Godmother placed her tiny glass slippers onto her teeny feet.
Cue more curtsying to us all!
And then, the piece-de-resistance, the coronation!
Our afternoon at the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was simply enchanting. It's funny, but as I've grown older, despite still adoring Disney films, it has sort of lost it's magic for me a little. But seeing it all through fresh young eyes, and seeing Rosie's innocent little face taking it all in and believing in it all, really brought the magic back for me. Fantasy and imagination is a wonderful thing.
We got home and Rosie said to me 'Anty Cafrin, I'm really happy...I'm a princess'. My heart melted just a little bit more. The past three years of this blog have been worth it just for that! I felt like a fairy godmother myself rather than a normal godmother, making all her childhood wishes come true in just one afternoon.
People say a lot of things about Disney as a brand, both good and bad, but if one brand can make children smile this much, and make them believe that anything is possible, then damn. Even if they do make a lot of money, who cares, because it has to be the happiest brand in the world. Please excuse me while I go and cry and order every Disney DVD and book a trip back to Disneyworld. Walt Disney, I love you.
"Adults are only kids grown up, anyway" - Walt Disney
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Rosie had the Disney Cinderella Wedding Experience at the Harrods Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Prices for the Cinderella experiences start from £300, and although our experience was complimentary I honestly think that if you can afford it it's 100% worth the money, but if you can't, why not ask a few family members to get together to help pay for it for a birthday? It was truly magical, and a once in a lifetime chance to make a child live out a fairy-tale dream!