It began with an early morning phone call to our London flat, from Sleeping Beauty, and ended a few hours later on the train platform in front of Disneyland, Paris.  The trip was a surprise for the children.  It was a quick trip – a wet and cold trip.

If you Google it, you will read mixed reviews of this Disney theme park.  The food was really subpar, considering we were in France.  And the Paris theme park itself was more expensive than the original in Anaheim.

But we found the cast and French costumes, the rides, and especially the firework show at the end of the day, to be all that Disneyland claimed to be – MAGICAL!

I took E and L on their first roller-coaster ride – Thunder Mountain Rail Road.  They both clung to me.

I’ve never liked the Tea Cups.  They spin and spin.

Pirates of the Caribbean was darker than I remembered, probably because I had the children with me.

The children’s three favourite rides were It’s a Small World, Buzz Lightyear, and Peter Pan.  We went on those three rides several times.  J kept saying, AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN.

So, the whole of the morning we kept getting back in line, again again again.

After paying full-price for a full-day, J took the world’s most expensive nap that afternoon.

DisneyParis

E and L never slowed, though.

DisneyParis4

We came back to London with treats and toys, a fuzzy Disney Castle blanket compliments of Auntie, and cold memories to accompany it.  And, of course, E‘s book of Disney Princesses’ autographs.

 

When E had a visit to the pediatrician’s for an ear infection earlier this year, after seeing the doctor and making a follow-up appointment, the receptionist asked her if she would like a princess sticker.

“Or,” the receptionist asked, “are you too old for those now?”

E puffed up a bit, and said, “Despite my age, I still like princesses.  Can I have one of each, please?”

Now, I am not a tom-boy.  But I also don’t wear the color pink, and I was never taken with the Disney Princesses.  But, seeing as my daughter has always been, I made a list years ago, at the peak of E‘s princess obsession: “Why Disney Princesses Aren’t Such Bad Rolemodels”.

#1  Princesses like to clean-up.  Example: Snow White cleaning the 7 Dwarf’s home, including dishes and laundry.  I don’t think I need to remind anyone how good Cinderella was at clean-up time.  Of course, Rapunzel, in her tower.  And Belle was probably in the forbidden west wing only to straighten up what no one had dared to in years.

#2  Princesses talk nicely to everyone, even those mean to them.  Cinderella to her mean Stepmother and her ugly Stepsisters, Snow White to the hunter about to stab out her heart and stick it in a box.  Ariel is exempt.

#3  Princesses generally spend a lot of time sleeping.  Sleeping Beauty . . . a no-brainer.  Where is Cinderella in her opening scene?  Sleeping in the attic amongst the cinders, of course.  Where is Snow White when the 7 Dwarfs get home from work?  Sleeping.  Where is Snow White when the 7 Dwarfs come home from work the very next day?  Sleeping.  And what is Snow White doing while the 7 Dwarfs are chasing down the Evil Queen?  Sleeping.  Who knows how long she was asleep before the prince finally showed up, fell in love with her, and kissed her.  Even then, it took a second or two and a few flits of the eyelids before she woke up.  Yes, princesses can sleep!

#4  Belle is educated and self-determined.

#5  Mulan is brave and values honor.

#6  Pocahontas is both tolerant of other cultures and other species, respecting the earth, and all the colors of the wind, too.

#7  Areil…ummmmm…so Ariel doesn’t give me much to work with.

#8  Finally, princesses are feminine.  Princesses teach gentleness, kindness, courage and innocence.  Sister Margaret D Nanauld boldly stated, “The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender.  There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind.  There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.  We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith.  We have enough greed; we need more goodness.  We have enough vanity; we need more virtue.  We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”  The statement was in no way credited to the Disney princesses, but I am grateful for entertainment that teaches my daughter to be tender and kind, refined, full of hope, and really really nice to all small furry animals.