1. Americans take Disney very seriously. I feel a little left out that we don’t have family Disney T shirts with our names and ‘Disney 2015’ emblazoned across the back. Well, not our names naturally, but just ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’. The kids get their own names.
2. Every single Disney employee- well, ‘cast member’ – calls my daughter ‘princess.’ There is no male equivalent apparently. They must have to leave any feminist scruples at the door. Ella couldn’t love it more.
3. Some of the rides and shows were definitely formulated under the influence of some mind altering substances. Step up in particular, ‘It’s a Small World’ and the Beauty and the Beast mini show at Hollywood Studios. I had to test my sanity afterwards.
4. Every Disney employee knows everything. It doesn’t matter how obscure your question (or maybe ours just aren’t that difficult) they’re all, ‘oh yeah, I know exactly what you want. Now let me help you….’ Ideas for obscure questions for testing purposes fully welcome.
5. I’ve had to break my ‘no fancy dress outside the house’ rule, and sincerely wish I hadn’t bothered buying the child all those nice little summer dresses. The Cinderella outfit is pretty much it.
6. You should always wear your ‘first visit to Disney’ badge. The kids insisted I wear mine, and it was through a Disney employee sprinkling a little bit of magic upon seeing it that we got to skip the 120 minute long Anna and Elsa line and see them within five minutes. See, Disney really is a magical place.
7. Americans are very friendly people on the whole I’ve found. Disney Americans are in a whole new league. I can’t imagine how exhausting it is for them to be that nice, ALL the time.
8. The princesses offer hugs to their overawed little visitors. Actually offer them. It must be a vocation or something. You couldn’t pay me enough.
9. Seeing my beautiful girl’s face when she met Cinderella for the first time was actually quite emotional. It’s hard to understand how much these princesses really mean to their little fans, but having seen the way she looked at her, I’m starting to realise. The phrase is much overused, (and in terms of Disney, it’s a good job) but it was truly priceless.
10. And ditto no.9 for my lovely boy and his time in the Jedi training camp. It was probably the best moment of his life so far. And what could be worth more than that?
I was sceptical about Disney. It’s hyped, it’s expensive, it’s – well- so American. But I was wrong. It really is the most magical place on earth.