Hayley McLean took to her parenting blog, Sparkles and Stretchmarks, to voice her outrage that Disneyland Paris initially told her that “it is not possible to book Princess for a Day for a boy,” when she asked about booking the activity for her 3-year-old boy, Noah.
Young Noah enjoys dressing up as Disney princesses, especially Elsa from the critically acclaimed film Frozen. His mother wanted to give him an early Christmas present by taking him to the nearby Disneyland Hotel to enjoy the Princess for a Day activity during their upcoming trip to the park. The experience includes “a total Princess makeover and hair-styling session,” which includes a princess costume and photo shoot. The even costs up to 300 euros. She noted just how much Noah enjoys playing dress-up on her blog:
I knew that there would be NOTHING he’d love more than to get to wear a pretty dress, put make up on like Mummy does and have his photo taken being one of his beloved Disney Princesses.
— ITV News (@itvnews) August 30, 2017
Hayley sent an email to the hotel to be certain that she could reserve the event for her son, and they respectfully declined, offering to present Noah with a toy or playset instead to help compensate. She detailed why she sent an email ahead of her visit on her blog:
He has no reason at all to believe that anybody would ever see anything wrong in a child playing dress up…and I have no desire at all to expose him to the ridiculous inequality of this world until it’s absolutely necessary, so I decided to check that this would be ok just in case any behind-the-times staff member on the day was to make a comment that would burst his bubble and make him doubt himself and the things he likes.
After McLean posted a lengthy blog post about her disbelief that Disneyland Paris would not admit a boy into their princess-themed activity, Disneyland quickly responded by swapping out the wording for the Princess for a Day feature on their official website from “Grant every little girl’s wish with a real Princess’s make-up and hair-styling session” to “Every child’s wish can come true with a total Princess makeover and hair-styling session.” They also offered the following apology:
“We are taking this situation very seriously and sincerely apologize to Hayley and Noah for the distress caused.
An isolated incident, the cast member’s response is not reflective of any policy or belief held here at Disneyland Paris. We are going to ensure this does not happen again.
Diversity is near and dear to our hearts and we want to make sure that all our guests enjoy their experience at our resort.
Of course, both boys and girls are welcome to enjoy The Princess For a Day experience in addition to all our other special activities.
– Disneyland Paris”