Travel

Where fairy tales come true!

Little girl getting a makeover done at Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The magic kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando-Florida (or the other five Disney parks in the world) is described as the ‘happiest and most magical place on Earth’ by its creators. So one presumes it should be the place where you can really relax, chill out and be free of all anxiety. But when you see the overflowing crowd at 8 O’ clock in the morning at the entrance of the Disney theme park, you can actually get tense seeing how busy the place is with energy-packed people, who love to wonder and wander, can walk miles and believe in magic, fantasy and fairy tales.

“It is not a beach to unwind but to relive your childhood innocence lying dormant in you,” I remember a friend living in the US telling me once and also how important it becomes to visit the Disney World especially if you have a daughter. “For people here, it is like a pilgrimage,” she had joked and also shared how her neighbours were always surprised that despite having two growing daughters she had not yet been to the land of fantasy.

There is little doubt that the place, visited by 20.50 million visitors last year, epitomises enchantment. From the moment you step in you become part of a grander unified consciousness. From the parents and grandparents to young adults and kids and the innumerable little princes and princesses in every family instantly relates to the vibrant surroundings and connects with each other. Age is no bar here because everybody has been or is fed on doses of ‘once upon a time’ to ‘happily ever after’ tales of pretty princesses and royal kingdoms.

It may be a make-believe world but when you find your favourite fairytale or cartoon character shaking hands with you or rubbing nose, signing autographs or floating around at the dinner ball, there is a sense of usefulness too for all. And that is called Happiness here. And that is what dreams are made of!

This sense of happiness reaches magical heights when little girls enter the Cinderella’s castle. A little dreamer of a girl would never want to quit the feeling of wanting to be a princess. And it is exactly for them Disney tells all the fairy stories with more heart, passion and magic.

To make it even more real for the impressionable minds, there are the blinding colours and glitters, costumes and accessories all around. An enchanted beauty salon – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) – offers magical makeovers for the young boys and girls between three and 12 years but the rush inside the 11-seater salon is always of pretty little girls wanting and waiting to turn into fairytale princesses, Disney divas or pop princesses. The excitement of the resplendent transformation is visible and infectious. Parents make reservations for this makeover for months in advance and only after they get an appointment date, do they plan their trip to the Disney World. In June 2016, the BBB was booked to brim till January 2018!

Surreal though, the BBB is owned by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and operated by her skilled apprentices. With the wave of a magic wand – and a few hands-on tricks of the trade – the fairy Godmothers-in-training pamper and primp the child until they are storybook stunning, ready to dance at the ball or gallop off on epic adventures, or simply join in cheering the fantasy parade. It is all done in an hour’s work depending on what and how much the little girls choose – from hairstyles and costumes to make-up and nail art.

It is the parents who with equal excitement purchase the different types of packages starting from minimum 70 US dollars. Little boys can join the fantasy fun too but they don’t have many options other than to get transformed into gallant knights. For girls the variety and imagination is endless from Anna, Elsa, Ariel, Snow White, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine to Cinderella, Tinker Bell, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida.

It is a delight to watch these little darlings and how passionate they are about themselves. The princess makeover makes them feel special as they curtsy, twirl and tap their magic bands, adjust their crowns and flap their little high heels and pretend to be transported to wherever their imaginations take them. Anything this joyful for the children and their families only adds to the omnipresent happy feeling here as everybody joins the celebrations with the Festival of Fantasy parade rolling down.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 4:12:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/Where-fairy-tales-come-true/article14620155.ece

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