The last present on the table was flat, like a book. I’m six! I can barely read. I just turned six, and Mom and Dad got me a cake and a few gifts. They know that I really wanted toys. Princess toys. After all, princess toys are the second-best way to celebrate turning six. The first best way was when mom and dad took my older sister, Aubrey, and me to Magic Kingdom® Park for my birthday—that’s when I became a princess.
I didn’t know what she meant. I just wanted to be a princess! Mom read my mind that morning on our trip and reassured me, “Ella, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is going to transform you into a princess.” My friends and I love playing dress up, but at Magic Kingdom, I learned the real deal is to transform. My fairy godmother in training painted my nails and twisted my hair into a bun. She put shimmer on my eyes and cheeks. But the best part was the dress I got. It didn’t feel like a Halloween costume or my princess nightgown. It felt real and looked exactly like Cinderella’s ball gown. My transformation also came with a pink princess sash. I was official!
“Cinderella-Ella and Cinderella-Aubrey, can I try on your crowns?” Dad asked when he saw us. “Dad, it´s called a tiara!” I replied patiently. I knew that if I kept helping him, he’d get it right someday.
The first princess we met at Magic Kingdom wasn´t wearing a dress. When I first saw Ariel from afar, she looked beautiful amongst her treasures. Since Mom and Dad had made a reservation with the Princess Meet-and-Greet FASTPASS+, we were able to get into Ariel’s grotto in no time at all. Soon, I was so close I could touch the sparkly flower in her long red hair.
Ariel noticed us looking at her hair. “I brush it with a dinglehopper twice a day,” she said. “Do you girls have a dinglehopper?”
Aubrey shook her head. I told Ariel I didn’t, but I’d ask for one for my next birthday. Then we all smiled for the Disney PhotoPass photographer. I wondered if Ariel knew what a camera was.
I knew Cinderella cleaned, but I didn’t know she cooked until we were at her restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table. “There are so many Cinderella’s here; it’s an army!” Dad joked. He was right. But even though there were a lot of us, I got to spend a few minutes talking to the REAL Cinderella. She pointed at my slippers. “Hold on to those,” she said smiling. “You could lose one if you’re not careful.”
After lunch, we visited the Castle Couture shop. It was like a museum with Cinderella’s wedding dress and other famous princess gowns. Aubrey tried to figure out the magic behind Aurora’s color-changing dress. But my favorite magic from the shop was the pixie dust a Disney cast member sprinkled on my hair.
The princess with the best hair is Rapunzel. Mom knew I wanted to meet her, so she suggested we go to the Princess Fairytale Hall. Inside, there were giant portraits of every Princess, including several I had already met. Rapunzel stood in the corner, and she smiled as I approached. I told her I liked her artwork from the movie.
“Do you like to draw?” she asked.
I told her I tried to color my bedroom once. I didn’t get dessert that night.
“Who wants to have a treat with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen?” Mom asked after we left the hall.
Aubrey and I practically ran to Liberty Square Riverboat where the royalty was serving ice cream. Then, we had a contest to see who could make the biggest sundae. I’m not sure who won but we definitely made a mess. “It’s okay,” Mom said, wiping sprinkles off our dresses. “Princesses aren’t perfect.” Tiana looked pretty perfect to me. Then again, she did have to kiss a frog…
We had amazing views of the Festival of Fantasy Parade from the boat. It was like watching all my favorite movies at once. Rapunzel, Merida, Anna and Elsa all waved at us. After the parade, the boat cruised around Rivers of America. “When I was a kid I wanted to be that rascal as much as you want to be a princess,” Dad said when we passed Tom Sawyer Island. “Maybe the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique can transform you into Tom Sawyer,” Mom joked.
Since Cinderella got to be out until midnight, Mom and Dad said we could stay up to see the fireworks before leaving Magic Kingdom. “But first, let’s do your bedtime story here so you can sleep during the ride home.” I peeked in Mom’s purse. There was no book. “How about instead of listening to a story about a princess, you listen to a story told by a princess?” she asked.
A few minutes later we were at Enchanted Tales with Belle. First, we went into Maurice’s workshop and then the castle library. It was also a theatre. Belle didn´t just tell the story of how she met the Beast. She acted it out on stage! And Aubrey and I were chosen to help. The audience clapped, so I think we did a good job. We also got our picture taken with Belle and she gave us bookmarks. “Do you like to read?” she asked. “My sister does,” I said. “I’m still learning.”
“But she’s doing great!” exclaimed Aubrey. Belle nodded and smiled at us.
I picked up the last, flat present and shook it. Yep, it had to be a book. I took the wrapping paper off slowly; it was my last birthday present. I’d have to wait until Christmas to open more.
Yep, it was a book. But instead of words, it was filled with photos. And I was in them! Well, technically Cinderella-Ella was in them. Now I could remember being a princess whenever I wanted, and maybe I’d even write the story. When I learned how to spell the word “tiara,” of course.