Disneyland Paris Apologizes for Denying a 3-Year-Old Boy His Wish to Be a 'Princess for a Day'
Disneyland Paris has “sincerely apologized” for banning a 3-year-old boy from partaking in their “Princess for a Day” experience because of his sex.
On Tuesday, Devon, England, resident Hayley McLean-Glass wrote a post on her blog about an incident she experienced when trying to take her son Noah for a princess makeover at the Disneyland Hotel — located just outside the entrance to Disneyland Paris in France.
According to his mom, Noah is “the biggest” fan of Princess Elsa from Disney’s Oscar-winning 2013 animated film Frozen — a passion that prompted McLean-Glass to take him to the Disney park two times in the last 10 months.
“We have spent a small fortune in Disney items for him,” McLean-Glass wrote. “He wears his beloved Elsa dress all day every day…he even refuses to take it off at bedtime. He knows every single word to ‘Let It Go’ and all of the other Frozen songs, he’d be able to stand on your stage in the Frozen show and give your Elsa a run for her money I’m sure!
“If there’s such a thing as a Frozen super fan, Noah is it!” she continued, adding that her boy also loved other princesses too like Rapunzel (Tangled), Anna (Frozen), Jasmine (Aladdin), Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Cinderella.
But when McLean-Glass e-mailed the Disneyland Hotel about securing a spot for Noah in the “Princess for a Day” makeover, she was told that “at this time, it is not possible to book Process for a Day for a boy.”
“So let me get this straight….my son, who fell in love with the concept of Disney Princesses at Disneyland, is not allowed to have the same experiences as the little girls who visit you simply because ‘He’s a boy’?” she wondered in her post, titled “Why Can’t My Son Be a Princess?”
“I can’t help but wonder if the same rule would apply should you introduce an activity at your parks that is only for boys,” she added. “If a little girl wants to be a super hero, she can be. If she wants to be a Jedi, she can be. She can be whatever she wants… just like Walt Disney himself said, ‘If you can dream it you can do it!’ ”
McLean-Glass wrote: “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.”
While the Disneyland Hotel did offer McLean-Glass the change to purchase “a tailored gift pack with some Princess themed items,” she said she was offended by the gesture — explaining that she felt they wanted him to enjoy the items only “in the privacy of his room, where he can’t offend anybody else with his dress-wearing ways.”
“I was so angry, I literally couldn’t stop shaking for half an hour afterwards — I was just so shocked,” she told NBC News’ British partner, ITV News. “I mean, I’m his mother and if I’m okay with him doing it, who are Disney to tell me that he can’t do that?”
FROM COINAGE: Which Is Cheaper: Disneyland or Disney World?
It appears Disneyland Paris agrees.
On Friday, they told PEOPLE, “This experience is available to all children ages 3-12 and we’ve reached out to the family to apologize for them being provided with inaccurate information.”
The theme park issued a similar statement to McLean-Glass and Noah on Thursday — calling the email “an isolated incident” and claiming the response “is not reflective of any policy or belief held here at Disneyland Paris.”
“Diversity is near and dear to our hearts and we want to make sure that all our guests enjoy their experience at our resort,” Disneyland Paris said, ITV News reported. “Of course, both boys and girls are welcome to enjoy the Princess for a Day experience in addition to all our other special activities.”
“We are going to ensure this does not happen again,” the added.
- With reporting by ALEXIA FERNANDEZ