Disneyland Paris apologises for refusing to let three-year-old boy be “Princess for the Day”

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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A mother has slammed Disneyland Paris for refusing to let her son take part in a “Princess for the Day” experience package – just because he’s a boy.

Hayley McLean-Glass took to her blog, Sparkles & Stretchmarks, to pen an open letter to the theme park after they refused to book her three-year-old son, Noah, in for the experience.

“Noah is about the biggest Elsa fan in the world,” she began. “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… If there's such a thing as a Frozen super fan, Noah is it!”

McLean-Glass goes on to say that when she learnt the park offered a “Princess for the Day” package, described online as “a total Princess makeover and hair-styling session; a fairytale transformation they'll treasure forever”, she knew there was “nothing he’d love more”.

However, when she emailed the park to reserve her son a place, she was bluntly told, “at this time it is not possible to book Princess for a Day for a boy”.

In response to the email, a rightly furious McLean-Glass wrote, “So let me get this 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’?”

"I was so angry, I literally couldn't stop shaking for half an hour afterwards,” she later told ITV News

“I was just so shocked. I'm his mother and if I'm OK with him doing it, who are Disney to tell me that he can't do that?”

And as well as handling the immediate shock of having her son banned from such a harmless activity, McLean-Glass also shared her fears for how her son would feel if he knew he had been banned because of his gender.

“My son is very young, he doesn't yet have any idea that there is such judgement and outdated perspectives in the world,” she wrote. 

“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.”

Following the incident, Disneyland has since issued a statement of apology to McLean-Glass, in which it stated that Noah would be welcome to be a Princess for the day.

“Of course, both boys and girls are welcome to enjoy The Princess For a Day experience in addition to all our other special activities,” the statement read.

And taking to her Facebook page to share the news of the apology, McLean-Glass wrote, “Now that this has been sorted we will absolutely continue to holiday here in the future…

“Myself and my children all adore it which is why I was so very upset to receive that email in the first place.”

Here’s hoping Noah has a truly magical time when he finally gets to dress up as his favourite character for the day.

Images: iStock