When it comes to finding the perfect present for your child this Christmas, look no further than Harrods. Of course you are used to hearing that. Harrods does in fact have just about every toy, for both children and grownups, under its roof. But, this Christmas they’re opening something completely new and something we’re betting will be booked solid from here through until eternity. The Harrods Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will open on the fourth floor of Harrods on Monday morning and children everywhere will be begging their moms and dads to take them for the experience, that is once the word spreads in the kids’ community. In fact, you can blame me up front as I’m afraid I’ve just released the three biggest mouths in that community, who had a chance to trial the boutique this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon I officially became the coolest aunt in the Royal Kingdom (otherwise known as the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Harrods). I told my two nieces and one nephew that I had a special surprise planned for them but didn’t release a single solitary detail. All they knew is that they were going to Harrods, and that in itself seemed to be enough of a treat. Only, when three women came out of what looked like a beautiful castle and crouched down to welcome my three little ones, I’ve never seen their faces look more in shock. They were meeting their Fairy Godmothers for the first time. While these are Fairy Godmothers to the children, they are makeover queens to us adults. The kids are told they are being brought into a special place where they will be transformed into beautiful princesses and a brave knight. If you are eight and hearing this from a beautiful woman who is all smiles and hugs, nothing could seem sweeter. It’s a makeover of epic proportions.
After the kids encounter a magical mirror and talk to the head Fairy Godmother and Merlin the Wizard, they use their magical powers to enter the salon where the Princess transformation begins. Each girl is asked if she has a favourite Disney Princess and as she answers, something magical happens in the background. Well, many wondrous things happen, in fact. For my three little ones, one of the most magical moments was when they were all shown to three different doors and told a surprise lay behind each one. As each door opened, I heard squeals of delight like nothing I’ve ever heard before. “Auntie Em, I’m Belle in a beautiful gown just like the snow scene and it even has a cape,” was just one of the emotional cries I heard out from across the room. I had gone in with the brave knight to help him through this rather exotic experience. In the beginning, I do believe he thought he was going to have to fight a Dragon at the end of it all, so he was a little shell shocked. The Fairy Godmothers did a good job of putting aside all these fears in sharing that the dragon was actually a lazy, smelly old thing that couldn’t even catch a mouse. This seemed to let our brave knight rest a little easier in his chair after he changed into his chain mail ( a printed t-shirt ).
As our brave knight was settled in his chair, I went in to check on our Disney Princesses. The two sisters were chatting away in the room, still in shock that they were going to get to wear these dresses out and about for the whole world to see. I don’t think they’d quite clocked that this whole experience was about more than just a dress. So, I helped both Aurora and Belle into their princess attire and led them out for their hair, makeup and nail transformation.
I’ll just say this up front. If these Fairy Godmothers didn’t already have jobs, I’d be stealing them away immediately as nannies. For nearly an hour, all three kids sat with their Fairy Godmothers as they made them over, and they chatted endlessly. They talked about the castle, responsibilities of a Princess, and on and on. I just sat on the couch and watched, from, what I was told was, my Royal Family throne.
Photographers moved from child to child, taking pictures of the girls and boy, as they bonded with their Fairy Godmothers and went from normal girls to Disney royalty. Then, all too soon, the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique transformation was complete. The Fairy Godmothers had the children close their eyes as they waved a magic wand over their heads and said the magical words “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.” They were swung around to face the mirror and as they opened their eyes they were met with a look so transforming, even this auntie wanted to have a go. Forget blow bars, I want a daily Disney transformation.
Each child was then led over to a mural where they were photographed looking out over their kingdom. From there, they took more pictures with their magical carriage and sitting on their thrones, taking the Royal oath to be good Princesses and Knights.
Earlier that day, I had taken the kids ice skating and the two girls were given fairy wings to fly onto the ice with. When we first arrived at the boutique the Fairy Godmothers told the girls they must be very special as they were all working hard to earn their Fairy Godmother wings one day. As we walked out to gather all of our pictures from the event (yes, the photographers were in action so that you would have imagery to take home with you of their magical day), the girls whispered in my ear, “do you think we could give our fairy wings to our Fairy Godmothers so they don’t have to work so hard, maybe?” For me, that was the ultimate two thumbs up for the experience. I told them I thought they would love that. They proudly presented the wings and smiled from ear to ear as their Godmothers promptly put on their new wings.
As we rode home in the Taxi, me with my bags full of clothes that the children were wearing when we first got there, and the children in their Princess attire and Knight chain mail, all anyone could talk about was their Fairy Godmothers. When would we see them again? Do you think they know where we live so they can come visit? And wasn’t it nice of them to let us keep all of these beautiful dresses? While they may have all only been talking about something we all know to be a “show,” for a second I was lost in the moment, believing Fairy Godmothers really do exist and wishing I could instantly move back in time to being eight years old. If the Harrods Disney Bibbidi Bobbido Boutique existed when I was a child, I’m pretty sure I would have harassed my parents every weekend to let me visit. This is truly a magical place and a perfect present. I can think of absolutely nothing better than this for a magical memory for your child at Christmas. Let them live in the fantasy world for as long as possible. It’s magical for all of us involved!
Visit www.harrods.com/disney for more information, or to book your session at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrods.