Perfectly Princess Tea Party
Four stops later, we reached The Grand Floridian hotel. Walking off the Monorail platform and into the hotel, I felt like royalty. The regal look of the hotel seemed so formal. I stood in awe at the balcony railing looking down three floors to the area below us. It was a quiet area. Some people were sitting on fancy couches or chairs. There as a piano around all the fancy chairs, and on the landing across from me I saw a place where people played music. Looking around the room my attention was drawn to . . . to . . . a big bird cage? It was big enough for me and a few of my friends to get inside and play. I wouldn't want to meet the bird that cage is for.
"Toni . . . Toni," Mom said holding out her hand. "Let's go. Cast Member Holly told me where the Tea Party is."
Taking Mommy's hand, we headed for the stairs. I turned back looking at the cast member we were leaving behind, she had a big smile on her face and waved.
We found the location of the Tea Party and checked in. While in the waiting area I sat close to Mommy and watched the other kids waiting for the Tea Party. They were all girls. While I was watching one little girl, she saw me looking at her. I smiled. She smiled back and waved. Soon I saw her pigtails bouncing as she approached me.
"You wook pwetty," the pigtailed girl said as she stopped in front of us. "I wanting wear my pwincess dwess. Mommy weft home."
"You have on a lovely dress," I said looking down at her yellow sundress.
The little girl ran back to her Mommy and quickly announced, "She say me have wovewy dwess Mommy!"
I giggled at the exchange. As the little girl's Mommy started to tell her she needed to tell me thank you, everyone was interrupted by a lady in a frilly dress covered in flowers and holding a huge rose. She called up all the girls.
I sat snuggled next to Mommy as I watched all the girls go up to the lady.
"Toni, she called you up," Mommy disturbed my staring.
"But I . . . I am a girl." I bounced up and went up to where the other girls had gathered.
The lady, Miss Rose Petal, introduced herself and welcomed us all to the Tea Party. Then she crowned each of us with a ribbon tiara and sprinkled rose petals on top of us.
After Mommy took pictures of me and Miss Petal, one of Miss Petal's helpers showed us to our table. Waiting for me was my Aurora doll. I ran up and hugged it.
"Look Mommy, she looks like me and she's all mine." I cradled my Aurora doll as we sat down to the table.
Mommy took pictures of me and my baby doll. I found a Princess Bracelet and Mommy helped me put it on. As I hugged my doll tight, a single tear fell down my smiling face.
Once everyone was seated, Miss Rose Petal told us a story of how she was magically transformed from a rose. When the three fairies were looking for ingredients for their beauty gift to baby Aurora, Rose, as a real flower, offered one of her petals. Upon giving the gift, she was magically transformed into a person.
"Wow Mommy, she was transformed like I was. Isn't magic wonderful?"
"The Fairy Godmothers who did their magic on you certainly did transform you into a pretty flower."
"No Mommy," I giggled. I looked down to the doll in my hands. "Don't worry Baby Aurora, you will get used to Mommy. She is silly a lot. There is nothing to worry about, the fairy magic made me a pretty girl, not a flower."
We got some cookies, heart shaped little sandwiches with no crust, fruit, and tea that magically tastes like juice. The plate even had strawberries covered in chocolate.
"Look Mommy," I said giggling. "Someone made a mistake and covered the strawberries with chocolate."
"Ohhh, Princess Toni," Mommy explained. "They are a special treat. Try it."
I hesitantly took a bite.
"Mommy! It yummy!" I said with my mouth still full of strawberry.
"Be a proper young lady Toni."
"Sorry," I said after swallowing. Smiling I ate the rest of the strawberry, then took my napkin and while holding my pinky out, I dabbed at my mouth like a proper young lady, to get the strawberry off that had refused to go in my mouth.
Mommy was giggling as I took the second strawberry and shared it with my dolly before eating it.
After a little bit Miss Rose Petal came out again and taught us some sign language to go along with a song we would need to know to welcome Princess Aurora. Miss Petal also taught us how to curtsy for the Princess. The little girl with pigtails stood next to me during the lessons. We all then sang Happy Birthday to one of the girls at the party and got a slice of cake to eat.
We were all called up again to Miss Rose Petal and sang the song we had learned would summon Princess Aurora. The pigtailed little girl was next to me again. We sang the song and like magic Aurora appeared right behind us. Aurora taught us how to hold our dress while walking and how to wave like a princess. She then led us around the room as we waved at our subjects, all the servants and grown-ups. Afterwards we were sent back to our seats, where the Princess would come around and give us each a rose and special welcome.
I went back to my seat and rocked my dolly as I waited for Princess Aurora to come over. The first girl she visited was the pigtailed little girl.
"Don't worry little dolly," I said rocking her in my arms. "Princess Aurora will come to visit us. She needs to look after the little ones first. If she doesn't they will ransack the village. Yes I know I am still little and you are littler, but I am almost nine. I can wait. Anyways, I only ransack our house at home, not whole villages like that little girl can."
Mommy leaned in and talked to the dolly, "She used to ransack whole villages when she was that little."
I giggled and ate some grapes.
"Now that you are a Princess, does that mean the castle is saved from any further ransacking?"
"Don't be silly Mommy. I have to show my dolly the proper way to have fun. Ransacking the castle is just part of the process. Anyways, isn't it every little princesses job to find ways to frustrate the castle staff?"
"Why yes it is," Princess Aurora replied. "You should have seen how good of a job I did when I was your age."
Mommy and I both giggled as Princess Aurora kneeled down next to me.
"So Princess Toni," Princess Aurora said. "Are you enjoying your visit?"
I giggled, "I . . . it magical."
"Oh yes, Magic can be found throughout the land. Just don't prick your finger on any spinning wheels, for it might put you to sleep."
"I got the cure for a spinning wheel prick," I beamed holding up my hand. "Prince Philip kissed me on my way over here."
"My Prince Philip," Aurora gasped putting a hand to her chest. "kissed another princess?"
Trying to hold back giggles without a lot of success, I said, "We were in the Magic Kingdom earlier today and he was looking for you. He thought I was you. He said you owed him a dance."
"A dance? . . . oh yes, I do." Princess Aurora smiled as she paused and looked at me for a moment. "I promised him one at dinner last night, but we never got a chance because I needed to make sure everything was perfect for the visiting Princesses Tea Party."
"When I told him I wasn't you, he thought I was Princess Toni, Aurora's little sister. We danced. Then he went off to make sure the Kingdom was safe and to find you."
"You are dressed a lot like me little sister, and he is such a prince that way, keeping us safe, while still finding time to dance," Princess Aurora said as she took in a deep breath, letting out a deep sigh, while gazing up at the ceiling.
"He is very strong and brave. He even fights away dragons," I beamed.
"Well little sister Princess Toni, you need to find your own prince. Prince Philip is taken. I think I better finish up here quickly and make sure no one else dances with MY prince."
We both giggled.
Princess Aurora brought her head down close to mine and whispered, "Isn't he dreamy to dance with though,"
"Oh yes . . ." I smiled remembering the dance.
"As for ransacking the castle and making a ruckus, I would be careful little one. When you were little your governess would pick up after you, but now that you are becoming a proper young lady such behavior is not tolerated as much. Some governesses even make you clean up the mess."
"Most definitely," Mommy interjected between clicks of the camera.
"Enjoy the rest of your tea little sister," Princess Aurora smiled as she stood up to leave. "I need to make sure the rest of our guests are taken care of. Then I need to hunt down Prince Philip to make sure he doesn't dance with any other Princesses."
"Bye," I waved as she left.
"Mommy," I went up to hug her as soon as the Princess had left. "She also thinks I am her little sister. The magic really did make me Aurora's little sister."
"The magic inside the castle certainly was powerful Toni. You are definitely my little princess. Princess Toni, Princess Aurora's little sister," Mommy said giving me and my dolly a big hug and a kiss on my forehead.
Once Aurora finished visiting all the guests, she waved goodbye and was off. Miss Rose Petal gathered all us little girls together, and I found the little pigtailed girl next to me again. After telling us one more story, she told us to find a partner for the Princess parade and photo shoot.
The pigtailed little girl grabbed my hand declaring, "You my pawtna!"
"Hi," I said. "I am Toni."
"Hi Sarah, nice to meet you."
Sarah, with a big smile on her face, looked back at her Mommy. I also looked and saw our Mommies gathering our stuff together. They headed out before us, while Miss Rose Petal told us what we were going to do. A quick little parade of Princesses through the hotel, a photo shoot, and then a special surprise will be waiting for us. She reminded us how to wave at the commoners as we passed them in the hall.
Sarah and I walked hand in hand down the walkway. First we found my mom taking pictures and then we found Sarah's mom taking pictures. We ended up parading around the room with the huge bird cage and waving at all the commoners who took care of the hotel. Then we climbed the stairs leaving the mommies at the bottom. At the top, Miss Rose Petal got all of us princesses arranged so the mommies could take pictures.
With Sarah still holding my hand, we went to the gift shop where we got Disney Princess stickers and an official certificate declaring Princess Sarah and I "Best Friends".
Mommy and I said goodbye to Sarah and her Mommy as we headed for the Monorail on our way back to the Magic Kingdom stop.
"Did you have fun Toni?"
"Mommy it was wonderful," I melted into her as we sat on the Monorail. "Please can I stay Princess Toni for the rest of the day?"
"Sorry Toni, it is time to go back to the Wilderness Lodge. Princess Toni can only stay for the boat ride back."
We took the Monorail one stop to Magic Kingdom. At the bottom of the ramp out of the station, Mommy stopped along the fence looking out at the boat launch. The boat wasn't there yet, so Mommy just stood at the low fence looking out at the lake. She said we would take everything back to our room at the Wilderness Lodge and then we could come back to enjoy the afternoon. We just stood waiting.
Hugging my dolly, I looked up at the steam train pulling into the station inside the Magic Kingdom. "Can we ride the train this afternoon?"
"If you want to Princess," Mommy said giving me a hug. She didn't however have a smile on her face as she continued, "You get to pick whatever rides you want this afternoon. You can even ride It's A Small World over and over again if you want."
I knew why she said that. The magic would soon be gone, and Princess Toni would be no more. I hugged my dolly tight and turned to look out over the lake. I didn't find peace however, I could see the boat approaching in the distance.
"This place is huge," a lady next to me said to a man holding her hand. "Where should we start? We can't get through all of the rides, so what ones do we do?"
I had to get my mind off the end to the magic, "Well, you could start with the most famous ride here. Before coming, everyone said there was one ride I HAD to go on."
The lady and man looked down at me with a smile, "What was it dear?"
"Oh," I said with glee. "It is this really cool ride called, It's A Small World. I wanted to ride it over and over, but Daddy said we had to try other rides. It is a great ride to start with."
"Did your Dolly like the ride," the lady asked?
"She hasn't gotten a chance to ride it," I said looking down at my Princess Aurora Dolly. "She would love it though."
"What do you think Steven," the lady asked the man? "We have a Disney Princess recommending a ride, sounds like a good place to start?"
Steven smiled down at me and then looked at the lady, "Can't go wrong with the recommendations of a princess."
"Thank You," the lady said.
"So where is the freak," I heard Daddy's voice ask behind me. "Was he laughed out of the Tea Party?"
I turned around and said, "Hi Daddy."
"Come on Toni," Mommy abruptly grabbed my hand and started walking out to the boat dock, only stopping a second to push Daddy's chin upwards to close his mouth. "The boat is here."
I looked back at Daddy, his eyes were wide and he was just standing their staring straight at me.
"That was it. That was the first time I wore a dress. We went back to our room and I had to take my dress off and shampoo my hair several times to get all the gel and hair spray out. I remember seeing the clock before heading into the bathroom to wash my hair. It said 12:00."
"Melissa that is an amazing story. Does anyone have any question for her before we go onto the next person's first time wearing a dress," the support group leader asked?
"Did you get to keep the dress and doll Melissa?"
"I didn't see them again for two years, but once my mom finally divorced my dad, I found a box on my bed. Inside was everything from that day, from the pictures to the dress and doll. I still have them. Amazingly the tiara is still in one piece too."
"Did your dad ever accept you?"
"Dad never saw me again in a dress, or any girl clothing. He was really freaked out by how much I looked like a little girl that day. He couldn't handle his son really being his daughter."
"Your Mom called you Toni back then. When did you get named Melissa?"
"Now that is another story. Maybe next week the question for everyone will be how they got their female name," I said looking over towards our group leader with a smile.