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Mother and daughter banned from Disneyland... because they were dressed as fairy princesses



By Andy Dolan

Last updated at 5:35 PM on 20th April 2010




When Natasha Narula treated daughter Drew to a holiday at Disneyland Paris, she thought it would be fun to dress up as princesses for the day.

The pharmacy worker bought a 'silly, puffy sleeved' old wedding dress from an Oxfam shop for £20 and kitted eight-year-old Drew out in a white and gold bridesmaid dress which she had kept from a family wedding, teamed with a tiara.

But the magic of Disney did not extend to staff at the park's entrance, who told Miss Narula she would not be admitted in her outfit because her dress and Rapunzel-style hairpiece made her look too much like a Disney princess.



No fairytale ending: Natasha Narula, 35, was forced to change clothes after arriving at Disneyland Paris in fancy dress as a gift to her eight-year-old daughter Drew



The mother-of-two told yesterday how she was left 'stunned and humiliated' after being ordered to return to her hotel to change when staff insisted she could not enter the complex in fancy dress because she could be mistaken for a Disney princess.

Miss Narula had taken Drew to the theme park on a £1,000 three-night break to celebrate her 35th birthday on April 1st - April Fool's Day - when three burly security staff approached.

article-1267480-09372077000005DC-805_233x451.jpg Princess for a day: Drew was able to wear fancy dress inside the theme park because she is under nine years old.


She said that one of them then told her the dress was 'too pretty' and may be confused for a member of staff in character.

'I thought they were playing a joke on me because it was April Fool's Day at first', she said.

'But I spoke to a manager and she said they were concerned children would think I worked there and wanted to have their picture with me.

'I didn't even have any make-up on and didn't look anything like the characters in the park, it wasn't like I was wearing a big Mickey Mouse outfit, it was just a dress.

'How can they possibly say I looked too much like a princess? I was wearing a hideous wedding dress I bought from Oxfam for £20.'

The park, which opened in 1992, features a daily Princess Parade of characters such as Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, while a special evening show called Fantillusion involves four princesses as the finale.

The attraction, which is separated into two theme parks called Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park , also sells prince and princess outfits for its young visitors at its numerous merchandising outlets.


Miss Narula, from Radford, Coventry, said she had called Disneyland in advance of the trip and was told it would be fine for the pair to dress as princesses.


But she was forced to change into an old pair of jeans and a shirt before she was eventually admitted to the park. Drew was allowed to keep her dress on.

The divorced mother, who also has a son, Jamal, 18, a student, said: 'I was just a bit of fun for me and my daughter but we were treated like criminals.

'The only things I had left were what I'd worn the night before so I had to go into the park wearing dirty clothes.


You're barred: Natasha Narula and her daughter Drew were told their costumes could lead to them being mistaken for members of staff at Disneyland, Paris


'Drew was so really looking forward to us both dressing up as princesses.

'She's a girly girl and loves princess.

'It was her dream come true to be a princess with her mum for the day at Disneyland but the whole experience was ruined.

'She was in tears when I was told I couldn't wear my dress. I felt like Cinderella being told I would not go to the ball.'

Disneyland confirmed it had a global policy banning adults from wearing fancy dress in their theme parks.

A spokesman said: 'No one over the age of nine is allowed to enter our theme parks in fancy dress. It prevents confusion.' Natasha has now written to Disneyland demanding an apology.






The real Disney characters parade their dresses, while Natasha (right) was forced to change into more casual clothes before being allowed into Disneyland

Last year, the firm's animated film the Princess and the Frog heralded Disney's first black princess, Princess Tiana.

Earlier this month, it emerged Disneyland Paris was investigating after two chefs who worked at the park had committed suicide

within six weeks. After the first death in February, a trade union had described working conditions there 'humiliating'.

Disneyland Paris is Europe's top tourist attraction with around 12million visitors each year, one sixth of those from Britain.

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