Disney is for Girls

When asked to be the chief bridesmaid for my best friend Sarah’s wedding I took on the responsibility seriously. I got all the books, went out and bought all the wedding magazines and then began to plan the big day. No, not the wedding, but the hen night! I canvassed our group of friends – six contenders in the inner sanctum – and sought their opinion.


Just one night – or longer?


All to a tee said that a single night is not enough. “I’m shattered at the end of the week and so Friday is not a good night out,” said one. “I want to be able to talk and talk and one night is just not enough,” said another. “I want to have fun, go someplace different and not just visit pubs,” said another.


The Hen had a different idea


So I went back to Sarah and asked her what she thought. It was her night after all and thought that she should have some input into the final arrangements.


Sarah hummed and hawed for a moment and said she agreed with all of the above. Then she dropped a bombshell. “I fancy going to DisneyWorld,” she said.


Shell shocked I pointed out that Disney is for kids and that we were still young enough and glorious enough not following the nappy brigade.


“No,” she persisted. “I’ve never been and don’t want to wait until I have children before I can go.


“Nor,” she added wistfully, “can I imagine Brian coming to Disney. So it is now or never.”


Back I went to the ‘Much More than Half a Dozen’ as we called our gang and broke the news. At first all I got was groans. “Trust Sarah to come up with something ridiculous,” complained Jenny. “She still has her stuffed toys from when she was a girl. Why doesn’t she bring her niece instead.”


I pointed out that Sarah doesn’t have a niece but Jenny still thought she could borrow one of she wanted to go that badly. Jenny also put it to me that it was my job to dissuade her.


Sighing I went back to Sarah. “Are you sure you want to go?” I pleaded.


“Positive,” came the reply.


“But the Half Dozen aren’t keen,” I persisted


“It’s not their hen weekend, is it?” Sarah said and I had to admit she had a point.


Research


Research quickly provided me with two options: Florida or Paris. While I secretly fancied Florida, it didn’t make sense for a weekend. Paris seemed the only option and so I went off to Abbey Travel to find out the details.


I was initially offered a promotional video but declined. “I think there might be rather too much of Mickey Mouse in it,” I said darkly. “And you know what girls together are like.”


It was surprising easy to organise a trip like this. Aer France flies direct, there are direct transfers to the resort and booking into a Disney hotel is very easy. I gathered the information, again declined the promotional video and headed off to the planning meeting.


Faced with a fait accompli all resistance faded away. There was one caveat agreed by the six of us, however. No Mickey Mouse ears. We were going for a fun weekend and did not want to be mistaken for delinquent nannies. I reported our conditions to Sarah who promptly agreed.


Disney World here we come!


Date arrived and we assembled for a mid morning flight in Dublin airport. The six of us were dressed to the nines but Sarah arrived in flatties. We looked in horror, from our extended six inch heels, at her trainers but all she did was smile. “I’m prepared for the rides,” she said. “So,” murmured Jenny in a low voice, “are we!”


The flight was fun. Lots of French wine and loud laughter. When we arrived at Paris we had to ask for directions to the transfer bus. “The Parisiens don’t like to admit that DisneyWorld is in Paris,” said Bernie. “They think it is beneath them.” We all laughed but we laughed even harder when we found the bus. It was impossible to miss and had a large, you guessed it, Mickey Mouse, on the side.


“Who says the French don’t like Mickey,” said Sarah.


“We never said that,” said Jenny. “Just the Mouse bit.”


The transfer took 40 minutes and we pulled into our hotel, Disney World New York. What a great façade and the rooms weren’t bad either.


As the ‘Much More than Half a Dozen’ leader, I insisted that we hit the park immediately. “Drinks and nibbles later,” I said. Jenny added a comment that I cannot repeat here.


It was sunny late afternoon and there were still crowds of people. We noticed with some relief that it was not all children. In fact, there were considerably more young people than parents with children.


I had done some research before hand and had identified a couple of good old fashioned scarey rides we could do. “Look,” I said pointing to the park brochure. “A lot of the scarey rides don’t allow children.”


“Hurray for that,” snorted Jenny and we made our way to Space Mountain.


For those of you yet to try the delights of DisneyWorld, Space Mountain is infamous. The ride is in the dark, goes through loops and terrifies the living daylights out of its passengers. We were no exception. A very green faced More than Half a Dozen emerged into the sunlight the far side.


We enjoyed it so much that we went back on it again. Madness, but we were thrilled skinny (or so we wished). Bernie put forward a theory that fear made fat fly out the door. We looked at her shaking thighs tottering on her high heels and disagreed. Only Sarah looked calm. “It’s the flatties,” she said. “My legs are shaking but you can’t see it.”


Having done enough thrills for the moment we headed back to Disney Village. The Park was emptying and there were queues for the restaurants. We agreed it was too early to eat and decided to sit in a bar instead and enjoy the last of the sunshine.


This proved to be a bad mistake as directly opposite there was a mechanical bucking bull. Two drinks later, Sarah decided that she would try it. Despite our pleas and then because of our taunts, she went on it anyway. The previous lad had a very rough time and was bounced off unceremoniously in about thirty seconds. However, the operator must have taken a shine to Sarah for the bull moved reasonably sedately. Just enough to toss her hair in a very becoming way.


“It’s not her hair that he’s looking at,” muttered Jenny. Whatever the reason, and we explored quite a few from the safety of our table, Sarah lasted three minutes before falling to inflatable sides.


“It’s the flatties,” she said when she joined us again. “Anything but flatties,” said Jenny and we all laughed loudly.


Dinner that night saw us in the Planet Hollywood. When the happy hour kicked in at 11:30 we were ready for it. We were also ready for the disco at 12:30 and Bernie felt ready for a dip in the lake at 2:30 but we managed to persuade her not to.


Day two followed a similar pattern. We went on all the scarey rides and ended up in Disney Village for dinner again. This time the bungy trampolines caught Sarah’s eye. Mind you, it caught all our eyes and so we went on a group. I think we scared the horses with our screams.


The final day found us shattered. Bungying in the village and then boogying in the disco, though thankfully, not dipping into the lake. It was glorious sunshine and so we decided to catch some rays. We had all been instructed, by myself of course, to bring swimmers. We found the large pool deserted – all the other guests were off at the parks – and we lay around for the morning. We sorted out the problems of the day – namely the outfits, flowers and other arrangements for the wedding, dissected the male brain – or lack thereof, and agreed that this was fun.


Comments from the Hen Party


Going home, Sarah wanted to know if the Much More than Half a Dozen agreed with her choice of break. “It’s been different,” said Bernie. “We did manage to catch up on our gossip,” said Fiona. “The talent in the disco spoke with great accents,” said Deirdre.


But the last word is best left to Jenny. “Upon mature reflection,” she said. “You can take the Mickey out of the Mouse but not the Mouse out of the Mickey.”


What ever that means!


For more exploits in the More than Half a Dozen’s run up to the big day send an email to jillian@raheengraney.com

with nominations on what events you’d like to hear about.