Disney World at her doorstep: 'I felt like a princess'
LONDON, ON -- A big surprise parade was held today for a very special 9-year-old girl, after a trip to Disney world was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Cloey Prince was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood arthritis when she was around 4 years old.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation had planned to send her and her family to Disney world next month but had no choice but to post-pone, so the city decided to bring Disney world right to her doorsteps.
"I feel like a princess alright," says Cloey Prince, as she walked outside her door to see a parade of Disney characters.
"When my mom told me we were having princess day I was expecting we were going to come outside and we were going to have a photo shoot, but then I came outside and I saw all this. It was nothing like I pictured…it’s way better."
Prince’s friends and family showed up dressed in costumes, from snoopy to Spiderman.
"I figured I would swing by and come see Cloey because I heard she couldn’t go to Disneyland," says Spiderman, who is representing all of the Avengers.
"I got to see Ariel, Cinderella, so many princesses," says Prince.
Even her uncle Jimbo (James Prince) got into the spirit of the day, dressing as her favourite princess, Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
"It took us a little bit to source it out, but anything for the girls," says Uncle Jimbo.
The parade included hundreds of cars, including ambulance drivers and police officers. One of the LTC busses even had Cloey’s name in flashing lights.
One police officer in particular gave Cloey a stuffed animal police dog, whom she has now named, Cash.
"I got this dog he is really cute…I got so many gifts."
Cloey’s mother Kassandra Prince says, over the years the arthritis has taken a toll on her daughters health.
"It’s called Systematic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and it effects her entire body...She will get rashes from head to toe, fevers ranging from 103-105 degrees fahrenheit, and it comes with no rhyme or reason. She obviously has arthritis throughout her body as well," says Prince.
She explains that everyday is tough for Cloey. Even the morning of the parade she was feeling unwell, but the community support made that all go away, even just for a little while.
"This happened and my day was better," says Cloey. "I was like…I was in pain this morning?"
Cloey won’t be going to Disney world for some time now, but that didn’t stop the city from making her feel like she was in the middle of it.
"I feel like a princess alright. I hope everybody’s days are going good too."