I am in London taxi with Jamie and Isita leaving the Docklands towards the Blackwall tunnel and a French Gendarmerie motorcycle officer is holding up the traffic for us. No, wait. We’re cruising down a French autoroute towards Paris and a British police motorcyclist roars past blue lights flashing – and we’re still in that black cab driven by a bloke from Elephant and Castle called Bill.
Are we dreaming? Look out the window. There is a line of cabs as far as I can see in front of and behind us. We are on the Children’s Magical Taxi Tour from London to Eurodisney, now in its 25th year. Our convoy of about 100 cabs was seen off from Canary Wharf by the Lord Mayor of London and a brass band. The children were showered with presents.
Bill and the other cabbies, organised by the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, have given their time and vehicles, as have a fleet of ambulances, a team of medics (including Giuseppe and Aylish from GOSH who are the consultant and lead nurse directing her treatment). We were greeted by the entire staff of a French service station who laid on a party to break the journey.
We arrived at our Wild West-themed hotel in time for dinner. Up early the next day, I rushed Isita through her morning meds and TPN disconnection and we got into the park an hour before official opening. With the aid of a special disabled persons family queue-jumping pass, and the help of Bill, our indefatigable and patient guide and support, we got through an incredible number of rides.
Jamie got to experience 360 degree inversions on Hyperspace Mountain and decided he likes adrenaline. Isita had a chat with Cinderella. We all went on a runaway train.
By late afternoon we had a front row view of the parade. Isita went crazy as she called out to her favourite princesses as they danced by, and it seemed they were blowing kisses and waving right back at her. You have to admire Disney; the quality and attention to detail really does amount to a kind of magic. Isita believes, and even Jamie (now wised up about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy) was quite impressed. Isita dressed up as Merida from Brave for the dinner and conked out after meeting Daisy Duck. What an experience!