When you visit a Disney Park, you expect to meet a princess or two. Snow White, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, you name it and Disney has them all.
But sometimes real-life princesses turn up in the most unexpected places. Sometimes they show up for a very special meet-and-greet on a walk through the park.
This is exactly what happened when 5-year-old Layla Lester and her mom Jessica found themselves strolling through Akron Falls Park in New York on a lovely autumn day.
An autumn day that — you might say — held the enchantment of pumpkin carriages, glass slippers, and maybe even a little magic.
Layla is so adorable, she might as well be a Disney princess herself. Because of her autism, however, she doesn’t always do well in new social situations.
But this wasn’t the case when little Layla came face to face with Cinderella. This little girl had no trouble at all running up to the beautiful princess all dressed in white.
It didn’t matter to Layla that it was actually a bride taking pictures on her wedding day. All the 5-year-old saw was a princess — and she just had to say hi.
“She just goes running over, arms wide open, (yelling) ‘Cinderella, Cinderella!'” Jessica Lester told WIVB 4.
The bride was Olivia Spark, and she certainly looked like a princess in her wedding gown. She could have brushed the little girl off.
Instead, this bride turned out to be as lovely inside as she is on the outside. Spark welcomed Layla with open arms, becoming the fairy tale the little girl believed her to be.
Thankfully, Spark’s wedding photographer, Nicole Wickins, was ready with camera in hand. She snapped photos of the two so Layla and her mom could have the memories forever.
“I was really caught off guard.” Wickins told WIVB 4. “Because there’s a little girl that none of us had known, so I wasn’t sure if I should take pictures. But it kind of just felt like the thing to do.”
The right thing to do, indeed. Jessica is grateful and Spark shared that this moment meant just as much to her as it did to Layla.
UPDATE: The GoFundMe campaign to send Layla to Disney World has made more than $800 since yesterday! This sweet girl is getting closer and closer to being able to meet all her favorite princesses ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/ftcUauJNuM
— Katie Alexander (@KatieNews4) October 22, 2018
“I was flattered. I was like in tears that she thought I was a princess, and it just made my day absolutely more amazing than what it already was,” the bride told WIVB 4.
Since then, Cinderella and her biggest fan have reconnected. Spark showered the little girl with gifts, living up to Disney’s live-action Cinderella who says, “Have courage and be kind.”
“She is the epitome of what a real-life princess would be,” Jessica shared. “She’s kind and she’s sweet and she went out of her way to be nice to Layla.”
Such a sweet story, but this doesn’t have to be the end of Layla’s happily ever after. A GoFundMe campaign has been created by her community in an effort to raise $5,000 so the family can go to Walt Disney World.
“Layla is such a sweetheart, and Olivia, the bride, is as well,” Wickins wrote on Facebook. “They both just clicked! This is the start of something so beautiful.”
Kindness is certainly beautiful. We hope this little princess gets to Walt Disney World. Until then, I’m sure she’s satisfied with her own personal princess by her side.
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