With the release this week of Michele and Lois’s Faeries Gone Wild, I thought I’d celebrate with an ode to everyone’s favorite–many of you said it already–Tinkerbell. No matter how old we are, thanks to Walt Disney most of us were children when we first encountered her. J.M. Barrie created Peter Pan in The Little White Bird, a novel for adults, in 1902, followed by a play in 1904. But Disney immortalized Neverland for us, for our children, and–wonder of wonders…
Halloween 2007. My younger granddaughter was the Tinkerbell fan, while her older(by 2 years) sister thought Tink was for little kids. She loved the Disney princesses, especially Belle. Tink wasn’t a princess. She was a fairy.
Fast forward a year and some months. Early 2009 the older granddaughter and her first grade friends discover the interactive Disney site “Pixie Hollow.” Suddenly Baby sister’s been ahead of the curve all along. Pixie Hollow is the latest thing with girls of all ages. If you haven’t seen it
yet, you should take a look. Mind you, I’m not big on internet babysitters, but this is a site that really tickles the imagination.
So here you are in Neverland, site of Pixie Hollow, where the fairies live. It’s free to join with a parent’s permission, but you can buy a membership for about $6 a month (this is Disney, after all) and have access to more activities. (We started out free, tried membership for a month and decided to continue.) You get 3 fairy avatars. (I’m learning about avatars!) You play the game by being one of your fairies. You dress her, furnish her fairy home, move around in Pixie Hollow, make friends, have parties, play games–wow! Your friends have fairies, and you meet up with them and chat, play games, get on the phone and say, “Where are you? I’m in Bubble Bounce. Oh there you are! I see you!” You have to read and write messages, earn pine needles and leaves to buy new stuff at the Pixie Store (which means you do the math), decorate your abode for your party. I tell you, it’s flutterific!
I will say that the first grade teacher had to limit fairy discussions in class this spring. But with her best friend visiting Grandma in Lithuania for the whole summer, Granddaughter is thrilled that they’ll still be able to play together in Pixie Hollow.
One of our most exciting moments came when I had to call customer service on a problem with the membership. “I’m talking to the Pixie Hollow people,” I said. Well, you’d think I had Hannah Montana on the line. The tech told me that she and her mother-in-law were into PH, too, while both granddaughters were jumping up and down wanting to talk. So the tech got on the phone and talked pixies with two totally thrilled little girls.
I do believe in fairies. It’s Peter who never grows up and men who suffer (?) from Peter Pan Syndrome, while women go to self-help groups full of Wendys. But Tinkerbell is something else entirely. She’s magic. That’s something we never have to explain. It just is.
Pixie Hollow is a new attraction at Disney World. Has anyone seen it? I’m looking forward to a visit at some point, but I’m afraid it won’t pack quite the thrill the kids expect–5-yr-old grandson is loving the fairy world, too–because the fairies are people. Not that the kids won’t be all ga-ga over the outfits and the fun of chatting them up, but fairies in the flesh aren’t fairies. (Heaven forbid Silvermist (in blue–one of our faves) should turn up on Showbiz Tonight in some scandal.)
Pixie Hollow is beautiful, safe, easy to use even with all its complexities, educational, and–did I mention safe? Imagination is a lifelong friend. Without it, there would be no Einstein, no Shakespeare, no Mozart, no Michelangelo …
And no glorious convertible carrying 10 fiction writers and their wonderful friends!
When we talk about our inner child, it’s so often something we’re “dealing with.” What part of you is still a kid? How do you celebrate that part? I wonder if it’s different for men than it is for women?