Dear Emily…..

It’s not long now until you will be leaving home. We’ve always known it would happen one day, but so soon? When you and Rebecca were growing up, it felt like you’d be children forever, and here we are with both of you young women already. Time has snuck up on us again and just like the blink of an eye from you arriving into our lives to today, what felt like an eternity until you were leaving is now just a few short hours. Everything we thought we had so much time to do is now a rush before you go and if that’s not a metaphor for life I don’t know what is.

I know at the back of your mind you wonder if you are ready for what is to come? I wonder if I am ready too. Even though you are going to be twenty in a few months, you are still our daughter and the instinct to protect and look after you is unshakable and never-ending. Having worked so hard with you to get you this opportunity, mine and your Mum’s hearts are bursting with pride at what you have achieved, but they are also breaking in two that you won’t be around for so long.

Once we are all through the pain, tears and heartbreak of the airport goodbye I want you to remember a few things whilst you undertake your American Adventure.

1. Relax, you’ve got this. Don’t worry about anything as there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Should anything go wrong you are only a few hours away and we can either be there with you or have you home in the blink of an eye. With that in mind take each day as a new opportunity, soak it up, wring it dry and make the most of it. It will be over before you even realise.

2. Work hard. Whilst you will be in your happy place there is a job to do and you must do it well. Grab the job by the scruff of the neck and be the excellent cast member we all know you can be. Delight every guest, give them the magic you adore so much and you will get much more back in return.

3. Trust yourself. You are great, believe me. Don’t feel intimidated by others with more self-confidence or more years on the clock. They are just as lost, confused and unsure as you and everybody else is. Nobody gets Disney more than you, be yourself, and everyone will love you as we do. Listen to your instincts, trust that you’ve been brought up correctly and do what you know is right. Be considerate to others but stand up for yourself.

4. Have fun, lots of it. Embrace social situations and the chance to meet others who feel as you do about WDW. Be a little crazy, (in moderation!), laugh till you cry, make friends for life and remember every day only comes along once. I promise you, not too far in the future you will wonder where the year went. Make it count!

5. Record your memories. For God’s sake don’t spend the year staring at your phone, but do make sure that you record your experiences. We want to see everything of course, but when it’s over you’ll want to look back on your time there again and again.

6. Treasure your room-mate. They are going to be very important to you in your time over there. Look after each other, look out for each other and DO NOT let your room get into the state it does at home. You will be sharing some of the best times of your life with them, treat them well and if they don’t do the same to you, tell them!

7. Be Tough. There will definitely be times during the year that you will get fed up. I know you will be in WDW, but it is still the real world and there will be times when you are tired, home sick, lonely and grumpy. Sit tight, it will pass. Remember what it took to get there, think back to those long London journeys and grueling interview processes when you never thought you’d get to where you are now. Go to a theme park, have a very calorific snack, watch a parade, send a Tweet, Instagram or Snap Chat (not that I understand the bloody thing) or get on Skype to one of us. We’ll show you the inevitable rain outside where we are and make you feel better. Everything and everyone here at home will still be here when you get back.

8. Be Careful. Orlando is still a big scary city filled with its fair share of not very nice people. Don’t drop your guard or your common sense and do silly things. Always travel with someone, keep your wits about you and your eyes open.

9. Keep in touch, but don’t put the pressure on yourself to be Skyping us every day. You’ll be busy, we’re busy, we’ll do what we can when we can. However, a simple message on a regular basis to let us know you are alive, eating, healthy and happy is a requirement. Think on!

10. Be proud, every day. You have come through a highly competitive selection process as the youngest in the entire UK application pool. You have overcome some real challenges as I know you thought your shyness and lack of self-confidence could hinder your chances, but you have shown others with more life and work experience how it is done. Remember that, always. You is kind, you is smart, you is important! Carry that approach on, especially in the early days as you meet new people and settle in. Be you, cos you’re great.

From that day of your first interview when I said goodbye to you in Starbucks and watched you walk away to the group of applicants you were meeting, I have known exactly what it has taken for you to do this. My heart broke then as I watched you leave me, as it will on Tuesday, as you leave once again. But you know….

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

I know now that you are your own woman and you can look after yourself (most of the time!), but we’re here, and always will be. Your determination and drive have been literally awesome and we are all so proud of you pud. We’re going to miss you more than you will ever know. We’ll be counting the days until our trip in August even more than usual. This experience will be the making of you. You deserve it and it deserves you.

Remember, relax, enjoy, embrace every experience and we’ll be thinking about you every single day.

dad scruch nose

mickey 1


emily airport


louise 2007


1emily yummy

Mum, Dad and Rebecca x

47 thoughts on “Dear Emily…..

  1. Oh my!! I cried all the way through that, I have read all your trip reports and feel like I have watched your children grow up. You have every right to be proud of both of them. I’m sure Emily will have a wonderful time over the next year and I hope to read all about it here and on the Dibb. Good luck lovely girl, have the time of your life and be safe in the knowledge that you have the support of a great family who have your back.

  2. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy, live the dream girl. Grab it with both hands and hold it tight. And then watch in amazement has all these strangers come upto you like we all know you personally and say hello when we see you in the World. We have watch you grow up through your Dad’s trippies, I know you will make an amazing cast member.

  3. what a lovely message craig, it made me choke back a few, my kids are both in their thirties and you never stop worrying about them but, you and louise have given both a good foundation on which they can build , you must be very proud, we go to florida in sept and will catch a sneaky look at her , I feel as though I know you all, what with reading all your fab trip reports on the dibb etc, lots of love to you all from another Disney mad family ,,

  4. Omg in tears here …well done Emily have a wonderful time ……your mum and dad must be so proud x

  5. Have a great time Emily, I have loved watching your family trips over the years, this is the new chapter. Go get ’em. And if my luck is in I may pop in to say hello in December.

  6. What a lovely letter from you all 👍 Emily hope you have a fantastic year and I’m sure lots of Dibbers like us will maybe pop in and say hello while you are there. Mick and Joan

  7. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy….we are due to visit March 2016 and will come to see you….having read your dads trip reports I feel I know you…”it’s a Bolton thing”!! Actually I’m from Farnworth!! Have a brilliant time!!!!

  8. Aww that was really lovely to read, I remember all these feelings when my daughter went to university, I thought I’d never stop having this feeling of loss even though I am SO proud of all the hard work she did to get there.
    It gets easier, on my side I’ve learned to let go a bit & trust her judgement and on my daughters side she has grown as an independent person. She has nearly finished a year at uni now & it’s gone sooo quickly she’s had so many good experiences & I’m absolutely sure that’s what will happen with Emily.
    Exciting times ahead for you all & I wish you the best xx

  9. Such a touching message – I’m another one in tear. Good Luck Emily – I hope you have a blast xx

  10. Omg Craig! Emily – sending you lots of love and pixie dust for your new adventures xx Treasure your dad’s words, though I know he speaks for you mum and Rebecca too xx Love Col&Ali off the Dibb xx P.s. See you in August!

  11. I felt every word of that as I read it.
    Lump in throat and tear in eye.
    You’ve done a fab job and your baby girl will make you so proud.
    Can’t wait to follow her journey through yours and her blogs.
    Be strong Tuesday and tell Emily to ‘reach for the sky!’

  12. Love it. 1,4 and 6 are so true. My roommate is still a close friend. My memories are amazing. I still think how can my experience be 16 years ago as it feels like yesterday. Xx

  13. Wow! All has already been said. Great blog & go get ’em Emily – you will be great. We shall be looking out for you in August also.

  14. Beautiful words! Enough said…..will look out for Emily in August. Safe travels. X

  15. Craig, I’ve always enjoyed your writing – trip reports, blogs, novel but nothing will ever beat what you have just written. I am in bits reading it, truly magical words. Good luck Emily – we’ve been with you every step of the way and even though I don’t know you personally I am also bursting with pride at what you have achieved.

  16. That was so moving and had tears reading this, my daughter is only 12, well 13 tomorrow and this is her dream and she does read your blogs, I am sure she will have the time of her life and wow what an experience.
    We wish Emily good luck and enjoy your dream.

  17. a beautiful letter from a loving dad to his princess, Enjoy enjoy enjoy this time ahead Emily, and I’ve got Jaffa Cakes on my list to bring to you in the fall, anything else you want/need just shout . xxxx

  18. Such a time for mixed emotions. Feel rightly proud of the young woman you have raised, but sorrow to see her go. I am sure she will have the time of her life xx

  19. How wonderful. The very best of luck Emily, what an amazing opportunity and how fantastic it will look on your CV. Craig, your best bit of writing yet, heartfelt and beautiful, tears all round here in the Butler household.
    My girl will be applying in a few years and will need tips and pointers, I hope she can ask Emily for help.
    Have a fantastic time girl, and the rest of the family, enjoy your visit later in the year.

  20. omg cry much??

    Seriously though Emily I knew you’d be an amazing cast member from the first time we talked. Knock em dead and enjoy your year. It’s so different to anything else you’ll ever do – soak it all up!!

  21. I certainly didn’t expect sobbing, snotty tears tonight but after reading that I am a mess. You must be so proud of your biggest little girl. Good luck Emily. Enjoy every moment.

  22. Had to read in 2 halves as the tears got the better of me half way through, Craig. Good Luck Emily as you embark on your great adventure. You deserve every single second of the awesome times you will have for your ambition, perseverance and resolve to get where you are going. Have fun and I will come and say hi in July xxx

  23. awesome


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  24. Wonderful sentiment and as a dad with a daughter it had a special resonance !
    I read that with the Baz Luhrmann song Everybodys free to wear sunscreen!

    Good luck Emily!

  25. Those words Craig will always mean the world to Emily I’m sure…Emily you will be a fantastic CM and will do your family proud. Work hard and have fun,I think those of us who have followed your trips all these years always knew one or both of you girls were destined to work in WDW. I hope you have an absolute ball there and all your wishes really do come true! Enjoy every second of your adventure,I’ll definitely pop by to say hi to you in December.
    Take care lovely,
    Linda (Scotsmomma on the Dibb)
    Craig and Louise you have every reason to be very proud of your lovely girls xx

  26. What a beautiful letter, Emily soak up every minute of your special time , no one will ever take your memories away. You are blessed to have such a devoted family supporting you in all that you do.

  27. Craig you brought me n wifey to tears. Go enjoy yaself Em , but remember where home is.

  28. Well said Craig, lovely words and sound advice. I can only imagine the mixed emotions you and your family are feeling.

  29. Lovely words from a proud mum and dad,good luck Emily,enjoy your time in WDW,it will be fab and so will you. Xx

  30. Wow! What wise words to your beautiful daughter! Another one in tears here and I’m at work! Have an amazing time Emily! XX

  31. Wonderful words from a Father to his Daughter…. Emily, have the time of your life! You will never forget where your home and family are – because your heart will always be there.

  32. Wow ! How time flys ! I’ve been following your trip reports for years and it seems like only yesterday the girls were, well, girls !
    Have a fab time Emily and always remember your family are just on the end of the phone ! 😃

  33. Yep, another one in tears! I’m thinking of you all on this sad and happy day, even though I don’t ‘know’ you. Have a fabulous time Emily, the time will fly, the memories will last a lifetime.

  34. Another in tears here too. Emily you go and have fun, absorb all that you can and memorise it to look back on when you are older and wiser. Good Luck.

  35. Yet another one in floods of tears!!
    Good luck Emily your adventure will be absolutely fantastic!!! Have fun and stay safe 🙂 you will smash it 😉
    Take care sarah xx(chattychick157 on the dibb)

  36. What a beautiful message from your family. Ever since my first visit to Florida 5 years ago, I’ve felt like it was home and, if I had my time again, I’d jump at this opportunity, not only for the experience but the doors it may open for you. Enjoy every minute. You’re making memories, not only for you but the people you come into contact with on a daily basis. Go get ’em!

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