After a nationwide hunt here in the UK involving over 780 families, the Frith family from Northampton was unveiled as the world’s first ever Walt Disney World Family.
Alan Carr, Jo Whiley and Doctor Who himself, Matt Smith, all hail from the East Midlands town and now the 10-strong Frith family unit will be added to this illustrious list of Northampton residents, celebrated on the American resort itself, as well as here in the UK.
The never-been-done before search attracted 780 entries from around the country, with celebrity judges searching for a ‘unique’ family that captured what Walt Disney World is all about – namely fun, relaxation, thrills and memories.
Much like the Emmy award-winning ‘Modern Family’, this world first family could be made up of a number of different people, including immediate or distant relatives, friends, colleagues or even neighbours.
Jade Frith’s entry beat the four other shortlisted entrants who nominated their families from Rhyl, Stafford, Fife and Buckinghamshire. The shortlist was selected by a panel including Jemma Kidd along with celebrity parenting and family commentator Liz Fraser.
Jade Frith, 25, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out we had been crowned the world’s first Walt Disney World Family – it’s what dreams are made of! Our group is made up of two families, who have been the best of friends for over 20 years.
"We’re not related, but we are as close as any family. We love Walt Disney World and all it stands for and have been trying to find a way to go together as it has something for all of us to do there – now we can and we have a great title to match!”
Jemma Kidd said: “We had such fun looking through all the amazing creative entries, but the Frith family really stood out as being huge Disney fans with an amazing bond between the group, whose ages range from 6-53 years old – from little kids to big kids. I can’t wait to see their holiday snaps when they come back!”
The hunt, which launched in October, coincided with new research revealing a new wave of ‘togetherness’ amongst British families in 2012. A third of Brits like the Friths, now holiday with five or more people and with several generations and more than a quarter (27 per cent) of UK family holidays in 2012 consisted of three or more generations of the same family.
Hugh Wood, fellow judge and Vice President and Managing Director of Disney Destinations International, said: “This new wave of ‘togetherness’ highlighted by our research findings and our Walt Disney World Family search, shows that now more than ever, people are looking for a holiday to cater for the whole family’s needs.
"Here at Walt Disney World, we know how important it is for guests to spend quality time together when they come away, which is why we have something for everyone to enjoy – from embarking on wild Africa treks through Disney’s Animal Kingdom and learning to surf at the Typhoon Lagoon to relaxing with a game of golf at one of our five courses or with a luxurious spa treatment at our health clubs."
Once the news has sunk in for the Friths, they will be swept off to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, for a three week VIP stay, featuring many money-can’t-buy experiences, including seeing their name immortalised on resort for a year and taking a piece of the Disney magic back to their home in Northampton.
Once they return, the family will appear in the official Walt Disney World Parks brochure and on the blog, and will become regular contributors to the Walt Disney World Facebook and Twitter pages.
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Shabana Adam @Shabs_A