Terminally-ill youngster Tess Sullivan has enjoyed a dream cruise around Europe with her favourite Disney characters.

The four-year-old spent a week with Mickey, Minnie and company during a Disney Cruise – thanks to Observer fundraisers.

Tess is one of just 50 infants in the world to have Alexander disease, a degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system.

Because of the severity of her incurable condition her mum Helen is unclear how many birthdays, holidays, Christmases and New Years the Huncoat family will have with Tess.

Helen, a 32-year-old teacher, said: “The cruise really lived up to all our expectations and more. Tess was so at home.

“Staff spent time with Tess but were also great with her brothers Tyler and Max.

“She loved being around Mickey. The characters played with her on the floor  and she was pulling their whiskers.

“They also left presents in the room for Tess every morning.”

Brave Tess underwent surgery to remove parts of her skull after being diagnosed with pressure to the brain in January 2009.

Since a campaign was launched by the Observer last August to give the Sullivans as many magical moments as possible, more than £13,000 has been raised.

From that Tess has enjoyed trips to Euro Disney and Lapland.

Helen, who lives with husband Steve, Tess and her brothers Tyler, 12, and Max, two, said: “We flew to Barcelona, boarded the ship and went to Cannes, Pisa, Rome, Naples and Majorca before heading back to our start point.

“We are incredibly grateful that the fundraisers gave us the opportunity to do it.

She added: “A year ago Tess was able to take six or seven steps on her own but she can’t walk at all now. Cognitively she’s getting stronger but physically she is getting weaker.

“But the cruise has given us such memories to treasure and lovely photos to look back on.”

There are now 813 fans signed up to the Facebook page ‘Help Tess Sullivan’.