Visit Like Royalty

If you have aspiring royalty among your party, there are ways to experience life at Disney as…well….a princess.

Let’s say you can’t or won’t spend the several hundred dollars or the basic $189.95 treatment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. You may wonder: Is it worth it at what is known as BBB? Judging by the always-awed reaction of just about all young princesses’ the answer is an obvious yes. They do get a choice of hairstyle, shimmering make-up, nail color, even a princess costume (a choice that includes Snow White and, yes, Cinderella). And while she may love it, that’s only the first cost before photographs by a Disney photographer, a trip to the gift shop, etc.

However, your Fairy Godmothers here has some suggestions for cost-cutting and getting royal treatment for not too much more than the price of an admission ticket. Wave your wand and consider:

—Pose for pictures, at Cinderella’s iconic castle (this is a far less expensive deal than getting a photo at BBB). The best suggestion is to take your time here. Savor it. Ride the ferry instead of the monorail from the Transportation & Ticket Center to enjoy the journey. Also, see it after dark when it has more magic.

—While we’re on the subject of photos, you might try to adjust your settings to old-fashioned black and white instead of color. That gives a sort of timeless or classic image.

Taking Princess Pictures

—Also, be sure to position her in the very middle of Main Street with crowds behind her for the best shot of her at the park. But take some candid shots elsewhere, of course. Be sure to crouch down to get her face at eye level or a child’s point of view. A good positioning place: just to the right of the castle near the Snow White Grotto. Less crowded as a photo spot.

—Buy that dress beforehand. Wal-Mart is only one place. Or find a resale shop. What’s wrong with a used dress that may only be worn once or twice?

—Get her a wand before you get here. (Walmart again and others).

—Mardi Gras beads and their ilk make kids feel grown up. Buy them at a dollar store.

—A tiara or crown? Sure, dollar stores. Ditto: sparkly eye shadow and nail polish. Bows, too.

—An autograph book. Buy it before you arrive. Be sure to include a pen. Splurge on a nice one. Felt tip markers work best because characters are often wearing gloves and clunky costumes.

Visiting Like a Princess

—Visit attractions fit for princesses’ such as Alice in Wonderland, Snow Whites Scary Adventures and the King Arthur Carousel.

—Instead of BBB, try Anna & Elsa’s Boutique in Downtown. This store had its own recent makeover, going from Studio Disney 365. Girls from ages 3-15 can be revamped with various packages including many of the “Frozen” characters. Prices for items such as the Snow Girl package or hairsyling with a choice of two streaks as well as other make-up are priced at only $34.95, or far less than BBB.

—If it is time for a break, relax at the garden patio of the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. Not really a princess place but offering a prince of a meal with fresh baked goods. This is a quick service restaurant with a Mary Poppins theme, a beautiful patio to dine in and varied views of the castle. It photographs beautifully for a “royal feast.”

Finally, if a child wonders why all these substitutes instead of the real BBB, remind them of the real Cinderella. She may have ended up with the glass slipper, but she was too poor to afford it until she became a princess. ###