In Fantasyland, there’s a store called the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, which pretty much sells everything royal. At the back of the boutique is a mini princess salon, where “fairy-godmothers-in-training” help transform little girls into the princess of their dreams (They do have a Knight’s package too, but I wonder just how many times that gets picked!).
I remember Peggy Orenstein’s book, where she discovered that Disney made at least $4 billion dollars in 2009 on princess products alone. Seeing this boutique in action makes me wonder how much they make now, six years later!
It’s a total hit among the girls. And we parents are the fools that fall for it all.
For Sam’s 6th birthday she wanted a Bibbity Bobbidi transformation. We agreed (My husband, quite blindly – later on to his chagrin), and I called to make a reservation beforehand. It was a good thing too, because apparently they get fully booked pretty fast ALL the time. That’s how many parents fall for this gimmick!
We enter and immediately Sam is called “princess” and we are the “king and queen”. We’re all addressed as “Your Majesty”, and asked to help her pick her princess costume and hairstyle. Because it was her birthday, I agreed for Sam to get the Castle package, which was essentially the whole shebang — costume, crown, wand, make-over and photo session. At the end, there’s a personal escort to meet three of the princesses, skipping the long wait times at Fantasy Faire.
Jamie of course wanted to do it too, but because it wasn’t her birthday, I told her she could only get the Crown Package, which is the lowest tiered make-over of them all. She came in costume but was happy to be a part of the whole experience nonetheless.
Sam chose Rapunzel as her princess, and without further ado, we were escorted to the back to change. Because it was winter, chilly and rainy, we opted to put the gown over what she was wearing. The fairy godmothers-in-training assess your size and will happily assist you if you need one bigger or smaller. The girls were also asked to choose from four different hairstyles.
You could opt to get the wig of the princess too, but that’s not part of the package and will cost you extra. There are also shoes, gloves, and bags, among other things, but again, that’s more money out. Obviously, that was out of the question for Daddy dearest!
I didn’t realize that for the 30 minutes of the make-over, the girls couldn’t seen themselves. The mirrors were covered and they were turned towards the parents.
That’s another genius detail (You gotta love Disney. They think of everything I tell ya), because when the make-over is done, the girls are presented to their parents as a princess “for the first time”. And then there’s a big reveal by the fairy godmother-in-training when they have the girls wave open their very own mirror. You should see their faces when they see themselves. It’s — magical!
We were then led to the backroom for the photos, where a carriage set-up awaited. Knowing that we only had one princess package, they asked me if we wanted Jamie to be in the photos and of course I said yes (more bang for the buck as my husband would call it. Two for the price of one). They had the girls in different poses, and after about 10 minutes, handed us a large print out of their best picture, and a few smaller ones. It was pretty cute.
Then the girls were personally escorted to meet the Princesses present in the royal hall. On that day for Sam and Jamie, they were Ariel, Snow White and Cinderella. Somehow the princesses know they need to take a few seconds longer with those escorted to them too.
When my niece did it over the holidays, she was able to meet the elusive Princess Aurora (who we’re told isn’t there very often).
And everywhere they went from that time on Sam and Jamie walked around like princesses (and smelled like hairspray, I tell you!).
To this day, my husband is still reeling from the expense. He says no matter how I justify it, I will never be able to account for each and every penny.
I will admit it’s quite expensive. An authentic Disney princess gown alone is already $70; then there’s still the wand and a crown. The photo package option (which is a non-negotiable for the highest tiered package) is priced at $32. Add everything else in and you really will sweat like a pig! The girls get to to take home everything that was used on them — from the glittery pins, the sparkly stickers, both sets of nail polish, a make-up kit and everything else in between.
The girls open their bags every so often and relive the experience. I think they’ve even used the nail polish and make-up over again. Still it was inevitable: we gave my poor husband a few more white hairs on his head. He actually said to me, “never again”, but then Jamie replied, “But what about for MY birthday dad?” Uh-oh.
On the bright side, our Annual Pass got us a 20% discount. So if you plan on going and getting this done, make sure you have an annual pass holder with you!
In an effort to comfort my husband, I ask him to think about how happy he made his two little princess. Now isn’t THAT priceless?
The Anna and Elsa Boutique in Downtown Disney also has a Frozen make-over salon. It’s also best to call and reserve ahead of time!