Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Shazam! These are special words we all know which are bound to elicit some magic. But to a young Princess visiting Walt Disney World, perhaps the most magical words of all are “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique”. This enchanting place transforms already beautiful little princesses into stunningly beautiful little princesses. It also turns parents into mush. Magic!
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique first opened in Downtown Disney in 2006, inside the World of Disney Store. In 2007, a second location opened up in none other than Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Since then tons of pixie dust have been sprinkled on the hair of little girls (I’m pretty sure they are in cahoots with Tinker Bell). As with dining reservations, your reservation can be made at the Boutique up to 180 days in advance. The Castle location is without a doubt the more desirable of the two (location, location, location), and books up incredibly fast. I made my reservation on my 180 day mark and got my desired location and time - phew! Nail biting (oh, right, that’s not very princess like, gotta stop that). I got a quick rundown of the guidelines - hair should be clean (and “irritation” free for 30 days), nails should be clean, and BYOB (that’s Bring Your Own Brush, people). The Boutique offers three packages: the Coach (hair and makeup), the Crown (hair, makeup, and nails) and the Castle (the above, plus your costume and accessories of choice, and a photo package). You do not need to purchase the costume at the Boutique; there is a dressing area in the back where the girls can change into a dress they bring from home prior to their makeover.
So finally, after many, many trips to Walt Disney World, we were taking our daughters (we’ll call them Princess C and Princess A) for their first visit to the Boutique!. We had an early afternoon appointment on our first full day of that particular trip at the coveted Castle location. I wanted the appointment to be a surprise, but I also know that sometimes my children can clam up a bit at surprises. I found a happy median: prior to the trip I crafted a perfectly glittery invitation to the girls from Cinderella herself, inviting them to her Castle for a makeover, and placed it in the room for them to find when they awoke that morning. (I tried to get some mice or some birds to come deliver it, but there was something about a union, I couldn’t quite understand with all the chattering and tweeting). This turned out to be the perfect plan! Since we brought our own princess dresses from home (we had an arsenal with us, but Princess C chose one extra fancy Rapunzel wedding gown, and Princess A chose one one-of-a-kind pink Cinderella gown), it was going to be a wee bit tricky for me to carry around a huge bag all morning and say “nothing at all is in here girls....”, so win for mommy!
After a perfect morning, we headed over to the Castle 15 minutes prior to our appointment time as suggested. As our Prince (that’s Daddy) checked the girls in, I snapped some photos of the waiting area of the Boutique. It is just perfect.
The girls were handed their personalized Royal Invitations and were asked to look at the three hairstyles offered and then choose one. The options were the Disney Diva (the hair gets pulled back, and some teasing, extensions, and accessories bring it all together), the Pop Princess (a super colorful and fun hairpiece with little braids bring out the rockstar in you), and the Fairytale Princess (hair pulled back to a neat bun, complete with tiara).
It took no time for them to both choose the Fairytale Princess, and off we went to the changing area. Let the transformation begin. Prince Daddy had a seat on one of the plush royal couches in the middle of the salon - take a look at the adorable crown display on top of this oval seating area!
|I'll take one of each, please!!|
Ok so now we’ve got nails painted and dry? Check. Makeup spotless? Check. (Double check no gloss on the teeth). Hair sprayed down enough to ensure it will last through the murkiest thunderstorm Florida could dish up? Check!!! Oh, and tissue for Prince Daddy who’s silently watching, most likely envisioning things like proms, graduations, weddings, and getting all choked up? Check and check. Time to bring on the Pixie Dust!!
Friends, I have a newfound respect for the Pixie Dust fairies in Pixie Hollow - I can’t see how they ever sleep to keep up with the pixie dust demand! Princess A’s Fairy Godmother-in-Training got a kick out of how much I was enjoying it - and she gave me a sprinkling of Pixie Dust too!
The entire time the girls are having their makeover, their backs are facing the mirror. This keeps them in suspense and leads up to the moment of the grand reveal - as the Fairy Godmother-in-Training slowly turns the chair around, Mom fights for camera space with the PhotoPass cast member, and Dad tries to remember to inhale. That is when the money shot arrives at last:
And, that was it. As if I did not know from the moment we entered the Boutique, we were hooked. The smiles on the faces of Princess C and Princess A were priceless. They could have given us a bill of astronomical proportions, and we would have paid double still - this was one of the top 3 experiences we’ve had as a family in Walt Disney World. The entire experience, from beginning to end, was truly fantastic. Excellent cast members, a superbly clean salon, and smiles that stayed on these little Princesses’ faces until they drifted off to sleep - yeah that’s definitely a win in my book!
They walked out, no, wait, they floated out of the Boutique on Cloud 9. With their perfectly pink bag of goodies dangling just so from the elbow, they continued their day through the Magic Kingdom like they owned it. And for that moment in time, I think they did.
In a word, this experience truly was Magical. The value of this experience far outweighed the cost. I know this is a day our Princess will always remember, as will we. And you may ask, will we go back and do it again on a future trip? You bet your Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique we will!!