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The Disney Princess:
How to Meet One

Princesses no longer walk freely about Disneyland.  So unless you want to turn your child into a princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (or in addition to that),  there are 2 places to meet them: the Fantasy Faire in Disneyland, and Ariel's Grotto in California Adventure. Here's the scoop on both.

Disney Princess Sighting #1: The Princess Fantasy Faire

Disney Princess Belle

The Fantasy Faire opened on October 6, 2006. Here's what's going on:

  1. The Princess Royal Walk
    This is where you meet the princesses. You won't know which princesses you'll meet until you get there; a few of them rotate throughout the day.

    A whopper of a line forms so get in it as early as possible. The wait is long because each family gets a private visit with the princesses though, so once you're in at least you get their undivided attention. 

    A tipster named "Y" tells me
    that it's about a 30-40 minute wait from the end of the first roped off line. So one parent can wait there while the other takes your child to Toon Town, It's a Small World, or the railroad which stops across the way.

    You can take your own pictures here or have professional ones taken for around $30.
  2. Storytelling
    Kids and adults sit on the floor on carpet squares and listen to a story told by a princess. A nice cool-down period for everyone.

In addition to these areas, there are places to eat and shop.

Tips:

  • As you can imagine there is plenty of princess attire for sale. Some smart parents pack a pre-purchased Disney princess dress or tiara and whip it out that day at the park to save a few bucks. But if you want your child to pick out a dress right there, I hear they're actually pretty good quality.
  • Strollers are not allowed and must be left in the stroller area outside.
  • Wheelchairs and ECVs won't have problems here.

Disney Princess Sighting #2: Ariel's Grotto at California Adventure

Ariel

This is an ocean-themed restaurant in California Adventure (across from Disneyland) on Paradise Pier. Disneyland's website says, "Delight in learning proper princess etiquette from Ariel's royal friends, like Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella." Again with the etiquette! I love it!

I hear the princesses do a great job and really make each girl feel special. Ariel doesn't visit each table but the other princesses do.

The meal is not cheap but part of what you're paying for is the show the princesses put on when they visit your table. And it sure beats waiting in line.

You can take pictures yourself or have a formal photo taken with Ariel for a price.

You need to make reservations a day or so in advance: Call (714) 781-DINE, or (714) 781-3463.

Read the full Ariel's Grotto review with menu and prices.

Bonus Fairy Sighting!

If you want to meet a Disney Fairie, stop by Pixie Hollow. Newly opened near the Matterhorn, Pixie Hollow is home to Tinker Bell and her friends Silvermist, Iridessa, Fawn and Rosetta.

The idea is to make you feel like you've shrunk to fairy size. The fairies will let you make wishes and tell you little fairy secrets like what makes stars twinkle.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

This is a salon where 3 to 12 years old are turned into princesses or knights.  They can have their hair and makeup done and buy fancy clothes.  The knight package is a modest $19.95 but the princess ones run $54-$200.  

If you shell out for the big package, though, your princess will be "personally escorted on a mini processional—where the young lady is the star!—from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to the enchanting Fantasy Faire," where she then gets to skip the line to meet the princesses.  You won't even have to worry about taking pictures because this package includes professional photos presented in a keepsake album.

You should make reservations-- call (714) 781-STYLE or (714) 781-7895.  You can do it up to 60 days in advance.

Disneyland specifies that you must be 18 or older to make reservations.  It cracks me up to realize they must have had to create this restriction because all these little girls were calling up and booking expensive princess treatments for themselves.


 

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