Friday Five: My 5 Favorite Disney World character meet & greets

Happy Friday before a long weekend my friends! It’s no secret that my family is big on meeting characters (mostly because of my daughter). Today I’m gong to highlight 5 of my favorite character meet and greet experiences. Hopefully some of them are new to you or a little unique option.

  1. Pete’s Silly Sideshow. As an adult traveling without kids, I saw this on all sorts of Disney touring plans and Petes Silly Sideshowthought “what the heck is this?” Well it’s a great Fantasyland (Magic Kingdom) character meet and greet. You have 2 sides to this meet and greet – Goofy & Donald and Daisy & Minnie. We try and get there about 5 minutes before the scheduled opening time as the characters come and invite guests in (my daughter got to hold Donald’s hand all the way in – she was in LOVE! For some reason, these characters are extra amazing and fun. It’s a great little place to do a Rider Switch break for those with little kids and outside of peak travel time, it’s a quick way to meet a character or two or four.
  2. Disney Visa Card Holder Meet & Greet in Epcot. This one is especially for Disney Visa Card holders and is available in the Innoventions building from 1-7 pm. Every time we have gone it’s been Minnie & Pluto inside but from what I’ve heard from other guests, you may see some additional characters available. Unless you got right as the experience opens, don’t expect more than a 5-10 minute wait. You will need to show your Disney Visa card to obtain entry and you will receive a coupon for a free printed 5×7 photo.
  3. Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater. This may actually be my favorite experience even though it’s not listed as the top experience on my list. Mickey TALKS here with the perfect Mickey voice everyone knows and loves. He’s got a couple of different “spiels”. For younger kids I’ve seen him ask them to do the Hot Dog Dance, bounce like tigger, or pose like a princess if the girls are in a fancy dress (and he is their prince of course). He can speak a little bit of Spanish and do card tricks. It’s truly a unique experience. We’ve done it countless times and I still can’t figure out how it works!! Town Square Mickey
  4. Meet Goofy & Pluto in DinoLand USA. This is one of the few recommendations I will have that’s outside, however the line is rarely long that it would be an exhausting wait. Goofy and Pluto here are FANTASTIC! A little silly, a lot fun and amazing. We love them. It’s also a good diversion for rider switch families who want to enjoy Dinosaur (and it’s not too terribly far from Expedition Everest if you’re willing to take a little walk to get there).
  5. Meet Woody & Jessie. This is located in Frontierland in Magic Kingdom (near Splash Mountain). Again, a good rider switch opportunity with both Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the area. Woody & Jessie are known to have a rootin’ tootin’ good time with their friends who want to say hello! At times you may see just Woody here (but Jessie is likely shortly behind). If you’re not sure, ask a cast member! It’s how my daughter truly fell in love with Jessie after hugs and snuggles.

What are your favorite character meet and greets? I obviously left a few big ones off the list – Anna & Elsa, Cinderella and Rapunzel, Ariel in her Fins! We’ve done them all, but the above 5 are the favorites of my family!! You’ll likely find your child’s favorite character somewhere around at least one of Disney’s theme parks!!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015  or 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

How does Disney’s Memory Maker works and is it worth the money?

How Does Disney's Memory Maker Work and is it worth the money?

If you’re planning a Disney World vacation, sooner or later you’ll see information about Memory Maker – Disney’s photography package. Disney touts it as “the most incredible way to capture and relive your vacation memories”.I was a bit skeptical of the entire situation as first. I didn’t think it would be worth my $169. I was absolutely wrong! The first time I tried it was November last year during a conference with a group of 7 adults. We enjoyed the experience going around the parks, meeting characters, and taking advantage of the opportunity to have us all in every photo without someone being stuck behind the camera. My 2nd experience was with my immediate family and thats where the magic truly happened! It was my daughter’s first Disney World visit and capturing the smile on her face as she got to meet her favorite characters was PRICELESS! I wasn’t required to be behind the camera to preserve those moments – Disney did it for me. We ended up with at least 70 photos I was truly happy with and saved from our collection of about 300. Our most recent trip in April afforded us another opportunity to use Memory Maker. Over 7 days of park time, we ended up with nearly 800 photos at our disposal and I had hundreds of favorites to choose from (two of which are on my wall above my desk!)

How does it work?

Once you purchase Memory Maker whether it’s through a package or as an individual purchase, the allotment is linked in your My Disney Experience account and all MagicBands linked to your account. If you have additional family and friends traveling with you, linking their accounts to yours will also allow them to use Memory Maker. Once on site, locate any PhotoPass photographer in one of Disney’s theme parks and ask to have your photo taken (if it’s a character experience, they will do it automatically). Scan one MagicBand from the group and voila! Your photos are uploaded to your My Disney Experience account. NEW Disney has added a preview of photos on the My Disney Experience app so you can view photos in the park in real time (allow a few minutes for upload, but it’s typically very quick) – something fun to do while you wait in line for another attraction.

How do a find a PhotoPass photographer?Fox family

Photographers are roaming around the parks and ready for your close up. You’ll see them at all of the major milestone locations and any location with a unique backdrop. Some photographers are only out at night while other locations are better during the day time. The My Disney Experience app now has a list of available locations for photographers. I think Disney heard the questions and feedback of all of you 2014 and 2015 travelers wishing to have more info on photo opportunities. You’ll find additional opportunities during special events and during the holiday season where photographers can also be found in the Disney deluxe resorts near the giant Christmas tree displays.

What are Magic Shots?

Magic Shots are fantastic little photos that Disney superimposes a character or little something special to Ellie MagicShotyour photo. The Disney photographer will pose you to make the shot work, set up their cameras and give you a few instructions for a face to make to truly make the moment memorable. You may ask for a Magic Shot from any photographer. Te general rule of thumb is that if a photographer has a camera on a tripod, they don’t have Magic Shots. If it’s a hand held camera, they may have something to help.

How long are my photos available?

You have 45 days from when the photo was taken to download them to keep them forever. You may purchase an extension if you need more time, but it’s best to just download them – throw them on your desktop and do the hard work of looking through the photos later.

I have a large group/multiple rooms. Do I need to purchase more than one allotment of Memory Maker?

Absolutely not! Guests will need to be appropriately linked through My Disney Experience under friends and family. As long as all guests are linked to the guest who purchased Memory Maker, the lead person will be able to download all of the photos. It’s best to have each party member linked to every other party member so everyone can see every photo taken online – it will have no affect on being able to download them.

I’m trying to view photos I’ve taken online but I only see a location to purchase or add it, what gives?

This is a common complaint from guests. You can view them from one of 2 places. The easiest way is by

One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

visiting MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and logging in with the same credentials as My Disney Experience.You can also visit the My Disney Experience web site and go to the reservations and tickets page. The link to view photos from Memory Maker is all the way at the bottom of that page.

What do I do with my photos when I get home?

The lead guest (the person who has Memory Maker assigned to them) will have a DOWNLOAD button available (use either option in the question above to view them). Memory Maker is a digital entitlement so once your photos are downloaded, you may do whatever you’d like to with them whether its post them on Facebook or Instagram for family and friends, make a photo book through Shutterfly, or just keep them for yourself. You may take those photos to any local retailer to have them printed as well. Disney provides you with a letter of “ownership” to take with you if the retailer has any questions.

Is it worth the money?

This little girl of mine tried to beep every character's nose she encountered!

This little girl of mine tried to beep every character’s nose she encountered!

In a completely unbiased capacity, Y-E-S! I love it. Any trip traveling with a child or children, I will most definitely add it on to my package. For anyone interested in meeting characters, it’s worth it! For anyone who wants to to capture memories from their trip – YES! For anyone who is always stuck being the photographer – absolutely yes!

I heard Disney photographers will take a photo with my camera as well, is that true?

Yes, if you stop by any PhotoPass photographer and ask them to take a photo with your camera after they are done with the official photos, they will. In my previous experiences, those photos are not as good of quality as the official shots and since most of them only snap one photo, you’ll lower your chances that the entire family is both looking at the camera and smiling!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

If you would like help planning your next Disney World vacation, I’d love to be a part of the process. Please feel free to contact me anytime for a free quote.he benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Friday Five: 5 things that could be disappointing with your Disney World vacation

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You spend months planning you Disney World trip from the planning phase to traveling. With all of that time spent, there are several things that could go wrong. The better prepared you are for the entire experience, the better you can manage the situation and calm the waters. Here are 5 of the biggest things (in my opinion) that can be disappointing:

1. Dining So you are 180 days before your arrival. Your (or your fantastic travel agent) get online at 6 am EST on the dot to grab a prime time Be Our Guest dinner during your stay. NOTHING! How is it possible? Well, the rule of 180 + 10 which means all guests can make their dining reservations at the 180 day mark. Those with existing resort reservations can make 10 days worth of dining reservations. It means that guests with longer stays have the ability to have the first pick over your. Don’t worry 100% as Disney seems to be holding back on some of the dinner reservations and while you may not be able to grab dinner, you can much more likely grab breakfast or lunch which is quick service but accepts reservations. You can always be on the hunt for a cancellation!

2. FastPass Let’s face it. The most difficult to get FastPass is Anna & Elsa. Because the experience is somewhat limited because both of the Frozen sisters take a decent amount of time with each guest (as they should for how long some guests stay in the standby line), it makes it a difficult grab. The best chance at success is planning a Magic Kingdom day toward the end of your trip. Similar to the +10 rule, on site guests can make FastPass selections 60 days in advance and can book for their length of stay. Other difficult FastPasses that may not be available are Main Street Electrical Parade, Festival of Fantasy Parade, and sometimes Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (may not be available at the 60 day mark but fairly easily available later in your trio). If you can’t get that elusive Anna & Elsa FastPass – LET IT GO! You may be able to piece together a family of 4 over the next 60 days, check the night before or the morning of your Magic Kingdom days as people finalize and change their plans for some options, or just use the standby line 1st thing in the morning. All are viable options to get you in the door if it’s Anna & Elsa or bust!

3. Magical Enhancements This is Disney’s world for “Melissa wants to throw her computer out the window”. Essentially someone broke the web site or they are doing some sort of emergency fix. Magical Enhancements is used by Cast Members when the system (any system – dining, reservations, etc.) goes down. By far it is my most frustrating experience with Disney. Many people may go an entire trip without seeing a single issue which is GREAT! I probably touch Disney’s web site or talk to a cast member 350/365 days a year, so I see issues more than most people. The only positive I have to say about things is that if you’re having issues, the person you’re up against to try and get a promotional offer, dining reservation, or FastPass selection is very likely having the exact same issue! Since the inception of My Disney Experience there have been issues (some larger than others). A huge benefit to my job is that I can save/shield my guests from most of that frustration!

4. Rain Needless to stay, rain can put a damper (haha, get it?) on any vacation, but especially Disney where you have to be outside. The best thing to do is to plan for it! If you’re traveling during summer, know that you’ll see some mid to late day showers. Bring a poncho, have some indoor options in your back pocket just in case. My best advice is go with your plan for the day! Head to the parks, enjoy what you planned, and a little rain never hurt anyone except the Wicked Witch of the West. As I mentioned in a previous post about rain – attractions usually only close in torrential downpours and when lighting is within 5 miles. So do as the ducks do!

5. Transportation A common concern/complaint I hear from guests all the time no matter where they are staying is that transportation takes longer than they expect it to. There is a good reason Disney says to allow up to 90 minutes of travel time when using Disney transportation. That rule of thumb is mostly used for Downtown Disney and when you have to make a transfer to get to a resort dining reservation, but Disney World is a large property and there’s not always a bus just waiting for you. Without dining reservations and FastPass, things used to be a little easier – you just hop on the first bus that gets to you and enjoy your day. Now with pre-planned schedules, I completely understand the frustration of seeing 4 Magic Kingdom buses, a Downtown Disney bus, and 2 Animal Kingdom buses before a single Epcot bus shows up and everyone waiting collectively thinks”FINALLY”! Just think ahead as you plan your days to make sure you don’t tax yourself too much to get to and from your end destination.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

If you would like help planning your next Disney World vacation, I’d love to be a part of the process. Please feel free to contact me anytime for a free quote.he benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Disney World Tips & Tricks for Magic Kingdom Parades

If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for a good parade and if you’re not a fan, let Disney change your mind! On most days, Magic Kingdom has 2 parades each day: Festival of Fantasy and Main Street Electric Parade. The showing of both of this parades can vary by year and sometimes you may see additional parades or changes to the current parade.

If you want the best spot, follow these few helpful tips:

Arrive Early! If you want a front row spot, you’ll need to arrive early and camp out for your spot, especially if you want a spot on Main Street USA! If you want to keep your kiddos in their stroller to catch a quick snooze, plan on arriving 30-45 minutes prior to the start of the show.

Find the best spot for your family. Think about what you plan on doing after the parade ends. Do you want to head back to your resort for a break or are you coming back for the afternoon parade and then hit some attractions. It makes most sense to watch from the end of Main Street if you want to head out and more toward Frontierland/Liberty Square if you want to stay in the parks. The most logical place to go from Liberty Square is either Haunted Mansion or make a quick run for Fantasyland. If it’s hot out, don’t attempt to go to Splash Mountain – you and several hundred of your friends will have the same idea!

Know how to navigate the park. Be careful if you want to to make a quick exit or travel from one land to the next. Your path may be blocked. Look at the Magic Kingdom map for the exact parade route. If you want to avoid the parades, spend some time in Tomorrowland. Contrary to popular belief, the parades don’t lower crowds that much. Fireworks, however, will!

Think about the second parade (if applicable). If there are 2 parades on the schedule, the second is always less crowded. Don’t try and overstress your kids and wrech bed time because of a second parade. You will often get a better view and you won’t have to show up as early to snag a great spot. I walked up to the Main Street Electric Parade as it was starting and ended up with a front row seat.

A word about special parades. During the Halloween and Christmas parties, you’ll often see 2 parade times. The second parade is again, less crowded, but you’ll still need to stake out your spot a bit in advance. If you’re going during a sold out party, plan on 15-30 minutes. During Christmas, you’ll have the Christmas parade in the afternoon instead of Festival of Fantasy. Since this is the peak of peak travel time, make sure you get there early. Lines for everything are long, so it’s not like you’ll have a ton of time to ride attractions.

Using a FastPass? Lucky guests can get a FastPass for their favorite parade. The area to sit is small so choices are limited. It’s definitely useful for on site guests only. I don’t really recommend it unless you’re spending 3+ days in Magic Kingdom or parades are the most important part of your trip.

Planning FastPasses around parades. For on site guests, take advantage of the parade times and plan your bonus 4th or even 5th FastPass around the parade time and where you want to watch. Skipping over to one of Fantasyland’s many attractions might be a good suggestion. There’s a nice air-conditioned/indoor FP+ kiosk available in Liberty Square as you wait. Remember, only one member of your party needs to book those passes.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Planning a trip to Disney World with children under 5

disneyunder5

I’ve done a lot of research in planning Disney vacations over the years. It seems like I’m currently writing the book on planning a trip to Disney World. This one is a little extra special to me as I finish up the final plans fin taking my daughter on her first trip. It’s a completely different vantage point than all of my other trips which were go, go, go! While I’m not following all of these rules for my trip, following several of them will help make your vacation a success.

  1. Stay in close proximity to one of the parks. Magic Kingdom has the most kid friendly attractions so that’s my first choice for anyone with kids. Although many of the resorts on the monorail are more costly, it’s invaluable to be able to walk or take a quick ride for nap time (instead of waiting for a bus and then riding it back to your resort). A good alternative is Wilderness Lodge. While it’s not on the monorail line, it’s close enough to give you good access to Magic Kingdom with a shortened travel time. Another great resort option would be the hotels near the rear entrance of Epcot. This offers a short walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. If you want to save your feet, take the Friendship boats which drop you off just steps away from entrances of each park.
  2. Take a break in the middle of the day. This advice isn’t just for those with kids, it’s good for everyone! I think that many people try and go, go, go their first day and get worn out. Take a break when park crowds get heavy (or when the sun gets too hot). Go swim in your hotel pool, have lunch at a nearby restaurant (in or out of the park), explore a nearby resort, or take a little cat nap. Return late in the afternoon and then stay until park close (or post fireworks show). With FastPass+, you have the benefit of using your evening park time for big attractions without the wait!
  3. Take an off day. When staying 5+ nights at Disney, it’s nice to have a down day with no parks. Enjoy a pool day, explore another resort, head to Downtown Disney to shop and sleep in! There are so many exciting things to do at all the Disney resorts outside of the park like movies at your resort (or another – check out ones that have them on the beach), a marshmallow roast, Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach of one of the monorail resorts, animal watching at Animal Kingdom Lodge are just a few of my favorites. Plus these are all free! What a great way to save a little money.
  4. Decide if park hoppers are for you. There are pros and cons to park hopping at any age. For short trips, I suggest that guests add on park hoppers. I also suggest them for adults and seasoned vets regardless of how long the trip. You get to see more in less time with Park Hoppers and it kind of forces you to take a little break during the day (see #2).You also can use the FastPass+ system to your advantage. Schedule those FastPasses in the second park of the day and enjoy shorter lines for major attractions.  I wouldn’t say don’t park hop with younger kids and longer vacations by any means! If you have it in your budget and you want to park hop, do it! Just know that it adds more travel time and a little bit more planning up front.
  5. Bring snacks. Did you know that Disney allows you to bring snacks and drinks from the outside into the park? Yep! As long as bottles are not glass or alcoholic beverages, you are free to bring in what you choose.  Little snacks are great to have while waiting in line or to take a small break. Plus it saves you money for other things!
  6. Don’t try to do too much. Take it slow and don’t rush around with little legs trying to catch up. The vacation is for all of you. Enjoy some of the magic as they see things for the very first time.
  7. Plan your dining. If you want to see characters while in Disney, dining is a great way to accomplish it. Check out what characters are available and where they dine and make your reservation early! Cinderella’s Royal Table (for dinner) and Chef Mickey’s (any meal) fill up fast. Remember, if you book your trip 6 months out, you can take advantage of the 180+10 rule which allows you to book dining for your entire trip before others! If you are doing a character meal, book it in the middle or later in your trip. This gives you ample time to cancel if your little one doesn’t do well with characters!
  8. Know height restrictions. Some Disney rides have a minimum height restriction. Many of the major ones are 42 inches or under, but there are some that are taller (Space Mountain is 44 inches). You don’t want disappointment on arrival, so measure before you go and plan accordingly.
  9. Find characters for Meet & Greet. Plan ahead and know where you can find each character. For example, Rapunzel is ONLY in Magic Kingdom. The best place to meet princesses outside of dining experiences is in World Showcase in Epcot. Mickey is almost everywhere, but the shortest lines tend to be in Animal Kingdom. You can also have an air conditioned character meet in Epcot. Pick up the a schedule at the park on your way in for more details.  Little bonus tip. If you see a photopass photographer in a random location (often shaded), it usually means a character is coming soon. Feel free to ask the cast member for details and wait around for a few minutes. It could be your shortest way for a character meet in your time at Disney!
  10. Set a budget for souvenirs. Like anyone, kids want to take home something from their vacation, especially from the House of Mouse! There are several ways to combat excessive spending during their trip. You can give each kid a gift card for spending money, bring little gifts with you each day and distribute when you return from the parks (as Tinkerbell’s Pixie Dust), or set a special time aside to shop in Downtown Disney which has the most to choose from. It will help combat questions every day in the parks. If you do allow them to shop in the parks, you can have your items delivered to your resort at no charge (then you don’t have to carry things around every day!)

Enjoy the time with your little ones and capture every moment. To make things even easier, add Memory Maker on to your reservation to enjoy as many photos as you’d like! What’s Memory Maker? AWESOME. Check out the details and what it’s all about.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Tips and Tricks for Disney World’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Reservations

 

Bibbidi Bobbidi what? Disney World has 2 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations: one in Downtown Disney and the most coveted reservation inside Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. As all in park attractions and distractions, valid theme park admission is required.

So what is it? One word for it is AMAZING! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) is a makeover for princes and princesses ages 3-12. There are varying packages and prices based on your budget, but the experience is excellent nonetheless. Your princess will be paired up with a fairy godmother to make her dreams come true!

Some tips and tricks to get you in the door, choosing the best reservation and preparing before arrival:

Making your reservation:

  • Booking begins 180 days prior to your arrival. If you are an advanced planner and have your Disney World resort reservation or package reservation made by that point, you have some advanced opportunity to book more than 180 days out. This gives you a chance at a reservation before the park opens. It’s an amazing experience to see Cinderella’s Castle and take some photos.
  • Booking your boutique reservation must be done via phone using the specific boutique phone number. These cast members can also help you book dining if you’d like some personalized help planning your vacation (or use a travel agent to take care of everything for you).
  • Phone lines open up at 7 am EST, so chances at the first reservation go early. Set an alarm!
  • If you’re not sure what package you want, you can tell the cast member helping you it’s a bit TBD and make your final decision upon arrival. It’s still best to do your own independent research beforehand so you know what you’re getting into.
  • If you call too late and no boutique reservations are available, check Pirates League – there’s a Mermaid package available for girls. While it isn’t the princess makeover you may be hoping for, it’s still a fun experience!
  • You can make a Pirates League reservation for your swashbucklers at the same time. Just make sure you have enough adults to split between the two.
  • Make sure to mention any celebrations – birthdays are a BIG DEAL at the boutique!!

Planning your day:

  • Think about a princess lunch or dinner reservation on the same day you have your makeover. If you have base tickets and want to your meal to be in Epcot, you’ll have to use the Downtown Disney location for your makeover.
  • The three great princess meals are: Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom), Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot), and 1900 Park Fare Happily Ever After Dinner (Grand Floridian). 1900 Park Fare does not require park admission to dine so it’s a really great opportunity.
  • If you don’t want to add on a costly character dining experience, add some princess FastPass+ options. Magic Kingdom is the only park that has the service with the option of Anna & Elsa or Cinderella & Rapunzel. You will find several princesses in Epcot (just no FastPass+ option)

Saving money:

  • If you still want the experience but want to save money, bring your own costume! No one is stopping you. Your princess will still enjoy her time. Costumes are also based on availability so if it’s Anna or die, you better find one online and bring it with!!

Other additions:

  • With many memories to follow your experience, I highly recommend Memory Maker (What is Memory Maker?) It will capture all of your princesses memories for her boutique experience as well as any princesses she meets afterwards and throughout your entire trip.

Preparing for your arrival:

Disney has several policies all princesses must adhere to for their reservation:

  • Each princess must bring their own comb or brush to the appointment
  • Hair and nails must be clean
  • A parent must be with the child during the entire makeover process
  • Arrival 10-15 minutes prior to the appointment is ideal to choose a package (if applicable), pay for the package, and get set up.

The experience is unlike any other! I wish it was around when I was younger to transform into a princess. I guess Disney will just be getting more of my money as my daughter gets older! (As if there was any question!!)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!