There are two locations for the BBB at Walt Disney World. The first is at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney and the other is INSIDE Cinderella’s Castle. Yup you read that correctly, INSIDE the castle.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE RESERVATIONS? You really need to make your reservation AS CLOSE TO 180 DAYS IN ADVANCE of your trip as you can by calling 407-WDW-STYLE. However, if you are under the 180 days mark when you decide to book your Walt Disney World trip, then I say book them AS SOON AS YOU CAN! Time slots do fill up quickly, so do not hesitate.
WHICH PACKAGE SHOULD I CHOOSE? There are three packages of princess-fication for you to pick from for your girl.
1) The Coach Package = $49.95 (plus tax) – Includes hairstyle (little crown is free) and makeup AND sash.
2) The Crown Package = $54.95 (plus tax) – Includes hairstyle (little crown too) makeup, sash AND nails. (you get to keep the nail-polish).
3) The Castle Package = $189.95 (plus tax) – Includes hairstyle (little crown too) makeup, sash, AND nails. (you get to keep the nail-polish), the “imaging package (1-6”x8”, and 4-4”x6” photographs), princess-themed photo holder, and a “complete costume” of your choice with accessories (gown, big crown/hair, shoes).
They also offer a “Knight Package” for boys over 3 years old for $14.95 (plus tax) with a style and a mighty sword but I’m thinking why go prince when you could go PIRATE at Pirates League and rock their little world.
I’m not going to lie to you. I think you should ALWAYS bring your own princess costumes to WDW. You can find them really in-expensively on ebay, yards ales, consignment shops/sales, LOTS of places. They cost a FORTUNE at WDW. Usually WELL over $50.00 per gown. The difference between the other two packages is only $5.00 and consider the fact that you get to keep the nail polish and it extends your time there its worth it. So the Disney Diva’s recommended package choice is the CROWN Package and BRING YOUR OWN COSTUME WITH YOU!!!
WHAT ARE GOOD TIMES TO BOOK? Here’s a Disney Diva secret for you. You can book your Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservation BEFORE park opens! Why would you want to do this? Well first of all it gets you in the park earlier, but secondly it gives you a really GREAT view of an almost empty street leading up to the castle. Which to me is the BEST way to see Cinderella’s castle for the first time! If you have breakfast reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table you should also look into booking your BBB reservation about 1.5 hours prior to your reservation. Also, if you are going to any Holiday Parties, like Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you want to book a few hours PRIOR to the party starting, but I will tell you that the hair will REALLY hold for a few days.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? Well, like I mentioned before you should look into bringing your own costume with you to save some big bucks. You also want to make sure that the child’s hair is clean and FREE OF TANGLES. They suggest you bring a brush, but our fairy godmother had her own comb that she used. Also if you are getting nails done you should make sure that they are clean without nail polish currently on them. And bring your camera! You will have many adorable shots to enjoy!
You are all sure to have a WONDERFUL time and it will be a great memory for your special princess! Beware of extreme needs for Posing and photo-taking after being styled.
Love, The Diva www.tipsfromthedisneydiva.com
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on a Budget (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Training: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Pirate League Makeovers (couponingtodisney.com)
For those of us who were lucky enough to have met “Punzie” AND Flynn Ryder at the same time you will remember a time of coloring, mini-show from Rapunzel and Flynn, dancing, and THEN a meet and greet. Oh, and you also likely remember that LONG LONG line to meet them. However, when Flynn went on the “rare character” list and no longer was a regular at the Rapunzel Meet and Greet, Walt Disney World changed things up a bit. So what do you need to know if you want to meet Rapunzel at Walt Disney World now?
WHERE is the meet and greet? The Rapunzel Meet and Greet happens in Fairytale Garden. If you’ve been to Walt Disney World before you will recognize this as where Storytime with Belle use to be. If not there are two easy ways to get there. You can either take the path AFTER the Tomorrowland Bridge towards Fantasyland and then turn left, OR you can go through the castle and take the first path on your right down to Fairytale Garden.
WHEN should I go? I know the tendency is to sprint towards Dumbo or Peter Pan after rope drop at Magic Kingdom, but if you are SERIOUS about seeing Rapunzel then you really should make a bee-line for her. Someone from your party needs to stay there and hold your spot and the rest of you can go on to Dumbo or Peter Pan and rejoin you before 9am, as the character greet BEGINS AT 9:15am. I have consistently heard that the wait climbs to well over an hour after the first 45 minutes the park is open. So unless you’re willing to camp out for “Punzie” you probably should go first thing in the morning. Oh, and get there at rope drop!!!
WHAT will happen? The cast member will only allow a certain amount of people in the meet and greet at a time. There is a period of time where the kids color some coloring sheets from the movie Tangled, while the adults all line up along the stone wall. (Photo credit Christie Gera)
After approximately 10 minutes, Rapunzel comes out, the kids rejoin their adult in line and in order you can take photos and get autographs and get back on your way!
Rapunzel is a delight, and any time with face characters when you have really little children with you is a good idea! Just make sure you plan ahead so that the dream of seeing Rapunzel doesn’t turn into a NIGHTMARE of a wait!
Love, The Diva
- Waiting For Rapunzel (delightfullydisney.com)
- Wounded Veteran Prevails Over Physical Disabilities to Compete in Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (chipandco.com)
We can’t forget Downtown Disney! Even though we’ve already talked about where to shop in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, you obviously STILL WANT MORE. Well, I’m not going to disappoint!
Obviously, Downtown Disney is the mother-load for Disney Shopping, but it just doesn’t have the same feel to me as shopping in parks. However, If I’m buying its probably at one of these stores:
For anything that I looked at multiple times in the park and never bought – World of Disney. This is LITERALLY the largest Disney character store ON EARTH, and it feels that way. If you are looking for it, and its Disney-fied, then you will find it here. Common purchase for the Divas include kitchen accessories (oven mitts, coffee cups), scarves (best selection of cute, discreet, mickey mouse dresses/scarves where the pattern is cleverly woven-in). I wear my scarves all winter long and people rarely seem to recognize the pattern, costume jewelry – at least one watch, ring, or pair of earrings will always be bought here (unless I already got them at Mouse Gears in Epcot). *Warning, this store is always packed, EXTREMELY EASY TO GET LOST/ SEPEAREATED FROM YOUR FAMILY IN, AND JUST GENERALLY OVERWHELMING* Like I said, different feel from shopping in park. I normally feel more rushed and frantic in World of Disney (so more impulse buys maybe?)
For tweens and/or teens – TrenD Really some super cute and unique things in TrenD. Love some of their Alice-styled things. Mostly has things that my right thigh couldn’t even fit in though, so that’s why I suggested the tweens/teens, but you might just LOVE them!
For SERIOUS Pin Collectors- Disney Pin Traders : If you’re looking for a pin, and its not been retired, you’re likely to find it at the Downtown Disney Pin Traders shop. Its huge huge huge. (I personally don’t do pin trading, but know many people who are obsessed with it. We use them with my son to mark rides he’s been on and collect the ride pins exclusively).
For kitchen accessories – Mickey’s Pantry – I usually get something that can go in my kitchen at Mickey’s Pantry. While our kitchen is in no-way overrun with Disney, there are some things I love like my measuring cups/ spoons, oven mitt, apron, and wine glasses. It’s a good way to bring a little mickey home with you and have something replaced that you “got as a wedding gift 10 years ago”.
For posters/ paintings – The Art of Disney – Each time we leave Magic Kingdom I drool over the vintage ride and movie posters in the exit tunnels. They are simply magnificent and one day I swear I’ll buy one, and when I do I’ll know where I can go to get one – The Art of Disney. They have a touch-screen computer there that allows you to find every kind of Disney art-work you could imagine. If you’d like a beautiful poster or painting, here’s the place to find it.
And there you are Chip & Co. readers, the Disney Diva’s favorite shopping spots at Walt Disney World! Enjoy!
In my family we have four people. Two of them are under ten and don’t take up that much room. They’re past the age where they need five-hundred supplies just to survive, so as long as I stick to my PERFECT PACKING LIST our family unit meets the requirements to stay in just about any room at Walt Disney World. However, I always seem to feel crowded in my resort room (with the exception of the times I’ve stayed using Vacation Club points), and always long for just a little more privacy.
If I had baby #3 (which is NOT in the plan for me by the way) that means my options would become much more limited. You see, once you hit Five in your party your resort room possibilities are fewer, and usually end in you dropping SIGNIFICANTLY more money to stay “on-property” in places like the new Art of Animation Suites, Deluxe Villa, or a Cabin at Fort Wilderness. As blended families have become more common, this becomes an issue for parents and step-parents who want to bring ALL of the children to Disney at one time inexpensively. And even more commonly we bring grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, family friends on our trips. Which requires many more rooms. More rooms = more money.
Have you considered renting a house off property?
DIVA TIP – What I have learned is that at WDW what you don’t pay for in money, you pay for in time. So the more convenient something is the more it is likely to be expensive (the resorts on the monorail are a prime example). However, as long as you plan ahead being off property is not that bad. If a house is 9 miles away from Animal Kingdom Parking lot (which you can determine by using Google maps) once you add in the tram-ride from the parking lot you’re pretty close to the same amount of time you would spend riding a bus from All Star Music Resort to that park (THAT’S ASSUMING YOU CATCH THE FIRST BUS!).
STEP 1. Determine is where you’d like to be and how close you want to be to Walt Disney World’s Main Gate and pick one of those areas. I’ve found Lake Buena Vista, Celebration, and Kissimmee area has a TON of properties available for rental and they’re very close to Disney property.
STEP 2. Decide how many rooms you need. Don’t be afraid to give your kids their own bedroom
STEP 3. Type your trip dates in.
STEP 4 – Sort through the pictures and find houses that have the amenities you’d like within your price range. You will be shocked how many have their own pools and hot-tubs, free wi-fi, grills, and of course FULL kitchens (which can really save on dining with large groups!).
STEP 5 – Use the Email Owner Widget to get info about availability and price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with them.
Just to show you an example. My family and I are renting a SIX BEDROOM, FOUR BATH house in Celebration, about 10 miles from Disney. The house sleeps 15 people, and has three master suites (a king-size, and two queen-size), and a double bedroom, a twin and a Disney themed bedroom with bunk beds. The living room has three leather sofas, a 52″ television, a dining room that will seat eight people. It also has an air-conditioned game room with a pool table, sofa and tv, lets not forget the laundry room which saves on packing!
I have a different Spring Break than my son does, so we’re actually needed accommodations for 14 days. My daughter and I will be there 4 days, then the boys will join us for 4 days, then we fly home and my husband and son stay for 6 more days.
For us to stay in a Value Resort (Pop Century) during those same 14 days the 1 bedroom for just the 4 of us would be $2,302 according to the wdw reservations site. If we went a Moderate, like Port Orleans- Riverside, it would run me $3,303.00. Thats before you get a single park ticket or eat any food.
Grand total for my 6 bedroom vrbo.com rental for 14 days…$1990.00. That is correct, a sweet house for 300.00 LESS than 1 bedroom value resort.
And this is just ONE example of the kind of deals you can get on www.vrbo.com. We have friends who are joining us each of those weeks and helping defray some of the cost, so it will actually cost our family half of that. AND everybody has their own room.
Just something to consider before you book your next Disney Vacation and need more room.
- The Disney Diva
Don’t forget to check out my other articles below.
For Adult clothing- Island Mercantile- Discovery Island: I’m trying to picture the name of the place that has the cool clothes I like and I THINK this is the one. Please forgive me if its not. I don’t shop in AK all that frequently, as I’m busy standing in line for Expedition Everest or enjoying my favorite show at Walt Disney World, Finding Nemo. Island Mercantile has some nice polo-style and Hawaiian style shirts as well as some dresses that were very unique for WDW. Its a nicely laid out store as well.
For all-things DINOSAUR - Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures – Dinoland: If your child is really into dinosaurs, as mine was, then you’ll find many great dino-items at Chester & Hesters. Many different dinosaurs in different sizes and styles are available for you to pick from.
Authentic African Souvenirs Mombasa Marketplace – Africa : As in world showcase, we try not to buy African or Asian souvineers while at WDW because we hope to go to Africa one day and would hate to have a friend see something in our house and say “oh did you get that in Africa?” and we say “nah, we got it at Disney World”, but you might find something you cannot live without as there are many beautiful items in this store.
Still in the mood to shop? Let’s finish this series at Downtown Disney.
- Shop like a Diva – Epcot Shopping (chipandco.com)
- Shop like a Diva – Magic Kingdom Shopping (chipandco.com)
- Shop like a Diva – Hollywood Studios (chipandco.com)
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