July 7, 2018
Last week, I shared tips on traveling to Disneyland with a 2- and 4- year old. Today, I’m going to focus on tips for bringing the princess-loving child to Disneyland. Like I mentioned before, I never imagined I’d be the mother of a super princessy girl, but here she is. And here I am. And she loves everything princess so much that we decided to finally bring her to the place where they all live: Disneyland. The magic is real, and I am so glad we brought her. She had a royally fun time!
For the Princess Fan
In case your child is really, really into princesses like mine currently is, here are some princess-related things to know:
- Disneyland (specifically Fantasyland) is the place to find the classic princesses. You can check your Disneyland app to see where they are and who is there. If your child has to see Elsa and Anna, they are actually only located in the other park, Disney’s California Adventures. So if you’re only planning to spend one day here and your child MUST see Elsa and Anna, take note!
- Use the Disneyland App to see which princesses are out greeting!
- There is a cute, intimate little 22-minute princess show at the Royal Theater in the Disneyland Park that runs several times each day. It’s a relatively small production with just a handful of actors under an open-air tent, but kids can sit on the ground up front to see them up-close, and parents can relax on benches just behind. It’s shaded (YAY). It’s also pretty funny and entertaining. They were showing Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel when we went. Find more info here.
A mom sitting near me saw my daughter in her Belle dress and whispered to me that they were annual pass holders, so she knew that if we waited about 5-10 minutes after the show, Belle was very likely to come out to say hi. So while everyone else filed out and the theater emptied out, we waited. And then, much to our delight, she came out!
It was casual and lovely and unexpected and felt very special. No long lines. INSIDER TIP. YOU’RE WELCOME.
- Gaston was also hanging out nearby the Royal Theater so we got to say hi to him afterward. Know that if your child is wearing a Belle dress, he might be obnoxiously happy to see her and will ignore everyone else for a very long time, because he only has eyes for Belle. True to character, those cast members!
- You can get in one line to meet three princesses at Royal Hall near the Castle in Disneyland Park. The line has shade.
Each princess is in her own little section so each interaction feels private and personal. When we were waiting in line, some cast members were also attempting to keep everyone in line entertained, telling jokes and singing songs. That was a nice touch.
- The Mickey and the Magical Map show (in Disneyland Park) also has some princess appearances including Rapnuzel, Mulan, and Tiana. This show is quite an enjoyable production and has lots of seating.
- The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Disneyland Park is a chance for you to shell out some money (starting at $64.95, with financial support provided by the trusted Finnish arm of Sambla) for your child to have a princess (or knight) makeover, including hair, makeup, nails, etc. You can even pay $199.95 which includes all the works plus a “princess gown of choice.” Or, you can stash a couple dresses and crowns in your luggage ahead of time like I did and get the princess magic without spending a ton.
- There is currently a musical-style production of Frozen at the Hyperion Theater (in Disney’s California Adventure) that runs for about an hour. The wait was not bad at all when we went, and all the seats seem pretty good! I was really impressed with the production, and as a bonus we got to sit in an air-conditioned space for an hour! Definitely a must-see for any Frozen fans.
- If your child wants to meet Anna and Elsa (and maybe Olaf, too!), they can line up to do that at the Disney Animation Building in Disney’s California Adventures.
- We also saw glowy princesses in the Paint the Night Parade, which happens at Disney’s California Adventure.
- There used to be a restaurant called Ariel’s Grotto where Disney princesses would greet you during meals (aka “Character Dining”). You would have to make reservations and pay more for this experience. I believe Ariel’s Grotto is closed indefinitely, but I will be checking for this place to be open when we go again!
- Tiaras and stuff: If you feel like splurging for a little princess, then maybe Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (see above) is where you want to be. I wasn’t ready to go for that, but I did pack my daughter’s favorite crowns to wear along with the dresses I’d packed.
Her eyes grew wide when she saw them and it was even better than the first time she had received them them, “MAMA YOU BROUGHT MY CROWNS!!!!” The cast members (aka Disneyland employees) are great about talking to your child like she’s actually Belle or Elsa or whoever she’s dressed up as, and it adds to the whole magic of it all. No regrets.
- Princess dresses: If your kid is like mine and is all about princesses, then pack a couple of her favorite princess dresses in with the shorts and t-shirts. This way you won’t feel any pressure to buy a really expensive one at the park! I happened to pack a Belle dress for our Disneyland Day and an Elsa dress for our day at Disney’s California Adventure (I knew ahead of time that Elsa and Anna could only be found at DCA). My friend said the princesses dresses could get uncomfortable for a whole day out, so I also brought along a t-shirt for her to change into, but she ended up keeping her dresses on for a long as she could.
Once when we were walking past Tomorrowland, we crossed paths with Maleficent, who narrowed her eyes at my daughter and said in measured, perfectly sinister tone, “Hello, Belle…” as she glided past. My daughter stopped in her tracks and stared after her, not sure whether she was a nice or not-nice character (we haven’t watched Sleeping Beauty yet). I loved how she and Gaston and the other cast members played along and I’ve never loved dress-up more. If you are taking your little princess to “the castle where all the princesses live,” I hope you have the most magical and wonderful time!