Leap's Note: Today's post comes from Undercover Tourist customer and super Disney World fan Vern Woodruff. Vern has written about the Disney World character tips, princess dressing in the parks and the Jedi Training Academy.
Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo! With these three words, the Fairy Godmother transformed Cinderella from a ragged scullery maid into a beautiful princess. You may want to give your own little girl the princess treatment when visiting Magic Kingdom during your Walt Disney World vacation. To do this, you will find out the times and locations for meeting the Disney Princesses and try to secure an advance dining reservation at the most desirable of all the character meals —Cinderella’s Royal Table. Having an audience and dining with the princesses are both experiences that your little girl will treasure and meet with the utmost exuberance. However, you can further enhance her excitement by giving your princess her very own Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo experience with an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique located in Cinderella Castle or Disney Springs.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Details
At the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, your little girl will have her own Fairy Godmother-in-training who will give her a royal makeover at this beauty salon for children ages 3 through 12. There are four different packages to choose from. The Crown package ($64.95 + tax) includes hairstyling, make-up with a face gem, nail polish, a princess sash and cinch bag. The Courtyard package ($109.95 + tax) adds a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique T-shirt and tutu. The Castle package (starting at $199.95 + tax) adds a princess costume of your girl’s choice and accessories (excluding shoes.) The Princess Signature Dress Collection (starting at $450 + tax) features a princess gown made with heirloom-quality fabrics, a crystal tiara and organza garment bag. A print photo package can be added to any of the packages for $32.95 + tax. If you opted for Disney’s Memory Maker, pictures taken during your girl’s transformation can be added to your account. Also with Memory Maker, you can take your daughter over to Castle Couture and have a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Studio photo session. There is no extra cost to have these pictures taken and added to your account. Assorted princess accessories and T-shirts are also available for purchase. The amount of time needed for this magical transformation is 30-60 minutes, depending on the package and which of three hairstyle choices is selected. However, the hairstyles have recently been simplified and my daughter’s most recent visits were closer to 30 minutes.
Notes on the Disney Springs Location
While the location in Cinderella’s Castle seems to be the most popular, another option is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location in Disney Springs. All of the styling choices and prices are the same, and it has a number of advantages.
- Since it is at Disney Springs, you do not need an admission ticket. If you have a planned day that does not include visiting the parks, a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover that day can be a good choice because you do not lose park touring time while the makeover takes place.
- It is in a newer location, having moved from its spot in the Disney Store a couple of years ago. This allows for more seats and space in the salon area. However, it is still not overly roomy for siblings that are not having a makeover.
- There are two enhancements at the Disney Springs boutique that do not exist at the Cinderella Castle location. First, there are several changing rooms with a large mirror. Once in the room, the Fairy Godmother magically appears in the mirror and greets you. Secondly, after the princess transformation is complete and you are leaving the boutique, there is a neat photo op with a model of Cinderella’s carriage. A PhotoPass photographer will take pictures, but you can use your own camera as well.
- Perhaps the biggest advantage is that in our experience, it is MUCH easier to obtain a reservation. My daughter had an appointment on the day after Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest days of the year at Disney World (a 9 out of 10 on the Undercover Tourist Crowd Calendar). We arrived about an hour early just to check in and were surprised that she could go ahead and start her princess transformation immediately. In the salon, there were a number of open seats so someone could have easily obtained a walk-in appointment.
- After your daughter’s makeover, you can visit the PhotoPass Service Studio located nearby in Disney Springs for a photo session. If you have Memory Maker, these photos are added to your account. There are tons of fun backgrounds to choose from, and you can even make your own princess storybook!
How to Make Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Reservations
I'm sure that there are many people like me who want to treat their little princess to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. For those who do want to do this, obtaining the appointment time you want can be more difficult than securing a dining reservation. This is due to the popularity and limited number of time slots available on any given day for this experience. Advance planning and calling when the phone lines open to make an appointment as soon as you are eligible is extremely important. The reservation phone lines are open from 7 a.m. until midnight, so it would be a good idea to call in advance of your eligibility date just to confirm the date you can start to make a reservation. The reservation policy is the same as for advance dining reservations. Guests staying at a non-Disney hotel can make reservations up to 180 days in advance, while those staying at a Disney resort can make a reservation for any day of their stay (up to 10 days) starting 180 days from their arrival. This means resort guests have an advance opportunity to reserve a time over non-resort guests. For example, on May 30 the farthest date out that a non-resort guest could start making a reservation is Nov. 26 (180 days from May 30). However, a resort guest arriving on Nov. 26 could make a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservation for Dec. 1, 185 days from his or her arrival (this is what I did). This means it is more difficult for non-resort guests to make a reservation. For resort guests, you may want to plan a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment near the end of your trip (when you can reserve 180+ days in advance) instead of when you first arrive. You cannot currently make a reservation online, and the reservation will not show up in your My Disney Experience account. If you need to make dining reservations the same morning, I would recommend making those reservations through your MDE account starting at 6 a.m. EST and then calling the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique promptly at 7 a.m. The phone line builds a queue quickly.
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Experience
The boutique is a little pricey, but my daughter absolutely loves the experience, and my wife greatly enjoys watching her princess makeover. This has been my daughter's favorite activity at Disney World all four times she has done it at age 5, 7, 9 and 10. During our visit when she was 9, she asked every day when her appointment was and if this was the day for it. She loved telling the characters she met later that day that she had been to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Cinderella Castle. We did not wash her hair or face that night, so she still had the princess look all of the next day (note: bring a shower cap to help keep the hairdo). After returning home and telling others about her visit, she would mention having her hair done and make-up applied in Cinderella's Castle. She also mentions it when she sees Cinderella’s Castle during the opening of Disney movies.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Tips
1. Try to get a morning appointment.
A morning appointment allows for a child to be made up for the day. This works out great if you have a meal at Cinderella's Royal Table or a meeting with Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall later. Plus, you can take pictures of your child with characters who may have limited visiting times. For example, we were able to take pictures of my daughter wearing her Cinderella dress after her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique visit with Fairy Godmother and Anastasia and Drizella. All of these characters were only available to see near Cinderella's Castle until early afternoon.
2. Save on princess dresses.
You can save on an official Disney version of a princess dress by checking eBay for either used dresses or new dresses that are being sold for less than the retail price of about $65 + tax. The used dresses can be a great value because they typically have only been worn once or twice, and are in great shape. I purchased a new Cinderella dress with several accessories for $45 and a group of four used dresses for only $80. Another option to save on a dress is to watch the Disney Store website for sales. I started watching a year in advance before our last visit and purchased several dresses for at least 25 percent off.
If your daughter is near 12 years old or tall for her age, the dress selection is more limited because many dresses are only available up to a size 10. Fortunately for my daughter, the past two years Disney has made 11-12 and 13 size dresses for her favorite princesses. Note that these larger sizes are only available through the Disney Store website and are not at the retail store locations.
3. Bring an extra pair of shoes.
If you have a special pair of shoes that go with the dress, you may want to bring an extra pair that is more comfortable. My daughter would wear her fancy shoes when meeting a character and then change to her other shoes after the encounter. Good places for me to find coordinating shoes were eBay and Amazon.
4. Bring your own camera.
Make sure that you have your own camera to take pictures during and after your daughter’s transformation. Two nice locations for pictures are at Cinderella Fountain and the Wishing Well. When exiting the castle toward Fantasyland, turn left to head toward the fountain near the entrance to Castle Couture and right for the wishing well on the path that heads to Fairytale Garden.
5. Consider splitting up.
There is limited seating in the boutique for people waiting and watching the princess makeovers. If your child has siblings, it would be good if they could go do something else while the makeover is being done. My daughter’s two brothers were quickly completely BORED and did not want to sit in the boutique when they could be out in Magic Kingdom. I wanted to watch my daughter’s makeover, but there was no place for the boys to sit, and they were not enjoying themselves so I took them elsewhere.
6. There are options for boys too.
For little boys who are interested, they have a Knight package ($19.95 + tax) that includes hairstyling with gel, a sword and a shield. The Deluxe Knight Package ($79.95 + tax) adds a Prince costume. My two sons had no interest in this though.
7. Keep in mind the age limit.
My daughter did find out that as long as she is 12 at the time we make the reservation, she can get a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover. She very much wants to visit one more time before she ages out of the experience. However, for those older than 12 (including adults), a character-inspired transformation option has recently been added at salons across the Walt Disney World Resort. If this applies to you, make sure to check out our post on Disney’s Character Couture Makeovers for Adults.
Vern and his wife are the parents of two boys and a girl that all love Disney’s animated movies and shorts. He lives in Ohio and is employed as a mechanical engineer, which helps to explain his excessive attention to detail, organization and planning. His oldest son enjoys watching the animated shorts from the Disney Treasures series, his youngest son has the middle name “Donald” and he likes telling people that he was named after Donald Duck, and his daughter loves the Disney Princesses, especially Rapunzel and recently Elsa.