A visit to the Walt Disney World Resort is a dream come true for almost all children. It is a magical place where enchantment and dazzling experiences abound. It is a fairytale come to life, especially when princesses from Disney’s animated fairytales are available to be seen by and interact with your child. These qualities and the once in a lifetime feel of a visit to “the happiest place on earth” lead many to consider purchasing Disney princess dresses for their own little princess’ Disney visit. I know that I am not the only one to consider a little girl, princess dresses, and a visit to Disney, so I’ve put together this article based on my own experiences to assist others with this question. I hope you find the list of pros, cons, considerations and tips useful and informative as you consider dressing your daughter as a princess at Disney World.
Pros of Dressing Your Daughter as a Disney Princess at Disney World
- Your little girl will be thrilled and feel special to be dressed as a favorite princess.
- Disney cast members will give her extra attention and call her “princess.”
- It is neat to be at Disney dressed as a princess. It helps make a childhood fantasyland even more magical and dreamy.
- The number one pro in my opinion is that pictures with her are extra endearing, special and memorable, especially ones where she is with the princess that she is dressed as. In the future when your little girl has grown, I’m sure pictures like these will become treasured snapshots of a truly special moment in her childhood.
Cons of Dressing Your Daughter As a Princess at Disney World
- Some dresses are scratchy or hot, so she may not want to wear it all day.
- A princess dress is one extra item to pack and take special care of as you travel.
- The cost of a special princess dress that likely will not be worn elsewhere (except maybe for Halloween) is fairly high.
- Many dresses have glitter adornment, which results in pieces of glitter coming off and getting everywhere.
- Compared to regular clothes, there is a greater concern with her getting dirty or messy or damaging the dress.
Considerations When Deciding Whether to Dress Her as a Princess
- What is her temperament? Does she want to dress as a princess and would she enjoy it?
- Is she shy? Would extra attention from people be uncomfortable for her?
- What is your budget? Do you want just one dress or several, knowing that they are not likely to be worn much again after the trip?
- Are you planning on meeting the characters? If not, you may not really want a princess dress.
- Will you take a lot of pictures? Even if you do not meet many characters, general pictures of your little girl dressed as a princess in the Disney parks look great.
- What time of year will you be visiting? Some dresses may be too hot or cold.
- Do you have reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Cinderella’s Royal Table or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall?
- Does your little girl resemble one princess more than another? For example, my little girl with her long blond hair looks much more like Alice than Snow White.
- Your girl will only be little and at this stage for a short time before she outgrows it.
Tips for Dressing Your Daughter as a Princess at Disney World
- Plan ahead and watch for Disney Store sales and dresses for sale on eBay. The Disney Store website occasionally offers princess dresses for 25% off with free shipping, which results in the total cost for a dress being under $40. On eBay, you can find princess dresses that are gently used for much less than a brand new dress.
- Visit a Disney Store so you and your little girl can see the dresses and feel the fabric to have a sense as to what she would be comfortable wearing.
- Keep an eye out for shoes to go with the dress. Instead of the matching shoes from the Disney Store, we purchased regular shoes that were sparkly (black, purple, red). These shoes were more comfortable for her to wear all day. If she has special shoes to match her dress, make sure to take an extra pair of comfortable shoes she can switch to.
- Add accessories that go with the princess dress, such as a crown, necklace or a stuffed toy. When my daughter dressed as Rapunzel, she had a Pascal toy to carry with her.
- When selecting a dress, start with a favorite princess. If you are planning on obtaining a second dress, look for a more comfortable style if the first one seems scratchy.
- Purchase the dress at a slightly larger size so that she will be able to wear it for a longer time.
- For dresses that are scratchy or if it is cool, a white t-shirt or long sleeved white shirt worn under the dress will help.
- The Minnie Mouse dress works great as a general dress to wear at Disney, and my daughter thought it was the most comfortable (assuming that the fabric is not changed significantly on future versions).
- If you have multiple dresses, plan out the princess meetings ahead of time and bring the extra dresses to the park. The extra dresses can be carried in a backpack, handbag or put in a rental locker. Utilizing this strategy at Epcot, I was able to have my daughter wear three different dresses during the day for photos with Minnie Mouse, Alice and Snow White.
- Have your little girl wear shorts under the dress. This will help with changes that may need to be made.
- Depending on your little girl, you may want to work with her on smiling nicely for pictures and how to pose as a princess.
- To obtain more use out of a princess dress, think of other settings that could be used for additional pictures. For example, my daughter wore her Aurora dress when we visited a historic village, which allowed me to take a picture of her reaching for a spinning wheel. With her in a Cinderella dress, I had her descend the steps of our county courthouse leaving a shoe behind on one of the steps.
- My daughter occasionally complained about wearing a dress when we first started our Disney visit, but she really liked to be carried on my shoulders. I told her that I could only carry a princess on my shoulders, and after that, she never complained about her dresses again. However, her slightly older brother was not happy with it because he wanted to be carried too (but he was too heavy anyway).
Please share your thoughts, experiences and suggestions on dressing your daughter as a princess below. Also, check out my other articles here on the Undercover Tourist. My daughter so enjoyed being a princess that I have already lined up her dresses for our next visit. Now, if I can only find a size 10 Elsa dress at the Disney Store.
Related: Disney World Character Greeting Tips
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.