by JollyFrogger Diva
Like most little girls, my oldest daughter loves to play dress up. She went through a phase for a while where she would insist on dressing up like her favorite princess to run every day errands or to hang around the house.
Therefore, when we planned our Walt Disney World trip when my daughter was 3, we expected her to want to dress up as her favorite princesses while at the parks. Having never visited while young enough to dress up myself, I knew I needed to do some research to make her Princess experience as pleasant for her and for us as possible. So here are some of my best tips to help your little Princess enjoy herself when you visit WDW.
Tip #1 Forgo Fancy Shoes
As anyone who has spent much time walking around a theme park can tell you, your shoe choice can make or break your trip. It took some convincing, but we helped our daughter pick out a couple of comfortable pairs of tennis shoes that would take the place of the fancy shoes that she normally wears under her various Princess dresses. Although she would be spending a good deal of time riding in the stroller, I knew that walking around in those fancy shoes would make for sore feet and ultimately a grumpy princess. We found some neutral white tennis shoes that went with everything, as well as a sparkly pair of shoes with Disney Princesses on them, so she’d still feel like she had a say in her shoe choice each day.
Tip # 2 Length is Important
When planning which dresses to pack for your little Princess, make sure you check the length. You don’t want to include any dresses that drag on the ground, as this could provide a tripping hazard for your little girl. It also causes more wear and tear on the dresses, which means less opportunity to wear it. This wasn’t too much of a problem for us, as my daughter has always been tall for her size, but we were sure to only select dresses that hit her at or above the ankle.
Tip # 3 Evaluate Wearability
When it comes to Princess dresses and accessories, they are not all created equally. We knew it would be hot during our trip, so we tried to select mostly lighter weight dresses so our little Princess wouldn’t get too hot and uncomfortable. Comfort is perhaps the most important key to preventing a royal meltdown. You also want to consider whether a dress will be itchy or to restrict her ability to move freely. Although we didn’t own one at the time, I have since come to love the dresses sold by Mom Approved Costumes. They are affordable, lightweight, non itchy, and most importantly they are machine washable.
We also evaluated our accessories and decided that instead of the heavy metal tiaras that are usually sold along side the Princess dresses, we would opt for a lightweight plastic tiara and a selection of headbands. The tiara we chose actually has sides that folded in so we could throw it in the park bag when my daughter was tired of wearing it without too much fear of it being crushed. I found a couple of head bands that also coordinated with some of her dresses, like the snowflake she wore with her Elsa dress, so she could feel like a Princess even when she didn’t want to wear her crown.
Tip # 4 Pack a Change of Clothes
Every Princess needs a break once in a while. I was actually surprised how well my daughter did wanting to stay in her Princess dress all day, but there was a time or two when she wanted to shed her Princess identity for a bit. We made sure to carry a change of clothes in our park bag each day so we’d be able to help her blend in with the rest of us non-royal visitors if the desire arose. I actually packed her a pair of normal clothes for each day of our trip, so she’d have plenty of choices. The last day of our trip she actually opted to forgo her Princess dress all together so make sure you prepare for this scenario as well.
Tip #5 Have Fun
This is, of course, the most important tip to traveling with your little Princess. We tried to coordinate her dress with the characters she’d meet that day. For example, I suggested she wear her Elsa dress to EPCOT because I knew what’s where she’d meet Anna and Elsa (you can read Disney Magic Diva’s review of Royal Sommerhus here) and we saved her Alice in Wonderland Dress for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare because I knew we’d meet Alice and Mad Hatter (you can read my review of that breakfast here). Gaston was perhaps our favorite interaction- he greeted my daughter with “Oh Belle, I see you’ve finally come to your senses and changed your mind. We’ll marry this afternoon!”. Sadly, I do not have any photos of that interaction, as our photopass pictures from there were lost, but it will always be one of my favorite memories.
Of course, Princesses often have their own opinions on what they should wear sometimes, so don’t stress too much about which dress they choose for the day. We found that all of the characters love to interact with her, whether her dress was from their movie or not. Tiana and Rapuzel both complimented my daughter on her Bell dress when we visited Fairytale Hall. The Wicked Stepsisters doted all over her when she visited them, even joking about my husband as her servant. My daughter loved being addressed as “Princess” by characters and Cast Members alike. She even started referring to Cinderella Castle as “my castle”.
In the end, your Princess will have a blast visiting Walt Disney World whether or not she chooses to dress up. If she does opt to dress up, comfort is the key to a happy Princess and nobody likes a grumpy Princess!
Are you ready to plan your Princess’s next trip to Walt Disney World? Click here for a free quote from Patricia at All for Dream Travel and get started today.