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By Fantasmic Diva

“Do I need to buy my costume for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the parks?” No of course not. Unless your princess is very picky, she will never notice the minuscule difference between the park and Disney Store dresses. But your wallet will- the price for the Castle Package, costume, accessories etc, is $189.95…a bit steep considering you can go with the Coach package for $54.95, add a costume and accessories (shoes and crown) hand picked by you or your princess at the Disney Store for $65 and change and save a coach full of cash. Plus, you get the added bonus of avoiding the melt down caused by the choices at the boutique. The result is a magical time for all and a princess who looks and feels like she was treated to the Castle Package.

“What is the difference between park and store costumes?” Mostly, the difference is the price. The standard Disney Store dresses are $44.95. If they have a favorite princess, go when the DVD is released if you can. If not, definitely go at Halloween or beginning of summer. The store will have better dresses and a wider character selection at those times! At the Disney Store, when guests came in to purchase a princess dress, I would inevitably hear: “this part’s itchy” or  I would see guests return the next day to exchange their dress for a different dress due to an indecisive princess. It will be better for both of you to come into the Disney Store, try on the dresses and problem solve with an experienced cast member if there are comfort issues with the dress. Depending on the time of year you visit the Disney Store, you may be able to get your princess into a Limited Edition gown (which may cost you,  but they are incredibly beautiful!) You may also be able to find one of the left out princesses (aka…Mulan, and Pocahontas) or a new character like Glinda from Oz or Princess Sophia.

Going to the Disney Store separates your Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience into two magical trips for you and your princess. Two magical experiences instead of one, a lovely dress you already know she loves when you get on the plane, no in-park meltdown and a coach full of money saved…what’s more magical than that? So talk to your local cast members with your princess, or better yet, make it a surprise! You could take your princess to the Disney Store to look at dresses and accessories before you go and figure out which ones she likes best. Once you know you have a good idea of which ones she likes, you could say that you were looking for Halloween or Christmas or Birthday ideas then she won’t suspect that you are going to the parks or that she is going to the boutique. Then you slip into the store while the princess is at school or after bed time and grab the costume and accessories and you can present her with the dress and accessories as a way to tell her she’s going to Disney World or once you actually get to the parks as a surprise that she is going to the boutique. Either one is absolutely adorable! And one last tip…make sure you book the boutique (especially the one in the Castle) 180 days in advance, just like dining, appointments book up really fast!