Monday, January 14, 2013

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: An Ageless Experience

I remember when I had our babies anatomy scan done, the first words out of my mouth to my husband weren't "It's a girl" or "Sugar and spice and all things nice...". No, none of that. The first words out of my mouth announcing that we were expecting a baby girl were: "SO MANY princess dresses!" This is ultimately where my priorities lie. Don't you people judge me.

So with all that being said I'm sure fellow Mouseketeers can imagine how I feel about the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I am quite literally counting down the days until Roo turns 3 and can experience the joy and magic that only the BBB can bring.

At any given time, in any given park, you can see girls from as young as 3 walking around in full princess regalia proudly displaying their pink princess sashes and glittery hair and makeup. 3 years old is the minimum age at which your little princess can receive the royal treatment at either of the two BBB locations (Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, or The World of Disney at Downtown Disney), but what they don't tell you is that there is no maximum age! So being as I'm a free spirit with very little shame, I decided to make myself an appointment for our October 2011 trip.

The BBB at Downtown Disney, from
At first I had planned on and initially made reservations at the Pirates League, because yes I wanted my makeup done and my face painted but I was going to be mature about it, you guys. The Pirates League had a much stronger ring of sophistication to it than the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, so when people asked me where I got my super awesome eye patch and dazzling makeup from I could tell them "Yep, I went to the Pirates League...not the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique..psshhh...that place is for kids." The debate on whether to go to the BBB or the Pirates League went on for about a week (much to the chagrin of my fellow dental school students) before I called back and changed the reservation to a Coach Package at the BBB at Downtown Disney. Originally the plan was to have it done at the Magic Kingdom, but we were only about 90 days out from our trip at this point and all the reservations there were full which was not surprising in the least. If you're familiar with booking popular Disney experiences you'll know that they aren't joking when they say to make reservations 180 days in advance.

So the day finally came and I left my husband at Animal Kingdom and ventured off to Downtown Disney on my own. Buses from the parks generally do not run to Downtown and you will have to hop on a bus to a resort. The best one to catch at any park is the one for Old Key West because of it's close proximity to Downtown Disney. With that being said, even though you can see Downtown Disney from Old Key West it still took about half an hour for the bus to show up and I'm not sure if it was a fluke but I seemed to be amongst the angriest mob of park goers I'd ever seen. There is nothing more off putting to me than to watch people yell at Cast Members who are only doing what they're told and trying to make your experience a good one, and this group of people (about 40 in all) yelled at every bus driver that arrived. Between that and thinking I was going to be late for my appointment, I was a ball of nerves by the time my bus showed up.

I had decided months in advance that I was going to do the Pop Princess hairstyle, which included colorful Disney clips and rainbow hair extensions. I thought long and hard about doing the Disney Diva style that included a big poof and long ponytail that matched my own hair color but I'm no stranger to wearing extensions and this was my one chance to get crazy with the colors!

All done!
The Fairy Godmothers in training were wonderful to me. I told them the occasion was my 26th birthday and they said it wasn't uncommon for whole groups of adult women to come in for birthday and bachelorette parties. This made me feel slightly better about the awkward looks I was getting, but I was still the only adult there. I also told them that we were celebrating being pregnant with our very first baby, and they gave me a special pin to commemorate it. Somewhere at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida there is a Fairy Godmother In Training that knew we were having a baby before our closest family and friends did!

I chose the Coach Package for $49.95 (now $54.95) which included shimmering makeup, hair, princess sash, and sticky jewels. Since I was already wearing makeup I told them it was no big deal and they put the unopened color palette in the goodie bag you receive when you leave. (Note: it should be mentioned that the makeup includes lip gloss and eyeshadow.) It took her quite some time to finish my hair. I have a ton of it all the way down my back, but she didn't cut corners or make it quick just because I was an adult. She truly made me feel like I was getting the special experience that every little girl got regardless of my age. When all was said and done I was in love with the hair do and can’t wait to do it again when my sweet little Roo turns 3.In my opinion you get a pretty good experience with the Coach package that I would be happy to pay and may even refer to as a steal, but packages can go all the way up to $239.00 and include princess costumes and imaging packages.

Worth it
It should also be noted that during this vacation we were attending more than one Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I didn’t have a costume or any good ideas so my hair sort of substituted as a cool way of being part of the fun. The hairstyle lasted for three whole days and looked as fresh on the last day as it did on the day I got it done. All I had to do was remove the larger clips so I could sleep at night, and add a little bit of gel to it in the mornings. It survived rain, several showers, and all the roller coasters!

One of the things I ran in to while planning my trip to the BBB were the very negative opinions from some adults that let it be known in no uncertain terms they didn’t think that activity was appropriate for adults. Their reasons ranged from “You’re taking that spot away from a child” to “I think that looks tacky on an adult”. I’m usually a pretty understanding individual that can see several different points of view but even I have to admit that I don’t see where they’re coming from. I can maybe understand the view that I am occupying a spot that a little girl could have used, but the fact remains that the spot was open when I called to reserve it and there were many other openings. Also, I had worked hard that year and felt that I had just as much a right to do something for myself that I thought was fun and that I could afford to do. I believe Walt Disney himself created the parks so that the inner child in all of us could come out and play, and my inner child wanted some rock star hair extensions!

Overall, I loved the experience and I’m so glad that I got to do it. It would be perfect for a Disney girls trip or bachelorette weekend. It didn’t come without its share of funny looks from other guests but those were easy enough to shrug off when I considered that at least a few of them were thinking “I wish I could get away with that.” It’s too unfortunate that someone would be held back from doing something they thought was fun just based on the opinions of a bunch of random strangers in Florida. So I say if you want to do it, just do it, it’s a really awesome experience.

If you're headed to Disney World in the near future remember to consult with Kelly over at Disney Guru and she'll be happy to help you plan your trip and book your very own Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience!