Princess for a Day

Dreams come true every day at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Cassandra M. Vanhooser

My darling niece Alyssia was born to be a princess. At least that's what you would think if you could see her in the salon at Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

A fairy godmother-in-training named Marsha strides forward to transform the rambunctious 4-year-old into a fairy-tale princess. It's pink, pink, and predictably pink when Marsha inquires about lip gloss, glitter, and crown color.

I've seen this pint-size tot writhe like one possessed when her mother combs her curly mane, but she sits still as stone while Marsha tames her tresses and wrangles them into a Cinderella-style updo. The child doesn't move a muscle while her fairy godmother paints her nails and tastefully applies eye shadow and lip gloss. All around the room, more than a dozen royal beauties enjoy similar makeovers.

With her dark hair and skin, Alyssia is more Jasmine than Cinderella and opts for a spangled green costume and gold shoes. When she's fully dressed and sprinkled with fairy dust, she strolls the avenues of the Magic Kingdom as if she owns the place.

I love to indulge the little darling, because we all want to be treated like a princess every once in a while.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques: Locations--Downtown Disney and a newly opened one in Magic Kingdom. Castle Packages, which include a complete costume, start at $189.95. Less expensive packages are available. Reservations are recommended. Call (407) 939-7895.

Tips for Toddlers
• Arrive at the parks early, and take a break for lunch, swimming, and naps in the middle of the day. Return in the evening for more fun and fireworks.
• Consider in-park stroller rental ($15 per day).
• Parents who want to ride the latest attractions can opt for Disney's "rider-switch" policy. A parent who waits with a child can get on the ride with minimal wait time once the first parent comes off.

"Princess for a Day" was updated May 2011. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.