I can remember our first trip like it was yesterday. It was December of 2007 and I’d booked my daughter an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for our very last morning there. We’d do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, have breakfast in Cinderella Castle and then head back to the hotel to catch Magical Express to the airport. It would be a perfect end to what ended up being a perfect trip. Krissy didn’t know about the appointment. All week we saw all the little princesses and each time Krissy commented that she wanted to get a princess makeover. Each time I’d tell her “we don’t have time”. I surprised her with the Deluxe Cinderella dress when we got up that last morning and told her that she’d have her princess makeover and then breakfast with the princesses. It WAS the perfect ending!
On our second trip in September 2008, she asked to do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique again, but that trip was on a very tight budget and there was no way to do it and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
So when we started talking about the December 2009 trip, Krissy practically begged to do the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique again. She’d be nine on that trip and I figured this may be the last trip that she wanted to dress up and wanted the princess treatment. So we got her an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party night. She’d have her makeover and then we’d have dinner in Cinderella Castle.
I knew I wasn’t paying $189.95 for the makeover with dress, shoes, and wand. We didn’t pay that much on the first trip and I wasn’t about to pay it now. I didn’t have the element of surprise going for me this time, so the question became “How do we make it affordable while still making is super special?”
First of all, we chose to do Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on a day that we are already in the Magic Kingdom so that we didn’t have to pay for Park Hopper passes. Downtown Disney is another option for getting the makeover without paying park admission, but for me Downtown Disney is shopping, shopping, shopping and I’d have to recognize my limits.
Second, we brought a crown from home. The hairstyle that Krissy chooses is the Disney Diva and it does not include the little silver crown. Using a 40% off coupon I was able to get a tiara inexpensively in the wedding section of a craft store (such as Michaels or Joann).
Third, I bought her dress on ebay. She knew that she wanted the Belle Christmas dress. I was able to get the Deluxe version, which sells for $89.95, on ebay for $40. The dress is new with tags. By knowing what I wanted in advance, I was able to keep an eye out for her size and save a bundle of money!
Another option for saving money on the dress, is to buy the dress after Halloween while they are on clearance. This is what we did on the first trip. I got the Deluxe Cinderella dress (sells for $89.95) for around $50 in the local Disney Store. That store has since closed and I actually found ebay to be a better option because I didn’t have to wait and see if the dress I wanted was still available in the size I wanted after Halloween.
And a third option is to buy a dress from somewhere like www.mydressuptrunk.com or pick one up at Target or Toys R Us in their dress up section. The dresses from Target or Toys R Us are usually only around $20 – $25. These are not the Deluxe dresses, but they are still cute, although they can be itchy (or so I’ve heard).
Lastly, is the photo package. We prepay for the Photopass CD. We are still able to go to Exposition Hall and get the pictures taken there, but instead of buying a photo package, we just put them on our Photopass and then when we get the CD, I print at Costco for a much, much cheaper price. I pay 39¢ for a 5 x 7 at Costco. A 5 x7 from the Photopass website is $12.95.
We have found that the shoes and wand are not necessary. The shoes are often uncomfortable and the wand is just something else to haul around in the parks with us.
So to sum up the totals: The Castle Package starts at $189.95.
I paid $40 for a dress and $8 for a crown. The Crown Package itself is $54.95. So I paid $102.95. Even if I ordered 10 – 5 x 7’s from Costco, I’d still pay a lot less than $189.95.
We always prepay for the Photopass CD, so I’m not including that cost in these figures, because I’d get the Photopass whether she was doing the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or not.
I’ve also been told that the Harmony Barbershop on Main Street will do an “updo” for $15 – $20, but I find the $54.95 package to be a fine value. Krissy gets the sash to bring home as well as the extra face gems, a little makeup set, a comb, a few bottles of nail polish, and any hair accessories that come with the chosen hairstyle (extension piece, Mickey head hair clip, etc.)
My princess loves the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and I love that by following the above steps, I can save quite a bit of money, while still providing her with a memorable experience in the Magic Kingdom.
By Mary Hogue
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