Welcome to the Great Debate! Where we cultivate the great, diverse opinions of Disney lovers on the big Disney questions.
Using everyone’s favorite high school debate tactic, point/counterpoint, we’ll explore the pros and cons of commonly asked Disney vacation questions . There is no one “right “way, only the best way for your situation. We hope that by presenting the two (three, four, five) sides of an issues, it will enable you to make the best choice for your perfect vacation.
This week’s Great Debate…
Should we do Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique?
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is an enchanted beauty salon that offers magical makeovers to princesses and princes age 3-12, located at Walt Disney World Florida and Disneyland. It offers primping and pampering to your little princesses, with Fairy Godmothers in Training to complete the transformation. There are a variety of packages, ranging from economic ($65.95) to Deluxe ($199.95). All packages include hairstyle, shimmering face makeup, and nail polish. High price points include tutus or a princess dress.
Point: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a one of a kind event that every little girl needs to experience. Disney doesn’t do anything by half measures, so it is safe to say this experience truly is magical. The undivided attention of the Fairy Godmother in Training, the glamorous makeup, the VIP feeling of having your nails and makeup done are all special occasions. And we know Disney excels at Special Occasions. Both locations (more on that later) in the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs are beautifully themed. While the Disney Springs location may be more spacious, the Magic Kingdom spot is located inside of Cinderella’s Castle. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique takes the immersive fantasy of the Magic Kingdom to the next level.
Counterpoint: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is not every little girl’s cup of tea. While the experience is beyond a doubt amazing, for a certain type of girl it may be too much: too stimulating, too intimidating, too frilly. For younger girls (3-5), an appointment that lasts 30-60 minutes might be too much. Some gals would rather be pirates than princesses. For those little ladies, I would recommend checking out the Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom, where girls can be transformed into a mermaid or pirate empress for $44.95. For the princesses who are shy around strangers or easily overwhelmed, an hour of pampering might be more trick than treat. A one on one character meeting or a character meal might be a better way for her to feel closer to her favorite princess.
My 2 cents: This is one of those questions that I always answer with “it really depends on your child.” It is certainly not a one size fits all situation. Research the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with your daughter to see if this is something she would like. If you can, find YouTube videos of other families’ times at BBB so you can gauge her (and your!) reaction to the process.
Point: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique takes up valuable time in the parks. The appointment itself can take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the package. At the Magic Kingdom location, expect to also have a little wait time. Space is limited at that location and they are always busy. There have been stories about it being very backed up and families with appointments still having to wait an additional hour. This can mess with your ADRs as well as FastPasses. With all the bells and whistles, minimum you’re looking at an hour. Maximum, it could be two. If you’re on a longer trip and visiting the Magic Kingdom more than once, it may not bother you. But if you’ve only got one day to do all of Magic Kindgom, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique might be too much of a time buster.
Counterpoint: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is available outside the parks. Don’t want to miss park time? Go to the location that isn’t in the parks! Hitting up the Disney Springs location on your rest or pool day will alleviate the fear of missing out. In addition, that location has a higher princess capacity so it’s not quite as bustling. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney Springs also offers something that the Magic Kingdom location does not: a mini parade of the new princess in front of the store. This a fun perk, as other shoppers often make a big deal of the “new princesses.”
My 2 Cents: This one depends on your family dynamic. If you’ve got another kid who would love to split off with Dad to ride Space Mountain seven times, then full steam ahead! You get a mini mother-daughter date in the most magical place on Earth! Likewise if you’re a one kiddo family or you’ve done the Disney parks a few times and you’re looking for something new to try. But if you’re on your first trip or coming with many small children, I would make a schedule of your day to see what would be the best use of your time.
Point: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is too expensive. Even with the lowest price point package, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is an experience that adds money to your trip. There are ways to make it more manageable, like bringing a dress from home that you bought on clearance or making sure to have an early morning appointment, to get your money’s worth. Some parents have reported leaving the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique hairstyle in their daughter’s hair overnight and rocking it again the next day after a little touch up. However, the money spent on the experience could be used for souvenirs that are a longer lasting reminder of the trip, or for an experience that the whole family can more actively participate in, like a character meal.
Counterpoint: This is vacation, you can spend a few extra dollars. You could argue that the whole point of all the couponing, thrifting, pinching pennies and collecting dimes is so that you can indulge in treats like this when on vacation. What else is vacation for but to do things you wouldn’t get to do at home? The princess experience provided by Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will definitely provide memories to last your little girl a lifetime.
My 2 Cents: If Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is something you really want to do, consider adding it to your trip budget. The price tag will feel a lot less steep if you have it covered before you even get to Walt Disney World. Even if budget is not an issue, I would consider purchasing your dress ahead of time. It would be devastating to plan this for your daughter only to arrive and find out they don’t carry her size in the princess she wants. Dresses tend to get marked up in the park, so this will definitely save you money as well.
In Conclusion: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is chance to give your little a princess a truly memorable experience. But it is an experience that should be researched, planned, and budgeted for. There are so many things to do on a Disney vacation, and the biggest mistake visitors sometimes make is trying to stuff too much magic into one visit…which can leave you feeling like less of a princess and more of a pumpkin. Reservations to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are highly coveted, with reservations available 180 days in advance. Hours are 8am to 7pm, with the more popular times being before breakfast and before lunch, to arrive at those character meals in high style. If you can only get a 6pm reservation and the park closes at 9, you must ask yourself if that is a good use of resources. Try not to let your whole trip revolve around this one experience. If you can’t make it work this time, it’ll still be here next go around. Just as magical. As always, the most important question is: What is best for your family, at this particular time, for this particular trip? Whatever you decide, I’m sure your trip will be spectacular and one of a kind.
If you’ve got more questions about your Disney vacation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our exclusive Couponing to Disney Travel Specialist, Kari O’Dell. She will help you plan that perfect vacation faster than you can say “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”
I know you’ve got thoughts on the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I want to hear them! Do you have a question you’d like us to feature in The Great Debate? Ask it below!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!