Apr 28 2011 5:00pm

Of Sparkly Crowns and Pretty Gowns: The (Disney) Princess Experience

Pink tiaraIn honor of the Royal Wedding coverage, I have been asked to share my princess experience story. If you have been to Disney World recently with a young girl between the age of 4 and 11 or a slightly ahem...obsessed Disney princess fanatic, then you too have visited Cinderella’s Royal Table dinner:
A complete three meal course provided with live entertainment from Cinderella herself and her troupe of royal companions.

In the weeks leading up to this treat (which occurred just last year), I was overly excited. I mean, I am an adult, after all. But many years ago, when I had visited the park as a child, Cinderella’s castle was only for show. You could walk up and through the castle that was covered with these beautifully mosaic titled walls, and of course truly believing that Cinderella and her prince lived inside.

Now I finally had the chance to go INSIDE and meet the Queen Bee herself!

My very good friend from collegeGold tiara, Katie, who accompanied me to dinner, was equally thrilled when the time arrived to leave for our royal engagement. :) Pictures with Cinderella is first on the list, so we waited patiently in line.

Now I should bring you back to a few hours earlier when we had our first encounter with a princess through the winding road that connects Adventure Land with Fantasy Land: It was Snow White and her handler, a big burly women who looked exactly like Coach Beast from Glee; something I didn't seem to notice when I was a little girl, character bodyguards. Protecting the actors from the dangers that lie within the Magic Kingdom (those kids and their grubby hands...)! Eh, ya never know.

Anyway, then Miss White spoke, and I freaked! Imagine, if you will, a young maiden who'd ripped herself straight out of the dwarf’s shack after singing a few numbers with the woodland critters and gracefully descended from the heavens above, only to land in Orlando, Florida. It was as if I was speaking to THE Snow White, yanked straight out of the drawing board and brought to life.

I was a little rattled, needless to say, but I went along with it. She continued to carry a conversation with us in a sing-song voice:

“Why hello there! Don’t you all look so beautiful. Where have you traveled from?”

To which we both hesitantly responded “New York.”

“Oh goodness, ::creepy chuckle:: my friend Giselle is from New York, maybe you know her?”

We stared perplexedly at her, trying to understand why was she trying to make “adult” conversation with us while residing in Fairyland. The only thing I could think of was maybe she thought we were casting directors testing her acting skills, either that or Walt has deployed a secret batch of character law enforcement and any violators are subjected to extreme torture from the Mouse. So we played along, nodded silently and smiled for the picture. Little did we know how this behavior would follow us later in the evening.

So now, getting back to dinner, we finally encounter Cinderella for the picture that is included with our package, and after our rendezvous with Snow White, we pretty much know what to expect. The same vague empty stare mixed with the faint smell of crushed hopes to one day be a real actress but this time she called us “princesses,” which I have to admit I was excited about.

We walked in and they gave us the seat of the house! A table located right in front of the glass pained window directly in the back of the castle, complete with a beautiful view of Fantasy Land. No tiaras, which was a bit of a disappointment, but we did get magical wands and wishing stars. The theme song for the Magic Kingdom fireworks show is called “Wishes,” and it successfully managed to get stuck in my head practically the entire time I was there.

A subtle observation Katie and I made during dinner were the young girls accompanied by their parents attending the princess dinner. The new “must do” item on the agenda for little girls in Disney is to pay a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique located in downtown Disney. Innocence and playfulness are the two words that come to mind, but oh that blissful ignorance, how you love to barge in and destroy! It was as if Ru Paul teamed up with Toddlers in Tiaras to open a beauty shop in Disney. Needless to say, I choked a few times on my deliciously seared pork chops while eyeing the room at some of the creations that came out of this madhouse. To be fair, it was only some, not all. I did find it a little disturbing watching a five-year-old look like she could be auditioning for a drag queen contest with fake eyelashes, wild hair extensions, Dutch-boy paint makeup and a princess gown—yes, I’ve seen it all before, only just on adults.

EnchantedIt was finally time for the main attraction of the night, meet the princesses! Each princess is given a brief introduction before gracefully attending to each table in the room to greet her guests. Belle, Ariel (my fav!!), Jasmine—all greeted us gracefully and posed for numerous amounts of pictures. And then there she was: Snow White. Thanks to Google on our smart phones we had finally solved the mystery as to who Giselle was! (In Enchanted, Giselle was the “real life” princess played by Amy Adams.)

Armed with our answer, Snow decided to snub our table!!! We were shocked, not even a glance in our general direction! After we silently wished she would choke on another apple, I commented loudly to Ariel (who did stop to greet us) within an ear shot of Snow White how she is my favorite princess.

In all, it was a memorable experience that I recommend to anybody who's ever wanted to be a princess, if only for an evening. And watching the fireworks show take place while inside the castle is something I’ll never forget!

My advice: Parents, watch out for your little girls entering the boutique. A sparkle on the cheek and a dab of strawberry lip gloss is all you need to have your little princess look beautiful, and although blackmail pictures for future use esp during those horrible teenage years seems tempting what ever you do DO NOT POST THEM ON's just plain creepy.

And to Snow White, GET OVER YOURSELF!

Tiara images courtesy of Robynlou8 via Flickr; wand image courtesy of pineapple9995 via Flickr


Stephanie Treanor lives in New York, absolutely hates egg salad sandwiches, and has reconnected with her former love of all things Romance thanks to her job here at

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SillyJaime @ Jaime 2.0
1. SillyJaime @ Jaime 2.0
I want to be a princess! I WANT TO BE A PRINCESS!!!!!!

*so jealous*
SillyJaime @ Jaime 2.0
2. S. Angele
Lol! I never really thought that much of Snow White except to give her props for being the first Disney Princess. Belle has always been my favorite.
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