If I could do any job at Walt Disney World, I would work at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
I know what you’re thinking — what in the world is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (which shall henceforth be known as the BBB to save my fingers some extra typing) is a salon where your little princess can be made into a real princess for the day. They do hair, make-up, fingernails, and even outfit your little girl in a new princess costume and shoes. Fancy, huh? And best of all, the BBB is located INSIDE Cinderella Castle, which makes it all the more magical. (There’s a second location in Downtown Disney, right inside the biggest Disney Store in the whole world. Magical in its own right!)
The BBB was our destination that third morning when we entered the Magic Kingdom. The Princess Half-Marathon was taking place at the same time, so thanks to congested buses and a very backed up monorail line, we got to the Magic Kingdom via boat, which took a little longer than expected. Once we hit the gates, we were speedwalking to get there in time. The girls were asked to “pick their princess,” and after saying they would be Cinderella and Belle or maybe Rapunzel and Tiana or maybe Snow White and Aurora, Ana and Emma decided to be Ariel and Tinkerbell. I guess girls are entitled to change their minds four thousand times, aren’t they?
Kendall (who also elected to become Ariel) and Emma were whisked away to their salon chairs to pick their hairstyles while sweet Ana was whisked away to alterations. And by alterations, I mean her Fairy Godmother went to find some safety pins to tighten up the waist on her mermaid fin skirt because that itty bitty waist couldn’t hold it up. Once in her chair, Ana picked out the most conservative hairstyle, and Em… well, Em picked out something else. Ana cautiously observed all that was being done to her while Emma really got into being pampered and smiled the entire time.
Emma, as Tinkerbell…
Or perhaps a scary Amazon warrior princess…
Ana, as Ariel…
Or the most terrifying killer mermaid ever…
Thank you, Gram and Gramps, for the fun experience!
On our way to eat at the Crystal Palace with Pooh Bear and his friends, Ana had some difficulty walking. I’m not sure if it was the way the fin skirt fit or the fact that it kept slipping down her little waist, but she told me that it was time to put on her regular clothes, so if you’re wondering why Emma is still a princess and Ana is back to normal in the rest of these pictures, I assure you that it was Ana’s doing and no one else’s. While I was getting Ana rearranged, Kendall met the princesses,and when we met up with them again, Ana hid from Prince Naveen while he bent down on one knee to kiss Emma’s hand and talk to her.
And now, Prince Naveen, you are my favorite Disney prince, all because you orchestrated this precious photo op. Sigh.
Lunch at the Crystal Palace was just what I expected — lots and lots and lots of food. Ana ate better than I think I’ve ever seen her eat, and Emma played with her hair extensions while she chattered on about how beautiful she was. (She was and is!) Our girls avoided every character that came by the table, but by this point in the vacation, I had come to expect it.
From there, the Gains went on to the hotel so Connor could nap, and the Faulks, Gram, and Gramps went to get FastPasses to Splash Mountain. Ahh, yes. Splash Mountain, aka “the bunny ride” that Emma had been begging to ride since she heard we were going on this trip. I think my children might be among the very few out there who know about having “a laughing place” and who can tell you what characters you can see and when you can see them on Splash Mountain without having ever ridden the ride in real life. We repeatedly watched YouTube videos of the whole thing to prepare them for the plunge at the end, and WE. WERE. READY! Ana opted out early on in the trip, but Emma was still, on our way to get the FastPasses, adamant that she was riding the bunny ride. As soon as Wes stepped up to the kiosk, Emmy shouted, “I don’t want to ride the bunny ride!” Sigh. (Long story short, Wes and I were the only ones to ride Splash Mountain, but Emma, now safely at home, says that she’s going to ride it next time. We shall see.)
We went on to Tomorrowland, where we rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Buzz Lightyear and watched Carousel of Progress and Monsters Inc. Gram and Gramps joined us as we went back to Fantasyland and rode Small World, then they went on back to the hotel. The girls enthusiastically voted that we eat at Pinocchio Haus and that we eat outside on the second level.
This was a GREAT idea, as it offered us a great way to view what’s going on “behind the wall” in Fantasyland. For those who don’t know, Toon Town has been closed, along with a great portion of Fantasyland that guests weren’t accustomed to seeing anyhow. (Most of what’s hidden now was already hidden behind the former Ariel’s Grotto, over what was once the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride.) The reason behind all of this is a Fantasyland expansion, which is expected to be complete in 2012. I got a good look at the fenced off area while we ate, then later when we rode Dumbo. I can’t really tell what’s going on over there, but there is definitely something going on. Ha! I’ve read about the rides they’re planning, but I couldn’t make much sense out of what was what because they’re still just the gray, utilitarian buildings going up, without the fronts. (For example, the great majority of Splash Mountain, a ride that looks intricately and ornately done from the front view, thanks to all of the exterior art and sculpting, is actually in a boring, gray, steel building. I know because we saw the back of Splash Mountain on our Keys to the Kingdom tour last year. And incidentally, in the same spot we were seeing the unattractive backside of the “bunny ride,” we were standing on top of Pirates of the Caribbean. Yeah, bet you didn’t know that when you go down that little flume on that ride, you’re actually going underneath the park to the Utilidor level!)
And there’s your useless WDW trivia for the day.
All that said, Toon Town is still there, but there are trucks and cranes and tractors everywhere, changing the entire landscape of Fantasyland. I can’t wait to see it finished! Neither can the girls, who posed by “the wall” and this great drawing showing what’s to come. Don’t they look excited?
So, Emma is a little more excited than Ana is. But wouldn’t you be, if you were showing off your fab Tina Turner legs and your extensions had morphed into fab Tina Turner hair?! (The longer the day went on, the wilder the hair extensions got, y’all. At the very end, it was sticking straight up in the air!)
From there, we abandoned our methodical way of conquering rides land by land and rode Pirates, Astro Orbiter, Magic Carpets, Haunted Mansion, the Country Bears, Peter Pan, and Dumbo. By the middle of the Dumbo line, Wes and I were dragging… and Ana and Emma were the ones dragging us! Despite the desperate pleas to stay until the park’s closing, the Faulk parents decided that ten thirty was quite late enough, and we promised we’d be back sooner than they could imagine.
We hitched a ride back to Port Orleans French Quarter, where we could easily walk the mile from their bus depot to Port Orleans Riverside, rather than waiting a million hours in the line for the Riverside bus. (Note to self: always take the French Quarter bus, no matter which Port Orleans you’re at. It’s NEVER as crowded.) Emma began complaining that her hair was “poking” her, so I took the extension out to the gasps of several other passengers who thought that all of those curls were her real hair. As the person who does her hair on a daily basis, I am thankful that they were not. (Oh, and on my sister’s advice, I saved the hair because, “It’ll come in handy at Halloween!” I’m sure it will!)
After our brisk night walk along the Sassagoula River, we tucked in two fast-asleep girls and fell into the sleep of death ourselves. Exhaustion? The sign of a truly great Disney day…