15 Things a Princess Fan Can't Miss at Disney World
Well the past two weeks I've featured countdowns of my can't miss attractions for Star Wars fans and Pixar fans, so I thought this week I'd keep the ball rolling by counting down my picks for all the princess fans out there!
As always, these are only my opinions of the top princess attractions, but let me know in the comments below if you disagree with my picks, or agree, or just want to say hi! And with that, let's get this list started!
15. Main Street Emporium
This shop stretches the whole way down Main Street and is filled with any Princess Souvenir you could ever want! ... well it's filled with any Disney souvenir you could ever want for that matter!
What looks like multiple shops from the exterior, is actually all connected into one giant emporium inside. This store has all the princess merch you can think of: t-shirts, dresses, dolls, books, mugs, pins, even flip flops!
I highly recommend stopping in on your way out of the Magic Kingdom!
14. Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
This ride is a must hit for any fan of Ariel, and it sits in New Fantasyland - the Mecca for Princess fans!
It is a simple slow-moving ride that takes you through the story of the Little Mermaid, narrated by Scuttle, of course! It is similar in style to the Peter Pan ride, but instead of riding in a flying pirate ship, you ride in a giant clam shell!
The character animatronics are so beautiful and you'll have fun singing along to all the songs from the movie! Plus, after riding, you can head right next-door to meet Ariel in her undersea grotto!
13. Mickey's Philharmagic
This was my favorite attraction when I was little and still remains in my top ten! I've included it on this list because, although its storyline mainly focuses on Donald and Mickey, it does feature several princesses along the way.
Plus its 4-D style really brings the princess stories to life! You;ll fly over Agrabah with Aladdin and Jasmine, journey under the sea to hear Ariel sing "Part of Your World" and sit at the table with Belle as Lumiere performs "Be Our Guest." Look out for the popping champagne corks, though!
It's located in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, so this is great one to hit after riding Cinderella's carousel!
12. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
This is the newest roller coaster that has been added to the parks. It came with the addition of New Fantasyland, and it's one of my newest favorites. The ride has a similar feel to the other "mountain" coasters of the Magic Kingdom (Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), but this one is much tamer and family oriented.
It features several appearances of the Dwarfs, in animatronic form, some of which are recycled from the old Snow White's Scary Adventures Ride! You'll hear the Dwarfs sing Heigh-Ho and their Yodeling song as your cart passes their cottage.
And speaking of the carts, they are truly revolutionary! They swing back and forth freely and independently of each other. So as the train rounds a bend, the cars can bank with the centripetal forces pulling them, with makes for a much more thrilling ride than traditional coasters!
11. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This show, located in Hollywood Studios right at the entrance to the Animation Courtyard, is an abridged version of the movie. It lasts seventeen minutes and mainly just features the songs, so it offers a nice break from running around the parks, but it'll still keep your kids' attention as they sing along!
The main reason why I didn't put this one as high on the list as some of the other live shows (namely the Beauty and the Beast show), is that it's starting to look somewhat dated. It's still super fun to watch, but a lot of the puppets just aren't as convincing as the newer animatronics and costumed performers in the parks. But I guess that's to be expected form a show that opened in 1992!
10. Staying in a Little Mermaid Themed Room
Who says the Princess magic has to stay in the parks? With the new Art of Animation resort, you can sleep like a Princess too in your Little Mermaid themed bedroom! I mean doesn't every little girl wish she could decorate her room in the style of her favorite Disney Princess?
It seems like Disney is leaning towards making more of their hotels themed based on their movies. They're currently planning a Star Wars hotel, but I certainly wouldn't say no to other Princess rooms! How fun would a Moana themed hotel be?
9. Eating at Be Our Guest Restaurant
When we went to Disney this past summer, this was by far what I was most excited for! I'm a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, so it seemed like a dream to be able to eat in the castle ballroom! But I was worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype... boy was I wrong!
It was amazing! We sat in the main ballroom space and it honestly felt like I'd stepped into my favorite Disney movie! But there was so much more than just the ballroom! There are also side rooms that you should stop by to look at. One is based on the West Wing and it features the torn painting of the Beast and the enchanted rose! The other is a large room with huge paintings of Belle and the Beast covering every wall and a rotating statue of the two in the middle.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went for breakfast and got the largest array of pastries you could imagine! I'd recommend going at dinner, though, since it's then that you can meet Belle and the Beast! (Also, I should point out that this is the only place in the parks that you can meet the Beast!)
8. For the First Time in Forever: A "Frozen" Sing-Along Celebration
This is a super fun half hour show that tells an abridged version Frozen, obviously focusing on the songs. Scenes are projected on a huge screen (with words, if you forget them!) and the stage set changes and reacts with the music! Plus, all the major Frozen characters make an appearance! You'll see Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff!
It's so much fun to hear everyone belting out these catchy tunes... I mean you know you belt them in the car, but it's great to belt them in public and not be judged! Isn't Disney great?
7. Happily Ever After - Magic Kingdom Night Show
When Magic Kingdom made the announcement that they were getting rid of "Wishes" to start "Happily Ever After," many people were very skeptical, since "Wishes" was such an iconic fireworks display. Have no fear! Happily Ever After still delivers all the famous Disney fireworks and the flying Tinkerbell at the end, but it also includes some amazing new technology that brings the castle to life!
The imagineers are now able to project video onto every square inch of the castle, and that is the reason that this show made this list! They show scenes from all your favorite movies, so you'll see Quasimodo climb the castle towers, Tarzan's ape friends bounce around to "Trashin' the Camp," and Genie even shoot one of the castle towers into the sky!
The Princesses are the main event of the program, though, with entire sequences devoted to Tiana, Ariel, Merida, Rapunzel, Mulan, and Moana! It's definitely worth keeping your princess up past her bedtime to see it!
6. Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage
This is, in my opinion, the best stage show in the Disney Parks, but then again, I'm pretty partial to Beauty and the Beast! It's another show that basically summarizes the movie and it's also perfectly acceptable to belt along to "Be Our Guest"! Plus, it features other characters from the movie that you can't find anywhere else in the park, like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts!
I also love this show because it pays homage to both the original animated Beauty and Beast and the Broadway Musical Version. I'm wondering if they'll update it to reference the new live action film too! Either way, it's a fantastic show that every Princess fan will enjoy!
5. Frozen Fever
With the unbelievable success of Frozen, the imagineers immediately set out to create a section of the parks devoted to their new blockbuster. They settled on Epcot's Norway Pavilion, since Norway was the inspiration for Frozen's city of Arrendelle.
There are many Frozen surprises in Norway, now, but the best, by far, is the Frozen Fever ride! This replaces the original Norway Troll ride, and it follows the same boat track, but with an updated story line.
The ride does feature on small hill, but nothing a kid can't handle, so feel free to take even your smallest Frozen fans on this one! The animatronics are beautiful and it features all of your favorite Frozen songs. Plus, the indoor queue is highly immersive, as well.
As much as I love the new Magic Kingdom night show, nothing beats seeing all the characters come together in Fantasmic! Here you'll find several princesses including Belle, Snow White, Ariel, and surprisingly Pocahontas! I don't know, I just always feel like Pocahontas gets forgotten about!
The characters then all appear again at the end of the show on the Mark Twain River boat for a beautiful finale. They are joined on the boat by Jasmine and Aladdin, Tiana, and Moana! Definitely stick around in Hollywood Studios to catch this show!
(Also, I have a funny side story... so there's a whole sequence where John Smith and Governor Ratcliffe are fighting and then Pocahontas suddenly appears at the top of the mountainous set. As soon as she appeared, the little girl sitting behind me excitedly yelled, "IT'S MOANA!!!" She seemed so happy, I didn't have the heart to tell her it wasn't Moana...)
3. Character Meetings
There are several places to meet the Disney Princesses around the parks, and I'm lumping them all together into one item, or else this list would be a lot longer than 15!
In the Magic Kingdom, you can find almost all of the princesses. Tiana, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Elena of Avalor are in the Princess Fairytale Hall, Ariel is in her grotto, Jasmine is in Adventureland, Merida is in the Fairytale garden, Belle reads her enchanted tales in Fantasyland, and Snow White and Mary Poppins can occasionally be found in the Town Square. In Epcot, you'll find Aurora and Belle in the France pavillion, Mulan in the China pavillion, Snow White in Germany, and Anna and Elsa in Noway. Their buddy Olaf can be found in Hollywood Studios and Pocahontas is over in Animal Kingdom!
Meeting the princesses face to face can be the most magical experience for a kid, so be sure to check the times guide to see when you can meet all these royal ladies!
2. Festival of Fantasy Parade
The Magic Kingdom is known for its elaborate afternoon parades and the princesses shine in the latest one! The very first float features Belle, Cinderella, Anna and Elsa, and Tiana. Plus, Ariel, Merida, and Rapunzel have floats all of their own!
The whole parade features some beautiful costumes, music, and of course, floats. The whole thing is extremely elaborate, because Disney never does anything half way! So don't miss it!
Also be sure to read my full post about what to expect during Festival of Fantasy for a more detailed look at this awesome parade!
1. Eating with the Princesses
This is, in my opinion, the best way to meet the princesses. I mean why wait in line to see them, when you sit and eat while waiting for them to come to you? Plus, as the Princesses move from table to table, you feel much less rushed through your time with them, as opposed to waiting to see them in the parks and then being shuffled along because there's still a whole line of people behind you.
The top two dining locations with the princesses are the Akershus in the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, and Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle in the Magic Kingdom. However there are princesses occasionally at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Hotel, and at the Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk!
So what do you think of my list? Did I miss any of your favorite princess attractions? Let me know in the comments below!
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