Disney World’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-A Dad’s Perspective

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Worth every penny.

Living close to Walt Disney World, our trips are usually short ones. We have always opted for frequent, short visits, rather than infrequent, extended stays. This year was going to be different, however. We had the trip to end all trips planned. We were set for the first week of September, in hopes of taking advantage of low crowds and free dining. We were also going to splurge on a few things we had yet to do in our years as Disney enthusiasts, and one of those things—the one we were most excited about—was taking our four and six year old daughters to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. After years of watching them gawk longingly at little Princesses walking up and down Main Street, U.S.A. it was finally going to be their turn.

Then, as the best laid plans of mice and men often do, things changed. Nothing earthshattering, yet the budget for our once mammoth trip was sudden smaller. Much smaller. Things would have to be cut, and as my wife and I began whittling away, we both knew what the biggest piece of the pie was. Still, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. Instead, we decided to cut our trip down to two nights, downgrade our hotel to All-Star Sports, and just be otherwise thrifty where we could. Sure, I debated on if this was the right decision in the weeks leading up to our stay. For reassurance I consulted our daughters on which they would prefer—a longer trip or to keep their appointments at the Boutique—and both were certain they wanted their royal makeovers. In truth—as much as I wanted to spend the extra time on Disney property—I was glad they had stuck with the Boutique. There was no assurance we would be able to take them in the future if they passed on it now, and though my oldest was only six, I feared this would be the last opportunity she would have to really enjoy the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience before she outgrew it. And the last opportunity we would have to enjoy her enjoying it.

Of the two locations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique—one at Downtown Disney Marketplace and one inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom—we had chosen the Magic Kingdom location. Our appointment was set for 9:10 AM and we arrived at the gate around 8:30 AM that morning. Appointments for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are treated similarly to dining reservations in that you are cautioned to arrive fifteen to thirty minutes early, and you will be allowed into Magic Kingdom before the park opens if needed to meet that requirement. However, what we were actually told upon arrival at the gate was that, though Magic Kingdom was not scheduled to officially open until 9:00 AM on that day, they would be allowing all guests in at 8:45 AM, and so if your reservation was for 9:05 AM or later, you were told to wait and enter with everyone else. Any reservations prior to 9:05 AM were sent to the park entrance closest to the monorail where a Cast Member would check you in and allow you to enter early for your reservation. Being that our reservation was for 9:10 AM we waited and entered with everyone else, however, we still had plenty of time to get to Cinderella Castle in advance of our scheduled time. TIP: Reservations are a must for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, especially for the Magic Kingdom location. The early morning times will generally fill up first as a lot of people will pair a makeover at the Boutique with breakfast at neighboring Cinderella’s Royal Table, so I would strongly recommend making reservations when they first become available six months in advance. Also, if you do have a reservation for prior to the official opening of Magic Kingdom, make sure you have the reservation number with you. Unlike dining reservations, Boutique reservations do not get linked to your Magic Band and can not be seen by a Cast Member simply by scanning them.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Invitation
Your child will receive their invitation upon check-in.

The first thing we discovered upon entering the Boutique was that it was very small. The second was that it was very busy. As was our plan, crowds during our stay were very light. At EPCOT we waited 10 minutes in the standby line for Soarin’ at 11:00 AM. At Magic Kingdom, we parked in the first row of the Heroes parking lot. The wait times for Splash, Big Thunder, and Space Mountains rarely got above 10 minutes, and never above 20. Yet there was hardly enough room to move in the Boutique waiting area, and there was definitely no available seating. Nevertheless, we were greeted warmly by the Cast Member at the check-in area and asked which package our Princesses would be requiring.

There are 4 packages for girls at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and even 1 package for boys. The Coach Package includes hairstyling, shimmering make-up and face gem, and a princess sash and tote. It costs $54.95, plus tax. The Crown Package includes everything in the Coach Package and adds nail polish. For the Crown Package you will pay $59.95, plus tax. Next up is the Courtyard Package, which includes all of the previously mentioned items and adds a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique t-shirt and a trendy tutu. The Courtyard package costs $94.95, plus tax. Lastly, the Castle Package has all the items of both the Crown and Coach Package, plus a complete costume of the Disney Princess of your choice, and a photo package containing one 6” x 8” photo and four 4” x 6” photos in a princess-themed holder. The Castle Package comes in at $194.95, plus tax. There is also a package listed for boys called the Knight Package. It includes hairstyling with gel, a mighty sword and shield, and confetti.

As for my girls, we had actually had this discussion prior to leaving for our trip. Sure, going with the cheapest package probably could have provided us with the funds for at least one more night at our All-Star Sports accommodations, but I knew not allowing our 4 year old the ability to pick out and wear a princess costume would be torturous for her. The whole thing wouldn’t have been nearly as special to her if she was unable to wear the fancy gown. Even though I was crying inside, I smiled at the Cast Member and told her we would be requiring two Castle Packages.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Available Costumes
The available princess costumes will be hanging in the waiting area for your child to choose from.

Next she directed us to the back wall of the waiting area that was displayed with all the Disney Princess costumes they had available that particular day. At times certain costumes do sell out and become unavailable, but on this particular day it appeared everything was in stock. Our choices were: Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Anna (Frozen), Elsa(Frozen), Merida (Brave), Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine (Aladdin), Rapunzel (Tangled), Tinker Bell, and Tiana (Princess and the Frog). My 4 year old daughter chose Belle, while my 6 year old daughter chose Aurora. After the decisions were made, the Cast Member whisked us to a dressing room in the back of the Boutique. Inside, both costumes were hanging up, and both girls were given a crown and a large plastic wand. Each wand and crown is uniquely themed to each princess. Aurora’s crown was made of a hard plastic, was pink, and had her picture in the center. Belle’s crown was a bendable plastic, was yellow, and also had her picture in the center. Likewise, Aurora’s wand was pink with her picture on it and a heart at the top, while Belle’s was yellow with her picture on it and a rose at the top. Both wands also lit up with the push of a button. After changing into their costumes and ensuring they fit correctly, we were brought back to the waiting area until it was our turn.

The “salon” room itself was rather small, with all the Fairy Godmother-In-Training work stations set up along the wall forming a horseshoe around the room. In the center of the room was a long couch for parents to sit on while watching their princesses-to-be. The backing to this couch does go up quite high, forming a barrier in the center of the room. Our concern was that our girls would be split up making it impossible for us to be able to enjoy each one separately, however, we were assured that, while typically the girls will not go in consecutive order, they would not be separated either (meaning that they would be seated next to, or close by one another, as availability allowed).

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Salon
Fairy-Godmothers-In-Training hard at work.

Our four year old was seated first, about twenty minutes after our appointment was scheduled to begin. Shortly after her makeover began, our six year old was seated in the chair next to her. TIP: If the shoulder straps on your child’s costume are too big ask your Fairy-Godmother-In-Training to adjust them. This was the case with my four year old, and her Fairy-Godmother-In-Training was able to adjust it with a small, clear rubber band.

After the costume adjustment, the first decision that needs to be made is a hair style, of which there are 4 to choose from. TIP: The Fairy-Godmother-In-Training may show pictures of the different hairstyles to your child to choose, not to you. If you have a certain style in mind, or if you want to be the one to make the decision, tell her as your child sits down.

My wife chose to have each girl’s hair put into a bun and each girl also had a small metal tiara tucked securely atop their head, and their own Hidden Mickey—a small metal Mickey clipped into the back of their hair. If this is a hairstyle you are considering please do not be concerned about the bun coming undone or your child’s hair being mussed throughout a day of thrill rides. With the tightness of the bun and the amount of product used to hold it, I am fairly certain hurricane force winds couldn’t break a strand free.

After their hair was done, their nails and makeup was next. Each girl got to choose their own eye shadow and nail polish color, as well as which sparkling face gem (sticker) would be placed on their cheek. TIP: This will be stressed when making the appointment, but ensure your child does not have any nail polish on already at the time of their appointment. The Fairy-Godmother-In-Training will not take it off in order to put new nail polish on.

The makeover ended in a very special way as the Fairy-Godmother-In-Training waved her magic wand over each girl, said the magic words of “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo”, and sprinkled pixie dust over their newly styled hair. As a parent, what comes next may be the most important part of all. The big reveal. During their makeover, your child has been facing away from the mirror the whole time and has no idea how princess-like they look. Ensure you have your camera ready, your hand steady, and your eyes dry as they are spun around to gaze at their royal selves for the first time. Their reaction will be priceless (though Disney makes a good effort to quantify it on your final bill).

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeup
Eye shadow applied in the color of your child’s choosing.

With the makeover complete, our little ones emerged from their throwns invigorated and anxious to strut their stuff around the park. Their Fairy-Godmother-In-Training last act was to pin a princess sash over their costume and hand them a small tote containing—not only the left over eye shadow and nail polish—but the colors they didn’t choose as well. All in all, each makeover took roughly twenty five minutes. Next up was royal photo shoot at Castle Couture, which was just to the left as we exited Cinderella Castle.

Once in Castle Couture there is a small picture studio where we gave our Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique receipt to a Cast Member working there. Once our package was verified we were ready to get started. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the photo session. I had assumed it would be a few quick shutter snaps and we’d be sent on our way, but instead it was very professional and well done. We had photos taken of our girls together and separately and the whole process took about fifteen minutes. We were fortunate that when we arrived the people ahead of us were just finishing up, however, when we left there was a line of about four families so there is a possibility you could be waiting for some time. Once the photos were complete we were told to return in about a half hour to choose which ones we wanted. Upon our return we had approximately thirty photos on a monitor to look through in order to choose the best ones. And, again, this can take some time, so if you have four families a head of you in line again be prepared to wait maybe as much as forty five minutes. All in all our experience with the photo session was very good, and I was very pleased with the photos we received, however, there were a few discrepancies that I found between what was advertised in the Castle Package description and what was actually received. The description on the Walt Disney World website promised one 6” x 8” picture and four 4” x 6” pictures in a princess themed holder for each girl. What we received was one 6” x 8” and two 4” x 6” pictures in a princess folder for each girl. The description of a “princess themed holder” is rather ambiguous and I guess, technically, the folder is a holder and was, indeed, princess themed, but the picture total could be an issue. Unfortunately, I did not catch this discrepancy until we were back home so it is unknown to me if this was an error on the part of the Cast Member who told us that we could only choose two 6” x 8” pictures, or if this is an error on the website. Life goes on. UPDATE: I received an email from the Guest Support Coordinator for Disney Photo Imaging who advised I was, indeed, shorted and should have received four 4″ x 6″ pictures. She credited my account on the Disney Photo Pass site so that I could receive the missing pictures for free. It also should be noted that I did not contact Disney in reference to this matter, the Guest Support Coordinator emailed me after reading this post. Another example of great Customer Service!

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Pixie Dust
No makeover is complete without a little Pixie Dust.

Now, for the bill. The total amount tendered for services rendered was…gulp…$415.25. Of that $415.25, $129.90 was for the costumes ($64.95 apiece). $35.90 was for the crowns ($17.95 apiece). $39.90 was for the wands ($19.95 apiece). The pictures were valued at $26.90 ($13.45 apiece) but were applied as a credit to the total. We knew what the total would be prior to paying, so there was no shock at the cash register, but as I read the itemized receipt a few things stood out to me. First, the photos—regardless of if we were shorted on them or not—I thought were an exceptional value. I’m sure their cost was worked into the final amount somehow despite the receipt saying otherwise, but they were of excellent quality. Each had a nice, glossy finish, were touched up to remove any blemishes, and cropped perfectly. I would expect to pay $30.00 to $40.00 for these pictures anywhere else, so I was pleasantly surprised such fine quality photos were included in our package. Next, I thought the costumes were a fairly good value. Trust me on this one. I have a daughter who becomes no less than three different princesses a day. My chief fatherly duty is Velcro fastener. Believe me when I say that these were more dresses than costumes. They seemed much sturdier than the dresses we have purchased at Walmart or Toys-R-Us and I have no concern that they will last for quite some time. The $64.95 price tag on them can be debated, but it is entirely possible that they could be worn for Halloween, which would help recoup some of that cost.

When everything was said and done, I reflected on if I had any regret or buyer’s remorse. Was the experience worth the extremely high price? Though my wife and I had agreed that this would be the only time our girls would experience the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, without doubt or qualification I knew the answer was yes. Absolutely, yes. As you would expect from Disney Cast Members, the Fairy-Godmothers-In-Training we had were excellent. They played their parts to perfection and made each girl feel as if they were the center of their own fairytale. The pride and excitement they felt while sitting in those Boutique chairs only grew as the day wore on with every person who smiled at them as they walked through Magic Kingdom. They were special in the most special place on earth, and I could see how much that meant to them. As we settled in to bed that night, the only light coming from the classic Disney cartoons playing on the television, I heard my six year old say softly—to no one in particular—“I can’t believe we got to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.” I knew then that it was worth every penny.

John Scanlan

Lover of camping, Walt Disney World, and craft beer. I also love to write. One day I put it all together and started www.fortwildernessblog.weebly.com. Sometimes, when I'm feeling exceptionally saucy, I write cime novels. For proof, check out my personal website, www.johnfscanlan.weebly.com. You can also find me on Twitter at @ftwildernessguy.

20 thoughts on “Disney World’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-A Dad’s Perspective

  • October 8, 2014 at 7:25 am
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    I agree with your choice. You and your family would not have remembered the extra few nights on the trip, but they will always remember their BBB experience. Our daughter has vivid memories of her time four years ago as a 5 year old…it is a fitting once-in-a-lifetime memory.

    Reply
    • October 8, 2014 at 7:58 am
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      Thanks nvarnum. The memories we took from that day–not just watching them get their makeovers, but walking around the park in their outfits–made it an easy decision, in hindsight. I’m glad you felt the same way and got to experience those things as well. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 7:43 am
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    What a sweet and informative article. The last line from your daughter is adorable! And it is moments like those that make Disney World “worth” it — they keep us going back. We have never done the BBB, but this makes me want to for next time.

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    • October 8, 2014 at 8:05 am
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      Thanks so much, Ella! I agree, moments like those are what make Disney so special and addictive. The Boutique was a great experience and I hope you and your child enjoy it like we did if you choose it for next time. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 9:13 am
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    Great post! My daughter, now 6 has done BBB a few times. This last trip, in April 2014, she also did the makeover at Pirate’s League with my son. The “mermaid pirate” makeover was great and she really enjoyed that…so much that she’s choosing that over BBB next April.

    I wanted to mention PL incase anyone is ever unable to get BBB reservations. It’s a great alternative, and the cast members there are just as great as the FG in Training. Cheaper too!

    Reply
    • October 8, 2014 at 10:17 am
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      Thanks Mike. Pirate’s League was on our radar for our son, but we were going to give it a few years because he’s only 1. I had never considered letting our daughters do it–what a great idea! It would be a completely different and fun change from the Boutique, I’m sure they would love it. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 11:31 am
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    I agree with your choice. We actually opted for the BBB this upcoming trip instead of MVMCP. Having experienced both before we felt that BBB was a more magical and personal experience. My son got the Knights Package, which cost @ $16 in 2012, and loved it. He received a very nice sword and shield just like Prince Phillip ( from Sleeping Beauty). He still has it and plays with it regularly. Instead of paying $200 for the castle package I let my daughter pick out her dress online at the Disney Store beforehand, and was able to purchase her costume on sale. It was exactly like the one we would have paid full price for in the park.

    Reply
    • October 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm
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      Hi Laura. I was curious about the Knight Package, but unfortunately when we went no one had purchased it. Glad to hear that it is a good option for little boys. That is a great idea about purchasing a dress from the Disney Store also. That way they still get the same quality at less of a cost. Thanks for your comment!

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  • October 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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    Thanks for the article. We did a big 11 day trip this past May (we are from Canada) and the BBB was one of the highlights for my 6 year old daughter.

    There were a few differences from your experience though. There was a male CM playing a role of Prince Charming or something who would go around to each little girl and pay them complements and make them feel special. He was great. There was also a photo pass photographer there and they took about 30 photos of our daughter during the makeover. We had purchased the Memory Maker package and these were included in that. Some of the photos are simply amazing and will be treasured always. Also, even though we only purchased the Crown Package (we brought her Rapunzel dress along) she still somehow got the photo shoot at the end. We didn’t get to pick photos and get a physical package, but the photos were on our Memory Maker account.

    I have to agree that all of the princess comments from CMs and other guests as we walked around the MK after the makeover were a big part of the magic. Her smile was so big all day. Later on we did the Storytime with Belle attraction and my daughter was chosen to play the role of The Beast (her favourite memory from the whole trip because she got to dance with Belle). I think that her makeover was a big factor in their choosing her for the role.

    So a big YES to all those considering BBB!

    Reply
    • October 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm
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      Hi Jamie. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the Prince Charming experience, my girls would have loved it. Thanks for the Memory Maker information. We did not opt for Memory Maker on this trip, but it sounds like having it also enhances the Boutique experience as far as added photos goes. Sounds like you had a fantastic trip and I’m glad you agree that what occurs after the Boutique is just as much a part of the experience as what happens while they are in the chair. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm
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    Your article made me smile. I have two girls, 10 & 5, neither of whom are very princessy. We’ve been to WDW many times and out of the blue our older girl requested BBB on our next trip. I think she’s in that “not a little girl, but not quite ready to grow up” stage. I have BBB reservations followed by a surprise dinner at CRT. The 10 year old feels too old for the Disney princess dresses, but we will have something “fancy” to wear. Of course her 5 year old sister wants nothing to do with BBB, but we’re making her go for her older sister’s sake. I consider this our “farewell to princesses tour” of WDW. Thanks to the earlier comment, I’ll make sure to shell out the extra for the Memory Maker.

    Reply
    • October 9, 2014 at 6:32 am
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      Hi Sue. I like the idea of a farewell tour. I think it will make the trip extra special and I hope you all really enjoy it. The memory maker would be a great add, especially since you won’t be needing the Crown package anyway since the princess costumes won’t be necessary. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm
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    Thank you so much for this post. We are going the week before Thanksgiving this year and have our 4 year old daughter signed up for BBB at downtown Disney.
    I love how you put it in s perspective of a father. I just hope my daughter enjoys it as much as your daughters did.

    Reply
    • October 9, 2014 at 6:36 am
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      Hi Matthew. Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m sure you will feel much the same way I did while watching your little girl’s prideful smile as she is pampered and doted on. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm
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    We also had photos taken during the makeover and the full photo shoot after added to our memory maker without having to purchase the castle package. We bought a beautiful Cinderella dress on etsy of higher quality for less than Disney store prices.

    Reply
    • October 9, 2014 at 6:48 am
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      Hi Anne. I’m glad you had a great experience. Sounds like you did your homework prior to going, which is always a good thing. That’s the nice thing about the Boutique, you can really customize your experience. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 9, 2014 at 9:48 am
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    Thank you for describing your experience! I was a very girly girl, and would have loved this as a child, but it was not available back then. Imagine my disappointment when my only daughter turns out to be a tomboy! No princesses for us. We did go to CRT when she was small, but it was far more exciting for me than for her. I appreciate living vicariously through your experience!

    For those who have the problem I do, try out the Pirates’ League. We actually did this on a Disney cruise when my daughter was 11, going to the BBB on Pirate Night, when it was temporarily re-themed for pirate makeovers. She got a Jack Sparrow costume and makeover, and she loved it! And I got the thrill of *almost* doing BBB. 😉 I was just glad that I was able to get her in there once.

    Reply
    • October 9, 2014 at 11:52 am
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      Hi Helen. My daughters are very much “princesses” and had been anxious to attend the Boutique for some time, however, I think they would have a blast with the Pirates League. Hearing some of the stories about it we will definetly be doing it some time in the future. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • October 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm
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    Great article! This experience was my daughter’s favorite part of her first trip to Disney World in 2012 when she was 5. After that visit, when we watched a Disney movie and saw Cinderella’s Castle at the very opening of the movie, she would comment that was where she had her BBB makeover. She loved doing BBB so much, that I had to make a reservation for her again for a future trip. One note about making advance reservations is that Disney resort guests have the same perk for this as for dining reservations in that they can make an appointment for any time during their trip starting 180 days from arrival. This was a change from 2012 and I only found out about it when I called to confirm the 180 day date. I was able to make an appointment for her 183 days in advance, but the BBB is so popular that 11:20 am was the earliest I could reserve. I would have called a few days earlier if I had known about this.

    As you mentioned, it is costly for the experience, but the BBB is a treasured memory for my daughter. I agree that the hairstyle is kept tight and will stay in place for days, because my daughter had her appointment on a Thursday and her hair stayed in place until Monday when she returned to pre-school to show her friends. The most endearing pictures we have of her from the trip were taken after her makeover. She wore a Cinderella dress with clear shoes, and had pictures taken with the Fairy Godmother and Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. When she saw Fairy Godmother, she twirled around and excitedly showed off her hair.

    My boys were not interested in the Knight package, and I did not see any boys while we were there. However, their special activity was the Jedi Training Academy (which, unlike BBB, was free).

    Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 10:28 am
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    Hi Vern. Yes, I should have mentioned that you can make reservations 6 months prior to the first day of your trip to cover 10 consecutive days after that. I’m glad you found the cost worth the memories made just as I did. We had originally wanted to pair the Boutique with Cinderella’s Royal Table, but had to cut it out of the budget. Thanks for your comment!

    Reply

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