An Alternative to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

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In case you haven’t heard the news, Bibiddi Bobiddi Boutique reopens in the Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland Park on August 25th (and I swear I misspell its name every single time). Reservations opened up yesterday … and promptly sold out for pretty much every single time on every single available day. As someone that has tried both standard and very creative ways to book a hard-to-get experience – and failed – I know that sometimes moms, dad, partners, grandparents, etc. need to find a suitable alternative. So today I’m providing a review of a backup plan that saved a vacation for me, in case it can help others too.

Just look at those cute hairstyles on their tour of Tomorrowland!

Background – The Haircut Trip

I won’t go too much into our own personal sob story, but it does provide some important context. Our oldest daughter got her first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop in Magic Kingdom during her first Disney trip in 2017 when she was 19 months old. Like the diligent Disney planners that we are, we booked the first haircut at Harmony for our younger daughter 6 months out from our planned September 2020 trip. I remember distinctly that I booked the haircut on March 7, 2020. So we all know what happened with that.

I mean … who wouldn’t want to repeat this adorable experience?

In May of this year, the reopening date for Harmony Barber Shop was announced. We had been holding off cutting our youngest’s hair for the whole pandemic. She’s now almost 4, and had absurdly, problematically long hair. Literally as soon as the reopening was announced, we booked a 3-night trip to WDW just for the haircut. This would be our first trip since January 2021. We booked flights, 2-day park tickets, and the resort.

Then on June 28th, reservations opened. I stayed up past midnight in case they dropped early. I got up at 5 am (Central) to check again. They were gone by 5 am. I checked back every 15 seconds for about an hour in case someone didn’t complete the checkout process. I checked in every 60 seconds after that. I signed up for two different reservation-finder websites that checked every 5 and 15 minutes throughout every day for the next month. I called Disney. I chatted online. Nothing ever opened up. I tried finding Grand Floridian Spa appointments as an onsite option, but it was only ages 5 and up. All other onsite spas with haircut services were still closed.

So I needed an alternative. A great one so that our haircut trip didn’t turn into a “we spent thousands of dollars to _not_ get a haircut” trip.

The Alternative

The wonderful and brilliant Erin Foster recommended the Ear For Each Other Facebook group as a way to look for furloughed or laid-off cast members that have started side businesses. I previously wrote about Vacation Grocery Delivery from the same group, and the amazing experience I had with them.

Another service that you’ll find plenty of excellent options for in the group is fairy godmothers. I’ll review the fairy godmother that I ended up choosing, but at the end of this article, I will highlight several others so that you can do some research yourself.

There are many fairy godmothers that will give your princesses a lovely makeover. But I needed more – a fairy godmother that also does haircuts. And there are just a couple that add that extra bonus. One is Selina Ashley – someone who previously worked at the salon at the Grand Floridian. She’s a cosmetologist, so she’s able to do haircuts in addition to all of the fun princess glam.

I reached out to Selina via Facebook Messenger, which is where we did all of our communication. I explained our situation and what I wanted, and our desired date and time. Once she confirmed availability, I sent over $20 to confirm the appointment and save our spot. She offered a haircut for $50, or a full haircut+hairstyle+makeup+nails for $100. Pretty much the cheapest BBB package is $100 and it doesn’t include a haircut … so – bonus!

Fairy Godmother Experience

After we checked into our room at Caribbean Beach on Friday, I sent the room number and confirmed the time with Selina. We asked her to come over at 8:30 on Sunday morning so that we could do two haircuts, two makeovers, and then have time to drive over to the Magic Kingdom and park, tram, ferry, get through security and maybe do a ride before our 11:40 lunch reservations. And – yes, that’s right, fairy godmothers will come to your room. Incredibly convenient. It was much easier to get our kids up at 8:10 than it would’ve been to get them up at 7 to rope-drop Magic Kingdom and get a haircut or makeover.

Right at 8:30, Selina knocked on our door. She brought everything she needed with her, and immediately set up at the table in our room and got to work.

Since we couldn’t get a special haircut and makeover for the little kid without also getting one for the big kid, we ordered up two haircuts and two “makeovers”. And in order to make the little one more comfortable, a very willing and incredibly excited big kid went first.

A haircut in jammies. This is the good life.

She got her hair cut, and then got a hairstyle. I specifically let Selina know that each girl had a special pair of ears she’d be wearing throughout the day, and that they’d be in comfortable seven-dwarfs Lularoe shirts, so they didn’t need some incredibly fancy updo. She expertly decided upon and implemented some braids to keep hair out of their face, and curls to highlight their new cuts.

Chatting and braiding and curling with the best of them

Then came makeover time. I also asked that they not get beauty-pageant-glamor. My girls have never worn makeup before, and we were going for a hot, sweaty, sunscreen-slathered full day in the park. But she still allowed each one to pick some eye shadow, nail polish and lip gloss. And she also applied a couple of swipes of mascara and cheek glitter. These are probably all very technical makeup terms. As an engineer and data nerd, I totally know all about makeup. (sarcasm – in fact, the big kid told me repeatedly how much “fancier” she looked than me)

One side-effect of this adventure: This child of a makeup-illiterate engineer asked for a “pretend makeup set” to go on her Christmas list.

And, of course, the entire look was topped with pixie dust. Each girl was allowed to make a wish when they were getting pixie dusted. The big kid excitedly wished for a lot of cats.

Then, finally, it was the moment I’d been waiting years for. First haircut!!!

The before: problematically long, tangle-prone hair

Little kid, having seen all of the magic unfold for her big sister, was ready to go. No hesitation. She sat still and let her fairy godmother do her work before checking out her shorter hair in the mirror.

She definitely approves of her transformation!

Then, like a pro she got her hair done and makeup applied.

The face of pure delight

After her pixie dusting (including a wish for a unicorn), she got to see her new look too.

She’ll happily tell anyone that asks how much she loves her short hair.

The Results

Both girls talk regularly about their fairy godmother and how happy they are with their new haircuts and what fun it was to get a makeover. As a mom, I’m happy that they made memories, and I have so many pictures and memories of my own. Plus, Selina gave us the (rather large) ponytail of hair to keep from little kid’s first haircut.

Their hairdos managed to stay braided and curled throughout almost 12 hot, sunny, sweaty hours in the Magic Kingdom – including quite a few hairstyle-testing attractions. And their makeup was surprisingly resilient to sweat and multiple applications of sunscreen. The cheek glitter and eye shadow especially held up through the whole day.

Fancy girls deserve a fancy lunch in a castle!

Both girls got a lot of positive attention through our day – from the ferry ride to the park to the monorail back to our car at night. And, bonus – we were still finding pixie dust in their hair more than a week later, even after some very thorough attempted removals 😉

Would this picture be just as cute with long hair pulled back in ponytails? Sure. But this is pure magic.

The whole experience ended up being less costly than the cheapest makeover option at Bibiddi Bobiddi Boutique. And it was completely organized around our convenience – in our room, at the time and day that we requested, and tailored to exactly what we wanted to happen. Totally unrushed, personalized magic.

Other Fairy Godmothers

This doesn’t represent a comprehensive list, but includes some options that I’ve seen featured and positively reviewed on Ear For Each Other many times. I encourage you to do your own research, but I at least want to use this forum to give attention to some very worthy small businesses.

Have you ever used a personal fairy godmother while at Disney? Is it a special experience you’d consider? Do you have any other questions? Let me know in the comments!

One more picture for good measure

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

4 thoughts on “An Alternative to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

  • August 13, 2022 at 9:01 pm
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    Your girls look so cute! And those smiles really say it all. We have appointments in September for my two youngest (1 year and 2 and 1/2) to get first haircuts at Harmony Barber Shop. Techincally my two and a half year old had some hairs cut when his motorized train took a detour over his head and got stuck -_- buuuuuuttt, I’m not sure a haircut in the middle of the afternoon is something anyone besides me is excited about spending vacation time on. So, I’m considering canceling. :/

    Reply
    • August 13, 2022 at 10:13 pm
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      It’s a hard decision to make. If you’re excited about it, you can totally still go for it! Each appointment should only take about 20 minutes, and it might not be a bad break from the heat of the afternoon. But you know your family best 🙂

      Reply
  • August 14, 2022 at 10:56 am
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    Love this! Much more personalized than being in the middle of the parks. And the girls look adorable and, most importantly, comfortable!

    Reply
    • September 1, 2022 at 10:17 am
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      We are Have Wand-Will Travel and we made magic at the Castle for years. We are offering magical visits from Fairy Godmother for your Princesses.
      We have beautiful Rhinestone Tiaras, hair pieces, sparkly hair clips, butterfly clips and lots of pixie dust to assist us in making your Princess feel even more beautiful than ever.
      Visit our Facebook page and click on the Services tab to see the hairstyles at:
      http://www.FB.com/havewandwilltravel1
      We were the first to offer magical visits from Fairy Godmother and continue to share our magic with Princesses everyday.
      We have always shown up dressed in character and are the original resort room Fairy Godmother experience. We have quickly become the favorite of vacationing families from around the world.

      Reply

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