Princess make-overs at Disney World’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are SUPER popular. “BBB,” as it’s affectionately called, offers a Disney Princess Makeover Experiences for children ages 3 to 12. Fairy Godmother’s-in-Training transform your little girl into a princess from head to toe. The main salon location is situated inside Cinderella Castle, smack in the middle of the Magic Kingdom, and another salon is located inside the Once Upon A Toy Store in Disney Springs Marketplace.
Everywhere you turn in the Magic Kingdom, you see little girls in the same princess dresses, sporting tight ballerina buns, covered in glitter. They’re simply adorable, and I’m sure the make-over add some magic to their Walt Disney World vacation. But our family always skips this Disney experience. I’m happy to share with you why we skip it, and what we do instead.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: It’s Pricey!
Anyone who’s ever been to Disney World knows how expensive it is. If you’re an average family like we are, you are VERY conscious of every vacation dollar you spend. Prices at for Princess Makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique start at $64.95 for the most basic of princess makeovers and range all the way to $450.00 for the deluxe package. (Dresses are not included in the makeover until you get up to the $199.95 package. Plus there are some add-ons that can add up quickly!)
Make-over experiences are described as lasting for 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the package you choose. Say you go the most reasonable route, and choose the most basic, shortest package available. That will cost you OVER $2 PER MINUTE!!! Looking at it that way, it’s a real kick in the pants to your budget.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: The Impossible Reservation
It is NOTORIOUSLY hard to get a reservation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It’s touted as such an amazing experience, that parents clamor to phones as soon as that 180 window opens up for their upcoming Disney World trips. Reservations fill up incredibly quickly, especially during busy times of year. Unlike dining reservations and FastPasses, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservations can only be booked by phone, so it’s a bit more difficult to score them.
If you DO happen to score a reservation, it is highly likely that it will be in the afternoon, since the salon has more open hours in the afternoon and evening than they do in the morning. Only if you are incredibly lucky, or are willing to call Disney World EVERY SINGLE DAY to try to score an earlier spot after a cancelation, it’s REALLY hard to get one of those morning reservations.
Here’s the problem with reservations later in the day: you don’t get a lot of time to enjoy them once they are finished. The one and only time I tried to get a reservation for my daughter, all they had available for her were times after 5 pm. If we’d booked those times, she’d have had about 4 to 5 hours to enjoy her makeover in the parks before they closed.
I am NOT one to let my kids go to bed without a shower after sweating all day in the parks, so hair would have to be taken down and make-up removed before heading to bed. For just that short window of time, it just doesn’t seem worth the price tag.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Thousands of Identical Princesses
Another aspect of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that I am not thrilled about is the uniformity of all the results. It seems as if every little girl comes out of the doors of the salon looking exactly the same. While they offer several different princesses to emulate, the effect is the same in just about every makeover, none of which are quite identical to the original character. I’d call them princess-inspired. I have always been kind of a stickler about costumes, wanting every detail to be perfect, and I don’t feel like these make-overs quite achieve that.
These dresses also look pretty uncomfortable to me. The fabrics don’t seem to be a much higher quality than the Halloween costumes you can find at Wal-Mart or Target. Only when you hit the $450 make over does Disney even claim to have higher quality fabric, calling them “heirloom quality” which is a bit of a stretch for me. I know my kids won’t put up with a scratchy outfit all day, and if I’m shelling out the big bucks, I want them to be comfortable.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: A Giant Time Commitment
Disney claims that makeovers take 30 minutes to an hour, but this number doesn’t take into consideration the time you will spend waiting. Sure, your reservation may be at 4:30 pm, but it is highly likely that your little girl won’t sit down in that chair until at least 5 pm, if not 5:30.
If you add the wait time + the time it takes to do the make over + the time it takes to pay and get out of the salon, you could be looking at TWO HOURS PLUS spent accomplishing the princess transformation. That’s a lot of prime attraction riding time lost.
And you can’t just drop your kid off at the door. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is not a babysitting service and any child getting a make over MUST be accompanied by an adult. So not only will your child be waiting, at least one adult from your group will have to wait with them.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: What We Do Instead
While the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience is magical, our family creates a little bit of our own magic and saves a ton of money and time in the parks. In the past I’ve been known to sew Disney costumes for my kids to wear, but when I’ve been short on time the Disney Store and Party City have always come to my rescue.
For my daughter, I was able to find a Cinderella nightgown at the Disney Store that looked almost identical to the dress from the live-action movie that has just been released before our trip. It was completely appropriate to wear as a dress and cost me a mere $30. We also purchased a $15 crown to match that was SUPER sturdy metal, and fit comfortably onto her head, no hairpins necessary. A $3 bottle of glitter hairspray from Walmart, and we had everything we needed for her own princess makeover.
The night before we left on the trip, my six year old son, who had SWORN he wouldn’t wear a costume to the parks, suddenly wanted to dress up too. Prince costumes aren’t readily available in late November, so we scrambled over to Party City. We purchased a $15 pirate shirt and a $8 sword.
I cut down an old red t-shirt to make a cummerbund and grabbed his blue jogging pants, and we had an instant Prince Eric costume. He also insisted right before bedtime that he needed a crown too, so after the kids went to bed, I headed to Burger King. A little craft paint later, we had a perfect crown, fit for a little prince.
So for complete makeovers for both kids I spent a total of $71. To get a dress included in a princess makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, I would have had to purchase the $199.95 package. And that wouldn’t have included anything for my son. While Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique does offer some options for boys, they’re kinda pitiful. You’ll pay $19.95 for some hair gel and a plastic sword and shield, or you can pay $79.95 to add a prince costume. Disney World does offer the Pirates League, which is usually a more appealing experience for boys. Packages start at $44.95 but only include a costume at the $99.95 level.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: The Bottom Line
As negative as this post may seem, I am not saying that the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience is bad. I’ve heard many stories of it being the highlight of some friends’ trips to Disney World. After weighing out the pros and cons, it just isn’t an experience my family chooses to spend our vacation dollars on. My daughter isn’t a “die-hard” princess fan. She loves the movies, but doesn’t live and breath princesses like some girls do. So she isn’t disappointed when she sees other kids walking around the parks in their princess costumes.
If your child is princess obsessed, then Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique may be perfect for you. Just go into the experience with all sides considered, so you can make the best decision for your family, and get the most out of your Disney Vacation!
Not only do we skip Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, we also NEVER make breakfast reservations at Disney World! Find out why in my blog post HERE.
The best Disney Dining reservations can be just as hard to get as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservations! I’ve discovered the trick to scoring last might reservations at the most in-demand Disney World Restaurants! Learn how you can book them too in my blog post HERE.
Need your daily dose of Starbucks while vacationing at Disney World? Find out where you can find your favorite Starbucks drinks in the parks HERE.