Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique review/tips

(Article last checked: April 14, 2016)

This is a guest post from Christina Weyers. For info on how to be a guest writer, check here for more info. Here's Christina...

So when I was thinking about planning our family’s first trip to Disney World, making an appointment at Bibbidi Bobbbidi Boutique for our 4 1/2-year-old daughter was on the top on the list.

Due to some circumstances, we actually only booked our Disney trip 45 days in advance. In talking with our Disney planner, BBB was one of those, “if we can’t get it, it’s not worth going” experiences in my mind. Luckily, she did get us an appointment so we were all set!

But there’s so much to consider even before booking the actual reservation. Here are a few things to keep in mind and some tips on making the most out of your magical Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience...

Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs?

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has two locations - one inside Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom and one at Disney Springs. I had heard the Disney Springs location was bigger and less crowded, but we chose the Magic Kingdom location for a couple of reasons.

First, Cinderella’s Royal Table was closed during our visit and I really wanted our daughter to have that go-inside-the-castle magical moment and this was a way to achieve that.

Second, we only had 3.5 days total in the parks so the thought of taking the time to travel back and forth to Disney Springs, especially in the midst of the construction traffic nightmare, seemed like a big waste of time.

With that said, the castle location is small and there’s minimal seating in the waiting area and the salon. So with dozens of crazy hyper girls, overzealous parents, fairy godmother stylists and a few PhotoPass photographers running around, it’s organized chaos at BEST.

When to schedule the appointment during your trip

Because the whole purpose of doing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is for your little girl to have that magical transformation experience where she leaves looking and feeling like a princess, strongly consider booking the appointment at a time that coordinates with a princess meal or princess meet-and-greet.

Our Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment was at 6:30 p.m. on our first day at Magic Kingdom prior to our FastPass+ reservation to meet Anna and Elsa at 9:40 p.m. Yes, a FastPass+ at 9:40 p.m. for our 4 year old - don’t judge until you’ve tried to get a FP+ for Anna and Elsa 45 days out. You take what you can get!

For our daughter, meeting Anna and Elsa was her most memorable moment so having BBB precede this was perfect timing.

Some tips:

Tip #1 - Bring your own dress and accessories from home
There are several packages to choose from, ranging from $60-$195. We booked The Crown package, which was the most basic. In my opinion, it’s all you really need. It includes hairstyling, shimmering make-up, face gem, nail polish, a princess sash, and tote.

We brought our own Elsa dress, shoes and princess tiara from home and I just let her change into everything right before we went to the boutique. Sure, she saw all the dresses there to buy, but I would say the majority of girls we saw brought their own dresses.

(Note from Shannon: there are dressing rooms inside Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where you can change if you'd like.)

In looking at the other packages, the price jumps just don’t seem worth it for what you get. Check here for all of the pricing and style details (click the "Read More" link under "Princess-Perfect Packages" for the info).

Tip #2 - book early and plan accordingly
This probably goes without saying but appointments fill up FAST. If you have an idea of what day and what time you want, book as early as possible.  There’s a very small chance you’ll be able to walk in to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and actually get an appointment.

From Shannon: booking is done by phone at 7 a.m. eastern time, up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-STYLE. People who are booking 180 days in advance might find it tricky to plan BBB around dining reservations (especially if trying to pair it with Cinderella's Royal Table), since dining reservations open up at 6 a.m. eastern time online but BBB appointments can be booked by phone beginning at 7 a.m. To increase the odds of getting them together, I'd suggest trying to book them both for late morning.

Tip #3 - allow extra time for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique’s tardiness
We booked an early dinner at Crystal Palace so that we'd be done eating before our 6:30 reservation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. After our appointment, we had an 8 p.m. FastPass+ for the Electrical Parade. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment itself takes about 35-45 minutes depending on the hairstyle chosen so I thought we’d be ok (so did our travel planner).

But the later in the day your appointment is, the higher the chance that they will be running behind. Hence, our daughter didn’t sit down with her fairy godmother until 50 minutes after her appointment time.  (Can you say mom panic mode!)  She also chose the Disney Diva hairstyle which was the most time-intensive.

The bonus? Our daughter actually had THREE fairy godmothers working on her at one time to move along the process. My husband and son were already at the FP+ location for the parade.  We cut it so close that the BBB manager actually walked us all the way down Main Street to the FP+ parade location to ensure there were not issues.

Lesson learned? I would carve out at least 2 hours of your day for the BBB experience just to be safe. And booking a time earlier in the day is better than later to avoid the boutique running behind.

Tip #4 - bring cash to tip your fairy godmother
Tip is not included in your package, and you can’t add it afterward with a credit card or your MagicBand, so bring cash to tip your fairy godmother. I know this is a personal call, but I think she deserves it. I followed typical hairdresser tipping rules of 15%-20%.

Tip #5 - bring your own camera
Bring your own camera/video recorder. Don’t count on the PhotoPass photographers to capture the whole experience. There were only 2 photographers there for about 15 girls in chairs, so they only come around periodically and then at the end for the fairy dust moment.

Tip #6 - Be prepared: your princess may love it, BUT she may hate it
Your BBB godmother will tell you that the hairstyle will last up to 72 hours and your little princess may want to keep it in that long or she may not.

Everything to do with BBB is definitely fun- the big beauty chair, the cape, the fairy godmother, the fairy dust, the makeover, etc., but the hairstyle itself is most likely going to be out of your little princess’ comfort zone.

It’s tight, it’s itchy, it’s sprayed like a concrete wall and there’s a crown sticking into her head. So after a few hours when the BBB honeymoon wears off, your little girl may be ready to take it out…

....or she may want to leave it in FOREVER, so think about if you’re ok with the hairstyle in all of your photos, videos, and touring around Disney World for the next 3 days of your trip and think about what it may look like on day 2, 3, or 4.

Our little girl was somewhere in the middle. She insisted on sleeping in her new hairdo the first night and so the next day we headed to Hollywood Studios with her princess hair still intact...sort of.

Honestly, it was already a train wreck.  I literally avoided eye contact with other parents who were probably judging how I let her out in public looking like this. But all I could do was laugh.

It was a hot mess, and by lunch on Day 2, she was done (it was itchy, it hurt, etc.). Unfortunately, we couldn’t attack the disassembly process until we got home that night.

She was back to being happy at bedtime after we removed the hair piece and did a thorough shower hair scrub.

**********

Will we do this again next trip? Honestly, probably not.  Our daughter had a great time and I’m glad we did it, but when you ask her about her favorite moments of the trip, this is not one she talks about. It was more about meeting all the princesses and riding the rides.  Next time, I think we’ll skip it.

But did Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique deliver that once in a lifetime princess moment? ABSOLUTELY, which makes it worth doing, even if it’s just once.

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Leave a Reply

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
NellRVA

Wow, what hotel did you stay in with the princesses on the wall?

Jennifer Roder

We did it with our 4 year old and she loved most of the process. She hated the lip gloss, and it was off right after we walked out the door. She loved the attention she got walking through Disney Springs, but 5 minutes into lunch (after an 11 am appointment), she wanted her hairdo OUT! That was tricky… sitting at Rain Forest Cafe trying to chisel through the gel and hairspray. She left the restaurant looking like something out of the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom!

Allison Jackson

That I should precious! ILL keep that in mind and plan to leap over to animal kingdom should my 4 year old follow suit!

Thais Winmill

We’ve done it three times now. My daughter absolutely loves it. If you ask her what her favorite part about Disney is she always says makeover and meeting the princesses. We’ve also done Pirate’s League mermaid makeover and was sorely disappointed with that hair do, makeup was great, but again… my daughter loved it. I think it really depends on your child. Mine loves all things princess, makeovers, and dress ups. I do her hair every single day so she is very used to sitting still and having her hair “done”.

Elliott

We just booked our BBB appointment for next April, 2017. It is a first time WDW trip for both me and my daughter. Are the costumes they have at the Boutique special or higher quality than what you can get on the Disney store website? I can’t decide if I want to get a good deal on a Disney dress after Halloween or pay for a “deluxe” version on the day of the appointment. Thoughts?

Jamie

Yes, the dresses in Disney World are better quality than the ones in the Disney Store. The prices are fairly close to each other, too (the Rapunzel dress we looked at last time was only five dollars more expensive in Disney World than it was at the Disney Store back home). We have a Belle Dress from WDW and it’s been worn just about daily for the last three years. Still looks brand new. 🙂

Michelle

I personally bought my dresses through Amazon.com and most have been superior quality. Of coarse I read the reviews on the product before purchasing though! I got a VERY nice Anna Coronation dress for $25!

Cindy

You can get extremely nice, handmade dresses on Etsy for less than Disney.

Christina W.

Honestly, I don’t know because we brought our own but I can tell you I bought a Belle costume on clearance from the Disney Store and it was SUPER good quality. I know that merchandise from the parks are sold on the same Disney website as the store. In my opinion, if you can get a good deal at the Disney store, it’s well worth it. They are definitely not going to be discounted at BBB.

Theresa

Thank you for your honest opinion! My girls are going in a couple of days. You never know, they may just lover it! In any case, do you know the guidelines for before you go? For example, do I have to remove my girls’ nail polish (that I put on last night without thinking about it)? Or will the godmothers do that?

Amanda McGraw

Just thank you! Your site and feedback has helped me immeasurably! You give details, you’re practical and you know what other parents need to know. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Brittany

I don’t usually leave comments on blogs as I’m just here browsing and adding to my list of research details.. but I had to comment on this one! It was so informative and well written. I found myself giggling over here at the end with the day after hair and the picture you added lol. We’ve done BBB at Disneyland (thankfully she chose the bun) and have a BBB appt this year for our first ever WDW trip and I’m terrified she may pick one of the other hair styles haha. Way to go mom for letting her rock it! The tip on bringing a cash tip is helpful too wish I would have known that on our first visit because I came cashless and couldn’t tip on the credit card purchase like you said.

Christina W

Thank you! So glad you found it helpful 🙂

Beth the Carbon Allotrope

Hi!

I’m a British 13 year-old planning my first trip to WDW and my parents are thinking for me. I know there is an age limit, but honestly, if you looked at me, you would probably think I’m eight. I was just wondering
a) if they check your ticket/magic band to see how old you are and
b)how strict the limit is as I have only just turned 13 and we are going really soon

Any reply would be helpful
Thanks
-Beth

Meghann

Honestly just book your trip as a 12 year old. When you go to the my Disney experience account change your age to 12

NANCY POLZIN

I must be the only grandmother that had a bad experience at the BBB. We took a family vacation and planned a surprise visit for my granddaughter at the Downtown Disney location. When she arrived and checked in she was told to go in the boutique and sit down. She sat at a station chair and was told very rudely to get out of that chair and sit in the center seating area. That set the disappointing tone for the experience and to add to the disappointment only 3 pictures were taken by the photographer of her “transformation”. They did guide us to the photo studio and she did have some beautiful “after” pictures. I complained to the manager and she did take a few minutes to talk to my 5 year old and she received a trading pin at the end, but still maybe the “godmothers” should learn to greet their clients a little better. Don’t get me wrong there were some godmothers that were very good at making their little subjects feel welcome, unfortunately my granddaughter was greeted by a evil stepmother which was not even her stylist.

Sereiamolata

No, you’re not the only person who had a bad experience. We went there for my daughter’s 4th birthday and it was a disaster for me as a parent. Even though we had an appointment for 3pm, we arrived around 2:50 and waited until 3:50. My is mixed and has curly hair. I observed the hair designs and realized that the women were not skilled to handle my daughter’s hair. I asked to just do the makeup and nails, I was informed that it was a package deal a d it would still cost $59. Because of my daughter’s enthusiasm, I agreed to do her hair with reservations of course. My beautiful daughter’s hair was a disaster! As a parent and celebrating my child’s birthday, this made me extremely sad and discouraged. I will call and make a complaint. If the boutique is willing to serve a diverse population, then all little girls should have a Princess experience no matter what hair type or skin color. In addition, the makeup was not compatible with her skin color, as she was bronzed from being in the pool all summer. The blush looked like powder. I couldn’t even take proper memory pictures. Sorry for the grumpy feedback, but it was very disappointing.

Dee

This experience and the resulting pictures is one of our most treasured with our granddaughter – she’s 6 now, but was 3 at the time of the Bibbidi Bobbidi experience.

The photographers captured a very unique smile she has – where she’s excited enough to burst, but holding it in – and it’s my favourite picture of all time.

The experience itself was tons of fun. She sat quietly through the whole thing, in total and complete awe of the transformation.

Janeen

For the BBB Boutique Castle Package, do they always get to meet the Princesses thru a special door at the end? Or is this certain times or days? I heard they take them to a special door and they don’t have to stand in the line. Please let me know! Thanks!

Amy

We just went to BBB last month with our 7 year old daughter. It was a surprise. She woke up that morning and received an Elsa dress from “Tinkerbell” and a note saying she had an appointment. We booked one of the first appointments at the Downtown Disney location on a day we were not visiting the parks to maximize our park experience. The perks of the early appointment was traffic was not bad at all, the salon was not packed at all. We were in and out within 45-50 minutes. Our daughter was even picked to be the honorary princess that morning and open up The World Of Disney store which BBB is located inside. She was so excited. She received the classic princess look and wore her hair that day and the next two. It was perfect in the Florida heat to keep cool. We also packed a shower cap for her to wear during showers and while sleeping so not to mess up the “do.”

michelle demas

HI. did you guys buy the dress before and made it look like tinkerbell sent it? thats a great idea, just wondering if you did that or is it something the saloon does if you get the package with the dress included.
thank you, its my daugther 7 year old, first time in diseny

Janna K

Does anyone know if you can send clothes (outfit worn prior to changing into the princess gown) back to your Disney Resort room from BBB? I was hoping to avoid carrying an extra bag around MK for the day.

Amber M

In the past, Disney’s rule has always been they won’t ship what they can’t replace. So anything that you didn’t buy at Disney they won’t send. The lockers at Main Street are the best alternative I can see. Perhaps someone a little more clever than I am will have come up with a solution. 🙂 Hope this helps!

Vicki

Maybe take and old t-shirt and pair of cheap leggings that can just be left there.

Heather

we will be going in dec of this year…. if will be our first trip as a family and my daughter will be 3…. i have both BBB and the pirate’s league booked (I don’t plan to keep both, and I am thinking that I will cancel PL bc i feel that they younger she is the more she will like BBB). My BIGGEST concern is the hair. I can’t stand the gelled slicked down look….. I know that PL offers a brain with the mermaid package…… id there an option at BBB that is not so stiff? lol

thanks 🙂

Secret FGIT

There is a more natural version called the “Color Star”. It only uses gel on the back of the ponytail, and the seven twists and color extensions are put through without any product besides some hairspray at the end.

Amy

My 5 year old begged to go to BBB. i thought it was ridiculous, but she wanted it so bad (kids watch the planning DVD every day in the car – there was no hiding BBB). I told her you can’t buy it. You have to be invited by a fairy godmother. And you can only get invited if you are good (*sigh* she can be a handful). Well, she was good as gold the entire trip. Not once did she whine or complain or have a fit. When she woke up on our last full day, there was an invitation for her from the fairy godmother (I made it before we left home). That was in December. Just the other day when my husband was leaving for a business trip he told her to behave for mommy. Then she went on and on about how she behaved so well at WDW she got an invitation to BBB.
We went to the one in DD. Cost about $80 rt in cab fare. I would do it again in a heartbeat if she promises to behave again – was worth every penny for that!
FYI – according to everything I’ve read, cast members are not allowed to accept tips.

Christina

The “fairy godmothers” at BBB aren’t really considered your typical cast members. They 100% can accept tips.

Nida

If you don’t mind my asking did you type the taxi cost $8 or $80 ? And how long did it take you to get to DTD with all this construction work I hear is going around ? We plan on taking a taxi either from our all star movies resort or Epcot ( depending on if we have FP planned) to DTD in October.

April

Absolutely the truth!! Took my almost 3yr old and got a walk in appt at the DD salon, they said 45 mins, gave us a beeper, walked away feeling ok since my daughter was happily napping, 10 mins later we got beeped!! Had to wake up Oscar the Grouch and pretend to have fun while they sprayed that concrete wall up 🙂 By the end, she was having a good time and looked like a doll!! Planning our second trip in October and will be doing again, hopefully minus the Grouch….LOVED the pic of your daughters “Boofonda”, that’s what we call hair that looks like that in our house…thanx for the story and tips!!

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