Disneyland for Princesses – How to Do and See It All

Updated October 18, 2016

Disneyland and California Adventure are seen differently from the eyes of a princess fan. The castle, the characters, the attractions and more all add up to a magical place for adoring eyes and I don’t want you to miss anything the parks have to offer.

Here, I’ll detail how to dress your little one, what you’ll need to bring, where to get a Disneyland makeover, which attractions you shouldn’t miss, where to meet and see princesses, and how to dine with one. Also included, some tips on photographing your daughter beyond the basics you already know.

Grab your wand, and let’s get busy!


The Dress:

  • Bitts and Pieces, on Etsy, has darling options that are made with t-shirt material on top. These dresses are soft and comfy, too, for an entire day in the park itch-free.
  • Amazon, Target, Walmart and others sell princess dresses at a fraction of the cost for what you’ll buy in the parks. While the park versions are beautifully embellished, you won’t find a huge change in quality and you can achieve the same look for $20 (off-site) rather than $65+ (on-site).
  • Consider resale shops. I’ve bought several dresses for as little as $5 each at places like Children’s Orchard, Once Upon a Child and others. When you shop resale, ask the store associate if they have costume dresses. Often, they’ll keep them in the back waiting for Halloween.
  • If you buy a Disney dress, have your princess wear her dress OVER play clothes because at some point, the dress might get itchy and she’ll want to take it off.


The Dress Accessories:

  • Wands can be bought off-site for less. Walmart carries a large selection of ‘party favor’ items that work well for wands.
  • Mardi gras beads and those similar in quality allow your little one to feel dressed up, but won’t stress you out if they lose or break a piece.
  • Tiaras and crowns can be found off-site, too, at discount retailers. As with dresses, check Etsy for creative and one-of-a-kind options.
  • Sparkly eye shadow and nail polish are fun additions for princesses that won’t easily wear off with sunblock or sweat throughout the day. 
  • If your princess insists on the plastic heel variety of shoes (like mine), bring along a pair of socks for when they start to hurt. Go ahead and re-stock band aids, too.
  • Poms, bows, or gift wrap embellishments are a fun addition to regular shoes to coordinate with princess dresses.

Disney Princess autograph book

Princess Essentials:

  • The autograph book is a must. She’ll need this for princess encounters and for other Disney characters, too. Buy them off site for less or grab one at just about any store or kiosk at the parks for just under $20.
  • Make sure your princess has a pen for her autograph book because princesses don’t have pockets, of course! Felt tip markers work best for most characters because they’re working with gloves and clunky costumes.


The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique:

I consider this one of the best values at the park and I wasn’t expecting to say that when I scheduled our session.

  • Just beyond Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the boutique offers ‘princess makeovers’ with varying packages and rates to match. We have always chosen the Crown Package for $59.95, which includes hair styling, make up, princess accessories and nail polish. Our princess wears her own dress in, but there are options which include the dress.
  • The experience includes the actual makeover and a sweet ‘first presentation’ which still makes me tear up each time I see it. When your daughter is ready, the fairy godmother styling your princess turns her around for a first look with lots of special attention.  The curtains are pulled back so the princess can see her reflection in the magic mirror while stars appear in the glass. A Disneyland photographer is close by capturing lots of sweet moments. A PhotoPass will be extended to you with options to purchase images later on.
  • After your little one is dressed head-to-toe, you can continue the experience with the Capture the Magic option (for an additional fee). Photographs are taken in the back of the boutique in a darling setting complete with carriage and woodland critters.
  • Knight packages are available for your prince, too, starting at $15.95. These include hair styling, a sword and shield.
  • Your little one will leave with a bag filled with beauty products used during your session including the brush, make up, nail polish and more.
  • Call ahead to make your reservation at (714) 781-STYLE (7895).
  • I recommend selecting a morning time so that your princess can enjoy the makeover’s results throughout the day and into the evening. 
  • Check out Anna and Elsa’s Boutique in Downtown Disney for Frozen themed makeovers. The prices are lower than the BBB and the hair styles are darling!

Check in for your BBB Appt at the Royal Reception:

This house is located to the right of Pinocchio in Fantasyland. Check in there for your BBB appt and then you and your children will be escorted through Fantasyland to the boutique.

The house looks like this:


The inside of the house is darling. You’ll be able to browse the princess dresses and the knight shirt now available. These options are on display in the house and for sale at the actual BBB.



The knight shirt is $35 and is not part of the knight package, which includes the hair style, sword and shield.




Here are the brochures you’ll find in the boutiques:



Princess Attractions:

These attractions are perfect for your princess, with some specifically themed for princesses and others that simply fit with the genre.


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Mad Tea Party (tea cups)
  • Storybook Land Boats
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Tour (walk up and through the castle)
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventure (can be VERY scary for little ones – this is a dark ride)
  • Little Mermaid (at California Adventure)


Princess Encounters:

  • Fantasy Faire – This is the princess mecca and shouldn’t be missed. Royal Hall is a meet-n-greet for up to 3 princesses at a time and is perfect for photos and autographs. The Royal Theatre is located here, too, and has the Frozen Show and Tangled.
  • Pixie Hollow – Tinker Bell and a friend can be found in this fairy sized hollow. Blades of grass and flowers tower above you making you feel like a tiny fairy. Wait in line in the cute little scene for your Tinker Bell encounter. 
  • Meet Elsa and Anna – From the super popular Frozen, Elsa and Anna are set for a meet-n-greet in California Adventure. See this post for everything you need to know.


Princess Dining:

  • The premier princess dining experience is at Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant in California Adventure. This table service option is princessy fun and requires a reservation. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time) to secure your time. Character dining is a great option for up-close encounters. You can mingle with the characters, take photos and get autographs, too.
  • While not specifically themed for princesses, I recommend Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe as an affordable option for a “princess” meal. This is a quick service restaurant with a Mary Poppins theme, a beautiful patio to dine in and has varied views of the castle. It photographs beautifully for your ‘royal feast’. This isn’t set up for princesses by any means, but the backdrop is pretty.


Parades and Shows:

Each of these options includes princesses in some way and would be a great addition to your princess-themed day. Check the daily entertainment schedule for times and dates. Not all on this list are scheduled everyday.

  • Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – Disneyland
  • Paint the Night Parade – Disneyland
  • Disneyland Forever Fireworks – Disneyland
  • Fantasmic – Disneyland (on hiatus currently)
  • World of Color – California Adventure

You can find more info on parades and fireworks in a previous post.


Photographing your Princess:

  • Change your settings to black-and-white or use a similar filter when finishing your images. This adds a timeless, classic feel to your pictures.
  • Take photos of candid moments in addition to the posed ones. These often turn out to be favorites because they tell the story of your visit.
  • Have your camera ready for important encounters like seeing the castle for the first time or waving at a favorite princess during a parade.
  • Position your princess in the middle of Main Street for a nice juxtaposition between busy, determined Disneyland guests and a sweet little princess taking it all in.
  • Take photos from your daughter’s eye level or below for a perspective from your child’s point of view. Rather than looking down on your princess, crouch to street level for photos. This puts your child as the main focus with Disneyland as a back drop.
  • Walk just to the right of the castle toward the Snow White Grotto for a less crowded photography spot. This area gives you more personal space and allows you to capture the water around the castle in your photos, too. Keep walking to the wishing well at the grotto for more fun photo ops. 

To Go Directly to the Princesses:

If you are completely focused on princesses and aren’t worried about the rest of my recommendations on how to start your mornings at Disneyland, this map will show you how to get directly to Fantasy Faire.


Final Tips:

  • Locker Storage is available for elaborate costumes (and anything else you bring in). Having bulky items stored nearby and off your back will decrease your stress for the day.
  • Remember that being a princess is hard work and occasional melt downs are part of the gig.
  • Embrace the princess years. They don’t last forever!
Tickets I recommend (read why)
Enter code DLRPS at checkout to save an additional $2 on each ticket.


  1. So we really loved your post about registering for Jedi Training and we also want to do a princess makeover. We are staying at a DLR hotel and will be in the park on a Th, Fri, and Sat in late Sept. I can’t figure out what time to make the appointment at BBB if we want to go stand in line to register for the Jedi Training. Also, if we don’t get there soon enough on Thurs, then we were going to try again during the magic morning Fri. Not sure how to coordinate…any thoughts??? thank you!!! Also, its our first trip ever so we’re splurging on the castle package so she can get the VIP treatment. I’m guessing that all takes some time.

    • The Castle Package can take up to 2 hours, start to finish. It’s so magical!

      Have you considered doing the BBB the afternoon of Thursday and then registering for Jedi Training Friday morning? If you do the BBB in the afternoon, you will be able to touch up your princess’s hair for at least the next day if she’s OK sleeping on it. My daughter has done that many times. They will send you home with all your makeover goodies, so you can touch up hair and makeup after. Bring some hairspray for fly aways, but overall, the hair styles last. They put A LOT of product in the styles. 🙂

  2. Hi, Casey,

    We will he using all of your princess tips with my princess-obsessed 4 year old next month. I have a couple of questions about princess meets. Are the same 3 princesses at Royal Hall for an entire day, or do they change throughout the day?

    Also the Disneyland app show some princess appearances for as little as 5 minutes (e.g. Aurora today at Snow White’s wishing well). Do they really meet for as little as 5 minutes? That’s going to be tough!

    Thank you for all of this info!

  3. Hi Casey!

    I thought the castle package at BBB used to include special access to the princesses after the makeover. Do you know if this is still the case?

  4. Hi. Thanks for all the info you’ve gathered – it’s really helpful – I hope you get some sweet discounts/perks for all the work you put in 😉 We’re going to be there from July 7-9 and have a BBB makeover booked for 8:40 am on the 8th for my 3.5 year old. Is there enough time to do Peter Pan before the appointment (as you seem to recommend doing this right away) – or would we be pushing it?

    • Hi there! I would be there an hour before open. You should be let in the gates by 7:30am. Since the 8th is a Friday and you won’t be dealing with an EMH, you should be ok with Peter Pan before your appt at the BBB. Just be sure to be at the parks super early. Sounds like a great plan. Enjoy every minute!

  5. My daughter is very interested in meeting the princesses at Fantasy Faire. The Disneyland app doesn’t show wait times for characters, so I’m not sure how to plan it into our day. We’re going in July, so I know the parks will be crowded. Should we just head there right after opening for a short wait time? Or will the line likely still be reasonable a few hours into the day? I don’t want to waste precious morning time waiting in a line that is similar in length all day or something! 😉

    PS I love the new website design!!

  6. All my daughter cares about is seeing Ariel. Any other princesses would just be a bonus. We can’t afford the meal option and planning to follow your itinerary for one day at Disneyland. With that said, is she easy to find in the afternoon on a Monday? Or what would be the best way to make sure we see her. She drew a picture and wrote her a letter and has to give it to her. 🙂 Thanks!

  7. We are taking our 4, 6 and 11 yr old next week for 3 days. It’s our youngest 2 first time. On our first day we are going to Bippity Boppity Boutique at 12 and having lunch at Ariel’s Grotto at 2. What if our fastpasses are during the time we are busy?

    • Typically, the FASTPASS attractions will allow you on the rides if you bring a receipt from your conflicting event or meal. But there is no guarantee. I would try to pull passes around the timing to be safe.

  8. How frequent are Meet-and-greet opportunities with Belle in Disneyland as of lately? Went to the new Belle experience at WDW and was disappointed that there was no legit meeting opportunity in the show.

  9. We have a reservation at the BBB on Thursday at 2:30. What are my chances of getting into meet the princess after that? We could go before but I’d rather wait until she’s all dressed up. Thanks!

  10. Hi Teresa, We only have one day in Disneyland. I would love to get my little princess a make-over! Do you think she will get to meet some of the princess at the BBB or should I take her to fantasy faire too? Is there usually a long wait? We are going during the holidays so I’m guessing it will be very busy everywhere. Also do you know if PixieHollow is a popular spot? She would love to see them as well 🙂 My plan would be Peter Pan then some type of encounter before breakfast with Minnie and then BBB. Thanks so much for your tips!

  11. Is there anywhere do to a makeover or something special for a 2.5-year-old? I can see my younger daughter being upset if her older sister gets a makeover but she can’t and I had to make my older daughter skip it. Thanks!

    • Hi, Alexandra.

      The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Anna and Elsa’s in Downtown Disney both have a requirement of being 3 years old. There is a Sephora in the Downtown Disney, so you might call them to see if they offer anything or if they’d be willing to do such since your daughter doesn’t qualify for the other makeovers. I’ve always been concerned about this……..little sister being left out or big sister having to do without due to little sister. Hope you find an option that works!

  12. Will be there this Thursday and website says the fantasy faire opens at 10am. If we use magic morning early entry at 8am when can I pull fast pass for the frozen show? Then can we do a bunch the fantasyland rides before we get in line for the princesses? I have 2 littles under 3 so I’m not worried about getting the fast passes for the big rides(planning to see fantasmic on Sunday evening also as we have 5 days to park hop). Ps your site is amazing!!! Words can’t even describe!!

    • Thanks, Lauren!

      I’d definitely do Peter Pan asap during your early entry. Not sure if the FASTPASS for Frozen Show will be available at that time (it varies), but it surely could be. Check by Fantasy Faire. The cart will be on the bridge between the castle and the faire. It’s easy to walk by and see.

      Please let me know what other questions you have!

      • Casey,
        Is there a frozen show both at Theatre Hall in DL and the Hyperion Theatre in DCA? Are they similar and both worth going to? Also, do you recommend going to the Princess Faire first or Tinker Bell first in the morning?
        Thank you so much!

  13. So excited to take my granddaughter to Disney for the first time! I have to admit, it’s “information overload” trying to navigate through all the ins and outs of knowing where to be when ! I have a question about Royal Hall. Is a ticket or reservation needed to meet the princesses? I understand if we get the Castle Package at BBB, we have priority to meet them. But if we don’t, are we waiting in line, or is there something else we should know? Thx so much! You’re website has been a tremendous help!

    • It is information overload! The BBB is tons of fun and can be done without the castle package. No need for tickets or such to see the princesses. I would schedule an early BBB and then go directly to the princesses. You shouldn’t have to wait too long. Enjoy it!

  14. So, I’ve been looking back in your posts, LOVE THEM!!! and I’ve got a question…Do you need a Fast Pass for the Storytelling at Royal Theatre? Is it “connected” and are they only doing the Frozen show or are there others?
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi, Sarah.

      Yes, you have to have a FASTPASS or “return ticket” (same thing) to see the show. Find those passes at the hub, where the Mickey Walt statue is. It should not be connected, but confirm that when you pull them, just in case something changed.

  15. Hi .LOVE! Your blog…….we are in Australia. Can you book bibbidi bobbidi makeover on line at all ??? I’ve been able to book the character dining etc that way which is awesome for international planning. Just trying to avoid time differences etc and working out when to call to book. If we wanted to undertake all the things you mentioned in this post with fast passes etc (although I am still a bit confused) what time would you recommend booking in for make over ? Ps: your posts have helped this obsessive compulsive organiser and planner immensely (although I am trying REALLY hard not to plan EVERYTHING) ! Thanks so much , Belinda xx

  16. Hello- love your blog! How many fast passes can you get at once? If we go to Peter Pan first- where and how do we get Fast Pass for Frozen show and cars ride? Do we need a fast pass for Dumbo (Two boys 12 & 9 and one princess 2). Thanks in advance!

  17. We head to Disney next week with our 3.5 yo. We are the more princess-focused as you mentioned but want to do Peter Pan too. Should we do Peter Pan first then head over to the show and meet and greet?

    • Yes. Go straight to Peter Pan and then see princesses. Grab your FASTPASS for the Frozen Show before getting in line for princesses. All in the same area. The Frozen Show FASTPASS distribution machine is in the hub near the “Partners’ statue” (Mickey and Walt).

  18. Hello!
    Your blog was very helpful but I have another question, my 15 year old daughter dressed up as Princess Anna last Halloween and our annual trip to Disneyland is coming up and she wants to wear her costume again. Is it allowed/appropiate for her to wear it? I’ve heard that people older than 10 aren’t allowed to dress up. I’m wondering about this and I’m trying to find this out. Thank you for your help!

  19. I’m so excited! My husband and I are taking our 3.5 and 7 year old daughters to Disneyland in Aug for the first time for all of us. I know they will want to do all of the princess and fairy things you mentioned because they are super into princesses and are a bit timid when it comes to rides, etc. We only have one day there (although I think we’ll go the following morning to Downtown Disney to do the Anna & Elsa Boutique experience you mentioned.) in your opinion, what is the best use of our time to see as much princess / fairy stuff and still do the more mild rides (Peter Pan, Dumbo)? We won’t be going to CA Adventure if that helps your answer and what rides would you recommend for younger / more timid children? I just found your blog and I’m trying to soak it all up without get overwhelmed. It’s a bit scary!

    • Hi, Jennifer.

      There is so much to know!

      I would start with Peter Pan and then go to the princesses directly. You can find a map for where to find everything in this post. Are you arriving the night before the day you spend in the park? If so, I recommend doing the Anna/Elsa makeover then, walking through downtown Disney so the girls can show off their new looks and then early to bed for the early rise the next day. Your makeovers (hair) will stay in place and then you can touch up everything in the morning with hairspray and the makeup you leave with from your experience at the boutique. This will allow your girls to walk the park in their dresses with hair done. The boutique is super cute and inexpensive and my daughter LOVES it. Find more on that in this post:


      Please let me know if you have any questions!

  20. your blog is a life saver! I used to go to Disneyland once a year since I was about 5years old till i was 16. I dont know how my mom did it with 6 kids and only my aunt to help! Now its my turn to take my baby girls (22 months and 4 years old) and I want it to be as smooth as possible, (they are drama queens!) I cant wait to see the magic in thier beautiful eyes as we enjoy all the attractions and meet the characters. And with the help of your blog I will be able to breathe easier and enjoy myself much more with a plan incorperating many of your recommendations. Thank you so much!