Whew, things are finally settling down and returning to normal. September is over halfway over and I haven't had time to breathe since August it seems. I love vacations but I hate how they're supposed to give a break from stress and they just create more upon return , especially when your dog goes missing during said trip. Ah, I'm really looking forward to the weekend. But don't get me wrong, we still had a fabulous vacation, we even squeezed in an impromptu visit to Disney.
While at Disney I got to fulfill the life dream of five year old girls everywhere - meet Disney princesses. I did this plenty as a kid myself but for some reason it has not lost it's appeal. Like a good obsessive planner I turned to Yelp and researched places at Disney in California and noticed a princess lunch at Ariel's Grotto - heck yeah, sign me up! Now I could have just gone to fantasyland and waited in line to meet princesses but if I'm going to be a creeper hanging out at a children's activity I'd like to be a creeper who gets to rest her feet and chill out in some a/c thank you very much. Plus, we had to eat anyway and food at Disney is overpriced no matter where you go. Ordinarily one would have to reserve a princess meal way in advance, but we were lucky and got in as a walk up. Part of me thinks Shaun might have been optimistic we wouldn't get in when he agreed to go, but man he was a good sport.
So we arrive at the grotto where each party is allowed downstairs after the previous party has been seated, this allows princess ariel to give her full attention to each guest and let me tell you, the pretty college girl Disney has hired to do this job is excellent at it. She squealed with delight over my "thingamabob", asked if I knew flounder and if I had seen any scary sharks in a most concerned voice and was just a general delight.
My "thingamabob" which I got from a nice beach store earlier in the day.
And then of course we got our picture taken. Now, I'm a little confused why Ariel wasn't in her fin and shells if I'm supposed to be at her underwater hideout but I guess these things don't puzzle the actual target audience of the experience.
Now y'all, don't rag on my outfit too much, I didn't get to plan a Disney outfit so I did the best to work with what I had. I'll tell you what though, this outfit was a super comfy Disney outfit, and as much as the shoes are not fashionable I sure was glad I wore them when my fitbit told me I walked 10 miles that day. Besides, Ariel liked it so there (yes, I'm saying that in my best 5 year old voice).
We were then seated and given bread, presented with menus and has our drink order taken. The grotto is pre-fixe 3 courses for $38.99 / adult. While other guests were being seated we placed our orders and soon after our first course arrived the fun began.
Dramatic fairy tale trumpets played overhead and the court announcer made his dramatic entrance to announce the arrival of special guests invited by Ariel to join us. Oh yeah, it was over the top, and yes - I clapped. As each princess came out music from their movie played, they twirled, smiled and waved - they then went around to visit with each table. I should mention that we were not the only childless table there, just on case this fact makes me seem less ridiculous.
The princesses rotate depending upon the seating and day but its always four. During our visit we got to meet . . .
Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Like a dork I told her how I went to college in New Orleans and love her movie. It's really a good thing I never claimed to be cool.
And Cinderella, who I even got Shaun to pose with:
We mostly just posed with each princess and thanked them for coming by but it was really fun to watch them interact with the kids, some of whom had just been treated to a royal $200 makeover at the bibity bop boutique. So now I'll get to the real purpose of why I started this post - to discuss meeting disney princesses. Ill admit, as an adult I felt a little awkward, but that's all on me because they girls were oh so sweet and professional - that's what I love about Disney, everyone gets to feel special. To keep that specialness Disney has strict rules for their princesses so here's some unofficial guidelines
1. Disney princesses always stay in character - go ahead, ask them questions and they will respond like their character with a smile.
2. Disney princesses do not pose with alcohol or other non kid friendly items, I leaned this one as a college senior when friends and I wants to "cheers" with Aurora at Epcot.
3. Disney princesses will hug children but male adults it's paws off - they will hold onto your arm.
4. Disney trains their princesses to interact with guests, they will pick up on things you are wearing that might indicate things about you and what princess you like best. It's cool, just go with it
5. Disney princesses only make appearances for short periods of time - I think it's 15 minutes but don't quote me on that. This is so they can look the perfect part without melting. Be kind, get your moment and let the other guests have theirs.
6. During the parades the princesses smile and wave into the crowd, chances are a child will feel like they looked right at them, super cool.
7. Disney princesses have a set of proper ways to pose- like the hand over the heart or the arm elegantly flicked out, don't be the jerk that tries to get them to do something ridiculous but do ask them am how to pose with them if you feel awkward and don't know what to do.
8. Disney princesses are experts on their character - so go ahead and ask about flounder or tell them to say hi to their prince.
9. Like all Disney characters, the princesses have a signature and give autographs. Disney sells books for this but they will sign pictures and keepsakes as well.
10. Have fun with it, you're at the happiest place on earth!
In case you can't tell I really enjoyed my royal lunch. Later on I ran into a lady my age who was wearing a disney skirt she made, we chatted when I stopped her to compliment her on it and she asked about the Ariel button I was wearing, which we had gotten with our checks (smooth move Disney) so I told her about the experience and she asked her new husband (honeymoon couple, aww) if they could go - point being it's not just for kids and it's super fun. So if you're an adult going to Disney check it out, and if you're a parent taking kids than oh my, seriously, you need to do some character meetings.
Have a happily ever after y'all!