(Photo: Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock.com)
Who says princesses and princes only exist in fairy tales? Orlando theme parks have plenty of places where your little ones can transform into the belle of the ball or a handsome knight. And, for kids who prefer to be a wizard or a pirate, and not a prince, the city offers memorable makeovers to satisfy an appetite for adventure.
Transform Into a Disney Princess
Disney is the master at making dreams come true, and its Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique fulfills every little girl’s wish to feel like royalty — at least for a day.
Before Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother can say, “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” little girls are transformed into Disney princesses like Ariel, Snow White, Belle and Cinderella, herself. All the magic happens in Cinderella’s Castle, as Fairy Godmothers-in-training adorn your Disney diva with shimmering makeup, face gems and a hairdo befitting of a royal ball.
And since every princess should have a knight in shining armor, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique also has something for your little guy, too. Boys can become dapper knights, outfitted with a royal shield and powerful sword.
Be sure to plan a visit as soon as you book your vacation — the boutique is so popular that Disney suggests making reservations six months in advance.
The details: For kids ages 3-12 (must be accompanied by an adult). Packages range from $59.95 – $194.95. Open from 8:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Two locations at Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom and the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney.
Become a Pirate of the Caribbean
Ahoy matey! The Pirates League lets little boys (and adults) who’ve idolized Captain Jack Sparrow become miniature versions of the famous swashbuckler. Costumed stylists apply an eye patch, temporary tattoos and gobs of makeup to transport visitors into a 16th century world where they can be Captain Hook, Black Eyed Jack or a cursed pirate on a mission to pillage a gigantic treasure.
And looking like a pirate is only half the fun. After you’re in full costume, Pirate Masters will train you to act, think and move like one. It all culminates in the Parade of Pirates at Adventureland, so you can march around in an buccaneer outfit without feeling the least bit awkward.
The details: For kids ages 3 and older and adults. Packages range from $34.95 – $79.95. Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Book reservations up to six months in advance.
Tap Into Your Wizardry
Wizards, witches and even muggles can experience magic at Universal’s the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.Though you won’t find a witch’s chamber where you can transform from a mere mortal, Universal encourages visitors to dress up like students at Hogwarts. Shop the streets of Hogsmeade to get Spectrespecs, Quidditch equipment and a Hogwarts uniform, and stop by Ollivanders to complete your ensemble with a magic wand.
And don’t worry, you won’t be the only superfan dressed up like Harry or Hermione. You’ll fit right in as you board the train to Diagon Alley or venture through Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, an attraction that brings to life iconic locations from the hit book series.
The details: General theme park admission gets you access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Visit both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley on the same day and ride the Hogswart Express with a park-to-park admission ticket, which is $147 for a one-day ticket. Two-day and three day tickets are $84 and $60, respectively.