Seeing Disney Princesses on a Disney Cruise is not as easy as finding that glass slipper. Today I share my best tips for your Disney cruise princess experience and how to make the best of those memories
Seeing Disney Princesses on a Disney Cruise | Best Tips
This face. My daughter celebrated her 3rd birthday, and it had me thinking back to our Disney cruise and this particular day on our first cruise. It was one of the best moments in my sweet girl’s life, meeting the Disney princesses for the first time. Sure, we had seen them before through some glass at the parks, but she had always been a little leery about strangers. But these were the princesses, the ones that inspired her wardrobe (and my laundry) everyday. So to actually meet and take pictures with the idols of my little toddler’s heart, I knew we had to see them. And thanks to our experience and a few tips, we had the best few hours of this baby girl’s life.
Can I go back already? It’s been almost 3 months since our first Disney Cruise, and I find myself missing the food, the room service, the private island….I digress. Today I’m here to talk about the Disney Princesses on a Disney Cruise. Believe it or not, you won’t find these tips on the Disney Cruise website…you have to be “in the know.” Trust me when I say that these tips are CRUCIAL to your Disney Princess experience, like if you ever want to see them during your cruise. So grab your cameras, tiaras and your little ladies that are obsessed with everything princess-y as I divulge the best tips for seeing Disney princesses on your Disney cruise.
I have to say that I was really fortunate to have talked with a friend and fellow blogger before going on this cruise. It is because of her that this post is even possible. Without her, these pictures, these moments probably would have never happened.
Do This First
***UPDATE: Rules have changed since this post was written. Now you can book your princess reservations online under “excursions” before you depart on your trip. Do keep in mind that “Anna and Elsa” and “Disney Princesses” are still separate excursions and you still can book under Port Adventures. But you no longer have to run to grab your booking time. SUCH A RELIEF!
Basically, run. As soon as you get on board, go immediately to Port Adventures, which was on Deck 5 of our Disney Dream ship. Trust me. You will probably be immediately greeted by a long line of people waiting. Yes, they are in the know too. When you get to the counter of Port Adventures, let them know that you want to book a time to see the princesses. Believe it or not, the beloved Disney Princesses are like an excursion. You need a specific time to see them. You then have the option to book:
- Anna and Elsa
- The Other Disney Princesses (usually the variety of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and the like)
These are separate “excursions.” You’re NOT going to be able to do other excursions during the times that you want to see the princesses, so book wisely. I booked for just my daughter and I so the boys could run around the pool area.
Take a Breather
Pat yourself on the back. The hardest part is over…or so we think. Guard those princess tickets in a safe spot, away from those kids Not only are they very hard to come by, but the “secret” location of the princesses (not the usual meet and greet spots) are printed on your tickets.
Prep for Picture Day
Seeing the Disney Princesses is a marathon, not a sprint. As much as I’d love to tell you that the time on your ticket will guarantee that you will see the princesses at that given time, it’s not Disney without a line to wait in. While there certainly is scenery to take in while you wait, I recommend the following prep for the big princess day:
- Know which part of the ship you are going to. Map out the night before if possible, with approximate time to get there.
- Have your princess tickets in hand. This is a MUST, or you won’t get in.
- Make sure batteries, SD card, etc. are ready to go in your camera.
- Have your hair and make up done (I’ll explain in a minute).
- Dress your little princess accordingly.
- Bring a spare outfit, just in case. You never know…
- Have snacks and drinks and distractions ready.
- Consider bringing help. Extra hands are always better.
Your Disney Princess Moment
After all of the waiting in lines and waiting in lines and waiting in lines….your Disney princess moment is here. Here’s the best tips for really taking in that moment with your child:
- Get rid of your expectations. Don’t expect perfect smiles and that Kodak moment. Be prepared for stranger danger, meltdowns and weirdo looks. Your princess experience is not going to be like everyone else’s. And that’s perfectly ok.
- Consider a trial run. Whoever your child’s favorite princess may be, do a trial run with the other princesses. For example, in hind sight I wish we booked the Anna & Elsa time for after the other Disney Princesses. This would have given my toddler the opportunity to get down the routine. By the time she finally got to the last princess, she knew exactly what to do and really love it.
- Stay within your child’s comfort zone. Know when you child can’t handle anymore. Know when to leave, take a break, cuddle. It’s a new and unknown experience for them.
- Be prepared to get in the picture. (Remember that mom hair and make up step?) A little parent coaxing may be necessary to take those first steps. I wish I had known that before I jumped in the frame.
- Click away…more than you need. Don’t worry about getting the perfect picture, but rather getting a story of pictures of your child’s princess moment. You can delete and edit later.
My biggest tip? Don’t forget to enjoy the moment. It’s the Disney princesses, where fairy tales come true. Don’t forget to revel in the fact that your child is there, in the moment with them. It’s an amazing, unique and definite highlight of their little lives. Be sure that you get a chance to just watch the magic happen.
Ok, so that was a lot of tips, but I wanted to make sure that you have everything that you needed to make the most of your Disney Princess experience on your next Disney cruise. Of my 30-something years on this planet, watching my daughter have her princess moment still brings tears to my eyes. It’s a mom moment that I will never forget, even if she does. I felt like the best mom in the whole world. And the smiles, chatter and hugs I received after definitely proved that.
What are your best tips for a Disney cruise?
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Linda Manns Linneman says
I would love to do this with my grandchildren soon. It sounds like so much fun. Thank you so much for this great article.
Jennifer H says
I haven’t been on their cruise yet but looks like so much fun
Amber Ludwig says
These are awesome tips! I would’ve never known!! What a magical experience!
You may want to update the advice for new cruisers- you can now prebook all of these online, with the other excursions, when your booking window opens. Because of this, they don’t hold so many spots open once on board
does it cost extra?
No, all the princess meet and greets are free. You just need to reserve tickets.
We did our first Disney Cruise in January 2018 and I found the meet and greets to be so amazing. The princesses really took the time to interact with my daughter.
Cinderella, when she first met my girl, gave her a little twirl, and since I wasn’t expecting it, I didn’t get a picture. I asked if she could do it again and she willing obliged. Dancing with Cinderella was one of my daughter’s favourite cruise memories!
I also found the lines weren’t bad. We only waited about two minutes past our scheduled time. Either they aren’t handing out as many tickets or they’ve refined their system. Or we were fortunate!