Top 5: Forgotten Disney Princesses

So sometimes I wonder what the criteria is to get into the official line of Disney Princesses.  The main roster is pretty self-evident and makes sense: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Rapunzel, and now Merida.  Okie-dokie!  Less marketed, but still “Official”, are Pocahontas – okay, still with ya there – and… Mulan.  Which is where I stop and say “Wait, what?” because Mulan isn’t a princess.  Like, at all. She’s a rural peasant who saves her nation but she’s still not actually royalty.  Not even by marriage.  Not like nobody else has ever pointed this out, or anything, and I like Mulan so I’m not trying to dis her at all, but she’s just not a princess.  So why is she there, but others aren’t – let’s say, Alice, or Wendy, or… or Mary Poppins?  Well, it’s not really relevant to the rest of this article, so let’s let that one drop. 😀

Anyway, what really is odd to me though is the fact that they brought in Mulan but they leave out a few actual legit princesses.  More than a few really, they have numerous princesses over the years – official princesses – who just haven’t been interesting, main-character-ish, or – let’s go ahead and say it – profitable enough to rate official inclusion in the Princess line.  So with all that said, here’s my Top 5 Forgotten Princesses (plus an Honourable Mention, because I can do that when I want to!).

YEAH princess!  She's got it down.

YEAH princess! She’s got it down.

Honourable Mention: Charlotte LaBouf (Princess and the Frog).

Yes, Tiana is the ACTUAL Princess by the end of the movie, and as I always like to point out, she has the best princess dress design EVER (lily pads!!); but let’s not forget that her friend Charlotte is a princess, in more than one way, quite before Tiana.  Enough so that she even fulfills the “Kiss A Princess” rule, albeit temporarily!  Okay, Charlotte is really a princess wannabe, but she lands the role for 24 hours anyway, and she’s been living the lifestyle for pretty much her whole life.  This one doesn’t really rank, b/c she’s a backup in a movie that HAS a “legit” Princess, but hey. I love Charlotte almost as much as I love Tiana, and I’d like to see her more.  So there! 😀

Now on to the real list!

#5: Tiger Lilly, Peter Pan

Damsel in distress?

Damsel in distress?

Indian Princess Tiger Lilly is really a background character with no actual lines (except half of a word), and she’s really not “glamourous” the way the official Princesses have to be. Plus I suppose they’ve already got Pocahontas filling out the “Native American” requirement.  But let’s be fair, if Poca counts then Tiger counts too!  She fills all the typical requirements of her time: rescued by the hero, remains noble, even gets a little kiss in by the end. 😉  Despite my jab at first about her lacking the glamour factor, I think it would be kind of nice to have a young princess get some attention in this line.  Without being glittered up like they tried to do with Merida.  Never happen, but it would be a message I’d like to see from the Princess line, which I find a little – um, questionable in certain aspects.  You can be a Princess, hold yourself in high esteem, be valued and respected, and be YOURSELF. (Okay… I confess I’m glossing over the less-PC aspects of the portrayal of the Indian tribe in Peter Pan.  I don’t care to go into it with this particular Top 5 list, but it’s a legit complaint in terms of example being promoted, and we’ll leave it at that.)

#4: Eilonwy, The Black Cauldron

C'mon! She totally looks the part!

C’mon! She totally looks the part!

There is actually a good chance you have no idea who this is. 😀  That is, if you haven’t seen “The Black Cauldron”, the – well, the animated flop from the mid-80s.  It’s based on a rather good series of books fantasy books, but they didn’t do the best adaptation of all-time.  A bit on the boring side as I recall.  Eilonwy is a fun character – more so in the books, they kind of defanged her a little in the movie – but she is indeed a princess, and a bit of an enchantress, too.  And she’s cute as a little firecracker button, she is!  She’s got a temper and a giant stubborn streak in the books, as I recall, though she mellows over the course of them; in the movie, she’s just a bit feisty, if I’m remembering right.  I’d like to see her again, regardless.  I like her name, her design, and her general Eilonwyness.

#3: Megara, Hercules

The only potential "princess" to wear a glower half the time. And look really good with it on, too.

The only potential “princess” to wear a glower half the time. And look really good with it on, too.

C’mon. Megara. Megara, guys.  She’s got one of the best songs of any Disney film out of the later half of the 1990s, she’s a great conflicted character, and really now… wife of the son of the king of the gods?  You’re going to tell me that doesn’t count as a princess?  FEH.  Megara ought to be represented here. You know why she isn’t – because she doesn’t have a big poofy dress.  THAT’S WHY.  Well, maybe it’s also because she spends half the movie working for the bad guy, or because she’s quick with a sarcastic quip, and maybe Disney decided that wasn’t the “image” they were promoting with their Princess line.  That makes more sense than the dress thing, I guess.  If you ask me, that’s WHY she should be included in the Princess line.  DIVERSITY, Disney!  Not all princesses have to have good attitudes all the time!

#2: Kida, Atlantis

Kida is as upset as I am that it is really, REALLY hard to find good screencaps of her on the internet. :(

Kida is as upset as I am that it is really, REALLY hard to find good screencaps of her on the internet. 😦

I haven’t seen this movie since it came out. I’m not even joking.  I haven’t seen it since 1999 or whenever it was released. 1998? I don’t know. I was looking forward to Atlantis and I was more than a little let down by it, though I enjoyed it, I guess. I don’t remember it that well since I haven’t seen it since. 🙂 But I still think Kida honestly should be recognized here, even if it’s just as a “backup” the way Pocahontas is.  She’s got an interesting design, she’s powerful, independent, smart, and maybe kind of dangerous.  But kind.  She’s a very different kind of princess, one with experience and wisdom, and I bet she’d be the oldest member of the Princess line if she made it on there.  I’m not just saying that because she has white hair, I know that’s just cosmetic. 😉  But weren’t the inhabitants of Atlantis all, like, hundreds of years old?  Oh well.  Bring out Kida.  Her movie should be given another fair shake, and I’ll tell you why: Because the guy who plays Father Guido Sarducci is in it, and I could listen to him read the phone book and still laugh.

#1: Giselle, Enchanted

The only real-life gal on our list! She wins for singing in the middle of a park.  That is my FAVOURITE THING.

The only real-life gal on our list! She wins for singing in the middle of a park. That is my FAVOURITE THING.

Okay, if I’m honest, Giselle doesn’t meet the standards for Princess-hood either (see my complaint about Mulan).  But she SHOULD.  Sure, she isn’t actually a princess at the start of the movie, but really, all that’s missing is the formal title! She talks to animals, wears floofy dresses, has flowers in her hair, and breaks into spontaneous song in public parks.  And manages to get others doing the same.  Everyone else on this list is debatable, but Giselle IS a Disney Princess, and Disney knows it.  She was a walkaround character for a while and nearly was added to the permanent pantheon.  However, what I’ve read (might not be true, this is the internet) is that, because she was portrayed by a living person, Disney did not own the intellectual copyright on her appearance and would have to pay royalties to Amy Adams, the actress who portrayed her, if they wanted to use her image.  Since this is a unique case among their princesses, they removed her from the lineup instead. 😦

So!  Share your thoughts in the comments!  Please don’t pick any PC arguments though. It’s not a matter of whether or not I think they’re valid, I’m just not going after that right now. 🙂  I’ve mentioned before that I like to keep this blog mainly positive, and if I’m going to debate things like Disney and PC, I’m going to do it in a different post.  Thanks for being respectful! 🙂

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Top 5: Really Controversial Top 5 Topics

So, my first “Top 5” list was “Best Disney Princesses”.  That being such a matter of personal opinion, it got me thinking about how many controversial “Top 5” lists there are out there and how choosing the wrong topic could be playing with fire.  And THAT made me want to do another Top 5 list! XD  So these are my best choices for “too controversial for a Top 5 list” topics… got any to add?

#5: Worst Disney Princesses

I have to say Cinderella looks kind of confused. It's not raining, Cindy!  You're inside!

I have to say Cinderella looks kind of confused. It’s not raining, Cindy! You’re inside!

Actually, in retrospect, I’m almost surprised that “Best Princesses” wasn’t too controversial. LOL! Every princess has at least one fan and at least one hater.  But *I* love my picks and that’s all that matters! 😉  No, but there are certainly plenty of blogs that could get away with a “Worst Disney Princesses” list and either not offend its readers, or just not care… I’m not going to go there.  Would it surprise you to know that I probably could find 5 princesses to put on the list? I’m not 100% sure I could do 5 but I know I could do 3.  No, I’m not going to say who. 😉

#4: Politicians Who Are Like Disney Characters

I figured this was kind of a safe one. *lol*

I figured this was kind of a safe one. *lol*

I mean this is just asking for trouble. 😉 I actually can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, I was just fishing for some topics likely to offend someone. XD

#3: Disney Attractions That Should Be Replaced

This is actually a fun topic, and a lot of blogs have covered it – podcasts, too.  It’s a topic I don’t find offensive at all, because it’s all in fun, and even when one of my favourites is mentioned I usually react with “LOL nooooo!” 😉 However, like I said in #5, I like to keep it positive.  It’s just not the direction I want my blog to take, but that doesn’t mean I don’t *have* opinions, I  just end up not – OH OKAY GET RID OF STITCH’S GREAT ESCAPE already.  There. I said it. I regret nothing. 😉

#2: Disney Films I’d Like to Forget About

*cough* I didn't say anything. (OK, OK, I haven't seen this movie. It's just the one that most people agree on, is all.)

*cough* I didn’t say anything. (OK, OK, I haven’t seen this movie. It’s just the one that most people agree on, is all.)

Guaranteed to offend SOMEONE.  Every single one of my least favourite Disney films has at least one hugely die-hard fan. So I tend not to speak out about the ones I dislike. *g*

#1: Reasons Why “Song of the South” Should/Should Not Be Released

I still haven't seen this. Guess there's a good chance I never will.

I still haven’t seen this. Guess there’s a good chance I never will.

I just… ’nuff said. XD

A World of Character Meet and Greets

Before we went to WDW, I was a little worried my daughter might be scared of all the characters I’d told her of so many times. She was not quite 5, and though brave and social, she had been nervous around costumed characters before in the past.  I did all of the “they’re much bigger at parks, honey”, I showed her pictures and even videos on YouTube (look up some of the ones of Donald when kids are wearing something to do with Mickey. LOL), and just generally made sure she loved the characters.  She also figured out on her own that they were people in the suits, though she went back and forth on believing that. 😉

But would this stand up when we actually got there?  I couldn’t be sure until we went, so I just crossed my fingers that all the character meals I had planned wouldn’t end in freak outs.

I really needn’t have worried.  Enjoy a huge number of pictures.  I really hope she gets to meet even more the next time we go.  Please keep in mind that booking a Disney trip with me is free, and it will help me get my girl back to WDW for at least a few days.  With that said… here we go. ^_^

The very first character we saw. And he was EVERYWHERE. This was Hollywood Studios.

The very first character we saw. And he was EVERYWHERE. This was Hollywood Studios.

Daisy and Donald had the greatest costumes!

Daisy and Donald had the greatest costumes!

And Minnie! EVERYONE loved Minnie.  What a dear.

And Minnie! EVERYONE loved Minnie. What a dear.

I like to think Mickey is kind of like "She's ... choking me..."

I like to think Mickey is kind of like “She’s … choking me…”

D was really into Woody for months after she saw Toy Story :)

D was really into Woody for months after she saw Toy Story 🙂

I don't know, some people might be creeped out by faceless soldiers.

I don’t know, some people might be creeped out by faceless plastic soldiers.

 

We came out from the restrooms and NOBODY was in line to see Brer Rabbit. She got him to herself!

We came out from the restrooms and NOBODY was in line to see Brer Rabbit. She got him to herself!

 

Minnie again! Minnie sang Happy Birthday to her. :D

Minnie again! Minnie sang Happy Birthday to her. 😀

 

Goofy liked her hat.

Goofy liked her hat.

 

I LOVE her face in this. at the Garden Grill.

I LOVE her face in this. at the Garden Grill.

 

Her she's asking Chip to dance. :D

Here she’s asking Chip to dance. 😀

 

We didn't get a lot of character time our first day at MK, but the Fairy Godmother was out first thing!

We didn’t get a lot of character time our first day at MK, but the Fairy Godmother was out first thing!

 

First time I'd ever seen Pirate Goofy! We came out and there he was!

First time I’d ever seen Pirate Goofy! We came out and there he was!

 

At the Princess Breakfast at Akershus, Belle and D were twins :)

At the Princess Breakfast at Akershus, Belle and D were twins 🙂

 

Cinderella was the BEST.

Cinderella was the BEST.

 

I love this hug with Ariel! I keep trying to get her to love Ariel best but she really does like Cinders too. ;)

I love this hug with Ariel! I keep trying to get her to love Ariel best but she really does like Cinders too. 😉

 

And Stitch again, at the Magic Kingdom this time

And Stitch again, at the Magic Kingdom this time

 

...Does this count as character greets?

…Does this count as character greets?

 

And Stitch AGAIN, at Hollywood Studios,

And Stitch AGAIN, at Hollywood Studios,

 

Then Rafiki came in! And it was like "WHUUUT?"

Then Rafiki came in! And it was like “WHUUUT?”

 

AND Mary Poppins. This party was ON.

AND Mary Poppins. This party was ON.

 

Princess Jasmine had to fix D's tiara. She's motherly like that.

Princess Jasmine had to fix D’s tiara. She’s motherly like that.

 

D was very, very taken with Jack Sparrow.

D was very, very taken with Jack Sparrow.

 

This was my favourite meet and greet of all! I may be biased.

This was my favourite meet and greet of all! I may be biased.

 

Disney Top Five: Princesses

I’m going to start this series with an easy one. Who doesn’t have an opinion on the Disney Princesses? I doubt mine will be shared, but hopefully it will be fun to read. 🙂  I’d be happy to have other opinions shared in the comments (love it, in fact) as long as everyone remembers to be respectful. Which is not a problem I’ve ever had with Disney fans, who are on the whole a pretty respectful crew.

#5:  Is a tie between Mulan and Rapunzel.  I really honestly cannot decide between the two of ’em.  I think the first controversy here will probably come out of my ranking Rapunzel so low on this list, because I know she’s MAJORLY popular; and I like her, I do, but she didn’t push the “love” buttons the way the others who rank on here did.  Besides, at least she’s on the list. 😉

See, she's all badass and stuff.  She has a sword!

See, she’s all badass and stuff. She has a sword!

First of all, Mulan.  I actually don’t officially consider her to be a Disney Princess, which is part of why I can’t commit to her being straight-up #5.  But she’s in the Princess line, so here she is.  I like her for having the backbone that she has, for rising above her culture’s role for women – not only what is expected of her but what she really feels she is supposed to be and the only thing that will bring honour to her family – and finding a way to turn that on its ear by going out to in her father’s place.  I like her resourcefulness and stubbornness.  If she were an actual Princess, and I didn’t feel like I was cheating a little by having her on this list, I’d probably rank her more like #4. 🙂

I like to call her Punzie.  What other nickname can you give her?  Except my daughter called her "Tangled" for a few weeks.

I like to call her Punzie. What other nickname can you give her? Except my daughter called her “Tangled” for a few weeks.

As for Rapunzel, there is a lot to like, most of it in her sheltered and naive outlook.  Punzie (I swear I didn’t make that nickname up) and her joie de vivre are infectious and adorable, and I love when she freaks out over things.  I LOVE it. 😀  Her quick mind and her will to take a chance and do what she wants to do – even though she feels appallingly guilty for it – are charming and I don’t blame all the ‘Duckling’ patrons for falling head over heels for her. 😉  I think what keeps Punzie a bit too low on my list is that I didn’t care for the pacing of the movie, which to me was a little too frenetic with a few too many “fast-paced-screwball-stop-and-look-at-each-other-COMEDY!” moments.  So that cut into the character some for me, too.  Again, I’m sure (in fact, I know) a LOT of people disagree with me and that’s totally cool. 🙂

She reads.  That is so AWESOME.  She reads DRAMATICALLY!

She reads. That is so AWESOME. She reads DRAMATICALLY!

#4: Belle.  Actually this is very close to a tie with #3, to the point where I’ve gone back and forth on the order a couple of times now.  But I’m pretty sure I’m sticking with this one. *G*  So, there is so much to love about Belle.  Her refusal to settle, her genuine compassion for others, her intellect, her close bond with her father, her selflessness.  When one points out the “refusal to settle” one has to specify that this isn’t just with Gaston: she won’t let herself be pushed into submission by the Beast, either.  As scary as he is, she won’t be cowed into doing whatever he says.  He yells and she yells back.  There is also an improvement, in my opinion, on her fairytale progenitor: Beauty/Belle in the storybooks has always been described as, essentially, kind and loving to everyone.  And that’s about it.  Disney’s Belle is undeniably kind, and loving to her father, and unfailingly polite when not being openly mistreated (ie by a roaring and irrational beast), but she keeps people at arm’s length.  As in Gaston, whom she clearly dislikes but will not directly insult.  As long as he’s playing nice, she is polite as well, but the end result is that the guy can’t take a hint.   I would think that Belle and the Beast’s initial antagonism is probably a great, great help in their relationship because it leaves them both knowing precisely where they stand, and knowing that since they have no ill feelings left to hide from each other, anything else that follows is genuine.  Where does she fall below #3 ranking, for me?  It’s a hair’s margin and no specific thing makes her fall down the list, but in general there’s just the fact that her relationship with the Beast progresses so darned quickly.  This is largely due to the time constraints, but in the end I don’t really feel quite like we come out fully understanding her character as well as we could.

When in doubt, show Jasmine with birds, even if the metaphor is no longer in place

When in doubt, show Jasmine with birds, even if the metaphor is no longer in place

#3: Jasmine.  Now, when I was younger, I didn’t really like Jasmine. I didn’t like her actress, for one, and I also just wasn’t as taken with her character.  But honestly, I’ve thought back on this and I seriously cannot remember what made me feel that way.  I remember not being into her but I don’t remember any reasons why.  Anyhow, as an adult and rewatching the first movie, I really like her.  She’s a character who, similar to Rapunzel, has been sheltered her whole life and has never left the walls in which she spends her days.  She has no concept of the outside world and doesn’t want to resign herself to what feels like, to her, captivity.  But where Rapunzel has a cheery, sweet, naive demeanour, Jasmine has a fiery temper and a rebellious streak (in spite of doting on her father, whom she utterly adores and has almost wrapped around her finger).  She is ridiculously smart and learns incredibly quickly, she’s super-confident, and relies on herself in spite of having an upbringing where everyone wanted to do everything for her.  One of my favourite things about her is how much she hates to be underestimated – whether that is by being treated as a mindless object, being overprotected, or being lied to (even with good intentions).

Check out that dimple.  Only Disney girl with a dimple, folks!

Check out that dimple. Only Disney girl with a dimple, folks!

#2: Rather new, but again ALMOST tied with number one, is Tiana.  Up until I saw “The Princess and the Frog”, most of my fave princesses were pretty much set in stone, but Tiana very quickly jumped up towards the top of the list. Even now, there are aspects of her that I would put as my favourite, but she’ll never quite beat out my #1.  However, Tiana has so much going for her, I can’t even really break it down.  I do love beyond measure the fact that she is, I believe, the first Disney female to save her prince – to directly save him, not once, but twice!  She saves him from frog hunters (and he then saves her in return), and in the end, she is the one to defeat the villain!  Naveen is powerless against the bad guy, but Tiana faces him down and puts the kibosh on him once and for all.  Her story with Naveen is adorable, too.  Any girl who can soften the heart of a playboy who chases down girls the way he does has got something strong going for her, you know?  So once again, Tiana is largely a grouping of all my favourite traits that have already been mentioned: brave, strong, smart, determined, not willing to settle for what other people plan for her.  Plus she has the bestest dress of any of them.  GOD, that DRESS.

I beyond love her.

I beyond love her.

#1: My number one is, and has been for many years, Ariel.  Somewhere in the mid-to-late 90s I went over the Disney films released up to that point and I definitely had to rank TLM as my favourite; the rest have sort of shuffled their way around, but TLM has stayed strong at #1.  Watching the movie now I’m just struck by what a trailblazer Ariel was.  She was the first Disney Princess since Aurora in the 50s, and the first to really go headlong after what she wanted instead of wishing and waiting for it to come to her. She was the first to pursue her Prince instead of being pursued.  She was the first to take her destiny into her own hands instead of just having it happen.  Plus there is so much about her, so much naive sensuality and exuberance, so much vitality and beauty, she takes my breath away.  My favourite scenes in that movie are unfailingly when she is finding her way in the human world, but gosh, I still cry during “Part of Your World” (both versions) and when she comes out of the sea at the end in that sparkling dress.  There are a lot of complaints you can have about that movie, and I am sure I haven’t even heard them all, and I don’t think they are invalid; but to me, Ariel’s flaws and the mistakes that she makes (and she has, and makes, a lot) are a part of her appeal and help to make her a more convincing and ultimately sympathetic character.  I care about her more because she does so many things wrong, but only because she wants so badly.  I can relate.  No, I never ran away from home and I certainly never sold my voice to anyone, but I’ve done some really, really stupid things – many of them at age 16 – for things that at the time seemed so incredibly important.  And realizing just how stupid I’d been was a painful experience, but it all made me stronger and wiser, and I believe that’s what we’re supposed to take away from Ariel’s story as well.  (It’s too bad her relationship with Eric is so underexplored, really.  Because honestly, Ariel’s relationship with her father is WAY more interesting than her relationship with Eric.)

 

Aaaand that’s it!  Next week, probably the Princes, but maybe I’ll surprise myself with something else. 😀  Comments?  Agree, disagree?  Please let me know!

Review: Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus

For my kids’ first trip to Disney World, my daughter was just turning five, and I knew a Princess meal was an absolute must. Her younger brother was 1 1/2, and he didn’t really care who he met, though he turned out to be pretty partial to the cuddlier characters; but D, my daughter, loved to talk to pretty much anyone and it turned out that the face characters, with their ability to react and have conversations with her, were a big, big hit.

But mostly, you know. Five-year-old girl, Disney Princesses? No-brainer.

Royal Proclamation at Akershus; if you can read this you don't need glasses

Royal Proclamation at Akershus; if you can read this you don’t need glasses

Rather than take the plunge for a meal in Cinderella Castle I decided to go a slightly-less-traveled route and opted for a breakfast at Restaurant Akershus in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion. I really didn’t know what to expect, except that I knew we got a picture with a princess included with the meal and that we’d see a number of princesses. And that it was a buffet meal with mostly typical breakfast and a limited amount of Norwegian food, and this was a tiny bit worrisome to me since D could be a picky eater.

Well, first, the restaurant is lovely. Not a huge surprise, I know, because this is Disney and all their restaurants are at least a little nice to look at; but the architecture and woodwork in Akershus is really striking, and quite classy. It fits more with the viking/early nautical theme than with a Princess theme, but it’s not jarring or anything.

Some local Norwegian architecture

Some local Norwegian architecture

The wait wasn’t too long… we weren’t seated right away, I think we waited about ten minutes or so, but the Norway shops were open even though the pavilion itself wasn’t open yet. We poked around and the kids looked at swords and things, you know, as you let your kids do. I have an ongoing thing about worrying that the buzzer will go off and I won’t be in range for it to go, so I always hover, but I got some nice pictures of the kids relaxing and browsing. 😉

When we went in we got a photo op with Belle, who greeted my daughter as her “twin” since D was also wearing a Belle dress. The photo op is in this little nook towards the front of the restaurant, and towards the end of your meal they bring you a folder with your print in it. A nice thing is that the photo is included with the price of the meal (not the case at Chef Mickey’s).

So at this point we were seated, rather near the front of the restaurant, very close to the door that the Princesses enter and exit from. We got some food and waited for someone to come by. The food was better than I’d worried it was and everyone was quite happy. In addition to your standard scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, cinnamon rolls and so forth, there were also a few Norwegian type things like some fish, as well as some tasty biscuits and my kids’ favourite, a nice variety of fresh fruit. My daughter ended up with so much berry smeared over her face that she looked like she’d been guzzling a smoothie or something. Nope, actually, just nature’s candy.

It wasn’t too much longer before the Princesses started coming by! We saw Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel. D was very excited to meet Ariel, but honestly I think it was Cinderella who left her the most starstruck. Both of them, however, were amazing with her. They got down on her level and really talked to her, and although Snow and Aurora were both nice and sweet, they didn’t seem quite as involved as Cinderella and Ariel. Of course I’m a HUGE Ariel fan, so I am biased, but I will also say that I hold meetings with Ariel to a very high standard so I’m *less* likely to fawn over her in person than I am onscreen. 😉

But she was really really good and there was lots of attention and hand-holding!

But she was really really good and there was lots of attention and hand-holding!

And this is when Cinderella and D danced

And this is when Cinderella and D danced

On the other hand, I’ve never been much of a Cinderella fan, but she won me over that day. Just absolutely divine with my daughter, it was wonderful. Plus, we stayed just long enough to participate in something I hadn’t known about: the Princess Parade. An announcement came up asking all children to find the nearest Princess and join them in a parade around the restaurant. Cinderella came by and *found* my daughter, taking her by the hand and promising to show her exactly what to do, and the next time I saw her she’d made nearly a full circuit around the restaurant. And Cinderella had shown her how to lift her skirts as she walked, so she was walking by with her skirt pinched between her forefinger and thumb in each hand, all super-dainty; and later she showed us the right way to wave, with the wrist curl and everything.

Honestly, Cinderella's such a sweetie.

Honestly, Cinderella’s such a sweetie.

It was a unique experience, to say the least. I can’t say I always like the whole “Disney Princess” culture – too much adherence to gender roles – but it’s up to me how much exposure to it my daughter gets, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with moderate exposure. And she certainly loved it, and watching her be a princess was just… it just made my heart swell. 🙂

As for the price – it’s high, what with the cost of the photo being factored in. I won’t pretend it’s not high. But is it worth it? I can’t say for sure; I had the free dining plan deal and if I hadn’t been on the dining plan, I would not have done it, simply because I can’t afford to put down $40 or so per person on breakfast. HOWEVER, I would have regretted not doing it. Like, a lot. So I think the price is worth it even if that makes it something I can’t always do. That’s what special occasions are for, right? Seeing my daughter walk all dainty around the room, feeling like a princess, that’s worth it.