Instead, skip Disneyland Princess Nite for this day full of princesses (2023)


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Instead, skip Disneyland Princess Nite for this day full of princesses (14)

DisneylandThe resort recently turned to its loyal princesses to recreate the magical - and lucrative - demand that includes the annualOogie Boogie Bash.

Each year, tickets to the 20+ nights of the Halloween themed event after darksold out months in advance. Tickets must also be purchased except astandard parkbilletand can cost as much as $180 for the five-hour experience.In an effort to strike gold again at a ticketed event, Disney princesses got their own nights to shine in March as part ofDisneyland After Dark series. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the royal reputation of these lovely ladies.

For $130, plus an optional$30 for parking, Disneyland After Dark Princess Nite provided access to Disneyland Park for exclusive entertainment, interaction with special characters,food and drink offersand more, depending on when the park closes. First, hundreds of guests gathered for the royal welcome at the train station, only to find two trumpeters announcing two characters that would simply rock the crowd. And even though a shapely Princess Giselle from "Enchanted" waved to guests from a carriage procession down Main Street, USA, she didn't lack the luxurious atmosphere one would expect to accompany Disney's most beloved characters.

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A crucial element of these Disneyland After Dark events is often a parade or a larger paradespectacular fireworks, but this one had neither. Instead of a fireworks show, a vocal performance took place on the Fantasmicstage as Disney princesses glided down the river on barges. The rustic setting and the lack of very original elements was an incredible highlight of this long-awaited (and expensive) event.

Important and unique characters are always a feature of events like this, but it's hard to justify waiting more than two hours to quickly say hello to one. At Princess Nite, the shortest line we found was for Princess Leia, and it was tight because it started stretching past closing time for the event. This left us to take advantage of the short lines for rides - arguably the least interesting part of a special event like this for Disneyland regulars - and ultimately leave the park early feeling like we completely missed out on the royal treatment.

The good news is that you can plan an amazing Disneyland princess day without having to stay up for a special after-hours event or spend a fortune on a lousy experience. Read on for five ways to enjoy a princess-filled day at the Disneyland Resort.

Start your day with a princess breakfast

If you have the cash to spare, the Disneyland Resort offers a special way for princess fans to spend some quality time with their favorite characters before their day at the parks even begins. Hosted by Napa Rose, located inside Disney's Grand Californian HotelDisney Princess Breakfast Adventure, which costs $125 per person.

The luxurious menu items are integrated into a delicious three-course breakfast with princess-themed activities. Thisbreakfast characterit transforms into something even better than a decadent meal when your child is taken on a tour of the private courtyard to share a story with a princess, photos to cherish and a memento of the event.

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Filter the map for character encounters and visit the Royal Hall

The simplecharacter meet and greetthat have become a staple of Disney parks can create cherished memories and family photos. In Disneyland, princess encounters are found in the Disneyland app when you select "characters" from the drop-down menu at the top of the map section. The Disneyland cast members do a fantastic job of embodying the spirit of the characters and making every close interaction feel exciting.

In addition to a hug and hello on the street, Disneyland Park's Royal Hall invites the little ones to a large photo-filled walk-through attraction as you hold court with up to three Disney princesses at any given time. A must visit if these iconic figures are high on your priority list. Similarly, Pixie Hollow, located just outside Sleeping Beauty Castle, offers guests the chance to meet Tinkerbell in a magical setting that includes towering flowers and giant blades of grass. Afterwards, stop at the Snow White Cave and make a wish at the wishing well.

Disneyland Park is not the only place for princesses at the resort, as Disney California Adventure Park invites guests to be swept away in an enchanted setting from the kingdom of Arendelle. At Anna and Elsa's royal welcome, guests can say hello to the adorable "Frozen" sisters and get a chance to hug a snowman. How often do you get to do that in SoCal? If Disneyland's Princess Day calls for someone with more of a warrior spirit, look no further than the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, where Princess Raya of Kumandra, surrounded by bright lanterns, awaits her chance to share her knowledge and love of dragons.


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Check out the princess themed entertainment

Storytelling is supposed to be at the core of the Disney experience, and a day full of princesses at the Disneyland Resort wouldn't be complete without some dramatic fun. There are shows in the parks that will transport you to the magical worlds of 'Beauty and the Beast' or 'Tangled' under the stage at the Royal Theatre. Gather in front of the charming stage for a 25-minute show that's fun and fantastic, as told by a witty teasing duo.

You'll also get major princess vibes from the beautiful Magic Happens parade as it slides through Disneyland Park twice each afternoon. Icons like Cinderella and Aurora are joined by modern fan favorites like Tiana, all featured on their own uniquely designed floats. If you have kids who aren't so into princesses, the parade also features characters like Miguel from "Coco" and Mickey Mouse and friends.

And while it's not technically a show, the most dazzling part of Sleeping Beauty Castle happens inside and is a must-do for your Disneyland princess days. The castle tour experience tells the story of Briar Rose (aka Aurora) through art vignettes, stained glass windows and more as you ascend and pass through the legendary building.

Instead, skip Disneyland Princess Nite for this day full of princesses (17)

Prioritize Disneyland Princess rides

Disneyland was built mainly on princess stories, and there are many attractions that put guests right into the stories of their favorite royal characters. For example, Disney California Adventure Park offers an ocean voyage in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, which loads guests into a shell and transports them through the animated scenes of the classic film. Meanwhile, Disneyland Park offers the newly renovated Snow White's Enchanted Wish and Storybook Land Canal Boats—an original attraction from 1955 that has seen cosmetic updates—offers an enchanting cruise past detailed miniature versions of the lands ruled by various of its princesses. Disney.

You get a mix of a tour and a character meet-and-greet on the Mark Twain Riverboat, where you might have a chance to rub elbows with Princess Tiana. Chat with her about her treasured restaurant or her mother's store in New Orleans Square—or even how Splash Mountain's total makeover is getting underway in Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

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Get a princess makeover

For some truly magical photos of your day in the parks, enjoy a Disneyland princess makeover at Boutique Bibbidi Bobbidi. Location is everything here, as this beloved shop is built in Sleeping Beauty Castle and offers a wide range of princess-themed makeovers, from free dusting and party buttons to a $450 package that includes a dress, makeup, hair, nails and tiara. There's even a revamped pack for new knights-in-training that offers a hairstyle, sword, shield and more.

This story was edited by Hearst Newspapers managing editor Kristina Moy, who can be reached

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