If you are the mother (or aunt or grandmother, etc.) of a little girl between the age of 2 and 7, you’re probably well-versed in the Disney princesses and their various attributes and back stories. As the mother of two little girls, ages 2 and 4, I know that Pascal is Rapunzel’s companion, and that Sleeping Beauty’s given name is Aurora. I also know that planning a Disney World trip for your little preschool princess can be a daunting experience. You want your daughter to have a memorable trip, but you also wonder whether you’re doing enough or too much of the “princess thing.” You also want to know what things are “must see” and which you can skip. You might also wonder where you should stay and how to decide what hotel is best for your family. The bottom line: there is so much information out there that it’s hard to digest it all. I don’t pretend to be a Disney expert. But, having just returned from Disney World with my four-year old princess-obsessed daughter, I can offer my opinions about what worked for us and why.
Just by way of background, prior to this most recent trip in late September 2014, I hadn’t been to Disney since 1984, the year Epcot opened. Thirty years later, the Disney experience has vastly changed. What I knew as “Disney World” is now just known as the Magic Kingdom. Disney World is comprised of several theme parks, of which Magic Kingdom is but one. There’s Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and a couple of water parks. There’s also a “Downtown Disney” area (which is NOT the same as the Main Street in Magic Kingdom), but is instead a whole strip of restaurants near the parks. Also, the number of Disney-owned and run hotels has multiplied in size. In sum, the options are endless and can be extremely overwhelming to plan a Disney vacation.