Disney World has skewed my daughter's expectations for quality. It's a fact. And it's the reason why I've held off on hiring performers for our birthday parties even though it's tempting. We pretty much treat Disney Face Characters the same way we do Santa Clause: so long as the girls believe they are real we try to craft their experiences in such a way as to maintain that illusion for as long as possible.
We were just in Disney World in October for Halloween, and missed the debut of Anna & Elsa in EPCOT Norway by TWO HOURS! TWO HOURS people! After days of carrying the girls' FROZEN costumes with us just in case... it's cool, whatever, I'm not bitter. Viola wasn't too terribly disappointed--- after all, we saw Cinderella, Rapunzel, had tea with Aurora.... but once the movie came out in November it was all she could talk about. By December she was begging to go back to Disney for just one day so she could meet Elsa...
I decided to look into the options for hiring performers in our area. Because she wouldn't have anything to compare them to, having not met the official theme park actresses, I figured it was safe-ish. So, I googled. Risky, I know.
I found The Enchanted Princess Party and started emailing with the owner. They had a Snow Queen costume and had been considering adding a Sister Princess option to their repertoire. I like to think I gave them the impetus for that. I could tell the owner had a high standard for quality and attention to detail and so I took a chance--- Not to spoil the ending or anything, but that leap of faith was rewarded many times over with an awesome, amazing, spectacular, memorable experience!
But first, I wanted to share a few details of how we went about 'setting the stage' before the party, because I think that that was part of the magic for the girls. After we scheduled for Elsa and Anna to join our party, I worked with the princesses on how the party would run. I had a few ideas and they had some great suggestions and together we put together an itinerary I was really happy with (you can read more about that here)!
Casually, I started talking to Viola about the sisters---- not unlike talking about Santa's Elves and the Naughty-and-Nice list at Christmas. I waited until the next time she mentioned not having been able to met them on our Halloween trip and opportunely suggested that she write a letter. She dictated her letter to me, then rewrote it in her own handwriting. She drew Anna's castle and Elsa's castle, addressed the envelope to Disney World and put it in the mailbox.
Did you know that you can actually send letters to the Disney Princesses and your child will get a card back? It's pretty cool! But that wasn't our intention with this exercise. I snatched the envelope out of the mailbox when she was asleep and re-addressed it to our friends over at The Enchanted Princess Party. They brought the mailed letter with them to the house the day of the party, claiming to have received it and flown all the way to Michigan for the party! Proof!
Viola has since met other Frozen princess performers at classmate's parties, but always gives me the sly wink-wink that those aren't the real princesses, and that she knows the difference because the real princesses came from Disney World. (Possibly, I've passed on my gullible genes!)
So how did the actual party go down?
I had told Viola it was unlikely that the princesses could come even though she'd written a letter because they were all the way down at Disney World and very busy. On the day of the party I gathered all the girls together in the 'ballroom' and began reading them the FROZEN storybook. We were just nearing the end when our storytime was interrupted by none other than the characters themselves!
The sisters sat at the head table and led the girls through a proper tea party / proper princess lesson that included curtsying and table manners after which the kids all gathered around and sang the two songs from the movie: 'For the First Time in Forever' and 'Let it Go'. This was where I was utterly blown away. Turns out, the princesses could sing. I mean, really really sing! You don't expect any product or service that you find through a random Google search to be better than advertised, but that was the case here! Keep in mind that I have very high standards and am almost impossible to impress... most people I've shared the video with think they are lip syncing but I promise you that that is all them! They were AMAZING! And then, to top it all off, as the finale to 'Let it Go' Elsa made it snow! In our house! Check it out!!!
I don't know what we'll do next year that could possibly be as wonderful as this party was. As I was tucking Viola in to bed that night she said, "Mom, I'm glad Anna and Elsa could come to my party. It didn't start out so good, but then it got better." I asked her what she meant that it didn't start out so good, and she had these sage words to share: "They interrupted your story! That was very rude. A princess should never, ever be rude. But we can forgive them because they were very nice and didn't mean to be rude to you."
Princess manners, folks! Best of all, it bought me a brief reprieve on requests for another trip to Disney World for the moment!
Lots of people have asked about the performers from our party and I'm happy to recommend them without reservation. They are available for Michigan and New York City. If you are lucky enough to be able to book them for your event I'm sure they will make it a memorable day for your child as well.