View Full Version : BBB & Ariel's Grott recommendations

01-04-2012, 03:25 PM
I know I've seen some posts in the past but can't seem to find any with this info. Can someone give their advice on how to fit BBB & Ariel's into one day for us? I'm bringing my 2 and 6 year olds and would like both to participate, but we were thinking of going back to the hotel (off property) for the little one to nap if possible. Here are my concerns/questions?

- Can we do BBB and Ariels' in the morning before naptime or is this an entire day type thing?
- How long will BBB take?
- What resies should I make at BBB and Ariels and will it be a rush to get from BBB to Ariels?
- Is this even doable with my 2 year old, or should I make this a mommy and 6 year old actitivy at BBB and then ahve the little one and daddy meet us at Ariels?

Any recommendations and tips are greatly appreciated!

01-04-2012, 03:39 PM
I think the minimum age for BBB is at least 3, so it sounds like a Mommy and 6 year old activity! :) It's definitely not an all day thing. We have only been at MK but there it took about an hour. (We did the package with the hair and nails I think, not the costume.)

I don't want to rain on your parade, but just wanted to point out, if you have never been to BBB before, that it's not for everyone. They pull the hair VERY tight and use a very large amount of gel in the hair. (If you search this forum for photos you will see what I mean.) My DD, who isn't even very sensitive about those things, did not enjoy the experience and wanted to take the bun out very quickly, as it was hurting her head. It is a wonderful experience for many girls, I know, but a second thought may be in order if your DD is at all sensitive or shy.

01-04-2012, 04:22 PM
thanks, super great info. My DD is shy but likes the dress up part. Hmm something to think about. Maybe I'll tell her about what they do and see if she still wants to check it out. If not, I guess we could bring our own dresses and just do the lunch with Ariel? HAve you been to that, worth the $? We've only done Mickey's breakfast in the past, but liked that.

01-04-2012, 05:11 PM
We did Ariels with our two year old last time we went and she loved it. As for if it is worth it... just remember a lot of what you are paying for is the experience. We bought tickets before hand through getawaytoday.com and they included tax and tip (so they saved us about $5/pp), and our daughter was free (2 and under dine free). One thing I was surprised by is that they let us order something for her off the kids menu and we didn't have to pay for it. I had figured we would just feed her off our plates.

For value for our family I decided that lunch would be better for us at Ariels because I am more willing to spend that kind of $ on lunch than breakfast. Breakfast at almost the same price as lunch seems like a rip off to me.

One last thought, maybe tour early when lines are at their shortest, Ariels for lunch, and then do BBB in the afternoon when your little one is back at the hotel napping. I think using the busiest park time for the BBB would be wise. Though I haven't done it, so I can't say for sure.

01-04-2012, 05:35 PM
Yes the hair is very tight. I know several mOms have reported hair loss/breakage because it's so tightly done. We normally do our own dresses and I do their princess hair. For WDW I even got spray glitter for their hair at our local beauty supply store. We lOve lunch at Ariel's. Your 2 year old is free and they'll bring a half order of anything on the kids menu for her.

01-04-2012, 05:43 PM
Ooh I didn't realize the little one is free, very cool. Ok so I think we might skip BBB seeing as how the older one doesn't know about it anyway. We can do our own princess thing at the hotel and then hit Ariel's for an early lunch. I better call and make a reservation. Thanks all.

01-04-2012, 07:22 PM
Yes, if your DD loves princesses, she will love Ariel's Grotto. I agree with PP that you are paying for the experience - the food isn't great. But, the dessert platter is pretty amazing, so it makes up for it. :) The two year old is free but make sure you when you get the bill that they didn't charge you for her. They once charged me for my son when he was under 3 but I didn't notice until after I had signed the credit card slip so they told me too bad, so sad, and I ended up paying for him. :sad2:

BBB is a cute idea but I think most girls (esp. if they don't even know it exists) will be just as happy with a dress from home and Mommy doing princess hair. It will save you some money and DD some hair. :)

Have fun!! :thumbsup2

01-04-2012, 08:20 PM
I thought the food was pretty good. DH ordered the chicken once and it was nothing special, but the pasta was really good. My SILs really enjoyed what they ordered too. I think it was the tri tip.

01-04-2012, 10:26 PM
In my opinion, I say that if she loves dressing up, she will LOVE going to BBB. My 3 year old has been twice and now thinks it's a tradition! The 1st time we did the big package with the dress and pictures. It was great, but not a must do every time due to the cost. That package took us about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
We were just there in December, we had her wear her princess dress there and did the 49.99 hair and nails package. It was great! We were in and out in about 30 minutes.

My daughter Always chooses the hair-do with the bun on top and we've never had an issue with hair loss, and she absolutely loves the attention. If I were you, I would definitely think about doing it, especially before going to Ariel's Grotto!!

01-05-2012, 01:39 PM
decisions, decisions.....I think it will come down to if we can make the logistics work before our reservation at Ariels. I made it for early lunch (we're early birds so they eat breakfast early). Maybe I can see what time I can get an early BBB appt. I'll make some calls. Thanks for all the suggestions!

01-05-2012, 04:26 PM
Why don't you make the AG reservation for the second day you're there, then the first day go to BBB and see if your DD is interested. You shouldn't have a problem making a reservation at that time, unless you're going at a very peak time. BBB is fun but it's not for every kid, my DD12 was 9 (I think) when we did BBB, she left her bun in for 3 or 4 days, I had to force her to take it out. lol My older DD wanted hers out the same day it was done and I took mine out that day as well. Yes, they do Mom's too. :) If she isn't interested in the hair just get (or take your own) an outfit for her to wear at AG the day you are eating there. BBB takes about an hour and it's about 20-30 min to walk from BBB to AG (that's factoring in crowds and going thru the gates) so you'd want to make your BBB appt early enough to allow for that.

The food at AG is very good, it's one of my favorite sit down places to eat. I've had the chicken, the pasta, the tri-tip and some of DBF's cioppino. Never been upset with anything I've eaten there. And yes, your 2 year old is free to get in and free to eat at sit down places. Oh and yes, the minimum age for BBB is 3. If your older DD decides she doesn't want to do BBB take some spray glitter or glitter gel and do her hair yourself, add the outfit and a tiara and you're good to go. They do sell the tiaras at BBB without having a package deal done.

01-05-2012, 07:25 PM
Just to add to what PP have said, it really depends on your child. Any girl in a princess dress at DLR gets special attention--which my DD loved. But when you're in the BBB getting make-up, the bun, the nails, and just feeling "magical" to be there, I don't think you can underestimate that impact. My DD was 5 when we did and loved it, though I took her bun out that evening as it was too tight.

I also agree with some that Ariel's Grotto has sub-par food. I thought my college dorm served better food (and much more reasonably priced) so I thought of the price as an admission fee for the princess show, not for the food itself. For those prices, I have high expectations for my food so I tried to force myself to think of it not as a $30 tri tip steak but a free tri tip that came with the princesses.

Have fun!