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Old 10-04-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
Pyr2
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Doing park first - do i spend $ on character dining there or wait till cruise

Hi there the title of my post says it all. This is our first Disney cruise. My kids have been to WDW before. My friends who have Disney cruised tell me not to waste $ on character dining for the 4 days before we get on the boat (we are doing the Magic in March 2014). However, I do have a princess obsessed 4 year old. I cant imagine how she will react when I tell her we are not going into Cinderellas castle!

Any advice? I really don't want to shell out thousands on character dining before the boat. Are the princesses there?

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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I wouldn't. There will be a princess gathering where you can go and meet all of the princesses at once. It will take maybe an hour of your time and is included in your fare. You can take your own camera and the handlers will take pictures for you so you don't even have to buy the pictures if you don't want to.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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Not only will there be a multitude of princesses on the ship, but they will spend more time with your daughter than at WDW.

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Old 10-04-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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We didn't tell DD that going inside the castle was an option, but we don't do table service at WDW. Character meals are so rushed, no matter where you go in the parks or on the ship IMO and never worth the cost at WDW. The kids always had plenty of opportunities to meet them at the M&Gs on the ship. We didn't even stand in line at the parks, except when Tink started making appearances and when we happened to see the Beast at Epcot.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghatron View Post
Not only will there be a multitude of princesses on the ship, but they will spend more time with your daughter than at WDW.
This! Not only will it not cost you extra, but there are much better opportunities to interact with characters on the ship. Also unlike at WDW, the princesses are consistently the same throughout so they tend to remember kids they've met earlier in the cruise.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:11 PM   #6
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It'll probably fine for her just meeting the princesses since she's only 4. Now in a few years the whole castle thing would be a whole different story.

On a non-princess topic. My DD 18 first visit to WDW was when she was 2.5. We ate at the Pooh and Friends breakfast on that trip. We have not taken a trip to Disney when we haven't done a character breakfast with Pooh. The Crystal Palace is a mandatory stop on any trip. She also happens to have 50+ DIFFERENT stuffed Poohs.

So meeting the princesses that young could just fuel a costly obsession.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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I might get flamed for this, but I would NOT miss Cinderella's castle (the breakfast there.) Even though the character interaction is wonderful on the ship, our daughter LOVED being inside the castle (not to mention, Mom and Dad loved the cinnamon Danish that's available ONLY at the breakfast.) To each his own though. While we all love the ships, the Cinderella breakfast is a most cherished memory.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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As soon as you get on the ship, go to guest services and get tickets for the princesses tea party. It is private, and no extra cost. Your daughter will get one on one time with them. Cookies and Apple juice are served. The girls all dress up too!!

Make sure to get tickets as soon as you board!!! It is really cute!!!

I only remember getting tickets for this on 7 night cruises.... Sorry, Idk how long your cruise is. I am not sure if it is on the shorter cruises.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickeyhugger View Post
I might get flamed for this, but I would NOT miss Cinderella's castle (the breakfast there.) Even though the character interaction is wonderful on the ship, our daughter LOVED being inside the castle (not to mention, Mom and Dad loved the cinnamon Danish that's available ONLY at the breakfast.) To each his own though. While we all love the ships, the Cinderella breakfast is a most cherished memory.
Our daughter also loved going inside the castle as a special treat. We were on the first Disney cruise in 2007 and there were so few kids that the characters (Snow White in particular) got to know my child's first name. A special treat while Snow White was one deck up in the atrium called down a greeting calling my child by name. Talk about a smile on her face. Hope yours (the OP) has a great memory as we had.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickeyhugger View Post
I might get flamed for this, but I would NOT miss Cinderella's castle (the breakfast there.) Even though the character interaction is wonderful on the ship, our daughter LOVED being inside the castle (not to mention, Mom and Dad loved the cinnamon Danish that's available ONLY at the breakfast.) To each his own though. While we all love the ships, the Cinderella breakfast is a most cherished memory.
I agree with you do Cinderella's castle, on the ship you have to stand in line with everyone else and wait for your turn for a photo. And once time is up they leave even if there are children still in line. As far as the tea party, haven't done that but from what I read it is Alice's tea party, and limited availability. Not positive but I think it is on 7 night or longer sailings (need to verify this). They also won't be wondering about on the ship and neither will Mickey everything happens according to a schedule.

I felt like all we did was wait in line for photos on the ship when we could be enjoying other aspects. Do Cinderella's castle then when you get on the ship it won't be as stressful and you can pick which lines you want to wait in.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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Our first cruise we did DL first and then the cruise. DD was 6 and we did the character's meal at the park. During her picture with Cinderella she informed her she was going on a Disney cruise to which Cinderella replied that she would see her on the ship. When they announced our name to welcome us on the ship Cinderella was greeting all the children. My daughter was so excited to see Cinderella again and mentioned this conversation to her. The ship Cinderella played along which made it all more magical. This is now a family tradition to do a Princess character meal before heading on a cruise.

The tea party on board ship is great if you can get a ticket but they go quickly and your daughter may be disappointed if you can't get one. Also it is only on longer sailings.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #12
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And once time is up they leave even if there are children still in line.
No, the CMs close the lines on the ships, UNLIKE the parks. So as long as you are in the line for the specific greeting, you are guaranteed.

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Old 10-05-2013, 11:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghatron

No, the CMs close the lines on the ships, UNLIKE the parks. So as long as you are in the line for the specific greeting, you are guaranteed.

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Our line at the parks was shut off at Ariel s grotto.. We waited 40 min and then they closed it because of a parade... (Can't have more than one Ariel anywhere at a time I guess...) So yeah the parks close the character lines too...
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Donna3271 View Post
As soon as you get on the ship, go to guest services and get tickets for the princesses tea party. It is private, and no extra cost. Your daughter will get one on one time with them. Cookies and Apple juice are served. The girls all dress up too!!
The princess tea is on the Wonder. The Magic has tea with Alice usually. The Mad Hatter use to join her as well.

Quote:
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No, the CMs close the lines on the ships, UNLIKE the parks. So as long as you are in the line for the specific greeting, you are guaranteed.
I was going to post the same thing. If you get there when it starts and are in line, you will see the character. If you show up as their time is ending and the CM had closed off the line, you will see the next one.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:05 PM   #15
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The princess tea is on the Wonder. The Magic has tea with Alice usually. The Mad Hatter use to join her as well.
We've done two 7-nighters on the Wonder and it was Alice both times. The only time there was a Princess tea party for us was on the WBPC this year and it was a huge deal in Triton's to which they invited every kid on the ship. They actually had two so they could accommodate everyone. Sent from my Tricorder using DISBoards
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