Doing park first - do i spend $ on character dining there or wait till cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Pyr2, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Pyr2

    Pyr2 Earning My Ears

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    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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  3. erocrobro

    erocrobro DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. Meghatron

    Meghatron DIS Veteran

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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.

    Sent from my Tricorder using DISBoards
     
  5. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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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.
     
  6. Plaid Princess

    Plaid Princess Recovering CM, Pilot in Training

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    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.
     
  7. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody Which golf cart is mine? They all look the same.

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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.;)
     
  8. Mickeyhugger

    Mickeyhugger DIS Veteran

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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.:)
     
  9. Donna3271

    Donna3271 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  10. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  11. cruisinwithmaandpa

    cruisinwithmaandpa Happiness is being grandparents

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    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.
     
  12. She Taz

    She Taz Counting Down the Days Till I Cruise Again

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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.
     
  13. Meghatron

    Meghatron DIS Veteran

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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.

    Sent from my Tricorder using DISBoards
     
  14. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

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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...
     
  15. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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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.

    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.
     
  16. Meghatron

    Meghatron DIS Veteran

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    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
     
  17. scrapbookmomma74

    scrapbookmomma74 We love DCL!!!

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    I think what one of the pp's was trying to say is...
    On the ship, once you are let into line, you WILL meet the princesses. The cast members who are monitoring the lines will cut off more people getting into line about 10 minutes before they are scheduled to be done, so that everyone in line gets their turn to meet the Princesses.
    The Princess party is not to be missed...there are at least 4 Princesses in the lobby atrium, and your dd will get to meet, get photographs, and get autographs with each one, and you only wait in the one line. My dds are older now, but it was the highlight of one of our early cruises.
    Also, on the ships, the Princesses tend to "break free" away from the scheduled appearances, and wander the ships. One of my dds best memories was encountering Ariel in a random hallway one day, and the 10 minute conversation that they had. As Ariel is my dd's favorite, she was in absolute awe! (And mom may have had a few tears over it!)

    That all being said, the Castle is a great experience, and you might want to do it SOME day. But for this trip, I'd skip it and take the chance with the character interactions on the ship.

    Have a great trip! :)
     
  18. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    That is a completely different event that is only held on the TA & PC repos. It was wonderful in 2008! :) The snacks they served were really good too. I guess they have switched to Alice for the regular tea on the Wonder now. It was princesses in 2011.
     
  19. hpsalb

    hpsalb Mouseketeer

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    This is not quite an answer to what you are asking, but we decided not to focus on meeting characters in the parks on our last trip, since we had limited park time. We decided it would be better to see them on the boat. What I mean is that we didn't head out with an autograph book and wait in line to see them. If it was convenient, we did meet and have a picture.

    In regard to character meals, we did two character breakfasts while at WDW (Crystal Palace and Tusker House). We did pre-park opening seatings and got in early for those. I would do that all over again; there is no character meal on the 4 night sailings (well, none I've been on).
     
  20. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    OP - if you really want a character MEAL, then you should probably plan to do it at WDW as there won't be a character breakfast onboard. If you are simply asking about available opportunities onboard to meet characters, then you'll have plenty and more besides -- princesses and lots of others. Watch the Navigator for times, or call the hotline number once onboard. Also note that characters make appearances in the Clubs with the kids as well (skip the autograph book for these) to read or dance or other activity.

    I thought "Tea with..." (Alice, Princesses or whomever) is only on 7-night cruises as well. You can ask at Guest Services when you board if that is offered, and if so it requires a hard-ticket so get it then. I've also heard about another "tea party" special offer, but that is super-pricey and sounds similar to one offered at the Grand Floridian (includes a doll and such). I'm not sure if this is available on all cruises, though.

    That said, if a meal at the castle has become tradition for your family, it may be hard to break that idea. The castle is a special experience, but agreed it is pricey so maybe you can convince DD to wait for the ship.

    Enjoy your land and sea vacation!
     
  21. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    That has been our reasoning as well. Our time in the parks was limited, so if the character appeared on the ship, we didn't stop in the parks. You have to keep up with the schedule in the parks if you want to get pictures often. We have been lucky and walked along to discover characters just standing around in corners, such as Genie with Aladdin & Jasmine on our way to get in line for Magic Carpets, Mary Poppins being ignored next to the carousel, then the time we were walking past the tea cups and Alice walked between the kids, took their hands and led them onto a tea cup to ride with them.
     

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