I am the proud father of two Princesses. They love the movies, have the dolls, read (or at least look at) the books — all focused on the Disney Princesses. Being a DisDad, I take full responsibility for introducing them to these things, and for being right there with them for every new movie. They love to meet the Princesses on our trips to WDW, and to show off their dresses to them. On our first trip, we were upgraded to a Magic Kingdom View room at the Poly, and seeing my older daughter’s face when we opened up the curtains and saw the castle… well, it looked like she thought she had finally made it home.
As a brief aside, I know there is an Anti-Princess movement afoot that would take issue with some of my parenting choices. I would like to think that we have given our girls a balanced upbringing. On their first day at the parks, rather than pink dresses, they wear their “Self-Rescuing Princess” shirts. They both started out in green and yellow nurseries, and are now in purple rooms. I don’t know if that is enough to “save” them, but I think that blaming things on the Disney Princesses is a little simplistic. End of defensiveness.
My older daughter is six years old now, and I am seeing her moving past her Princess stage. When asked about where she would like to stay for our WDW trip, she leans more toward the Animal Kingdom Lodge. She rarely wears dresses, and her favorite color, if you ask her, is definitely, DEFINITELY not pink. One morning, at a nature preserve, within two minutes she had located and scooped up a salamander into her hands. I love seeing her turn into this wonderfully self-sufficient child interested in real animals more than any Princess.
At the same time, I’ve had years to get used to the Princess phase. It is, to me, inextricably linked to my enjoyment of WDW with her. Our first trip there as a family was, although it is a cliché, truly magical. This year, with her laying aside of the Princess stuff, I am curious to see how it changes our trip. We shall see. My biggest fear is that, somehow, the kids will hate going to WDW at some point. I hope not.
My younger daughter, four years old, wore a Princess Aurora costume to bed last night. Until she moves out of this phase (probably pretty soon given how she likes to emulate her older sister) there is still a Princess presence in the house. It’s comforting, but as they grow, I am going to hope that there is enough at WDW for everyone. Princesses, wild animals, Mickey Waffles, shows, Victoria and Albert’s, roller coasters, and, most importantly, time together as a family away from the busy schedules of our everyday lives. Whether they are Princesses, Veterinarians, Astronauts, or whatever else they want to be, I look forward to seeing them grow up sharing Disney with their Disney-loving parents.