Past Princess

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.

Disdads.com Site News

Hey guys! I just wanted to draw your attention to a couple of minor updates to the Disdads.com website. The first is the link along the top of the page to DIS Dads Shirts. Our own Emma’s Dad, Don Staten, has arranged for the printing of DIS Dads Club t-shirts at a substantial discount from what Cafe Press/VistaPrint were charging. Follow the link to see the shirt design and to fill out the order form to order shirts, available in a rainbow of colors.

There’s also a new DISDads Resources link over on the right side of the page, for The Dis Dads Commissary. I’ve set up an Amazon-affiliate store, stocked with Disney products. Anything you order there is actually being ordered from Amazon (and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get your same Amazon Prime benefits). The prices are identical to what they would be if you ordered directly through Amazon’s website. But I do get a small kickback from Amazon for referring the purchasers to them. I’m not looking to make a bunch of money from the store, just to help defray the costs of site hosting and development. A portion of any earnings will be donated to the Dis Dads charity of choice, Give Kids The World.

Monday Poll: Which under-construction attraction are you most looking foward to?

There’s contruction going on all around the Disney Parks right now – a whole new land is being built out at Disney’s California Adventure, Star Tours II is getting ready to come online in both California and Florida, and the largest park expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is underway. So which of these projects are you most excited about? Vote in this weeks poll, and comment to this post, explaining why.

Friday Five – Random References & Reflections

1. The Disney Food Blog – if you’re planning on eating while at Walt Disney World, you should be reading this blog. If you’re NOT planning on eating while at WDW, why are you reading this blog? Great reviews, food porn pics, and special food event information – this is THE site to read about food at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

2. And while I’m mentioning The Disney Food Blog, A.J. has recently published the phenomenal E-Book, “The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining”. I just bought it this week, and have only barely gotten into it, but it is over 250 pages for great tips and helpful guidance. At less than $20, the DFB Guide is an indispensable tool for Walt Disney World trip planning.

3. Big thanks to all of this week’s contributing Dis Dads: Freezin’ Rafiki and cj9200

4. I don’t know that I have anything pithy to add to the topic here, but the cost of transportation to Walt Disney World is really getting to be problematic. Plane fares are increasing across the board – even Southwest is in on the increases this time around. And with gas prices rising, driving doesn’t necessarily represent a substantial savings either (especially if you’re as far away as I am, and the 20+ hour drive means you’ll have to pay for a stop along with way too). I saw at least one analyst suggesting that gas prices this summer could peak as high as $5/gallon. I don’t have any magic answers folks. Guess I’ll just be doing my best to save my pennies for the next trip.

5. A shoutout to RyanKilpatrick and his Disney Film Project. His laudable goal is to watch and critique every Disney movie ever made. He’s been sharing his results on the Disney Film Project blog and also on the Disney Film Project Podcast along with Todd Perlmutter, Cheryl Perlmutter, and Briana Alessio. He involves his readers with what he calls a “tweetwatch” – during which readers watch a Disney movie at the same time, and use Friendfeed to discuss what they’re watching together via Friendfeed chat. I’m looking forward to participating some time soon!

A Queue Even a Zombie Would Love

Let me start by saying the Haunted Mansion is an icon. Walt assigned some of the first imagineers to do concept work in the early days when the idea of Disneyland was born. The most memorable part of my first visit to the Magic Kingdom in the mid 70’s (yes I am older than dirt) was our visit to the Haunted Mansion. My older brother, younger brother and I excited with anticipation crammed ourselves into a Doom Buggy. All I can say is that I was in awe. It was the best.

Needless to say, I was leery of a proposed “enhancement” of the ride a couple years ago. But, like the update of Pirates, the imagineers did a wonderful job. A floating Leota and getting rid of the tacky spider scene were a hit. Next, word got out they were now making the queue interactive and the hitchhiking ghosts that bid you goodbye were going to change.

I was at the World last week for a few days and Disney announced the HM was having a soft opening. Of course I had to see what they were up to.

NOTE TO READERS: THE FOLLOWING HAS SPOILERS. IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THIS COLD, STOP READING.
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