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.

Eric Anderson

I am pretty sure there is an ADR I need to be scheduling right now...

6 thoughts to “Past Princess”

  1. Beautiful post Eric. Very well said. And as the father of a 7-year-old princess daughter who celebrated her 8th birthday while at WDW, she may not be princess-obsessed anymore, but she hasn’t left them behind completely. The Bug tried to be nonchalant about princesses, but she insisted on dressing up for dinner at Akershaus (though in her prettiest dress, not a costume) and still wanted to meet them in the parks.

  2. Very well stated there Eric. As the Dad to 3 princesses, I too am starting to see the self proclaimed tomboy start to leave the princesses behind, but she still enjoys them occasionally. Fortunately our middle princess is not so much as loosing the princess as gaining the HSM / Tween Disney experience (at the age of 6 soon to be 7). One of the greatest things about Disney is that there is so much they offer to all age ranges, yet it still allows us all (me included) to revert back to those days when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto were considered to be the greatest celebrity sitings one could have.

  3. Great post, Eric. My daughter also liked the princesses at an early age, and now would rather get dirty, look at animals, and do science experiments than all that Princess stuff. But even as they grow up and develop their own interests, I think deep down, every girl wants to know that she is beautiful and special, much like a princess. As dads, it’s an important job to make sure she feels that way!

  4. Nice job, Eric. As the proud father of two princesses I also have loved exposing them to all things Disney. I don’t think there is anything wrong with allowing little girls to dream of being a princess. Maybe, so many young women have lost their way because they were taught not to dream? The great thing about being a DisDad is that we get to share our love and child like enthusiasm with our children and hopefully they will pass it theirs someday.

  5. Thanks, guys. I figured some of you may have been through, or are going through, the same thing.

  6. Great article! Sounds like you are going through what I hope every father goes through, the realization that your babies will not always be babies! As a father to 5. Oldest daughter is 23 and youngest is 13. So as they grow older I still see them as they are now with a mixture of how they were when they were 3! So as the years pass I have found that every once in a while I still get slapped in the face with the reality of their growing into adulthood and and I welcome it with open arms! It makes me stop and look at them and “remember when”.

    Thank you for the reality check.

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