Anna and Elsa, the most coveted princesses of the moment. Your daughter has watched this movie so many times you’ve lost count. You’ve sung the songs with her a zillion times. And now you’re planning an awesome trip to Disney World and you just KNOW that your daughter MUST meet Anna and Elsa or the whole thing is ruined!!
Maybe not. I know, this is probably a very controversial viewpoint that I’m writing here. It’s like blasphemy to say that meeting Anna and Elsa isn’t imperative. I mean, have you seen the videos of earlier this year with hoards of people running to meet them at the moment the parks opened? And then, even with all that rush, waiting in line for five hours? FIVE hours??
Ok, so let me tell you a little secret. I was just in Disney World in May. I have a 5 year old daughter who loves Frozen. She looooooves Elsa. She (like your daughter) has seen the movies a bazillion times and sings the songs and all that lovely stuff. And guess what? I love the movie (and Elsa), too. As I watched this ridiculousness unfold in the parks while I was planning our trip, at first I was panicked. Oh NO, this can’t be! My daughter has to meet Elsa. This is her THING, she will want this so badly! How can I make this work?
But the reality was, standing in line for 5 hours (or even two, or one) is not something my daughter would do well. Not even for Elsa. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought this just didn’t make any sense in our plans. But I was afraid my daughter would be heartbroken by this. So I approached her gently, and told her how long we would have to wait…how Daddy and brother would have to split off and go ride the rides while we waited if she really wanted to see Elsa. And do you know what she said? “Oh….well…that’s ok, Mommy, if we can meet Marie instead!” Um, yes child, that’s a deal! (By the way, if you don’t know who Marie is, she is the little girl cat from The Aristocats…. A character with virtually no lines!)
Ok, but now you may be thinking: “That’s all well and fine but now they have a FastPass+ for Anna and Elsa! No more waiting! We’ll just do that!” Friends, I have some news – it’s not quite that easy. Here’s the thing: There are very few FastPass+ in any given hour of the day. This means that even if you log on EXACTLY at midnight, 60 days before your arrival date (if you are staying on property), that you may find that all of the FastPass+ options for Anna and Elsa are already gone. How can that be? Well, all of those people arriving just days before you can book all of their FastPass+ options before you can – for their whole vacation. That means if someone is checking in 3 days before you but staying just as long as you are, they (and all of the others like them) can take up the Anna and Elsa FastPass+ reservations before you ever get the chance to log on.
And if you do get one? Current reports are that even with the FastPass+ reserved, waits are 45 -60 minutes. Up to an HOUR even with FastPass+. Now while that may very well be worth it to you, it may still be hard for a small child to wait that long. Disney has tried several variations on how this all works (including same day Fast Passes, no standby line allowed at all, etc), so I can’t say exactly how it might work by the time you are reading this. This is just what I know up until this current moment.
The other day, a colleague mentioned that a mom was having a hard time at Disney World because her daughter was not interested in the parts that the mom thought were important. This is a good reminder that sometimes we moms get so caught up in the “my child must do this because all children want to do this and I am a great mom for providing that opportunity for my child so she can do this coveted thing everyone wants” trap. I’ve been there, too. All I’m saying is…don’t let meeting or not meeting Anna and Elsa make or break your amazing Disney vacation! There are so, so many wonderful things to see and do at Disney World and this is but one tiny option. Anna and Elsa can be seen elsewhere in the parks, outside of a meet and greet, and don’t forget all of the other wonderful princesses and characters that can be met (and rides and shows and parades and treats and fireworks and the list goes on)! Call me crazy, but I just think Disney World has so much more to offer than these two princesses (even though I do love them so). If you can meet them, fantastic! And if not – rejoice in all the rest of the magic that Disney World has to offer!
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