Tips For A Disney Experience Beyond Princesses

I started to title this Magic Kingdom For Boys, but that’s narrow. I’m sure there are a lot of girls out there who aren’t into the princess experience, just as I’m sure there are boys who would love to eat at Cinderella’s castle and meet Anna & Elsa, and watch Tinkerbell fly overhead during the firework show.

So this post is about breaking out of the princess mold at Magic Kingdom for anyone, boy or girl.

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There is a big focus at Disney World on the Princess experience, especially at Magic Kingdom, and it might seem that only little girls (or boys) who are into princesses would enjoy themselves fully. My 6 year old son Kendall is not anti-princess. He would have lined up to meet Anna & Elsa if I let him (except that’s FIVE HOURS of my life I’ll never get back). But, he’s also very high energy, and openly wished more than once that he’d see Skylanders while we were there.

PrincessNonPrincessDisneyI love this side-by-side because it shows 2 very different Magic Kingdom experiences that were both equally awesome. How amazing is that pic on the left from MeganJane Photography? Absolutely perfect.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

There were no Skylanders at Disney, much to Kendall’s dismay, but I’m glad a reader tipped me off to the free Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game… mostly glad, at least.

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When you enter Magic Kingdom, veer to the left of Town Square to the Firehouse, and you’ll find the recruitment center. When we were there, the line was pretty short and moved quickly. It’s absolutely free to play, and I love that there are no other trinkets in there that tempt you to spend money. They send you on your way with a map and some magic playing cards after they train the new apprentices on how to capture villains throughout the park by finding portals and casting spells.

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The downside to this game was Kendall didn’t want to stop once we started. It takes you through the whole park, and you don’t have any control over where it sends you next, so it will probably conflict with any pre-planned routes or Fast Passes.

It was a hard balance to strike for us, but ultimately we wound up letting Kendall have his fun with this game for a good part of the day until we finally convinced him it was over. (But it could have gone on foreverrrrrr, so just be aware and prepared with distractions and/or bribes.)

That leads me to…

Follow Their Lead, Be Adventurous

When you’re trying to get in line to meet princesses or find a great spot for the parades and fireworks, it’s important to stick to a schedule. By breaking out of the princess mold, we were able to follow his lead and be more adventurous. This also meant I had to seriously suppress my FOMO (fear of missing out).

We missed a Fast Pass time, walked all over the park in no real order, but we let Kendall dictate what he was in the mood for because there was no point in taking all of Magic Kingdom in with a cranky, overstimulated 6 year old who just wanted to catch another villain with his cards.

You add a whole new level of complicated when you have to take siblings into account. I can’t speak to that experience yet, but I do think schedules should be fluid when dealing with kids.

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Of course, this meant that some of his favorite attractions were things like playgrounds and splash pads where he could run, jump, climb and make friends. All things he could do for free in Texas.

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Oh, and ducks. At one point, I’ll admit I snapped, “We are NOT at Disney World to see ducks. I’ll take you to see ducks at home.”

Alternatives to Princess Dresses and Wands

The Bibidi Bobbidi Boutique is where princess are made at Magic Kingdom, but don’t you worry. You can also have the opportunity to shell out loads of cash on a makeover if your kiddo is into pirates, instead, at The Pirates League.  I’m not sure Kendall would have sat still for this, but it could have been fun toward the end of the day if I’d planned ahead and made an appointment.

I mentioned in my photo tips post that the best $12 we spent was on a bubble gun that we bought from a street cart (cash only) on Main Street. Kendall didn’t need a wand. He had a great time blowing bubbles at people (and those freaking ducks).

IMG_2991Don’t worry, no ducks were harmed because BUBBLES. 

Will They Really Enjoy Sitting Still?

We saw a couple parades while we were there, but that was simply because we were in the right (wrong?) place at the right time. We happened to be on Main Street right as the Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party started and basically had no choice but to watch it (and it was cool). Then we caught the last parade of the night at 11 pm on our way out of the park. That was enough parades for us. I didn’t plan to get good seats for the big parades in between because I knew Kendall wouldn’t sit still long enough for them, and I’d spend most of the time reminding him to stay out of the road.

Instead, we used those times to ride the best rides and took advantage of short lines. During the Wishes fireworks, we ran to Space Mountain, stopping for a few minutes to take in just enough of the show to say we saw it. I made sure not to talk up the Tinkerbell flying through the air bit. There was no wait at all for the coaster, and we rode it 2x. I know Kendall enjoyed that far more than any crowded parade or show.

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This wasn’t an anti-princess trip. Like I mentioned before, Kendall would have freaked if he saw Elsa & Anna. As we walked past Tinkerbell’s Magical Nook, I did take a minute to ask if he wanted to get in line to meet her because he likes the Tinkerbell movies.

“Is she little or big?” he asked.
“Oh, I think she’s big,” I said.
“Then no,” he responded.

Yeah, I mean the real fun would be meeting a small Tinkerbell. I totally understand that line of thought. Smart kid. We walked on to the next ride.

Did you miss my other Disney Tips? 
How To Get Great Pictures At Disney World

Stay tuned for more!

  • Michellee - “Is she little or big?” he asked. “Oh, I think she’s big,” I said. “Then no,” he responded. ”

    Love it! So sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Thanks for this, Jill. We took my son last year, but he was just 2 at the time and not old enough to enjoy much, though he did like It’s a Small World and the Winnie the Pooh ride. My husband and I honeymooned at Disney World, so it’s a special place for us. We can’t wait to take him again when he’s old enough to really have fun. AND I’m glad my son is not the only boy who likes the Tinkerbell movies. He tells me all the time he wishes he could be a fairy. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - you never know with Disney parades – they do them SO well…I had planned to skip the parade (or be flexible) and take advantage of short lines for rides, but my 2 1/2 year old boy (who does NOT HAVE A CHILL MODE, NEVER SITS STILL) was in awe and wanted to watch the parade twice in one day, lol, so we made fun memories with that instead of fitting in a second ride on a couple of his favorite rides 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Inexpensive Disney Souvenirs That Rock - […] mentioned the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game in my previous post- Tips For A Disney Experience Beyond Princesses. Not only was this a fun, free game for our 6 year old, but every person in our party received a […]ReplyCancel

  • Tricia Fulgham Gillon - This made me laugh out loud! Thanks for your honest reporting. Most plans seem to be set up for a perfect day with perfect children. I think ours will be more about watching ducks and playing in the water…. oh well, we’ll see in a few months what happens! thanks again….ReplyCancel

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