Princess & Pirate Tips

Seth Kubersky, over at Orlando Weekly is keen on the Pirate & Princess Parties that have taken the MK by storm. He offers some tips:

• If you don’t already have a season pass, it’s a cost-effective way to see the Magic Kingdom. Adult party passes are about $20 cheaper than a one-day park ticket and offer 90 percent of the attractions available to day guests, along with the party-specific pluses.

• For safety reasons, Disney guests are normally prohibited from wearing costumes. But for these parties, dress-up is not just permitted, but encouraged. If your little one has a closet full of tiaras or eye patches, this alone may make it worthwhile. (That goes for adults, too: While booking tickets, I was reminded to dress as a pirate — seems like clear gender discrimination to me.)

• The specially themed parade and fireworks outdo the day-to-day shows. Highlights include a Captain Hook–led pyrotechnic assault on Cinderella’s Castle and a schooner sailing down Main Street, swarming with swashbuckling stuntmen.

• Short of visiting during a hurricane, this is your best chance to experience E-Ticket rides with little or no wait. Even slow-loading bottlenecks like Peter Pan and Dumbo are walk-ons, and you can ride Space Mountain until you need a spinal fusion. The only packed queue of the evening was the one to “Meet Jack Sparrow.”

• Most importantly, a high cast-member-to-guest ratio makes for a virtual “VIP” experience. Meet-and-greets with rarely seen characters (like Cinderella’s wicked stepmother), fistfuls of chocolate for the taking and other little bonuses abound. Seeing every cast member bow and curtsey to your little Snow White is a memory that money can’t buy for day guests.

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