With the July 2009 Downtown Disney arrival of overpriced-boutique-to-the-stars (and their privileged offspring) Kitson Kids, it seems to me that Disney is starting to cater to—and cultivate—a whole new sect of Paris Hilton-obsessed youth. Or, you know, a Miley Cyrus- or Vanessa Hudgens-obsessed youth—just don’t mind those squicky pictures that popped up on the Internet.
Kitson, with its flagship storefront located right in the midst of the shit of Angeleno, well, shit, on Robertson Boulevard, is known for being a favorite spot for celebrities who want to be “seen.” And right down the street from Kitson for adults is Kitson Kids . . . think $80 studded tees, $150 mini True Religion jeans and baby-sized Uggs.
But located in the Sleeping Beauty Castle Courtyard inside the Disneyland Resort is the 5-month-old Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The store offers “aspiring young princesses (and knights)” the full fairytale treatment—which means, you got it, makeovers. And tons of glitter.
Young girls are greeted by their very own Fairy Godmother upon entering the boutique, who, according to this press release, will “magically transform them into the princesses of their dreams.” This transformation apparently requires fake hair, “shimmering make-up” (extra-big sad face for this one), princess sash, princess bag and body jewels. And then you get to select one of three hairstyles: Fairytale Princess, Disney Diva or Pop Princess.
For $195.85-plus, the highest-tiered makeover includes the bonus of getting to dress your daughter up as a child bride (choose from Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Tinkerbell or Ariel!).
As for the aspiring knights, $12.95 gets you a Prince Philip shield, sword and “a hairstyle fit for a daring adventure.”
In a similar-but-somehow-more-troubling vein, Studio Disney 365, which opened in late June, also offers its guests makeovers (priced at $18.05-$59.95) in order to “rock out like some of their favorite Disney Channel stars.” Also located in the Downtown Disney district, the “studio” is aimed at a slightly older, Miley crowd discussed above—a little too old to pull on a Snow White-inspired frock, but not old enough to shop for Lycra miniskirts at Forever 21, either. These makeover experiences promise to surround your kids with tons of lights and cameras from the moment they step into the storefront.
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“Talent agents and stylists will help these stars of tomorrow undergo a complete transformation, getting them camera-ready to walk the carpet and preparing them for their grand entrance onto the set. Studio Disney 365 is the place to be for emerging stars, with so much to do and so much to see!”
My parents went to Disneyland, and all I got was this lousy sense of lifelong insecurity.
A version of this story first appeared on the Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog.