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Pirate League Update: Mermaid Makeover

Friday, June 24, 2011

A little over a month ago you may remember we discussed The Pirate League experience at the Magic Kingdom.  A few weeks later Walt Disney World implemented something called the Mermaid Transformation Package for young girls who wished to be converted from the human world to the undersea world.   Since the recent release of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides’ movie mermaids have become more popular.  Disney has decided to capitalize on their popularity by giving young female guests the opportunity to transform into a mermaid at The Pirate League. 

During a very recent visit to Walt Disney World we booked our 11 year old daughter Anna into this specific package to see what it offered.  If you or your children have ever experienced The Pirate League you’ll find some similarities in the process between the pirate makeover and the mermaid makeover.  However, you should know the mermaid package does exclude some of the fun, more mysterious aspects of the pirate makeover. 

The Mermaid Transformation Package starts when you check-in at The Pirate League front desk.  You can find The Pirate League experience right next door to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction inside the Magic Kingdom.  The Cast Member at the desk will take your name and confirm your reservation.  You are then asked to wait outside until your name is called before you can enter the pirate waiting room.  Unlike the pirate makeover you are not given a mermaid name.  Your daughter’s name will be used throughout the makeover.  In our case our daughter was referred to as mermaid Anna.  After another short wait in the pirate room the beautician who will transform you to a mermaid will call your name and escort you to their station. 

After a few personal questions and discussion the Cast Member began painting our daughter’s finger nails.  The polish appeared to be a sea foam green color.  Our beautician referred to the nail polish as mermaid tears.  If you’ve seen ‘Pirates 4:  On Stranger Tides’ you probably understand the reference to mermaid tears.  The nail painting takes about 10 minutes.  The beautician will ask you to keep your fingers spread apart while the polish dries. 

After the finger nails have been painted the beautician proceeds to touch-up the hair.  I use the words “touch-up” because not much is done.  The beautician will brush the hair, pull it back, and install two princess crown clips or pins on each side of your daughter’s head.  This part of the makeover takes less than 5 minutes.  It’s really intended to keep the hair out of your child's face for the face painting portion of the makeover. 

After the hair touch-up you’ll then proceed to what I consider to be the best part of the makeover.  Your daughter will get her face painted with a special sea-colored makeup.  The makeup is used around and alongside the eyes.  A few different colors are used along with a white paint base.  A couple of nice added touches to the face make-up are included.  First the beautician uses a paint template to create a mermaid scale effect under the eyes.  It’s a nice touch and does help enhance the mermaid experience.  Secondly, a jewel or tiny gem is installed near one of the eyes to give the illusion of a crying mermaid.  This gem is also referred to as a mermaid tear.  The make-up portion of the makeover takes about 15 minutes to complete. 

After the face make-up there are just a few more minor items to complete.  A light lip gloss is added to your daughter’s lips.  The beautician then dabs and smears some sparkles on each cheek just below the face make-up.  The final piece of the makeover is when the beautician installs a Pirate League sheath across the shoulders and chest.  Once these final touches are complete the beautician proclaims your daughter an official mermaid by bellowing an announcement to the entire room.  “WE HAVE A NEW MERMAID….Mermaid Anna!”  Everyone claps and welcomes Anna to the mermaid club. 

We were then escorted to a door where we were greeted by another pirate Cast Member who told us there was a secret behind the door.  He wouldn’t tell us much more except we were not allowed to take photos inside the room.  After we waited for a few minutes we were escorted in by a Cast Member photographer who took Anna’s picture.  Unfortunately, there were no other secrets.  You may recall the pirate makeover includes secret “booty” or treasure.  The mermaid makeover does not include any of this mystery or treasure. 

We were then escorted out of the room to the pirate cashier.  We waited about 5 minutes for Anna’s picture to print.  We were given the option to purchase the picture.  Included with the picture is a portfolio frame.  You do not receive a certificate with your picture like you did for the pirate makeover.  Only the picture and the portfolio frame.  It is at this time you are given some additional mermaid nail polish in a special mermaid kit.  The polish comes in different colors and again was referred to by the Cast Members as mermaid tears. 

Here are some fast facts about the Mermaid Transformation Package: 

  • The cost of the package is $29.95 + tax
  • You can book this package by calling (407)WDW-CREW.  Reservations are highly recommended. 
  • You have the option to purchase the makeover photograph for $14.95.  If you have an annual pass you can save 10% or 20% off the cost of the photo.
  • There are no mermaid costumes.  There are a few mermaid T-shirts you can purchase next to the cash register.  Again, you can receive a 10% or 20% annual pass discount on the T-shirts. 
  • The package is only offered through July 2nd, but I have heard from a reliable source the package will be extended through at least the end of August. 
  • All of the make-up used during your mermaid makeover is yours to keep after you leave. 

Here's a look at the finished makeover

We felt the Mermaid Transformation Package was somewhat underwhelming.  What made the pirate makeover special is missing in the mermaid makeover.  A lot of the mystery from the pirate makeover like the pirate name and searching for treasure in the secret room was removed making the mermaid package less interesting.  Additionally, some of the added inclusions to the mermaid package like the additional nail polish, face gem, and sheath are not worth the cost of the experience.  My suggestion would be to paint and polish your own daughter’s nails and then take her to one of the many face painting kiosks around Disney property to have her face painted.  Afterwards, take her picture on your own camera and have it printed when you get home.  You won’t notice much of a difference and it will cost far less.  More than likely your daughter would enjoy it much the same.  So, unless your daughter is really into the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie series you may want to consider my recommendation.    

Next Up:  Dinner and a movie…At Walt Disney World??  But we’re on vacation!!.... 

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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