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Adrienne Krock, editor
The Princess Diaries - The Princess Tea
"Let's say all together: G is a good rating!" With that statement, director Garry Marshall introduced his newest film, The Princess Diaries to the audience assembled at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood this past Sunday afternoon.

Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Promotional photo  Disney
Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Promotional photo © Disney

Anne Hathaway portrays Mia Thermopolis, a 16 year old from San Francisco who learns she is a princess of a small country. Her grandmother, Queen Clarisse, portrayed by the elegant Julie Andrews, gives Mia princess lessons, while Mia struggles to decide whether to accept her role as royal heir or to continue being a regular teenager. Along the way, we see Mia cope with the burdens and privileges that that come with being a princess, with more than a few laughs along the way. The Princess Diaries opens in theaters Friday, August 3.

Julie Andrews and Garry Marshall
Julie Andrews and Garry Marshall

How can I argue with Garry Marshall? Don't we all want fun G-rated movies we can take our families to see? After having the opportunity to enjoy this movie on Sunday, I can describe Disney's latest live action movie in two words: fairy tale.

Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Promotional photo  Disney
Anne Hathaway. Promotional photo © Disney

While I do not encourage moviegoers to spend too much time analyzing plot devices, The Princess Diaries is a funny, heart-warming movie that parents can take their children to see without worrying if the subject matter or language is appropriate. The strongest language in this feature is "Shut up!" which, as Queen Clarisse quickly learns, is used by American teens in much the same way as "wow," "gee whiz," or "golly wolly."

I cannot help but cheer for a Disney heroine whom I can relate to. Not only do we share the traits of long brown hair and bushy eyebrows, but we both ultimately turn to professionals to help manage them. At the end of the movie, I turned to my fellow MousePlanet princesses and announced, "I am such a sap!" while wiping tears from my cheeks.

Julie Andrews and Hector Elizondo at the premier of The Princess Diaries, promotional photo  Disney
Julie Andrews and Hector Elizondo at the premier of The Princess Diaries, promotional photo © Disney

Most moviegoers probably won't be as sappy as I was, but The Princess Diaries was a cute movie. There's even a few good messages in there for young people. I walked out of the theater wishing that Julie Andrews was my aunt (since she's too young to be my grandmother), and that Hector Elizondo would be my loving and protective uncle (since I'm too old to need a chaperone).


The El Capitan's restored interior
The El Capitan's restored interior

With the release of this feature, Disney once again offers a premium experience for viewers at the El Capitan Theater. As the audience arrives before the movie, music from the theater's Wurlitzer organ fills the auditorium. As the lights dim, the many curtains part to reveal the El Capitan screen and the movie begins. People who choose VIP admission not only get to sit in the reserved sections of the theater, but their admission includes a tub of popcorn and soft drink.

The Princess Diaries runs at the El Capitan daily from August 3 to September 3 at 9:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m. After the first three shows each day, the special experience continues next door called the "Disney Princess Tea."

The Rose Room
The Rose Room

Upon arriving at the Princess Tea, visitors are escorted to their tables in one of several elegantly decorated rooms, such as the Rose, Violet, and Daffodil rooms. This should be a fun opportunity for little girls to engage in their own princess lessons, and practice princess-like manners after watching Mia in the movie.

The Violet Room
The Violet Room

Disney Princess Tea comes with its own specially planned tea menu:

Assorted tea sandwiches: Cucumber with butter, ham and Swiss cheese, egg salad, and peanut butter and jelly
Mini scones with assorted jams

Fresh fruit salad

Sweets: Brownie bites, mini cookies including chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and sugar, and a See's Candies party favor

Assorted beverages: Herbal tea, lemonade, iced tea and water

Princesses love to pose for pictures, they are born to it you know
Princesses love to pose for pictures, they are born to it you know

What would a Disney Princess Tea be without a princess or two? In this case, guests get to meet and greet four of Disney's fairest and finest: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Belle. The tearooms provide a lovely setting for photo opportunities with the princesses.

A lovely place setting awaits you
A lovely place setting awaits you

The tea offers many activities for visitors to enjoy, including jewelry- making and dress- up! A special Princess gift shop will be set up at the Tea. Little princesses can purchase such items as rhinestone tiaras for $13 and velvet covered princess diaries for $10.

Among the activities at Disney's Princess Tea, you can make beaded jewelry.
Among the activities at Disney's Princess Tea, you can make beaded jewelry.

The Disney Princess Tea has limited capacity, so you must make reservations in advance. Admission for Disney Princess Tea adds $16 to the cost of an El Capitan movie ticket: General Admission movie and tea is $22, VIP Admission to both the movie and tea are $35.

A group rate for the general admission seating is offered at $20.50. To qualify for the group rate, groups must purchase at least 20 tickets. I believe that $16 is a fair price for tea, activities, and character interaction and apparently, so do many other El Capitan fans. Tickets are selling quickly. Weekend availability is limited but weekdays are widely available. If you have a special princess in your life, call for reservations today.

There's that pack of Princesses again! So much royalty, so little time!
There's that pack of Princesses again! So much royalty, so little time!

To make reservations for the The Princess Diaries and Disney Princess Tea, call 1-800-DISNEY6 (I-800-347-6396.) For group sales, call 818-845-3110. You may also order tickets online (and even print them at home) via the elcapitantickets.com website.

Keep in mind that the capacity for the theater exceeds the capacity for tea, so you may still be able to enjoy the movie at the El Capitan, even if the tea for your preferred date and time is not available when you call. Act royal! Consider taking a half-day off from work, and check availability of the 2:45 weekday movies with tea.

So, instead of garage sales, do Princesses hold palace sales?
So, instead of garage sales, do Princesses hold palace sales?

But wait, there's more! If you are interested in hosting a private party, the Disney Princess Tea has a special room designated for such events. This lovely room is decorated much like a museum, with a Genovian Royal Family Display. (You can see some of the items in the photo above up close in Sue Kruse's column about the premiere.) The maximum capacity of this room is 49 people. To make arrangements for a private party during a regularly scheduled Princess Tea, call the reservation numbers, 1-800-DISNEY6 or group sales, 818-845-3110.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne here.

Princess Tea

ALSO:

CLICK HERE FOR SUE'S REPORT

Sue Kruse attends the premiere of the movie, and meets Julie Andrews

To make reservations for the The Princess Diaries and Disney Princess Tea, call 1-800-DISNEY6 (I-800-347-6396.) For group sales, call 818-845-3110. You may also order tickets online (and even print them at home) via the elcapitantickets.com website.

Disney has kindly provided press information for the movie if you'd like to know more about it.

CLICK HERE FOR THE OFFICIAL SITE

The official movie site is quite extensive, and offers a lot to do and see.

The soundtrack album is now available via Amazon, click on the graphic below to purchase it

CLICK HERE TO BUY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adrienne gathered experience taking children to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job: being Matthew and Spencer's mom.

Adrienne, Matthew and Spencer visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy.

Besides Matthew and Spencer, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain the award-winning Happiest Potties on Earth here at MousePlanet.

You can contact Adrienne here.

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