Disney Princess Royal Party
Earlier this month, Rapunzel was inducted as the tenth official Disney Princess in a coronation ceremony at Kensington Palace in London, England. To celebrate her crowning, Disney Publishing Worldwide released a brand new Disney Princess Royal Party app for the iPad.
The Disney Princess Royal Party app is currently priced at $4.99 (Special Introductory Offer) and features a range of activities centered around Rapunzel and the other Disney Princesses, including puzzles, coloring pages, a cupcake recipe, and a new Tangled adventure story.
Players can navigate through the app in two ways: by touching the left and right birds to move backwards and forward page by page, or by clicking on the Index button in the lower right corner to go straight to any page in the app. A voice over narrator (the same woman heard in the Disney puzzlebook apps) narrates every page for players too young to read. Delightful animated clips from Tangled are featured throughout the app as transition screens to new games and activities.
The first activity is a Tiara Matching Game where seven Disney Princesses need to be given the crowns that match the silhouetted tiaras on their heads. The drag and drop feature is easy to use and the crowns snap into place when they are close to the correct princesses’ heads. Unfortunately, once all the crowns are in place, absolutely nothing happens to suggest that the game has been won. There are no sound effects or visual cues or a reset button that appears to play again. Weird.
The second activity in the app is a short Tangled adventure story called The Celebration of the Last Princess. In the story, Flynn describes a tiara with gems that symbolize the qualities a good princess should have: an adventurous spirit, kindness, courage, and leadership. Rapunzel is unsure that she’ll be a good princess, but when the pair are attacked by thieves, she exhibits all four qualities and is ultimately reassured that she will be a great princess.
The story is very short, but it has a nice moral and charming illustrations. It is followed by a crafts activity with instructions on how to make Rapunzel’s crown using a hair band, tape, plastic beads, glitter, scissors, glue, and pipe cleaners. A lot of materials are required, but the finished crown will be more durable and look much nicer than something made entirely of paper or cardboard.
The next activity are three Tangled Coloring Pages featuring Rapunzel, Flynn, and Pascal. There is a palate of fifteen colors and an eraser to the side and painting is as simple as tapping a color and then running your finger over the coloring page. The brush size can be adjusted to allow for more detailed painting. Coloring is very fun, although detail work is challenging since there’s no way to zoom in on the coloring pages.
The Disney Princess coloring page featuring Aurora, Cinderella, and Tiana is so detailed that it’s all but impossible to color within the lines, and I found the attempt very frustrating. Head shots of the princesses would have been a better choice for the coloring page than the detailed full body image.
The Behind the Scenes Gallery of storyboard images from Tangled is a treat to flip through. Rapunzel, Flynn, Pascal, and Maximus have their own image galleries and there’s an additional gallery featuring Flynn’s chase scene from the beginning of the film when he escapes from the Royal Guards after stealing the Lost Princess’s crown.
The Royal Invitations activity features four backgrounds and dozens of character images, borders, flowers, hearts, jewels, and other decals that can be used to customize invitations to a princess party. There are four texts that can be included as well: “You’re invited to my Princess Party!”, “Time for my Princess Party!”, “Come and Celebrate My Princess Party!”, and “It’s my party! Sweets and treats and tons of fun! Will you be there?”
In Rapunzel’s Jigsaws, four movie scenes from Tangled can be broken down into 6-piece and 12-piece puzzles that are fun and easy to assemble. There’s a nice snap-to feature and a semi-transparent background of the image that young puzzlers can reference to help them build the puzzles. When the puzzles are finished (and when exiting out of many of the activities), an audience claps and cheers for the player, although the puzzles do not animate briefly as in other puzzlebook apps by Disney.
Chef and restaurant entrepreneur Princess Tiana shares a recipe for making Cupcakes for the Princess Party. The recipe is broken down into an ingredients list and ten full-color step-by-step instructions. I haven’t tried the recipe, but the pictures make the cupcakes look delicious!
The next activity is a Disney Princess Dress-Up activity where players can dress Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, and Snow White for the Princess Party. The activity is similar to the Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book, minus Tiana and with a much more limited wardrobe for the six remaining princess and no storybook pages.
My two biggest complaints with the activity are a lack of a snap-to feature that would have the clothing jump into place on the princesses when dragged out of the “closet” and the limited wardrobe. The wardrobe is so limited, in fact, that many of the available tops don’t even match the available bottoms.
The final activity is Your Magical Princess Theatre which is designed like a classic sticker book with icons of the characters that can be dragged into place on two different backgrounds. In the “Day” theatre, the princesses and their animal friends can be dragged and dropped into a charming garden party scene, and in the “Night” theatre, the princesses and their princesses are in fancy ballroom attire and can be added to a fireworks scene on the steps of the palace.
While there are a few tweaks that could make the app even better, overall it’s a great buy. The app is attractively packaged and has enough activities and games to keep young princesses-in-training (and maybe princes too) happy for hours.