There are several face painting stations in Disney, and every time we pass one, my girls beg to be painted. We headed down to Disney in October, for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, which seemed like the ideal time to try.
Tip: Judging from the number of children seen with painted faces, this is a popular activity with the under-10 set. Taking a little one for a quick makeover is a good way to pass the time if other members of your party are riding a thrill ride or scary attraction.
Each face painting station has a board featuring design ideas for you to choose from. Select your favorite, or modify one to suit your needs. Each painted design is done free-hand with an artist's brush, so the cast member on duty can modify as needed.
We wanted a "Pirates of the Caribbean" look to match the Halloween costumes we'd be wearing later, so the cast member working the booth at Epcot was able to take a slightly scary men's pirate look and adapt it to a sparkly "little girl" pirate upon request.
Once you select your design, slip into the seat and relax, all you have to do is sit still for this part.
The application process takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, depending on the complexity of the design and the age of the recipient — little kids can be pretty wiggly, so they may take a little longer to paint. Our "girl pirate" sat still with a minimal amount of squirming and the design took about 10 minutes from start to finish.
Tip: Face painting is a quick way to get a fun makeover and can be a good way to determine if your child is old enough to sit still for the more elaborate process at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or the Pirate's League.
Value and Price
The cost of a face painting design at Disney ranges from $12 to $15. Our little pirate was $15, and well worth the cost, considering a make-up kit at home was almost $10, and I would have had to apply the paint myself.
Disney service shines through even with a simple activity like face painting — after the look was complete, the cast member let us know that we could stop by the face painting station in the Magic Kingdom that evening for a complimentary touch up if needed.
Caring for your Design
Our design lasted all day and into the night — we attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that evening, and even at almost midnight, the design looked as good as new.
To remove, we used a little bit of cold cream to dissolve the paint, and then wiped the design away. Any makeup remover should work on the paint, though just plain water will not.
Caution: Darker paint colors can stain clothing, so if your child is the type to rub her face when she is tired, some paint could transfer.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
Edited February 15, 2016 by Dawn Henthorn, About.com's Florida Travel Expert