The next time you are exploring Disney World, visit the Morrocco pavilion in Epcot or Mombasa Marketplace in Disney's Animal Kingdom for a unique and lovely henna tattoo. Artisans are on hand daily to paint on your favorite design, and the finished product lasts about a week.
A henna tattoo is a nice treat for a teen who feels too old for face painting or the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or for anyone who wants to test drive a tattoo without a long commitment.
The henna artist has an entire book of designs to choose from. Select a simple wrist or arm piece, or get a larger piece on your back or shoulder. I chose a simple bracelet to try the process out.
The henna tattoos in Epcot are applied freehand, so the artist can combine several different designs to get the look you want. Part of the fun of getting a henna tattoo is playing a part in the design process.
Henna art is similar to the face painting offered at other locations in Disney World. The examples are there to give you an idea of what can be done, but the finished piece can be customized to your specifications.
Once you have selected a design, the artist will use a paper applicator to paint the henna directly onto your skin. The henna is a little cool but does not hurt at all. My design was done in under three minutes; the artist was obviously an expert at the pretty freehand swirls that make up the design.
Once the henna is applied, the artist will add a dash of sparkly glitter for fun, then send you on your way. Do not touch the tattoo while it is wet. It will dry completely in under 10 minutes. Mine was dry by the time we walked to Les Chefs de France for dinner, it didn't take long at all.
The henna tattoo will dry to a dark, crusty finish, then naturally fall off. This is the only part of the process that isn't pretty — the half-flaked design looked a little shabby and I was tempted to pick it off. I resisted, though, because the tattoo artist said the design would last longer if I let it peel off on its own.
Value and Price
I paid about $15 USD for my tattoo, and on my fair skin, it lasted about 10 days. According to my tattoo artist, most henna tattoos will last between seven and ten days.
For me, this was a good value — as a total needle-phobe, this is as close to a "real" tattoo that I am willing to get.
The cost is influenced by the size and complexity of the design; the more elaborate options were more expensive.
Caring for your Tattoo
Once the initial henna clay has peeled away, henna tattoos don't require any special care. I went swimming and even took a dip in Shark Reef a few days later with no adverse effects. I went home sporting my tattoo, it actually darkened over time.
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 by Dawn Henthorn