A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disney Royal Celebrations pairs with the Disney Royal Celebration princess dolls that each come with a promo code to access the activities in the app or can be played alone. The download is free, but there are only a couple of unlocked games without the doll's promo codes or an in-app purchase, either for an individual princess or the full ensemble. Kids can scroll through all the princesses, though, even those they don't have access to play. Several languages are supported through a device's settings. Also, the full app with all princesses loaded requires quite a bit of room at 1.2 GB.
What's it about?
If kids have one of the dolls from the DISNEY ROYAL CELEBRATIONS line, they'll start by scanning the invitation that came with their doll. If not, parents will need to purchase the princess pack kids want to play or let kids swipe through to find the unlocked games. Each included princess (or queen) -- Belle, Merida, Jasmine, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Elsa -- can be purchased individually, or the whole set can be bought for $10.99. Some princesses have two party options, others only one: For each party kids create an invitation, choose which guests to invite, decorate for the party, choose a dress for the princess, and then play a couple of party activities. Some party games are always the same -- distributing food and eating it -- while others are particular to each princess. For instance, Merida's party includes archery target practice and Jasmine's has a banana-throwing game.
Is it any good?
Taken individually, each character's party app is delightfully Disney, with engaging games and excellent graphics. However, the bulkiness of Disney Royal Celebrations as a whole and its consumerism puts a damper on its kid-friendliness. On the upside, kids get to express creativity by designing the invitation and decorating for the party. The princess's banter also is refreshingly witty, which helps pass the time as each party loads. Frustratingly, putting all the princesses with locked content in front of kids puts kids and parents in an awkward purchasing position: Their doll will only unlock one party, and each individual "Princess Pack" costs up to $3. In terms of size, the full app takes up more than a full gigabyte, and each party takes some time to load, which may be off-putting for some little ones. Since Jasmine is the only princess of color in the app, including Tiana and Pocahontas would provide more options for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about planning a party for an upcoming event. What will they put on the invitations? What kind of food will they serve? How will they decorate?
Talk to your kids about in-app purchases or buying the doll before downloading. Make sure expectations are clear.
Ask kids which princess they might like to see featured in the app, since some aren't included.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (Free to download but requires in-app purchase or promo code from a Disney Royal Celebrations doll.)
- Release date: May 27, 2015
- Category: Entertainment
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More
- Size: 357.00 MB
- Publisher: Disney
- Version: 1.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
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