In December of 2006 my youngest daughter was just over 3 years old. She had never received a haircut at this point. My little one is a beautiful and outgoing young lady who always seems to bring life into any room. She loves to communicate and builds friends quickly. Her hair is unique though, it grows very slowly. It takes several years for her hair to grow to a length just to receive a small trim. We decided that her first haircut should be at Walt Disney World’s Harmony Barber Shop.
Harmony is a nice little old-fashioned, three chair, fully-working barber shop tucked away in Town Square in the Magic Kingdom. When entering the Magic Kingdom it is to the far left, just beyond the Fire Station. Many of the barbers/hair stylists have been working at the barber shop for many years. They’ve seen it all and done it all. They have trimmed children’s hair while the parent was holding them, while the child was eating ice cream and while the child was playing with his or her favorite toy
When we first arrived our little one was in a typically very good mood. She was laughing and singing and playing with her siblings. The Cast Member, Penny, was polite and kind and had a gentle, quiet spirit about her. It seemed like this first haircut would be a breeze. But our little girls’s attitude began to turn sour when she sat in the barber chair for the first time. I suppose the big chair felt like the Tower of Terror to her? She began crying and was very disturbed when Penny presented the scissors for her viewing. She was NOT into having her haircut now. What would we do?
Penny recommended that we make her comfortable and told us she would take as much time as possible to help her settle in before cutting her hair. Penny spoke with her as a Mom would speak to a daughter, but our little girl was having no part of that. She didn’t want her hair cut. Penny then moved on to the Mickey sticker. She said many nervous kids begin to lighten up when they see the Big Cheese in circular, sticky form. Well, my daughter liked the stickers, but still didn’t want anyone chopping her hair with those sharp instruments of pain, as she probably perceived them.
Penny then brought out the big guns! Bubbles! Penny handed her a bottle of ordinary bubbles to see how my girl would respond. I began to laugh because they were “Spongebob Squarepants” bubbles in the Magic Kingdom. The bubbles and my giggling began to lighten my little one’s fear.
She was having so much blowing those bubbles that Penny proceeded to trim her hair. My little girl never even noticed that those scissors were trimming away in Penny’s skillful hands. She just kept blowing bubbles.
And laughing, she began laughing and having a genuinely great time! Penny explained that many children are afraid of their first haircut because they think the cutting of the hair will be painful like being cut by a sharp object.
Our little girl and her Mommy get to share a special moment together.
That’s a lot of bubbles!
After only a few minutes of bubble distribution, the haircut was complete. After completing the snipping, Penny presented her with these wonderful first hair cut ears. At that time they offered blue ones for boys and pink ones for little princesses. My little one, who is now 9, still has those ears. Occasionally I show her these photos and tell her the story of her terror and a great Cast Member named Penny who wasn’t in a big hurry and wanted to make her comfortable. Penny also gathered some of her hair and placed in in a little keepsake bag for that first hair cut. We also received a little certificate to commemorate this momentous occasion.
The lovely coiffe.
Penny, as many dedicated Cast Members, turned a negative situation into a lifetime memory. We could have taken her to a local haircut shop, but nothing rings in our memory about our older two children’s haircuts like this one. It’s a special little turn-of-the-century jewel that is only offered at the Magic Kingdom’s Harmony Barber Shop.
The Harmony Barber shop welcomes about 400 haircuts per week. It is open to walk-ins from 9 am to 5 p.m daily, but I recommend making reservations by calling (407) 939-7529. Haircuts are $19.00 for adults, $15.00 for children age 10 and under. Beard and moustache trims are $10. For $5, you can change your hair color for a day with hair gel and some pixie dust.
The “First Haircut” like our little one received is the establishment’s specialty. The child will receive their own “First Haircut” Mickey Ears hat with “First Haircut” stitched on the back and a certificate of this occasion to take home. The “First Haircut” experience is $18.
If you’re around at noon, the barber shop quartet “The Dapper Dans” often drop in and perform.
All Harmony Barber Shop stylists are state-licensed cosmetologists. Prices and services offered are subject to change.