Hi there! I’m Ashley Sumner–certified, full-time princess and social media manager for the DCC team. Having grown up in a home with a crafty and artistic queen, and with every paper, sticker, glitter, paint, button, and doodad at my disposal, my artistic hobbies have manifested into many adventures over the years. The concept of putting all these fun things on paper or turning them into crafts didn’t vibe with my hand-eye-coordination as a little girl, so you bet that glitter was on my eyes, that paint was in my hair, and I made that little Cinderella dress look good! Whenever I did leave my castle, I went to visit my girlfriends over in Disney World with my sister, the other original princess. We’ve been in the frequent-fliers program for Disney World for many, many years now–the only difference is that now this princess has a glass of wine in her hand and her makeup is on-point! The next item on my agenda is to take my handsome Pirate-turned-Knight-in-Shining-Armor (it’s a long story) to Disney World and share the incredible magic and Imagineering that takes place therewith the love of my life. As Marie from Aristocats would say, “How romantic~” <3
What is your favorite Disney movie and why?
My absolute fave Disney movie would have to be The Black Cauldron – if you haven’t seen it, then you are missing out! Sassy, female princess protagonist ~ check! Adorable, unidentifiable amalgamation of an animal companion with the derpiest name in all history (Gurgi) ~ check! Obscure and fantastical adventure in a medieval realm ~ check! Creepy and legitimately purely evil villain to give any child nightmares ~ check! Moral lessons about tolerance, honesty, friendship, and sacrifice ~ check! What more could a growing, little girl ask for?
Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
You’re about to notice a theme here, but my favorite Disney character is Princess Eilonwy. She is no-nonsense and I dig that as a fellow no-nonsense princess myself. She calls out others when they treat her unfairly, confronts Taran when he denounces her abilities because of being a woman, and she’s the one that saves him.
When was the last time you were at a Disney Park?
I was last seen at Disney World in November of 2020 – I was hard to recognize because of the masks and the six feet between us, but I was alongside my sister rocking it at Epcot and MGM.
What is your favorite ride/attraction at any Disney Park and why?
Fave ride is Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster! Any ride that challenges the integrity of my tiara staying on my noggin is a winner in my book, but who could seriously reject the epicness of the launch, neon lights and corkscrews, Aerosmith blasting in your ears “Dude looks like a lady!” and a VIP entrance from your limo at the end? Is the line-wait tolerable, you may ask? Well, if you don’t enjoy listening to hot 80s tracks on your way to a rollercoaster that’s about to blow your mind rather than the dull droning of crowds, you’re in the wrong line, honey.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or quick service location at a Disney Park?
Although not an official restaurant or quick service, I had the most amazing afternoon and evening with my sister at Enchanted Rose in the Grand Floridian. I’m not sure how many other places on property you can get to-die-for truffle fries and princess-themed cocktails with a gorgeous view from a balcony.
Are you a fan of the Disney Princesses? If so, which one and why?
The “official” Disney princesses can be a hit or miss for me… Lots of drama in the bunch, hence I didn’t join the club. Ask ten-year-old me that question and she would have even said, “Tinkerbell” because you could see that drama pot brewing from a mile away – being all huddled in one meet-and-greet spot on the backside of the castle really takes a toll on your princessness. As far as unofficial princesses go, can you guess this one?! …You bet it’s Princess Eilonwy!
Do you have any Disney collections? If so, what do you collect?
Does my tiara collection count? I make it a point to grab a new one each time I visit the parks – can’t be having these other princesses thinking I’m slacking, now can I? I also have a growing Disney coffee mug collection because, like every other princess, I need coffee to, like, function.
Do you decorate with Disney during the holidays?
Our castle (*cough* apartment *cough*) adorns the cutest little tree with handmade Disney ornaments my queen has made extra of out of old Disney figurines with added mini Christmas trinkets and a snowflake base she’s added to them to make them Christmas themed. That thing celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, Bunny Day, and even the 4th of July if I’m feeling particularly festive.
How often do you go to a Disney Park?
If my math is correct, I believe every few years is when I grace Disney World with my presence – it’s in the contract or whatever. I’m due here in a year or two for an upkeep visit!
Rope drop or not?
Rope drop or bust! Girl, I am that B holding my tiara on my head racing to Space Mountain or Aerosmith’s cause I have every intention of riding those over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over…
Do you have a favorite night-time show?
All of them, obvi! ‘Cause that means more rollercoaster time for moi <3
Do you have a tradition when you are at a Disney Park (the “must-do” list)?
Since every trip has been with my sister and I together, we rope drop on Magic Kingdom day and ride Space Mountain over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over…
What is your favorite land and why?
My favorite land, hands down, is Adventureland. Although there’s not a whole lot of rides or restaurants or activities that really call my name, the atmosphere has always been entrancing to me. If I wasn’t a certified princess, then a pirate’s life for me!
Do you hunt for hidden Mickey’s?
Although I don’t hunt for them per se, sometimes I will find one and giggle inside at my little discovery.
Do you have a favorite time of year to go to a Disney Park?
That special time in October when the weather is *mwuah!* beautiful, nice and breezy in the morning so you can smell the water, chilly and humid at night, but lovely during the afternoon for full days of meandering around or rushing to rollercoasters or signing autographs or drinking and snacking around the world at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
How old were you the first time you went to a Disney Park and what is your first memory?
Oh goodness – the first time I went to a Disney Park I was very little, maybe 5 or 6? I was honored with my first tiara at Disney World and I remember walking around to all of the fun activity stations at Animal Kingdom to fill out my passport with the stamps. I also remember being completely mesmerized by the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe who were dancing and singing and playing. If I’m remembering correctly, I believe I joined them to dance, too!
What’s your favorite traditional Disney treat?
I dream of Dole Whips in my beauty sleep! 😀
Have you ever made a copy-cat Disney food item at home?
This princess is not, I repeat NOT, a cook – but I am often inspired by the cocktails they serve around Epcot at the Food and Wine Festival!
Do you have any pets named after a Disney character?
Unfortunately, no! I have three beautiful kitties – my princess Anri, my little prince Artorias, and my baby princess Alvina – but I think Marie, Toulouse, Berlioz, Thomas O’Malley, and Duchess are absolutely on the docket for our next fur baby.
What is your ideal Disney Park day?
Ah, well, I assure you the expectations of this princess are particularly high, but I’ve thought often about this when imagining my first trip with my beloved and the child we hope to have. I imagine arriving at Magic Kingdom and not doing rope drop, but rather strolling through the front gates, child in tow, and sharing that incredible moment where you walk through the tunnel and into Mainstreet USA and see how magnificent the castle is framed by the storefronts and the statue of Disney and Mickey. There’s this feeling that starts to sink in where, it’s like, “Wow…I’m here… and it’s beautiful.” When you’re little, it all feels so big and magical and incredible, and I hope my husband and my child get to feel that same exact feeling. I imagine it’s hard to match that happiness anywhere else.