I’ve always thought it would be kind of fun to try henna.  I’m not one to get a real tattoo, but I like the intricate, swirly designs and the temporariness of Henna.   I remember seeing a booth at the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot when my husband and I were on our honeymoon.  I didn’t do it because I thought it might take a long time, with me sitting there and my husband just watching.  (It doesn’t take long, by the way.)  When we came back to Disney World on our next trip, I was still interested, so I gave it a try and loved it! 

Henna is a plant.  The leaves are crushed and mixed with a mild acidic liquid (like lemon juice) to form a paste, which dyes the skin temporarily.

Here is a picture of the Morocco Pavilion.  The Henna booth is in a building alongside the lake.  (Updated after a trip in September of 2014).  There is also another henna artist inside the shops, near the Kidcot Stop.

Henna booth close

There is a 3-ring binder out front that shows the designs that they offer, along with their prices.  Some of them were more traditional designs, some were playful (hearts, stars),  and others had some Disney flair (like a Mickey head).  I’ve also seen that they will do Rafikki’s drawing of Simba.  Cute!

Have your name written in Arabic for $20

Have your name written in Arabic for $20

I liked a hand tattoo for $20, but I really just wanted the ring part of it (mostly because I didn’t want to spend quite that much).  I can’t believe myself, but I actually bartered with the Cast Member and asked how much it would cost to just get the ring part done.  She said she thought she could do “something nice” for $15.  Perfect.  It was a deal.

Epcot (319)

There was a place for my family to sit while she worked.  She had a little tube (sort of like a small version of a piping bag used for frosting) of henna dye and she squeezed out the greenish-brown paste on my hand in a pretty design, making a “ring,” with vines and lines that spread down my finger and up onto my hand.  It only took a few minutes (maybe 10 minutes altogether, including paying at the register).

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Click to enlarge and see the detail, as well as her tools.

She instructed me to allow it to dry, without touching it.  That would take about 30 minutes.  I also wasn’t supposed to wash the back of my hand for several hours.  (I used sanitizer on my palm before I ate supper.)  During that time, the henna would flake off and would leave a dark stain.  She said it would last about 7-10 days and would get lighter with time.  All of that happened, just as she’d said.  It felt a little bit funny when it dried and flaked, but it wasn’t bad and it wasn’t itchy or anything.  I am the kind of person who may be bothered by a bigger design drying on my skin, but just know yourself and your vacation plans before you go, if you’re considering henna.  If you were going to head over to your resort pool after being at World Showcase, for example, you probably wouldn’t want to opt for a henna tattoo.

Here is a photo of it, just a little bit later, while we wandered though the Morocco Pavilion.

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Click to enlarge and see the texture.

She’d added a sprinkling of glitter at the end, to make it pretty while it dried.  The glitter doesn’t stay after it flakes off.  At this point, you can see that the paste had already dried quite a bit.

I will say that my son (who was almost 4 at the time) was very freaked out by my getting this done.  He was tired–which certainly didn’t help–but he also didn’t understand what the artist was doing to me.  I told him that it was just like having his face painted; it didn’t hurt.  I wasn’t remembering, though, that he’d never had his face painted.  My son doesn’t like to be messy.  So, a word of caution:  if your young kids will be with you, explain to them what henna is all about before they start screaming at the artist.  That’s embarrassing.  I know.  (He never liked it, by the way, even after it had flaked off.  My husband and I, however, thought it was really cute!)

My receipt from Marrakesh Arts and Crafts for the henna tattoo lists their website.  The site doesn’t have a lot of detail about getting a henna tattoo there, but it does have a few photos.  I paid $15 total, by the way.  There was no tax.

Here is my tattoo the next day , after I’d slept and showered and everything.  Does anyone know where I was in this picture?  Leave a comment if you do!

Next Day

Where am I?

People noticed it during the rest of our trip and made nice comments.  I was complimented by a PhotoPass photographer as I handed her my camera to use.  Someone at Animal Kingdom (2 days after I’d gotten it) asked me where I’d had it done.

It was subtle, but fun.  When I get there again, I’d like another one.  I’m even considering packing a pair of flip flops in my backpack so that I can get one on my foot and finish the day in sandals while it dries.


Subtle Henna Tattoo