My niece (4.5) and nephew (2) LOVE this. They have spent hours and hours and hours playing with it. It has the versatility of a house (my nephew likes to reenact daily activities) with the added magic of a castle (my niece enjoys throwing princess parties).
The set includes a 2-person bed, 2 chairs, and a large table. I love that these pieces are separate and not attached to the castle, so they can be used in different places and ways. For example, my niece and nephew love to flip the bed or table over and use it as a "bath tub," and my nephew prefers to use the chairs for "potties." In fact, he frequently reenacts a scene in which Belle (not included in this set) and Cinderella fight over who gets to use the potty first (lol). Incidentally, my niece likes to use a 2' piece of toilet paper to hang out the window for Rapunzel's hair.
This comes with Cinderella and Snow White, but it is definitely worth buying the other princesses (although it is frustrating that the Cinderella and Snow White figures included with the castle are identical to the ones in the multi-pack). You could also use any Little People figures with this set.
Even if it didn't make any sounds, this would be a great set. The sounds are an added bonus. My niece loves listening to the songs they each play when pushed onto the center dance floor spot. Yes, it is true that only the princesses have personalized messages/songs. The male characters (princes, dwarfs, etc.) simply play a generic song. It hasn't been a big deal for us.
Two slight negatives are that the elevator on the left side is very difficult to push up and down, and the figures often (usually) fall out of the dance floor spots when the dance floor is moving.
Another warning: This does not come assembled! Assembly can get a little tricky and take up to an hour. If it is a gift, I actually recommend taking it out of the box ahead of time, putting it together, and wrapping the finished product. I did this with another FP set, and it worked great.
Nana bought this for my daughter over Christmas, and we quickly bought all the princesses to go with it. She's not yet 2, and can name all the princesses and sing their songs. She loves playing with it. Whenever we watch Little Mermaid, Tangled, or Cinderella, she'll run into her room to find the princess to watch with her. (So cute!)
Just a few quirks with it (many noted by other reviewers):
* The flags come off. (not really a big deal)
* Rapunzel sometimes thinks she's Ariel (if you press her at a slight angle instead of straight up and down)
* Needs more princes.
* The Snow White song isn't from the original score. (I expected "Some Day my Prince Will Come." Instead, they use "Waiting for my Prince" from the Disney Princess album.)
Even with these quirks, it's well worth it for hours of entertainment and creativity.