At Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Tales with Belle, part of New Fantasyland, Walt Disney World guests can enjoy an immersive experience where they not only meet a Disney princess but because part of a “Beauty and the Beast” storytelling experience.
Guests begin their Enchanted Tales with Belle experience by entering the theme-park version of “Beauty and the Beast.” At New Fantasyland, guests visit the cottage home of “crazy old Maurice,” Belle’s father.
From there, with a little bit of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) magic, guests are transported to Beast’s Castle for an immersive meet-and-greet experience. Guests become part of the show, which includes a magic mirror, furniture that comes to life, and appearances of favorite characters from the 1991 animated movie.
“You’re not just watching the experience…you’re living it,” said Chris Beatty, creative director for New Fantasyland with Walt Disney Imagineering in a media statement.
Guests can immediately sense they are entering Belle’s world as they approach Maurice’s Cottage via a winding stone path. The inventor has added his special touches to the cottage and its grounds. Be sure to look at fence, made out of broken wagon wheels and scavenged items, and at the house’s weather vanes.
Disney’s attention to detail continues inside the cottage, which offers another look at Maurice and Belle’s home life. The room is filled with books, blueprints and sketches that represent the characters’ interests: reading, inventing and dreaming. There is a portrait of Belle with her mother, and one of the walls has a growth chart that tracks Belle’s height.
The focus of the cottage, though, is Maurice’s Workshop. Not only have some Maurice’s ideas have made it into his workshop, this is where the Enchanted Mirror resides.
“The storytelling starts when you enter the queue. You’ll see that Maurice has used all this old stuff and cobbled them together to create this environment. Everything looks like Maurice made it except for the Enchanted Mirror. That’s the star of the show…and Maurice’s most treasured possession,” said Beatty.
The mirror transforms into a doorway, allowing guests to travel to Beast’s Castle for the rest of the Enchanted Tales with Belle experience.
Once guests have been transported to Beast’s Castle, they are welcomed by Madame Wardrobe, the loquacious movie character who lives life loudly. She encourages guests – children and adults – to participate in a surprise for Belle.
Using props, volunteers play characters and retell “Beauty and the Beast.” Guests may be asked to play Maurice, Phillipe the horse, Chip the teacup, Mrs. Potts the teapot, even the Beast. There are plenty of smaller roles (e.g. dishes, silverware and suits of armor) so everyone can be included.
“In the movie, Lumiere the Candelabra, Cogsworth and the Wardrobe made a huge effort to make Belle feel at home in the castle,” said WDI’s Ted Robledo, “Now, the tables have turned and we, the guests, are invited by the Wardrobe to go on an adventure and make Belle feel welcome in the castle.”
Next, an Audio-Animatronic Lumiere invites guests into the Beast’s Library, which contains over 12,000 “books.” He calls to Belle, who is preparing for her dinner with the Beast. Belle and Disney guests enjoy an interactive storytelling adventure as Lumiere narrates. Meanwhile, PhotoPass photographers document the experience.
The storytelling ends with a lively procession of players and music. The show’s participants are thanked by Belle and have a PhotoPass picture taken with her. They also receive a souvenir bookmark. (Guests who didn’t participate in the show: simply ask to participate to have your PhotoPass picture taken or to receive a bookmark.)
After the story is complete, Belle leaves to join the Beast.
Magic Kingdom offers a Disney FASTPASS option for Enchanted Tales with Belle. Guests who take advantage of that will bypass visiting the front room of Maurice’s Cottage, joining the experience in the workshop with the Enchanted Mirror.
Enchanted Tales with Belle is part of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.
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