One of the most magical of Walt Disney World moments – meeting a Disney princess – becomes even more magical in Enchanted Tales with Belle, an all-new attraction at New Fantasyland.
Here, Magic Kingdom guests are immersed into the enchanting “Beauty and the Beast” story as they enter Belle’s world through the provincial cottage of her father, Maurice, and are transported to Beast’s Castle.
Walt Disney Imagineers brought Belle’s world to life, energizing a “tale as old as time.” Guests are transfixed by a magic mirror portal and furniture that springs to life. Characters, costumes and props for guests leave behind the traditional meet and greet, and immerse guests into the 1991 animated film classic.
“You’re not just watching the experience…you’re living it,” said Chris Beatty, creative director for New Fantasyland with Walt Disney Imagineering. The adventure starts on the winding stone pathway leading to Maurice’s Cottage. In the distance looms the Castle of the Beast. Always the tinkerer, Belle’s father has used broken wagon wheels and other castoffs to fortify the fence. A water wheel, eccentric weather vanes and two chimneys complete the faithful reproduction of the cottage.
Evidence of Belle and her father greet guests arriving into Maurice’s Cottage. All about the room are stacks of books and sketches – reflecting Belle’s passion for reading and her father’s for inventing. Belle’s growth through the years is even noted by wall markings etched by her father. Once in Maurice’s workshop, we see light fixtures made from buckets, gears and even a failed flying contraption.
But what captivates guests most is the Enchanted Mirror. It’s Maurice’s most treasured possession that comes to life, transforming into a doorway that transports guests to the Beast’s Castle.
Guests are encouraged by Madame Wardrobe to gather and help plan a surprise for Belle. Using props, guests become part of the storytelling experience by playing the part of characters from “Beauty and the Beast,” including Maurice, Phillipe his horse and Beast’s whimsical household sidekicks Chip the teacup, Mrs. Potts the teapot and the Beast himself.
“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.”
Lumiere invites guests into the Beast’s library and calls to Belle, who is preparing for her dinner with the Beast. As Lumiere narrates, Belle and her surprise guests share in a fun-filled, interactive storytelling adventure – the “tale as old as time” — before she dashes off to see the Beast.
All photos ©Walt Disney Company