Storytime With Belle
It was bitter cold when we finally got to tour the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Florida. We had been in the Park for over eight hours by the time we entered the long line up for this new character show. It took about 1.5 hours to get into Maurice’s cabin, and almost 2 hours until we finally met Belle herself.
But it was worth it!
Here are some shots of the queue and the inside of the cabin:
Being as this was the first time through the queue, we didn’t mind the wait, as we had lots of things to look at and photograph. But if it weren’t our first time, I think a 2 hour wait to meet Belle might be a bit much. If you have small children it might be a different matter, but you will be suffering for them!
Once inside, you are let into an inner chamber (through an awesome mirror effect) for some orientation with the Wardrobe from the movie. She (with the help of a Cast Member) picks people from your group to be characters in the story of how Belle met Beast.
Other than the two men who are chosen to be Guards, most of the other character roles are filled by children. Gender isn’t a factor, so a girl can be the Beast and a boy can be Mrs. Potts, which works out well for little girls as most of the characters in the story are male.
Once every part is filled, it’s time to enter the Library to meet Belle. Here are a few shots of the area:
Lumière introduces Belle
When it came time for the children to interact with Belle and ‘be’ their character, a few got shy and wanted to stop. So the Cast Member asked if anyone else would like to take over. If no one did, she simply put the character card aside. In the case of Phillipe, Belle’s horse, my wife galloped to participate:
Each character in the story had a cut-out like this one
My wife never does anything halfway and so she got many comments from the audience as to how well she did. Even Belle was impressed! The reenactment of the story only takes about 10 minutes in total and likely changes from show to show. Remember that some kids get shy and so different characters might find themselves spontaneously ‘edited’ out of the final script!
When all is said and done, each person who participates gets their photo taken with Belle:
Unfortunately, Karen was having a bad hair day due to the hat she had to wear all day because of the cold temperatures. There was no time for freshening up before the rushed photo session. After the shot is taken, you are given a special PhotoPass Card that looks exactly like this:
When we accessed this from our computer after arriving at home we found that it contained all of the PhotoPass pictures taken from our story time. So it had some pictures of the story being acted out as well as all of the poses with the participants. Obviously, this way Disney doesn’t have to code the card to each participant.
Karen also got this great bookmark, which was a nice keepsake:
All in all I thought the theming of Maurice’s cabin and the interior rooms was very authentic to the movie. The mirror effect that let you enter into the chamber where the Wardrobe was was mind-blowing (that’s all I’ll say, you have to see it for yourself, at least once!). The Cast Members were wonderful and Belle, of course, was magical.
At this point though, I’d give the entire experience only a 3.5 out of 5 stars due to the long wait time, which I don’t expect to shorten given Belle’s popularity with youngsters. Also, the actual show is only about 10 minutes long, which is a small payoff for such a long wait. That said, anyone with kids must take in this attraction! Seeing your little one prance around giddy with joy at playing with Belle would be a moment not to be missed. So the rating would be much higher for parents.
Lamp post outside Maurice’s cabin shows his inventor’s ingenuity
Have you attended the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction? If so, please let us know what you thought of it in the comments section!