Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Post: Enchanted Tales with Belle

I recently got to experience the dress rehearsal for New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. I literally came across it one late afternoon. Had no idea dress rehearsals would start during our vacation. I was able to ride Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, drink a LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern, and step inside Be Our Guest restaurant. Another experience I enjoyed was Enchanted Tales with Belle.

Enchanted Tales with Belle is the first attraction you come to as you enter through the new castle walls from Fantasyland. It's quite different than any other meet and greet and it's not exactly a show. It's sort of a combination between the two paired with audience participation. It's definitely geared toward younger children and not the overly shy. 

You will enter a queue in front of Maurice's cottage. You'll then step inside the cottage and will be led to Maurice's workshop which has a magic mirror that a cast member will tell you about. I'm sure you've heard it by now but really, this effect is super cool. Disney does a great job at making the magic mirror turn into a doorway and I'll tell you, I thought it was very realistic looking. I can't imagine what a child would be thinking! Pure Disney magic at it's best! 

 You are then led into a room which features Madame Wardrobe, an amazing animatronic. Here's where the interactive part comes in. The cast member starts assigning roles for a surprise for Belle which will be a re-enactment of the night The Beast and Belle fell in love. You can volunteer if you want for a role. They make sure there are plenty for all who want to be involved. Here is the deal though, if you are not involved in the show, you aren't going to meet Belle which may be disappointing to some children so be warned. Once everyone is assigned a role, they are handed a cardboard cutout and then they go through a brief rehearsal of the parts. My son happened to get assigned as the Beast as it turns out. Everyone is then lead into the library and is greeted by the unbelievably real looking Luminere animatronic. I mean, really...he's good! Belle then comes out and they do the re-enactment. For those who are wanting Belle's autograph, it's not going to happen but you can get a quick photo opp as she poses with those in the show and hands them a “signed” bookmark and special Photopass of the whole experience. 

 I think this experience is going to be a huge hit much like the previous Storytime with Belle was in the Fairytale Garden. Soft openings begin November 19 with Grand Opening on December 6. I definitely recommend checking it out. It will definitely be an experience your children will remember! For those autograph lovers out there, remember, you can still meet Belle at Epcot as well.

Contributed by Corby C. of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a proud wife and mom to Banks and Henley, a Disney Destination Planner with Travel with the Magic and one of our Minnie Moms.

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