During my recent visit to WDW, I was lucky enough to experience the newest attraction in New Fantasyland, Enchanted Tales with Belle, currently in soft opening in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
If you want to learn more about the attraction, head over to Scarlett Litton’s amazing review and video on Touring Plans Blog. She was among the first to experience the attraction in its soft opening.
Here’s the 411 on how to get in: Near Pinocchio’s Village Haus, there’s a door in the construction wall. In the morning (usually from about 11 a.m. until about 2 p.m.), there’ll be a manager (in a button-down shirt) standing at the door if they’re doing previews that day.
Just walk over to the manager and ask if you can see Belle’s cottage. It’s pretty hit or miss. I tried to get in three or four times on Friday, September 7, with no luck, and then on Sunday, September 9, I was able to get in with no problem. I haven’t heard any reports of people getting in this week, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a try!
To reiterate: I wasn’t part of any special media event or press showing. Anyone can participate in this unadvertised soft opening in New Fantasyland.
Now that you know how to get in, here’s what to expect: It is awesome. The attraction is totally amazing, and I am sure the lines are going to be insane when it officially opens, so if you can do it now, I highly recommend it!
The initial queue winds outside the cabin, and it’s very clear that an inventor is in residence. The light fixtures all feature cogs and bits and pieces, like they were handmade out of leftover parts from a mad science experiment.
Everything is cobbled together—the fence, for example, is made of an old wagon as well as re-purposed shovel. I also noticed how incredibly beautiful the landscaping in the area is. I guess that’ll change once there are kids trampling on it ten hours a day, seven days a week. But for now, it is truly lovely.
Off in the distance, you can see Beast’s Castle, which looks remarkably tall and far away, even though intellectually I know it’s very tiny and very close. I am anxiously awaiting a closer look.
We spent very little time in the cottage’s living room, but what we did see was extremely cool! We were ushered through the room quickly, but I hope that they’ll allow guests to linger a bit once the attraction is open. I am looking forward to spending some more time there.
From there, we were led into Maurice’s workshop, where Belle keeps a magic mirror that The Beast gave her. If you can get yourself to the front of the room, do it. The effects on this are really beautiful, and I was sorry to have to view them between the shoulders of my fellow guests. (This is where Scarlett’s videos come in handy because my photos are trash, but her videos are incredible.)
As the story goes, we ask the mirror to take us to Beast’s castle on the night that Belle and Beast fell in love. (Time travel!) As we make the wish, the mirror transforms into a doorway, leading us into the wardrobe room, where Madame Wardrobe explains our task. We have been brought to this moment to reenact the night Belle met The Beast.
Let me tell you something about Madame Wardrobe: she is huge. She is beautiful. She is impressive. The voice is spot on, and her face is crazy awesome. As she helped the Cast Member assign roles to each of the guests, I actually believed the wardrobe was talking to me! It’s a great addition to a very cute show.
There are a ton of roles available in this little performance, so if you want to be part of the show, just make sure you are prepared to be a little silly. Me? I couldn’t resist: I asked if I could be the silverware! For the rest of the day, I insisted I was a dinglehopper. (Below, you can see me pictured with the flatware, played by my friend Mark Diba.)
Once we were assigned our parts, Lumiere called us into the library. This was my one disappointment: the library is so not fabulous!! But Lumiere … well, he was even more incredible than Madame Wardrobe! I kind of wish I could have put him in my purse and brought him home with me.
Inside the library, the performers sat on the floor and along the first row of benches, while the families and other guests sat on the rest of the benches in the center of the library. Everyone had a decent view, but it’s not exactly tiered seating, so if you’re wanting to get a great photo of junior playing The Beast, try to snag a front row or aisle seat.
That said, there is a Photopass photographer in the room snapping photos at all times. I haven’t received my Photopass disc yet, but I have looked at the photos online, and the photographer managed to get three really great shots of me, which is incredible considering the fact that the show is short and there were so many performers.
As one of the performers, I found the whole experience super, duper fun! I didn’t feel like Belle was rushed at all—when she was talking to me, it was as if I was the only person in the room. And I was only a fork! I got to do a little dance and parade around the room with my fellow cast members. It was silly, and it made me smile. I highly recommend getting in on the fun if you aren’t too shy.
Sitting in the audience, my husband was really impressed by the cast members who moved the show along. They were always right on the spot and interacted with both the children and adults in a way that seemed natural and kept everything moving forward so the show didn’t lag.
After I basked in Belle’s love and the devotion of my audience, it was all over. On our way out, each performer received a special Photopass card and a bookmark “signed” by Belle. I’ll treasure them forever! Or at least until my next opportunity to step through Belle’s enchanted mirror.
Maybe next time, I’ll try for the role of Madame Wardrobe …
Have you experienced Enchanted Tales with Belle? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!