The recently-released trailers of the live action Beauty and the Beast that is soon to be gracing our cinemas has left many of us desperate to fulfil our secret fantasies of being Belle for a day. Whether it is the dress or the library that inspires your lust, the tale is a Disney classic that should be celebrated by a couple of tickets to Walt Disney World.
Dress the part
Unfortunately guests over 14 are unable to enter Walt Disney World while wearing character costumes, however Belle’s gorgeous ball gown is hardly suitable for a day riding Splash Mountain. You can however, still channel Belle’s style without being in full costume. Whether it is the outfit from Belle's provincial town or the red and pink winter ensemble she sports to feed the birds, keeping close to colour schemes and with well thought out accessories, it is easy (and still practical) to dress like Belle. Leslie Kay has some great ideas to get you inspired on how to be Belle, these are all available on Polyvore and incorporate looks for different weather and days, and depending on how adventurous you are feeling.
Dine in Style
The Be Our Guest Restaurant is the epitome of all things French in honour of this classic tale. It also has three different dining experiences, one for each meal of your perfect day as Belle.
The Castle Gallery is an ideal place to start your day. A typical French breakfast could not be in a better setting than Belle’s private library, the best gift a Disney prince ever gave to a princess! If you have a lighter appetite, the French pastries and fresh coffee will put you in a regal mood, while the Croque Madame Breakfast Sandwich will soothe even the beastliest appetite.
The West Wing, host to the Beast’s legendary temper in the animated film, is just as unsettling for the lunchtime crowd. With falling petals on the iconic enchanted rose and portraits flashing eerily in the stormy lighting, it’s easy to imagine the initial fear that Belle experienced due to one of the most misunderstood Disney princes. That said, the menu is shared across all three dining experiences so the food is of a high quality, and is perfect for a midday pick-me-up. Taylor Pittman enjoyed her wanderings around the West Wing so much that she wrote a blog about it on her site Wherever I May Roam, and felt the atmosphere of The West Wing made it extra special “I loved the decor in the West Wing. It is modelled after the Beast’s study and is home to the Enchanted Rose. It was really awesome to see the rose on display and I think that everybody in the restaurant stopped to take a picture of it.”
The only possible setting for the final meal would have to be The Grand Ballroom. The third ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant experience will leave you humming ‘Tale as Old as Time’ for weeks and wishing elbow-length satin gloves were acceptable dinner attire. The impressive chandelier glittering above and the knowledge that ‘The Grey Stuff’ is actually on the menu, will leave you truly fulfilled in all of your Belle fantasies. Taylor was lucky enough to eat here and was excited to get into character: “The Ballroom is decorated with beautiful chandeliers, painted ceiling, and outside of the windows a thunderstorm takes place.”
Meeting Belle in person
You could not spend a day as Belle and not meet her whilst in Walt Disney World, though tracking the princess down can be tricky. This is due to the expectation that there will only ever be one Belle wandering around The Magic Kingdom and catching her alone - or not - with an enormous queue of fans can take all day if you are not careful. Thankfully BuildaBetterMouseTrip has created an in-depth guide of when and where to find Belle as well as other key characters in the parks, detailing when they are passing through as opposed to full meet and greet sessions: “Have your photo taken with Belle and get her autograph when she appears daily at various times in the France pavilion at Epcot.”
Watch Beauty and the Beast – Live on stage
Over at Hollywood studios, this production has been going on as long as the film has graced our screens, with the show opening the same day as the film was released and has been going strong ever since. Disney Lists has a handy guide to get the most out of any Beauty and the Beast performance and it is worth checking the blog before you build the live show into your itinerary. Mike and James who write for Disney Lists have nothing but enthusiasm regarding this classic spectacle: “If you have ever watched Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, you know just how incredible this show is. If you haven’t seen it, get ready for a fantastic experience.”
Enchanted Tales with Belle
A low capacity and high enjoyment attraction, this slower-paced experience gives you all the back story you could want for the most bookish princess. Beginning at Maurice’s workshop, the pathway is strewn with pieces of Maurice’s inventions and inside includes Belle’s bedroom, complete with a mother-daughter portrait. This experience involves magic mirrors, audience participation, and a photo with the leading lady if you are lucky.
There are also appearances from some of our favourite characters in interactive story-telling, including the ever charming Lumiere and the wardrobe assistant every girl needs, Madame Armoire. Tim W from Lancaster PA says “Enchanted Tales with Belle is a great play type event for all ages. Disney really gets the small group involved with this one and I was even asked to play a soldier. Finally, Belle comes out at the end and the kids are in awe because she is gorgeous and looks like the real thing.”
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