Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast is the newest ride to join the ranks of other trackless attractions at Disney Parks across the globe. Instead of escaping the First Order or touring a Mystical Manor, you join Belle on her journey through the animated classic, Beauty and the Beast.
What do I think about Enchanted Tales of Beauty and the Beast in Tokyo Disneyland? I’ll tell you what I like, disliked, and where I think it ranks among the world-class attractions at other Disney Parks.
This post does contain some spoilers, so if you wish to not read any further I understand.
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast at Tokyo Disneyland
To give you a quick spoiler-free review: Any fan of Beauty and the Beast won’t be disappointed. It hits all the right notes and makes you feel as if you’re part of the story. It’s a tale as old as time, that comes to life.
From here on out, I’ll speak to details of the attraction that are considered spoilers. If you don’t want to spoil anything I recommend checking out all the merchandise, food, and even see our walkthrough tour of the new Fantasyland area.
How do you ride Beauty and the Beast at Tokyo Disneyland?
I have to speak about the new “Entry Request” system that I like to refer to as a “virtual queue lottery.”
As of this writing, there is no standby, Fastpass, or single rider line for Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. This may change in the future, but for the time being the only way to ride is by going through the “Entry Request” system.
I explain how the “Entry Request” works in this video below:
OK, let’s get to the good parts, shall we? What do I think about all the aspects of experiencing Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast at Tokyo Disneyland?
The Story of Beauty and the Beast Begins Immediately
The moment you step into the queue outside the Beast’s Castle, the story of Beauty and the Beast is already in full swing. In fact, that story started the once you stepped foot into the Village. Wandering past Maurice’s House, the Library, La Taverne de Gaston, and finally the courtyard of the Castle, it’s all story-driven.
You’re living through the story of Belle from the first moments of the film all the way through to the final scene. It’s remarkable how cohesive the story-telling is throughout the land and carries through the attraction. This speaks volumes to the immense talent of the Imagineering team that worked so hard on this project.
A Highly Detailed Queue
Walking across the bridge with the fog made my inner 7-year-old self squeal with glee.
To give a bit of backstory, when I was in grade school our class put on a Beauty and the Beast play. This is where I made my acting debut as “Baker #2” in the opening scene of the play and I perfected the phrase “Bonjour!” Growing up in Canada, where French is our official second language, having to “learn” the phrase “Bonjour!” was rather, well, elementary for me.
Experiencing what I’ve only seen in animated form come to life in front of my eyes gave me chills and a gleeful smile across my face. Although with my mask, no one could see just how huge my grin was.
As chills ran down my spine after crossing the bridge and into the courtyard, it was hard for me to believe that this was real. The attention to detail is astounding, which isn’t surprising for many projects you see at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Finally, walking inside the castle and the queue, I couldn’t help by having a few tears in my eyes. The inside is exactly how my 7-year-old self imagined it. Alive and full of elegance.
Yes, it’s a beautiful castle with the utmost detail you’d expect to see with that hint of enchantment. It’s an absolute delight and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I wish I had more time in the queue to soak it all in.
A Preshow to Push the Story in Motion
I went into this attraction without any spoilers or knowing anything about it (outside the obvious). The preshow caught me off guard completely. If you’re familiar with the preshow for the Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea, it gives off similar vibes. But with less Joe Rohde and more Paige O’Hara (in Japanese).
This is where you’re first introduced to the stunningly fluid animatronics.
It begins exactly like the film. I don’t need to say any more than that. It left me with goosebumps and, again, a smile across my face the entire time.
Dance Through the Castle in Your Teacup
After the preshow, you’re back into another hallway where you’ll see more characters simply living their best life in the Castle (at least trying because they’re trapped). You’ll then enter the kitchen, which is the loading area.
You know where this is going right?
You’ll board into your teacup that holds 10 guests and you’ll whisk off from the kitchen with 5 other teacups all at once. That means there’s a total of 60 guests who are dancing through the castle with you. Or in more technical terms, there are 60 guests dispatched every few minutes, which is high throughput.
The opening scene is the iconic “Be Our Guest” and is as charming and undeniably satisfying as you think. You’re spinning and dancing in your teacup as the timeless song is playing in the massive room. After that, you’ll glide through other wonderful scenes of Beauty and the Beast.
You’ll meet more of the impressive animatronics through various scenes.
In the final scene, prepare yourself for chills and tears. Everything you ever imagined as a child with the ballroom scene comes to life before your eyes. Being a part of the story in this “enchanted” teacup was something I never thought was possible. I’m not afraid to admit that I had tears in my eyes.
It wasn’t the impressive technology alone that made this 35-year-old tear up, it was the perfect combination of technology and storytelling. A skill that I feel the Imagineers works so hard on, and it shows.
Finally, before you’re able to pull yourself together the story comes to an end with the perfect ending for any attraction I’ve ever experienced.
From beginning to end, you’re living the animated classic. A feat that is immensely impressive.
Even after all this praise, there’s one thing I wish I could change.
What would I change?
Nothing is perfect, and that applies to Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. The animatronics are stunning and I want to give massive kudos to everyone who worked on them because they’re now the bar for anything else moving forward.
One scene that left me eager for more was the one with the mob storming the castle. My personal favourite scene in the film. From a technical perspective, I haven’t the faintest idea of how this could work. The door with the pitchforks and other weapons protruding through the door with Fifi holding the blood-thirsty mob back was a great start to what I think should have been a more epic sequence.
A lot of that scene in question happened in other parts of the castle and outside, so I understand the challenge. However, that doesn’t stop me from the feeling of wanting a more (we always want more though right?)
Long story short, a longer scene with the mob could have elevated the attraction even more. With that said, if that’s my only real criticism, I don’t’ have much to complain about. Since I’m not an Imagineer, I don’t have legs to stand on with my criticisms.
The one thing that would elevate the attraction is an animatronic of Celion Dion at the end belting out “Beauty and the Beast.” Similar to the “The Shaman of Songs” in the Navi River Journey at Walt Disney World. As a proud Canadian, that would make my heart sing.
I’m not 100% serious, only about 85%.
Where does Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast rank?
Where does Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast rank among the other trackless rides that Disney has created? In the past year alone we’ve seen Rise of the Resistance and Mickey’s Runaway Railway open at the US Disney Parks. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience both of these multiple times before the state of the world went into, well you know.
This is a question that I’ve been pondering since I first stepped out of the teacup of Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. I’ll admit my bias towards Beauty and the Beast because of my nostalgia and emotional connections with the film itself.
Without a doubt, Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast joins the ranks as one of the best attractions in a Disney Park. Is it the best attraction at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort? Yes, yes it is.
This attraction deserves a spot on your “must-do” list as a theme park enthusiast. If you ever wanted to live your fairytale, this is the closest we’re going to get for some time.
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These official photos of inside the queue, preshow, loading area and the ride are provided by Oriental Land Co., Ltd. and are used with permission. The featured photo is taken by us.