Enchanted Tales   4 comments

It has come to my attention that some people have a serious hate toward the new “Enchanted Tales With Belle” Meet and Greet/Meet and Play experience in New Fantasyland. These fans are claiming that this “New” experience was created to appeal to the children of five years ago (when the FLE began). Some others just feel left out, that they can’t do anything in this experience but watch- and that makes it stupid. Guess what? All of these folks are wrong, in a number of ways.

Before we start: If you haven’t seen the preview video of the attraction, you should take a look (unless you’re avoiding spoilers!) 

Today, I’m going to look at four of the main complaints I’ve heard about the project, and give you my input on how fallacious these complaints are.

  • Complaint One- That the kids won’t even like this either because because it’s silly activities catering to the simplest minded of kids, and Belle talks down to them. 

I’d like to start out by asking, How on earth do you, an adult (possibly without children!), know exactly what children like? You have no right to say that kids won’t like the activities.  You may not like how Belle talks to them, but guess what, that’s typically the way any face character will talk to little kids. Why? Because that’s how you talk to kids.

  • Complaint Two- The kids won’t like this “new” experience because it was designed for the kids of five years ago.

Guess what? This type of experience isn’t new at all. Nope. Not at all. Remember the extremely popular Tangled Play and Greet last year? They had to cut the number of activities and time because the lines were monstrous. It’s since been replaced by a popular Brave themed play and greet. Kids love play and greets.
But even beyond that, THIS play and greet isn’t even new. Take a look at this picture:

Anything look familiar? Like how Belle is there with kids holding props to act out the story? This is a picture of me, partaking in Enchanted Tales with Belle. In the year 2000. This experience wasn’t exactly created five years ago. It was created at least 7 years before then! It’s been proven to be a popular attraction. Kids loved it then, they’ll love it now, too.
Think about how excited the kids must be to feel like they are really part of the story. Even as adults, we seek out immersive stories in Disney attractions. Imagine how much more amazing being part of the story would feel.
As well, this new version will be even better than the original could have ever been. Between the incredible animatronics, structured break points that lead up to the main show, and immersive detail, I think the kids will appreciate this version much more. As will their parents.

  • Complaint Three- It’s dumb because it’s all about the kids. I feel left out!

How dare they add a kid-centric attraction in the Magic Kingdom! And in Fantasyland, of all places!
Seriously, I can’t even accept these complaints. No one is making you go to this attraction. Skip it, and move on. Not every attraction has to be about you. I never heard anyone make this complaint when the original Enchanted Tales was open. Or when the Tangled or Brave play and greets opened. So why are they complaining now?

  • Complaint Four- I’m not a kid, so I have to sit in the back and do nothing. That’s wrong!

You may recall that I do not like the Dumbo queue because there is nothing for parents to do but sit. And I still stand by that.
But guess what? That doesn’t apply here! This isn’t like the Dumbo Playland. There, parents sit down to wait to ride. They have to sit if they want to ride. Enchanted Tales, on the other hand, sitting down IS the experience. That may sound wrong, but look at it this way: they’re watching their kids preform a show! This is akin to Turtle Talk, where the parents don’t interfere, but get a free show staring their kids. Think of it like a movie. It’s a show, and you just sit there. Is that wrong? No, because that’s what you do. Enchanted Tales is the same way- it’s a show for the parents!

All in all, Enchanted Tales with Belle is a fantastic, multi-layered, fun-for-kids-and-parents addition. While I may not go see it, I love what it is. If you really can’t stand it, then avoid it. No one is making you go see it. If you do enjoy it, then go enjoy it! It’s worth visiting, in my opinion. My only issue with it? Needs more Cogsworth!

I’m sorry that I didn’t get chance to publish a trip report this past week. School has started back up, and it can be quite time-consuming. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

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Posted September 1, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Attractions, News

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4 responses to “Enchanted Tales

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  1. All very good points. As a grown-up (albeit sans children) I can appreciate attractions like this simply because it is an immersive experience designed for kids to be the primary participants while the parents can enjoy a secondary observing role. And since I am a staunch supporter of attractions that the whole family can enjoy together (Turtle Talk, Jedi Academy, etc…) I am glad that Disney is continuing these fine family-centered experiences. Also needs more Lumiere!

    • Well said!
      I think people’s main aversion from it is that it was planned to co-exist with 2 other princess realms that would follow the same idea. Everyone was so turned off by it, and claimed there was nothing for boys, they failed to notice that it was, at it’s heart, one of those attractions like Turtle Talk and Jedi Academy. Since Belle was the only one that remained after the re-vamp, people still weren’t happy.

  2. I understand your argument in support of it, despite some of my own disagreements. I stay clear of the “kids enjoy it” argument because, as high of an incentive as there is to appeal to kids, it seemed like the first 3 and a half decades of Disney theme parks were made with kids as well as everyone else in mind. As Mitch from “imagineeringdisney.com” has pointed out, the innocence and imagination of a child were catered to while the maturity and sophistication of an adult was also considered. I see no reason as to why Disney feels this obligation to choose between appealing to kids or appealing to older people when simple tweaks to this attraction’s overall concept would allow them to enjoy the best of both worlds. Now I’m going to speak from my own viewpoint as someone who doesn’t yet have kids, so please don’t accuse me of being selfish or anything. I suppose that this could be classified as an overall gripe with New Fantasyland, but the entire project just seems like a wasted opportunity to do something really special. Just looking at the entire project, there’s a relocation and expansion of a preexisting attraction, a clone of a DCA dark ride, knockoff Butterbeer, and a heavily themed kiddie coaster that’s replacing an attraction that existed before. “Enchanted Tales with Belle” is no exception, which at its core is a simply a more elaborate take on “Storytime with Belle.” While these changes and expansions are commencing, however, people like me feel rather excluded by all of it. It’s very clear that Disney’s only focus with this New Fantasyland is entirely the kiddies and possibly their parents. Sorry, but as great as it may be for them, those kids aren’t the ones paying for my admission. If Disney is going to charge me more for my ticket, as they inevitably will in order to compensate for the renovations and expanded park capacity, I want to feel like the increased pay is justified for me as well. I’ll personally probably go through “Enchanted Tales with Belle” once, but I can only watch other people’s kids put on a cute play so many times. You shouldn’t have to be a kid or have them in order for you to walk into a Disney attraction assured that you’ll enjoy it as much as anybody. Re-ride value is important, and it so far appears to be lacking not only for people like me, but for the kids and parents that the attraction is targeted towards. Who’s going to go see the play again when Peter Pan’s Flight and the Haunted Mansion are just a short walk away? I can tell that great attention has been put into the technological aspects of the show to make it as convincing as possible, as the animatronic Wardrobe and Lumiere are fantastic (assuming Disney will continue to keep them functioning properly, I’d hate to see the day where a cast member is forced to tell the guests that Wardrobe is “sleeping”)! But such fantastic animatronics are deserving of an equally fantastic show. I recall plans for a wonderful Beauty and the Beast show at Disneyland Paris that fell through, they would be perfect for that. It’s a shame to see them being implemented in a significantly less impressive attraction. I suppose that the bottom line of all this is that I hope this attraction works out for Disney in the long run. But for now, mass appeal and re-rideability are issues that they should be weary of. Aesthetically and technologically wise, they’re nearly spot on. A few simple tweaks to the attraction’s overall concept could improve the experience for everyone by 110 percent. Either way, we must withhold full judgement until the attraction finally opens to the public, as any potential goods and bads to the attraction that anyone perceives are pure speculation at this point.

    • I do agree that this attraction is geared specifically toward kids and their parents, much like many of the other New Fantasyland projects. But you know what? That’s fine. Much like you said, Disney theme parks were- and still are- made with kids as well as everyone else in mind. There is no reason that Disney should be making an attraction that caters only to one small minority group, especially in Fantasyland. Fantasyland has always been the land of attractions that kids and their parents can go and experience together. Of course, ‘kids’ is a somewhat objective term. It could mean toddlers, or it could mean eight year olds. I think that Disney takes this into consideration.Look at Mine Train compared to ETwB. Mine Train will be a coaster. Many younglings who loved meeting Belle may not be big enough to ride the coaster, and many kids who love the coaster are too big for ETwB. It balances out, and provides something for everyone. While it sounds like it is catering to one group, it isn’t really. Rather, it is providing alternatives. If every attraction was built with toddler, eight year old, and adults in mind, we’d have a serious issue. Hardly any attraction can cater to everyone at once.

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