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New Fantasyland Forest at Disney World's Magic Kingdom


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Beauty and the Beast Land: Enchanted Tales with Belle
Maurice's cottage at Enchanted Tales with Belle.
© Arthur Levine, 2012. Licensed to About.com.

When Disney first announced the Fantasyland expansion, it was almost entirely princess-focused and filled with girly-girl rides and shows. The Mouse later rethought its plans, ditched some of the little girl-centric features, and added some attractions into the mix that boys wouldn't be embarrassed to try. The decidedly girly-girl Beauty and the Beast land, however, remains.

As guests make their way through the forest, they enter Belle's Village, the home of the "Beauty" and budding princess. The highlight of the village area is Enchanted Tales with Belle, which visitors access by entering Maurice's (that's Belle's father) cottage.

They are led to a workshop where they encounter a magical mirror. Instead of telling guests who is the fairest of them all, this mirror transforms into a door that transports them to the Beast's castle. Imagineers appear to have employed some industrial-strength smoke to go along with the mirror. The attraction includes highly impressive animatronic characters, The Wardrobe and Lumiere (the suave candlestick character from the film).

The Belle experience is part of an initiative by Disney to present attractions that are more immersive and interactive. Rather than passively watching a story unfold (like the more traditional Little Mermaid ride), some guests actively participate in the show and are featured characters in the story.

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