Disney's Only Beauty & The Beast Theme Park Ride Is So Enchanting
How do they do that Beast transformation?!
Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but it took almost 30 years for the classic 1991 film to get its own ride in a Disney theme park. Sure, there’s the Enchanted Tales with Belle show and Be Our Guest Restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, but it wasn’t until Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast opened at Tokyo Disneyland in 2020 that guests were able to go on their own adventure in the great wide somewhere. On my recent trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, this was the first attraction I visited — and there’s a reason it has the longest wait times in the park.
The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast is similar to a lot of the “dark rides” you find in Fantasyland, where you get to go through a condensed version of the movie you know and love. In just a few scenes, you see Belle make her way to the Beast’s castle, enjoy a “Be Our Guest” dinner, fall in love, break the curse, and dance in the grand ballroom in her iconic yellow gown. The story is well-known, but what makes this ride so popular is the all-new technology used. Disney’s only Beauty and the Beast ride is completely trackless, which has become a go-to among the new generation of Disney attractions. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, and even Pooh's Hunny Hunt, also at Tokyo Disneyland, use this trackless technology where your ride vehicle can go pretty much anywhere. It makes it so that you never know just where you’ll go in the Beast’s castle.
The animatronics are also pretty impressive in the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. Their movements are more fluid-like than some of the OG animatronics in rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Instead of a car, you’re also seated in a giant tea cup that looks like Chip from the movie. Your cup can move around 360 degrees and tilt like an unsteady dish in a saucer. It keeps the ride more thrilling than just a regular vehicle that only moves forward.
While the animatronics speak in Japanese, you can fully understand what’s going on if you’ve seen the film before. The story actually begins in the queue leading up to when you get into your cup. As you enter the Beast’s castle, you see characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts pretending to be inanimate objects before entering the main foyer. This is where you see the beginning of the story take place in the stained glass window before the Beast and Belle come out. It makes the line more entertaining as you wait. You can also spend your time looking out for Beauty and the Beast easter eggs. I found one in the room where you get into your teacup. There is a set of keys on the wall, and the one for the forbidden west wing of the castle is missing with the Beast’s claw marks in its place.
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast Ride Review
I was thoroughly impressed with Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, and I highly recommend it not just for Beauty and the Beast fans, but for anyone visiting Tokyo Disneyland for the first time. However, since it’s newer, it is the most popular attraction in the park. I was able to check this one off early, because my family had the “Happy Entry” perk that comes with staying at one of the Tokyo Disney Resort hotels. This gets you into the park 15 minutes before everyone else, and I made a beeline to the ride (along with everyone else) as soon as I got in. It really was a mad dash with every other guest to get to the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast ASAP, and after we got off the the ride, its wait time was around three hours long.
You can also purchase Disney Premier Access, which is Tokyo Disneyland’s version of FastPass and costs about $14 a person. It’s definitely worth it if you don’t want to spend hours waiting in line, especially since an Individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney World and Disneyland can be as high as $25 a person. Your Premier Access will give you time to come back to the ride and skip the line.
The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast also gets gold stars for being a longer ride when you can sometimes wait hours for a ride that’s over in less than two minutes. The ride itself is about eight minutes long, and that doesn’t include the pre-show with Belle and the Beast in the foyer. Going through the castle also feels like part of the experience, and you’ll want to snap tons of pictures in front of the attraction. The little town outside of the ride also looks exactly like Belle’s poor provincial town with a fountain and La Taverne de Gaston. It really makes you feel like you’re in the movie.
Between the Insta-worthy snacks and adorable merch to shop, there are a lot of things to do at Tokyo Disneyland that make it one of the best Disney parks around the globe. So, make sure you add Disney’s only Beauty and the Beast ride to the top of your to-do list when you get there. And if you’re able to figure out how they’re able to pull off the Beast transformation in the ride, let me know. I’m still scratching my head on that one.