My husband and I just disembarked from the Disney Dream on Sunday for a quick 3-night getaway (trip report coming soon!). We were thrilled to be on-board for the season’s first Very Merrytime sailing and one of the first to see the all-new Beauty and the Beast stage show.
Replacing Villains Tonight, the Beauty and the Beast stage show did not disappoint. We laughed, we cried, we ooh’ed and aah’d. It had the best moments from the live action movie as well as touches from the animated classic.
For our sailing, BATB was on Night 1 due to a media event earlier that day while the ship was in Port Canaveral. (This was the day of the live stream which you can see here!). The set takes 2.5 hours to put up so I can see why they just kept it up for our sailing for night 1. Future sailings may be on a different night once they fine-tune the show order.
We had main dining, so we went to the 8:30 show. We arrived to the Walt Disney Theatre about 30 minutes early and it was already really full. Everyone is ready to see this all-new show, so I advise you arrive early and remember, there is no saving of seats in the theatre!
On with the Show
Disney Dream’s BATB parallels the 2017 live-action movie more so than the animated movie with similar costume stylings, some of the new songs and character development. The show opens with Maurice working on his music boxes.
The way the actors interacted with their puppet characters was wonderful and when Belle spoke to Mrs. Potts or another puppet character, she looked at the object, not the person animating it which was a wonderful touch. This aspect of the human character behind the puppet really brought forward the humanity and their stories of these usually inanimate objects.
Belle was independent, lovely and gracious in her role while Gaston was of course, all over himself. Mrs. Potts is one of my favorite characters and she was definitely a highlight for me with her familiar songs, accent and hospitality.
The scenery and set was amazing with both hard props and digital backdrops that moved, giving you a sense of movement as well as depth. One moment you’re at the Beast’s castle, the next you’re running from wolves, and then back again in the castle. The props are constantly moving, creating a sense that Belle’s world is larger than the stage she is appearing on, which of course is limited in size both on-stage and behind-the-scenes since it is on a cruise ship. New digital projections in the theatre extended the stage and further immersed the audience in this romantic classic.
The familiar score by Alan Menken is present throughout the show and new favorites from the live-action movie are included such as “Days in the Sun” and “Evermore.” Be Our Guest was a FEAST for your senses! The costumes, the staging, the lighting, along with the familiar tune… it was definitely a highlight of the show.
Costume designer Sarah Cubbage made every character shine in their role, especially all the delectable food dancing during the signature BOG number. The cleverness of the wolves costumes is intriguing and I loved how they transformed the Beast at the end of the story.
Certain small tweaks were made to the storyline like Philip, Belle’s family horse, is not in the show. Two villagers find Maurice’s music box from his abandoned wagon and this is what alerts Belle that her father is in trouble. The weapon is different in the final fight scene as well.
At the end, when Chip becomes a young boy again, check out the special magic that takes place… it made my heart happy to see that magical audience immersion.
My only critique of the show was when it came to solo numbers, it was sometimes hard to hear the singer over the instrumental background, so that is something the in-house sound team will have to adjust as they learn to adapt for a live audience of 1,340 people each show.
This “tale as old as time” is a can’t-miss feature aboard the Disney Dream, and one of my favorite productions I’ve seen so far aboard Disney Cruise Line.