Friday, April 19, 2013

Hits and Misses in Belle's Village

In order to fully appreciate the following update, you should first turn on the "Belle" song from your Beauty and the Beast soundtrack.  (Here it is on youtube).  Ok, ready?

Today we're going to take a journey to a little town - just a quiet village really - where everyday is like the one before...

BONJOUR!  Welcome to Belle's village!  We've looked at Ariel's area of New Fantasyland, so I thought it was time to give Belle a turn.

I love how the Beast's castle is always in view, just up the mountain.  To tell the truth, it looks more impressive from a distance than it does up close!

Shall we stop in the village shop first?

There's plenty of pretty B&B merchandise to be found in here!

I was SO tempted by this mug.  Maybe I'll pick one up next time...

This may look familiar!  There were lots of Belle bags and shirts.

Those beasts/gargoyles on the goblets and candle stands are the same as the beasts out on the pillars leading to the castle.  I don't mind them, but somehow I wish they were a little more cheerful.  I would've liked to see some touches from when the castle was transformed, as well as when it was still under the curse.

Lots of pretty decor details in addition to the merchandise!

It looked like this book told the story of Beauty and the Beast in French!

Here's a mystery we found.  See that portrait above the cute little fluffy Beast toys?

That face looked way too specific to just be some random person - we figured it must be an imagineer who worked on New Fantasyland.  We asked a cast member about it, but she just gave us an obnoxious smile (that seemed to say she knew but wasn't going to tell us) and said it was the village mayor.  Ugh - when cast members are good, they're great.  But they can sure be nasty when they want to.

Google is more helpful than that mean CM and tells me that the guy in the portrait is Phil Holmes, president of the Magic Kingdom.  Looks like the internet's reaction was similar to mine: why did he need a great big ostentatious picture of himself right smack dab in the middle of the shop, where they could've put something on theme?  Kinda tacky.


The cast members may have been rude, but I did like their costumes.  Seriously.  I want that skirt.  And the guy wearing the crown is too funny.

Next up we had a peek inside Gaston's Tavern.  OK, so can I just complain about that statue for a minute?  Yes, it's funny, and it makes for a fun photo op.  But it makes Gaston's presence dominate Belle's Village, which is not what you want.  And with his ugly statue there, you can't recreate this classic moment from the movie...


I'd rather have some sheep statues.  Then at least I could discover the prince in chapter three without Gaston grinning down at me in a ghastly way.

I can't say I was super impressed with the Tavern - it felt dark and crowded.  And I'm not really a fan of all those antlers.

A few more shots from around the restaurant.  The biggest complaint I have is that measly little box in the upper right hand corner.  You're calling that a patisserie?  Really?  This is a patisserie.  That is three croissants on a plate.

While I do like Belle's Village overall, I was a little disappointed.  It felt like they could've done so much more.  Why not give us an actual boulangerie or patisserie?  And what about the BOOKSHOP?  How can it be Belle's village if there's no bookshop?

I mean, come on, they could've made the bookshop into an entire ladder-sliding ride if they had a little imagination!

Apart from the gift shop and the tavern, the only other part of the village to see was the courtyard where the restrooms were.  Ironically, I actually liked this space the best.  So many pretty details...

"Fleuriste: Pick your flowers."

I LOVE the sign for the restrooms with the villagers.  So cute!

I loved all the little architectural touches - the blue beams, the lanterns, the windows...

I love those mismatched rooftops and how the door is set back a bit.  It was fun, when I was travelling in little French villages lately, to look for details just like that!

That, my friends, is a tour of Belle's Village.  Have you guys been here yet?  I'd love to here your thoughts in the comments!


  1. Emma, this is darling! Looking at these pictures makes me so excited to go visit Belle's Village some day. :)

  2. the song Belle does set the mood for this post. I can't wait to check it out in person.