I've been going on trips to Walt Disney World for 20 plus years at this point. From childhood adventures, to more grown up celebrations, there's always been a reason for me to visit Orlando's Happiest Place on Earth. But this year, I'm take one very big trip that is going to be one for the books. And since the heroine of said thing I'm going to see loves books, that phrase is quite fitting. So what am I going to Disney World for? Well to see the new live action Beauty and the Beast, of course! And not just anywhere mind you, but in Disney Springs! And how am I accomplishing said trip? Well let me tell you the details, and hopefully it'll help you plan a themed Disney trip of your dreams.
Where Am I Staying/Going?
So the obvious answer is I'm going to Walt Disney World. Now, I could have done this celebration in Disneyland (where they're offering a bunch of Beauty and the Beast themed limited time activities) but Disney World (in my opinion) offers much more things to do with Belle, Beast and their friends than any of the other Disney Destinations throughout the world. I also wanted to make sure that I planned my trip around the release of the movie, so I'd be able to attend the first screening as part of the trip. So with the calendar properly marked and ready, where did I decide to stay?
Well, until Disney creates a Paris themed resort that is in the Value category (which likely won't be anytime soon) I decided to go with a room at the Art of Animation's Little Mermaid section. Why? Well chronologically in Disney fashion, this one makes sense since this is the Disney Princess movie that came before Beauty and the Beast - but in all honesty, I liked this room a while back when I stayed in 2015, and I wanted to give it a go. Yeah, this might be the least themed aspect of my trip, but it is still full of transformative magical fairytale goodness.
But as for the time of year I'll be going, it is Flower and Garden season at EPCOT, which is obviously the most perfect time to go if you're a Beauty and the Beast fan. Why? Because it's all about the decor. There's a tribute to the movie in the France pavilion in World Showcase, and a new Belle topiary that is the featured one of the 2017 event. Can we agree on excellent timing? Heck yeah!
Photo of me and my friends, and the last time we were at Be Our Guest with Beast!
What Am I Doing?
Though I addressed the purpose of this trip above, I'm sure many of you are curious to the specifics of the itinerary. Of course Be Our Guest dinner is on the schedule, along with a tea service at Garden View Tearoom at Grand Floridian. There will also be quite an extensive trip to EPCOT, with a lunch at Chefs de France and definitely a stop to meet Belle, and maybe grab a macaron ice cream sandwich on the way at L’Artisan des Glaces. Yes, we're going all fancy and Parisian on this trip, my friends! And of course, the main moment will be getting to see the movie at Disney Springs, with a planned stop beforehand at the new D-Living Beauty and the Beast themed decor and merchandise shop.
Trust me, when I said this is a themed trip, I wasn't gonna miss anything I could to get the whole "Tale as Old as Time" experience!
Dress by Lindsay Hamilton.
What Am I Gonna Wear?
I don't know about you, but when I plan my vacations, I like to look as stylish as possible. And my Disney World trips (even with all the heat) are no exception.
I'm a big fan of Disneybounding, which (in case you don't know) is a fancy, fashionable way to dress as your favorite Disney character without breaking the "no adults in costumes rule" in the parks. Personally, I don't always go for the traditional tried-and-true sort of Disneybounds for my vacations, but I like to do something in the vein while also being comfortable.
One specific outfit that I am talking about involves a dress that my friend made for me, inspired by Belle's "Something There" dress from the animated film. It is shorter and sleeveless, but with the color and general feel, you get where it comes from. I'm definitely planning to rock this when I go to Be Our Guest, which I am convinced is a location you cannot fully enjoy until you're dressed up in some variation. You don't literally have to wear Belle's ballgown, but wearing something that makes you feel as nice certainly adds to the experience.
I'll also be showing off some pieces from the new Beauty and the Beast collection at Kohl's, which I highly recommend for your next Florida trip. There's lots of thin but stylish pieces that go great with shorts or skirts, and will definitely make you feel comfortable yet cool as you walk through the Disney parks. And it'll certainly give you compliments, even from someone like Gaston, you typically only compliments himself.
And Am I Gonna Have Fun?
I certainly am hoping so! This is a trip I've been looking forward to for sometime, and the movie itself even more so! Disney World is truly a paradise for longtime fans of their animated film catalog, and I couldn't imagine celebrating my favorite Princess movie coming back to the big screen in any other way possible. And don't you worry, I plan to document the entire thing for a future blog post! It is certainly a Disney vacation for the ages.
Overall, anyone can plan a themed trip of your dreams like I have! All it takes is a bit of research and planning ahead, along with keeping up-to-date with what is happening in and around all of the Disney Parks, Blogs and other Social Media News sorts of things. You don't want to miss an opportunity to get the full experience of one of your favorite Disney movie or even other hobbies that you could theme a trip around. From a Harry Potter experience, to even one devoted to Star Wars, you can make your nerdy vacation wishes come true with just a bit of focus, and creativity.
So what themed vacation have you planned or dreamed of planning? Are you excited to see Beauty and the Beast or any of the other live action Disney films coming in the next few years? Have you started planning a Mulan or Little Mermaid themed trip?
Dalin Rowell is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. A New Yorker born and raised, Dalin has been in love with Disney and all that comes with it (Parks, Movies, etc.) since 1996. She's a frequent D23 convention goer, and probably has eaten too many Mickey Premium Bars and Corn Dogs on Main Street to name. She loves being a film nerd with a passion for helping people plan their vacation dreams!