It’s a “tale as old as time” … and it’s one of our favorites! We recommend you put this one on your list of must-dos if you are visiting Hollywood Studios. Here are 5 things we think you should know about Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage.
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World in 2020, live shows might have adjusted showtimes and reduced capacity or may be temporarily suspended.
1 – About the Show
Located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, head to “Theater of the Stars” where Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage takes place! This Broadway-style live stage show is roughly 25-minutes long and does an excellent job of capturing the animated Beauty and the Beast film in a shorter, recapped version. The performers are absolutely spectacular! We particularly enjoy that Belle, Beast (as a human), and Gaston are on live microphones throughout the performance making the show truly come to life. All of the main songs in the movie are sung and/or prerecorded over the sound system. The backdrops are beautifully detailed, as well as the props, and change frequently to match the scenes. There are multiple costume changes as the scenes change in a seamless fashion. Besides Belle, Beast, and Gaston, special appearances are made by Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. As many times as we’ve seen this live show, we have yet to see anything but incredible performances!
2 – Best Place to Sit
The Theater of the Stars is laid out in a diamond shape, with a slow slope downward towards the stage as you would suspect from a theater. This theater seats roughly 1,500 people but doesn’t feel very crowded despite regularly filling up due to being an outdoor show with a simple shade roof. The seats are bench-style – one long bench per row with a good amount of legroom. We particularly enjoy sitting in the middle section, in front of the sound booth/pit. If you are seated slightly to the left or right of the middle, that is a good seat as well. We’ve been surprised that almost anywhere you sit, you can still see everything pretty well (even the very far back bleachers are fine!). The only area we try to avoid is the very far sides on either the left or right side of the theater. This is because (as with any stage show) you can see the performers exit and prepare to enter the stage behind the curtain.
3 – Worth the FastPass?
Alright, we might get scorned by Beauty and the Beast fans on this one – but we don’t feel like you need to waste a FastPass on this show. It’s not that it’s not worth going to see, because YES it completely is! We feel this way because there are typically around five shows (11 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm). We recommend you simply arrive 20-30 minutes before the show and you’ll be fine where you are seated.
4 – Did You Know?
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage premiered on November 22, 1991, which is the day the animated feature film Beauty and the Beast opened in theaters. In 2001, the performance was actually changed slightly and condensed to the 25-minute show it is now. Listen out for special prerecorded vocal performances by Robby Benson as the Beast, Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, and Jerry Orbach as Lumiere – all voices from the animated movie. It’s hard to believe this stage show has been keeping crowds entertained for almost 30 years now!
5 – Tips
First, we like to watch the 12 pm showing if possible. We purposely pick this time because it allows us to avoid the lunch traffic at restaurants. We catch the show then dine after the rush has clear out at the restaurants. Plus, there is an ice cream shop just across Sunset Boulevard if you need a snack! Another tip – keep in mind Florida weather is unpredictable. If rain is in the forecast, check with Cast Members as Beauty and the Beast may be cancelled since it is an open theater. If it has been raining, but they decide it’s all passed and they offer a show, you may want some napkins or something to wipe the bench down so you can sit on it without getting wet in case the rain blew in. Lastly, you might want to hit the bathrooms before heading over towards Beauty and the Beast. The bathrooms in this area are very popular (close to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror) and typically have a wait, especially once the show lets out!
If you have ever watched Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, you know just how incredible this show is. If you haven’t seen it, get ready for a fantastic experience. We’d love to hear about your favorite parts of the show!
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