Beauty and the Beast - A New Stage Production Aboard the Disney Dream

by Donald and Bonnie Fink, contributing writer

It's always a treat for us to board a ship. Any ship. So when we're asked to come aboard the iconic Disney Dream, even for just a couple of hours, it's hard to pass it by.

Not long ago MousePlanet was invited aboard the Disney Dream for a morning as she sat docked at Port Canaveral, and we drew the lucky straws for the event.

The usual drill was in play as they off-loaded passengers and boarded new guests for the next cruise, and all the while cast members aboard the ship were frantically decorating every inch for the holidays. Our purpose was not to see the ship. We were there to see a new stage show production of Beauty and the Beast.

Yeah, we know. You're thinking, "Been there, done that." Well, no, you haven't. Sure, this is a "Tale as old as time," but it's got so many twists in terms of how it's presented that it's new. We expected to see the usual cruise ship variety show—which on Disney is quite good—but what we were shown was a story that could hold its own on any Broadway stage, even though it's been done before. It ran about 70 minutes, so while it was an abbreviated version of the original, it wasn't all that brief. There was plenty of time to tell the story, and tell the story they did in a new and fresh way.

What's new with this show?

While the talent performing on stage and the costuming was everything we would expect from a Disney production, we were particularly dazzled by the set design and set management. Disney is using a new high tech, high resolution LED panel system to display their backdrops. We didn't know this going into the play so we weren't keyed to look for it, but the way the sets flowed throughout the course of the show, changing completely while the story continued, was an element that allowed the story to be told without interruption.

Maybe the best way to describe all that this production has to offer is for you to watch the video below. We've included excerpts from the play with some brief thoughts by a few of the key people who were tasked with its creation.

Our one thought that keeps coming back about this play is that we've got to see it again. With that, we can offer some advice: If you plan a cruise in the near future, make it a Disney cruise. And make it a cruise aboard the Disney Dream. It's the only place you can see this play. And once you're aboard the ship, be sure to see this show early in your cruise because you're going to want to see it more than once.

Now please, enjoy the video.

Excerpts from the new Disney production of Beauty and the Beast, presented aboard the Disney Dream. Videography and photography provided by Disney. Video editing by Donald Fink