The Return of Beauty & the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney

A Guest favorite has returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beauty & The Beast – Live on Stage returned at 11:00 on August 15, and I was at the first show. After being closed for almost a year and a half, it was wonderful to see again!

It had been quite a while since I had watched Beauty & The Beast – Live on Stage, even before Walt Disney World shut down. Since the last time I saw the live show, I’ve watched the animated version, the live-action version, and the Sing-Along at EPCOT. I’ve also seen the Beauty & The Beast show on the Disney Dream, which is the best Disney live production that I have ever enjoyed. The story and the songs were all fresh in my mind, but the show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios wasn’t.

I arrived around 10:15, thinking that since it was the first show that there could be a long line. There was a line, but it wasn’t too bad. They started letting people in just a few minutes later. There were two Cast Members on hand to remind people that face coverings are required in the theater. It’s open-aired, but since there is no social distancing inside the extra precaution is a good idea.

There was plenty of seating available, the theater wasn’t full by the time the show started at 11:00. I’m glad that I went to the first show because the audience was alive! There was a level of excitement that I haven’t seen at a live show in a while, including when I first saw A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King. I thought that audience was enthusiastic, but this one was so much more. See a quick video here of the audience at the opening of the show.

The show started on time, and there was a loud cheer for each new character and each new song. Part of the reason why it took so long for the show to reopen is that it needed to be reworked with the safety of the cast in mind. There was social distancing for the actors who weren’t wearing cover-the-head costumes. There were blocking markers on the stage to help the performers to know where to stand. These weren’t obvious, I have a theater background so I sometimes notice things like this.

With the actors staying apart, I wondered what would happen with the waltz. The dance was re-blocked so that there was no physical contact between the performers. Unlike in the movies, this scene takes place after the Beast has turned back into the prince. He and Belle still enjoyed their dance and it was well done. If you didn’t know much about waltzing, you might think that it was originally this way.

The cast received a much-deserved standing ovation. The performers all seemed to be glad to be back on stage, and the audience ate up every moment. It was good to be able to see this beloved show once again.

Beauty & The Beast – Live on Stage currently runs five times each day. You can catch it at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, and 5:00. It runs for about 25 minutes. Since the theater is open-aired, the show might not run during inclement weather. It is nice to have a major live production back at Walt Disney World! Here’s hoping that more live shows will re-open soon.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.