Last month, Epcot officially kicked off its 2017 Holiday Season by debuting yet another new annual festival: the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. Fans of the park’s previous “Holidays Around the World” event, which has been an Epcot tradition for over two decades, should be relieved to know that practically all of its most beloved elements are still very much a part of this new celebration, including the nightly “Candlelight Procession” and the Holidays Storytellers throughout World Showcase. However, the Festival of the Holidays does also offer a few new additions, and some of them even allow Disney’s animated characters to join in the fun. Several of the characters who appear in World Showcase have been given some Christmas-themed additions to their outfits, but none received quite as dramatic of a Yuletide makeover as Belle.
While the “Beauty and the Beast” heroine typically meets with Epcot guests in her blue and white peasant dress, she can currently be seen wearing an elaborate red and white ball gown instead. Given its festive appearance, it should come as now surprise that her dress was originally designed for a Christmas movie, namely the 1997 direct-to-video “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.” Telling an untold chapter of the winter Belle spent in The Beast’s Castle, the “midquel” centered on Belle’s attempts to bring the celebration of Christmas back its inhabitants, much to the dismay of a conniving pipe organ named Forte. Disney’s direct-to-video sequels may not have a great reputation with many adult Disney fans, but it would be hard for anyone to deny that Belle’s “Enchanted Christmas” gown looks more than appropriate for celebrating “the most wonderful time of the year” at Epcot.