I’ve received a lot of questions from readers about the new Limited Edition Belle costume. I apologize that I’ve been slow in responding: absolutely swamped here with wedding stuff! BUT, I did stop by the Disney Store a few weeks back to see the new dress and I have some thoughts.
(Note, I’ve updated my original list of all the LE costumes here.)
Yes, I know we’re celebrating the anniversary of the movie, but I get pretty bummed after waiting a whole year for a new LE costume only for it to be a duplicate. So far we’ve had two Cinderellas (cartoon and live action), two Rapunzels (wedding and regular), and now two Belle’s. It’s frustrating when there are so many princesses that we don’t have costumes for. Personally, I would have voted for a blue Sleeping Beauty before a second gold Belle ballgown!
SAME AS BEFORE!
And unlike the other examples of duplicates, this Belle costume is Belle’s gold ball gown… just like the original LE dress was. How about an LE Christmas gown or an LE blue country outfit?
NO, REALLY, IT'S THE SAME DRESS!
So here is my biggest gripe: the dress is very, very similar to the original LE dress, except slightly less fancy. At first glance it could pass as a knock-off of the original. Almost identical design. The biggest difference I noticed was that this new dress is lacking the laces on the bodice (which is one of the details I love about the original) and the roses are less, and darker. I do like the subtle book design in the gold bodice, and the jeweled broach pin at the collar, very nice details, but I don't like them more than the original, unfortunately. And the sequin hem, to me, looks more like what I'd expect to see on a Deluxe costume, than an LE.
Compare for yourself....
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY BUY IT ANYWAY!
All that said, Belle was the second LE costume released, way back in 2010 (that's 6 years ago!) before the dresses were as “popular” as they are now. Because of that, and the time which has passed, Belle is one of the harder dresses to find used online. And when it sells used it’s usually for well over $200. So if you DON’T have the LE Belle costume, then this re-release is a solid choice. It’s a beautiful dress, beyond the quality of the Deluxe and regular dresses. If you have a Disney Visa or other discount coupon, you can even pick one up below retail which would be a great deal for the quality of this gown. I’d be buying one myself if we didn’t already have the original LE Belle in our collection.
Belle is one of our favorite princesses and with the great experience options at Disney around Beauty & the Beast (Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle) it’s one of our must-have costumes for our Disney trips. In fact, on our last trip I noticed that our LE Belle is starting to look a little high-water on my 8-yr-old, might have to take back what I just said and see about getting a bigger size for her for the future...
But... oh hey, guess what.
You know what I just found out? Guess who has a Belle Gold Ballgown that manages to definitely be gold, and a ballgown, but doesn't look like a knock-off of an earlier version? Chasing Fireflies! They're a very overlooked source of fantastic Disney costumes. You should go over there and check it out before you make a decision on the new DisneyStore LE costume! Remember Belle's gown in the movie didn't have giant red roses all over it. Just sayin'...
What will the next LE Costume be?
Personally, I’m wondering if there’s a Jasmine dress option in the works. There’s the new (controversial) redesign of Jasmine’s costume that I know a lot of folks are not thrilled with it (neither am I), but the first thing I thought when I saw it was…. “Hey, that looks like an LE costume design.” I could definitely see this interpreted as an adorable kids’ LE dress that I’d be excited to add to our collection! And the 2-piece Jasmine LE costume didn’t seem to sell particularly well. This would go along with the having two versions for every princess that we seem to be getting into.
Alternatively, Moana merchandise was released yesterday and I noticed that it did not have an LE costume for sale (to compare, the LE costumes for Frozen were released ahead of the movie which was part of what caused the great Elsa costume crisis of 2013), so it’s possible that depending on how the reception for Moana goes she’ll get an LE edition. Personally, we’re super excited for the movie and I hope it does well! (Moana's coin purse, by the way--- omg, could it be cuter?)
If it were up to me (which, unfortunately, it’s not!) I’m personally be hoping for a Mulan or Tiana LE costume. Neither princess has an LE costume which is really unfortunate considering that Cinderella and Belle and Rapunzel have two each now! Tiana’s wedding gown was a lovely Deluxe costume and would make a great LE design, and Mulan is one of our favorite princesses (she also has a theme-park redesign for her costume that's recently released...).
Whatever the next costume is, I’m hoping we won’t have to wait 12 months for it, I much preferred when we were getting new LE costumes every 6 months there for a span…. Unless I missed one after Jasmine? Totally possible, as we’ve been crazy-busy since last December with wedding stuff!
I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the fall season getting ready for Halloween! I can’t promise that there will be many more posts between now and wedding (first week of November) but I’ll do my best and definitely check back mid-November for an update and so, so many pictures!