Impressions de France is one of my favorite shows in EPCOT. Something is soothing and tranquil about watching this film. I love being enveloped in the panorama images of the French countryside, castles, cities. I also love Beauty and the Beast and felt a little conflicted when I heard that a Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along was going to replace some of the viewings of Impressions de France. I went into the show with an open mind but concluded that the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along is an inferior show due to its sloppy narration and lack of immersion.
My first point against this production is that it did not take full advantage of the panorama screens. Mickey’s Philharmagic is far more immersive with its 3D effects and fluid narration. The surprise “twist” in the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along felt sloppily put together and too many plot holes are easily spotted by any true Beauty and the Beast fan. I also found that the added animation didn’t fit with the classic animation, which only contributed to the choppy narration. I also thought it was a missed opportunity to only use a single screen and not utilize the panorama screens.
While I was hoping that Impressions de France would be shown throughout the day, a cast member informed me that Impressions de France showtimes begin a couple hours to closing. I hope that the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along is only meant to be a limited-time engagement while we await the opening of the Ratatouille attraction. Impressions de France is a classic and one of the most enjoyable films at EPCOT. When I watch this film, I feel like I’m on a mini tour of all the wonderful things France has to offer. I hope this opening day attraction is around for another three decades…or more!