Disney Enchanted Tales

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Disney Enchanted Tales App Poster Image
Pretty worlds for Disney faves, but kids must wait or spend.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not with educational intent.

Ease of Play

There are no audio instructions, so reading fluency (or having an adult read the on-screen instructions) is necessary for kids to really understand what's happening on this app; otherwise, kids will simply be tapping where the hand icon points next, things will happen, and it all likely will seem pretty random.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases and advertising for some third parties, including the ability to watch videos for rewards. Upon opening the device, the app reminds parents to disable or adjust the settings on their device if they do not want their kid to make in-app purchases without their permission. Tap on the Disney icon in settings and you're moved to Disney ads. In-game currency is necessary to move play along, or kids have to wait extended lengths of time. No parent gate on purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney Enchanted Tales is a world-building app that includes popular Disney movie stories, characters, and settings. Following a structure and pay-or-wait model similar to Disney Magic Kingdoms, kids build themed kingdoms based on those stories' familiar places and people. At the time of this review, the three stories on the app are Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and Tangled, with more promised coming soon. Kids help Belle feed the animals, unlock Gaston so he can be part of the scene, and watch as Anna and Hans walk through a village. Players read about the "quests" (simple tapping tasks) that characters must complete, and they can read conversations between characters. There are no audio instructions or audio character dialogue. Most of the interactive options on this app include using coins and "diamonds" to unlock items or characters, which kids earn by playing or watching ads. Once their loot runs out, kids must wait through time limits to move onto the next action or buy more with real money. There's no parent gate on purchases. Note that some of the dialogue includes, "Belle is the most beautiful girl in town. That makes her the best ... " and calling Belle "a little odd" because she reads a lot. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

First, kids enter their age and read a brief story on DISNEY ENCHANTED TALES as they watch the animation. Next, they tap Start to choose a story -- Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, or Tangled. Then kids read another brief, animated synopsis of the story they chose (these can be skipped in subsequent play sessions). As your kid reads the on-screen instructions (or follows the pointing hand) to tap certain objects or icons, they begin to set up a scene from the story they've chosen. Kids also earn coins and unlock other characters, areas, and levels to add to the scene as the story continues. Kids have to wait a certain number of minutes to "build" certain parts of the scene or use "diamonds" to unlock them sooner. If kids run out of diamonds, they can buy more with real money or watch ads to earn rewards. Characters have "Quests" that kids can read to get certain items, which then unlock that character.

Is it any good?

This app's beautiful scenes will delight Disney fans, but spending diamonds or suffering through waiting times reduces the fun. In terms of appearance and functionality, this app is excellent. Also, the cute sound effects make this app feel quite movie-like, despite no audio for either the instructions or the dialogue between characters. However, the overall pay-or-wait system just isn't kid-friendly. Many actions on Disney Enchanted Tales require wait times to complete, or (as the app encourages) "we can use diamonds to complete it instantly." In fact, the tutorial has kids using diamonds to complete every task, which may encourage them to do it throughout the game. Wait times range from one to 30-plus minutes and keep increasing, and that model may feel like a bit of a dirty trick, especially since demands on money and time ramp up the more you play. Also, though true to the story, some of the dialogue about Belle reinforces stereotypes about girls some parents won't want to perpetuate. No skills are required in this game other than reading and tapping, though parents can use it to reinforce delayed gratification and budgeting. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about in-app purchases, ads, and wait times in Disney Enchanted Tales. Why do you think you have to wait so long for quests to finish? Does that make the game any less fun? Why is it important to wait for what we want sometimes? What are your family's rules for in-app purchases?

  • Talk about some of the dialogue about Belle. What does it mean when the characters say Belle is "a little odd" because she reads all the time? Is reading an odd activity? Does being the most beautiful really make you the best? What characteristics are more important?

App details

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For kids who love storytelling and building

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