It has been six months since Rapunzel was returned to her family, and now she is to become the official Princess of Corona. However, on the day of her welcoming ceremony, Rapunzel and Eugene, riding Maximus and Fidello, are out in the forest racing each other to the border wall with the Royal Guards in pursuit. Splitting up, Two of the guards chase Eugene while the third pursues Rapunzel. Eugene and the Captain jump over a log as their horses go under, but the following guard's horse does not do the same thing, and the guard falls to the ground. Rapunzel and Fidello nearly run over a herd of bunnies, but manage to avoid treading on them. The guard following her, however crashes into the bunnies. Eugene and Rapunzel regroup, and together jump over a river. Rapunzel is the first to make it to the wall, and climbs to the top where she sees on the other side a magnificent view of the land beyond the kingdom. Rapunzel desires to see what was out there, and hopes to someday. After a while admiring the view with Eugene, the Guards catch up and escort the two of them back to the castle for Rapunzel's coronation ceremony.
Upon returning to the castle, Rapunzel's lady-in-waiting, Cassandra is waiting for her. Cassandra has been given the task to care for Rapunzel and help her fit in. While Rapunzel is happy to be reunited with her family, she struggles adjusting to her new life as a princess. She is unable to go out into town without being heavily escorted by the Royal Guards, she does not know how to properly greet noble people who have come for her royal coronation, and lacks at wearing shoes. She tries her best, and despite having a loving family and a supportive circle of friends, Rapunzel feels overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that comes with being a princess. Because of her father's fear of losing her again, he denies her desire to explore the world. On the eve of her coronation, it all becomes too much for Rapunzel, especially when Eugene builds up the courage to propose to her. Rapunzel is shocked and delighted, but despite her love for him she does not feel ready to marry him. Instead she wants to figure herself out and live the life she has been longing for. Overwhelmed and anxious, she rejects Eugene's proposal and leaves the scene in a huff. Returning to her room, Cassandra believes Rapunzel could use some down time. So she offers to sneak her out for the castle and take her beyond Corona's security wall.
Eugene goes to Rapunzel's room wishing to speak with her about his proposal. He is initially refused entrance by orders from Cassandra, but manages to enter upon convincing the guards. Eugene enters Rapunzel's room and upon hearing him, Pascal creates an illusion of Rapunzel, pretending to be her. Believing Pascal's illusion to be Rapunzel, Eugene begins to apologize for putting her on the spot, but assures he truly loves her and wants to have a future together. Eugene further explains that while admitting he may have rushed things, he only wanted to keep the love and relationship they have together as he got use to having nothing growing up until now. However, Pascal can no longer contain the illusion, accidentally revealing himself to Eugene and causing him to discover Rapunzel's absence. Eugene warns Pascal they need to find Rapunzel otherwise they will be in serious trouble with her father and begin their search to find and bring her back.
While searching for Rapunzel inside the castle, Eugene is interrupted when King Frederic arrives and notices his actions, becoming suspicious. Eugene creates an excuse, but King Frederic remains suspicious and asks for Rapunzel's whereabouts. Eugene lies claiming Rapunzel is still in her room and prevents him from entering as she is still upset and needs time alone. King Frederic reluctantly respects Eugene's wishes, but orders him to tell Rapunzel they need to speak soon. Eugene begins to apologize for the events regarding his proposal to Rapunzel at the banquet, but King Frederic sternly replies they will speak of the matter later, leaving Eugene and Pascal to resume their search.
Accompanied by Maximus and Fidello, Rapunzel and Cassandra sneak out of the castle and venture into the woods. Climbing over the wall and crossing an old bridge, Cassandra takes the princess to the former location of the healing flower that saved Rapunzel and her mother when the latter fell ill during her pregnancy. Mysterious thorn-like rocks have appeared in the area, and not only are they ominous, but also unbreakable. As Rapunzel examines the area further, she is struck by magic the moment she lays a finger on one of the rocks. Part of her hair begins to glow, and more of those mysterious rocks suddenly sprout from the ground. Rapunzel and Cassandra run back to the old bridge, chased by a trail of sprouting rocks. Running far ahead, Rapunzel's hair begins to glow even brighter, and as she makes it out of the woods her long blonde hair that was cut grows back. No time to figure out what had just happened, Rapunzel and Cassandra cross the bridge, only for Rapunzel's hair to get stuck. The bridge beneath them begins to crumble apart, but with Maximus' help the girls manage to free Rapunzel's hair and make it safely to solid ground before the bridge finally collapsed.
As morning rises on the day of her coronation, Rapunzel and Cassandra sneak back into the castle and waste no time trying to get rid of the hair. However, they discover that Rapunzel's newly restored hair is unbreakable like the thorns. They try everything from basic scissors to a battle axe, but nothing out of all of Cassandra's collection of weapons seem able to cut the hair. Rapunzel is left baffled on what to do. She cannot allow her parents to know about her hair and nor can she be seen with it at her coronation ceremony. In order to hide it, Cassandra and Eugene help Rapunzel hide her hair in a oversized wig. Despite the awkwardness, the wig helps.
While Rapunzel is having breakfast with her parents, King Frederic reveals that after discussing with Arianna, admits his methods regarding Rapunzel's freedom have been rather unfair. He confesses his trouble of balancing his role as both King and her father, but promises to reconsider his methods. However, King Frederic also begins to explain of Rapunzel's future as Queen, revealing she will gain many responsibilities, such as protecting Corona from dangers both outside and inside the kingdom. During this time, several pirates are committing crimes throughout the kingdom, but all are soon captured and taken to the dungeons at the castle. Eugene visits Cassandra trying to learn what's bothering Rapunzel and why she is keeping secrets. However, when Cassandra refuses to answer his questions, Eugene reveals his knowledge that Cassandra does not approve of his and Rapunzel's relationship, but tries to assure he only wants what is best for Rapunzel. Cassandra quickly begins to leave the room, but reveals her beliefs that Eugene only cares of his own needs and is not thinking about Rapunzel's best interests.
Later on, Rapunzel's coronation ceremony begins, and in during which, the royal family is confronted by a pirate known as Lady Caine, who seeks vengeance on King Frederic for imprisoning her father. It turns out that after Rapunzel was kidnapped the King started to unfairly imprison all the outlaws in the kingdom including Lady Caine's father who was just a simply petty thief. Frederic and the rest of the royal guests are kidnapped, but Rapunzel refuses to stand down and reveals her golden hair. She uses it as a weapon to defeat the pirates with Eugene and Cassandra's help, saving her father. That night, despite proving her worth, Frederic feels more insecure about Rapunzel's safety than ever before. With the very reason Rapunzel was taken in the first place having returned, Frederic feels he is forced to forbid Rapunzel from ever leaving the walls of Corona without his consent, driving his daughter to tears.
With her father's new law, Rapunzel feels trapped once more, similar to her imprisonment within the tower. In her bedroom, Eugene arrives and comforts her, uplifting her spirits a bit. Eugene begins to apologize for putting her on the spot with his marriage proposal and Rapunzel apologizes for her poor reaction. However, Eugene assures Rapunzel and reveals that while he does not understand her decision he promises to do everything he can to understand and will take their relationship slow. After he leaves, Rapunzel reads a message in the journal given to her by her mother, and becomes inspired to live her life to the fullest despite the obstacles she will have to face.
A while later, a mysterious individual come across the site of the magical flower, with more of the rocks now covering the area.
- Mandy Moore as Rapunzel
- Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider
- Eden Espinosa as Cassandra
- Julie Bowen as Queen Arianna
- Clancy Brown as King Frederic
- Jeffrey Tambor as Big Nose
- Sean Hayes as Pete
- Paul F. Tompkins as Shorty
- Diedrich Bader as Stan
- M. C. Gainey as Captain of the Guards
- Laura Benanti as Lady Caine
- Steven Blum as Attila Buckethead
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Otter
- Jess Harnell as Pocket
- Alan Dale as The Vicar
- Gideon Emery as Weasel
- Rapunzel's Journal was inspired by executive producer, Chris Sonnenburg's, daughter's journal. His daughter, Arianna, also gave Queen Arianna her name.
- The black mysterious rocks were inspired by etched Gideon iron meteorites.
- The Design of Corona's fire dancer was inspired by supervising director, Stephen Sandoval.
- The patterns of Rapunzel's hair can be seen in the clouds and trees around Corona.
- Unlike most animated movie specials, which typically take on a runtime of forty-four minutes, Before Ever After was produced as a fifty-four minute feature; this was due to the crew requiring more time to tell the story properly.
- April 29, 2017 (Portugal)
- July 21, 2017 (United Kingdom)
- September 17, 2017 (Brazil and Disney Channel Latinoamérica)