Beast used to meet regularly in Epcot. Some sets were solo, some were together with Belle, like the meet above. There was a great demand for Beast in Epcot. The lines were usually so long that the meet was closed long before Beast even appeared. The Cast Members would often form a second line of people willing to meet only Belle and often Belle would walk the line pre-signing autograph books to accommodate the long line and help it move quickly. Some guests even planned their day in Epcot around meeting Beast. Beast was unceremoniously retired from regular in-park meet and greets.
I had mentioned rumors for several months that Beast would leave Epcot in order to move to meeting ONLY dinner guests at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant that wouldn’t open until today (November 19, 2012). One would be required to have a dinner reservation in order to take a quick photo with Beast.
Beast – I’ve been hearing chatter that Beast may appear for photo opportunity during dinner ONLY. Beast would not be moving table to table, but he would have a stationary location somewhere in the general dining area. It wouldn’t be billed as “character dining.”
In July Belle and Beast met totally exclusive of one another for a short time as a test to gauge guest reaction.
Belle and Beast did break up from meeting one another. Beast left Epcot and Belle only offers regular meets in Epcot along with Enchanted Tales with Belle in the Magic Kingdom which is not a regular meet and greet. Gaston even moved into the New Fantasyland area.
Recently, the Disney Blog offered a meet-up that hosted a number of prominent bloggers, as well as other guests. During the meet-up, the host explained that “We are saying that this character appearance is a special appearance. It’s only for the Blog meet-up tonight.” Of course, all the kind and loyal fans and bloggers accepted that this meant that Beast would not be meeting guests before dinner after all.
Well, when the first “Official” dinner guests with Advance Reservations, not merely those in previews, arrived tonight they found…BEAST meeting guests after dinner! Confusing? Deceptive? Attempting to keep a “surprise” that everyone knew about for months?
I had been able to confirm that Beast would offer a photo-op with dinner guests on many fronts. Daily CMs, those with an understanding of the budgets etc… All would agree that Beast was a definite. Then there was that odd announcement that certainly sounded like Beast wouldn’t be there after all, which left me saying, “Huh, what?” So, I remained silent on the matter.
Well, Beast IS meeting every night after dinner at Be Our Guest restaurant. He’ll offer a brief, yet organized photo op for any willing family/guest inside the restaurant. They will ask that you try to take your photo as a group in order to keep the process moving quickly and not create a backlog or wait line. He does not meet outside the restaurant. The photo op is ONLY for those eating dinner at the restaurant. It isn’t a traditional meet and greet where the character moves from table to table either.
Beast is meeting guests at his new restaurant…SURPRISE!!!