LEGOLAND Shitting Bricks Over Adult Visitors

An Editorial by J.M. McNab and Robert Laronde

Rarely do we here at Rewatchability.com get political, but when certain injustices occur, we consider it our responsibility, nay our duty, to take the time out of our busy schedules discussing stupid old movies and TV shows, to make our voices heard. We are, of course, talking about Lego.

According to a report by CTV, an ailing 63-year-old man and his grown-up daughter recently made the three-hour trek from Windsor to Vaughn (just outside Toronto) in order to visit the relatively new Legoland Discovery Center. The man, John St-Onge, had grown fond of Lego having played with it with his kids when they were children. St-Onge who is battling both cancer and diabetes, and recently underwent heart surgery, journeyed to the only Canadian iteration of Legoland, and enjoyed a fun, nostalgic trip down memory la– oh no, wait they didn’t let him in.

You see, this particular Legoland exercises a sort-of reverse R-Rated movie policy: adults not accompanied by children are strictly forbidden. So John St-Onge and his daughter were not allowed in, refused their requests to see the manager, and sent back to Windsor, presumably while the employees of Legoland waved goodbye and yelled, “See ya, good luck with the cancer!”*

* We’re paraphrasing here.

Their website does note “Adults must be accompanied by a child to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre” in relatively small print, understandably overlooked by St-Onge and his daughter. While most of the attractions seem geared towards children, there are still exhibits such as a model of downtown Toronto built entirely in Lego, which would clearly be enjoyed more by adults.

cityhall

You can almost see the crack smoke wafting out of Lego City Hall.

Of course, we love Lego too, and would love to visit Legoland– but all of this raises the question: “Who is Lego for?” Of course, the obvious answer is: “It’s for children– it’s a fucking toy, why can’t the twenty-somethings of this world grow-up and stop placing such importance on toys, retro video-games and movies from the ’80s?” (Side Note: new episode of Rewatchability coming this Thursday). Our grandparents didn’t have to worry about whether or not they could get into Legoland, they were busy fighting World War II. And when they were back from that, they were raising families, and working jobs they hated.

Of course, Lego is for kids, right? It’s not like they’re releasing Lego sets aimed directly at adults in order to capitalize on their nostalgia for both Lego and the movies of their youth–

back

Oh… Nevermind.

It seems this summer Lego will be releasing a Back to the Future set, with a price tag of around fifty bucks. This is clearly made for so-called adults with disposable incomes and a lack of real world responsibility. It is also clearly amazing. In addition to Back to the Future, there are Lego sets for the original Star Wars trilogy, Ninja Turtles, and the like– In fact, we will probably see more and more children being born to legitimize their parents’ purchasing these products. Think of it like our generation’s Baby Boom, but instead of the end of a war, everyone will procreate in order to sustain their toy consumption without seeming odd.

Clearly then Lego is not just a product for children, it is for everyone, including people who grew-up with it, and who played Lego with their kids. Why then does the Legoland Discovery Centre not simply advise adults that the contents of the centre is mainly for kids, and let them make up their own minds? Oh yeah, creeps. They don’t want creeps there.

Has this been a big problem at other Legolands? Creepy child-less adults behaving inappropriately? Other family-oriented attractions such as the Zoo and the Science Centre don’t seem to have problems admitting adults. Instituting this policy makes it seem as though Legoland would be a hotbed of pedophiles and psychos if it weren’t for this rule– and why would anyone want to bring their family to a place that, save for one flimsy rule, would be full of creeps?

Of course, Legoland has tried to appease everyone by offering a once-a-month “Adults-Only” night. Could anything sound creepier than that? Based on the name, I just picture the Eyes Wide Shut party, but with more Lego. Or people disassembling the Lego Hogwarts and fashioning a giant Lego penis out of the pieces. And “Adults-Only” night didn’t help John St-Onge, who was cast aside like Megablok piece. Until the day when they make Legoland available to everyone during regular hours, adults wishing to visit the attraction will have to continue to do what they’ve always done– ask teenagers to buy tickets for them, then buy them beer in return.

We’re not just outraged as people who love Lego, we’re outraged as Torontonians. We want to go to Legoland, and on a day when the words “adults-only” aren’t involved. Until that day, we’ll have to be satisfied staying at home, playing with our new DeLoreans.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “LEGOLAND Shitting Bricks Over Adult Visitors

  1. My wife and I found out tonight that on “Adults Night”, you have to be there by 7pm or they don’t let you in. Great. So if you have no kids and you (gasp) work for a living more than an hour away and finish work at 6pm? Legoland Toronto doesn’t want you there, ever.

    • Didn’t know that, that’s really weird. Coincidentally, there is a monthly adult night tonight… a Wednesday. Also inconvenient for people who have to work in the morning. Unless you live inside Canada’s Wonderland, then it would be super-convenient.

      Also, as someone on Reddit pointed out, Legoland has issued a statement on their Facebook page, and there’s a lot of interesting comments arguing both sides of the issue there as well. Interestingly, and speaking to your point, the statement says that John has been invited back for an “Adults-Only” evening, so he will either need to drive back home for three hours at 9 or 10 at night, or pay for a hotel room in scenic Vaughn.

      • Indeed. The only reason we found out is that we (having no kids) were buying tix for tonight’s Adult Night online, and a message came up saying that if we arrived after 7pm we would not be let in. Fortunately that came up *before* it processed payment.

  2. Tara

    A lot of amusement parks have sections or rides that you have to be accompanied by a child to go in or on. I, as a parent, like that policy. Do childless adults really need to ride the kiddie helicopters or jump in a ball pit? I think not. Sure, I feel badly this man and his adult daughter could not get in, but if this rule cuts down on pervs and teenagers who cut lines in front of small kids, not so bad!

    • Indeed, Tara, I would agree with you if this was in fact a strictly kid-oriented place, as are the kiddie helicopters and ball pits you mention. But it’s clearly not – After all, they *do* have adult-only nights, so they must have stuff there specifically targeted for adults as well! And certainly as the article said, the 4-year olds are not the ones finding amazement in the model of downtown Toronto. So why have stuff aimed at adults and then put rules in place making it so that only certain adults can get in to enjoy it? Just doesn’t seem fair.

    • Gg

      What does the ball pit have to do with this? He wants to see the Lego structures.

  3. I don’t have kids yet, but obviously I understand why parents could be in support of such a rule. If I’d ever been in a situation where a teenager cut a line or was rude to my child, I’d probably lose my shit.

    At an amusement park though, there are clearly sections for kids and sections for teenagers or adults, that could be the same here. In the case of the man and his daughter from the news, it’s reasonable that he not be allowed to go on certain rides, or indulge in other activities that are clearly just for kids. But why not at least let him in to look at the models and displays? He came all the way from Windsor.

    In terms of cutting down on pervs and rude teenagers, I just can’t imagine that Legoland would really attract that kind of crowd. And if it did, hire a security guard! I’m guessing there are way more fans of Lego over the age of 17 who legitimately want to check out the Lego, then there are creeps and jerks who want to spend their day at Legoland. And it’s not like the people running Legoland have said there’s nothing there for adults, as they host a monthly adult night.

    Basically it boils down to: I’m annoyed that the man in the article was turned away from Legoland because Lego’s just for kids, but then Lego wants me to spend fifty bucks on a Back to the Future Lego set, because, really no kid is going to buy that. (Side note: does anyone on the internet want to send me fifty bucks?)

    Anyways, thanks for commenting! I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. I’m spending way too much time writing about Lego. I’m going to go think about Playmobil for a bit instead…

  4. Kim

    How in the world does any other amusement park, zoo, or science center manage? Do you see adults trying to get on kiddie rides or play in an obvious kids area like a ball pit? What do these places do? They have a sign. You can’t just quarter off an area to keep people from walking around unless they’re holding a child’s hand. And if some guests are behaving badly and being unruly? They kick them out of the park. If this policy is based on the misconception of “safety” from pedophiles, then it is nothing but hysteria.

  5. Jacquie

    This policy really opens up another can of worms. It pretty much says that age discrimination is acceptable and that opens a lot of other business opportunities. What about flights or restaurants that are adults only? That way grown adults who chose to be childless can enjoy their flight and dinner without screaming kids. These choices are not available at the moment because most places feel that would be a discriminatory policy that will cause backslash to their business. However, if it’s becoming an acceptable policy, then please please please bring on the child-free flights.

  6. The attraction is not a mecca for Lego aficionados. It is more of a children’s play center (equivalent to http://www.kidsvillecafe.ca/ or http://www.ballsoffun.ca/). The difference is this one is skinned with a Lego theme and fronted by a Lego store.

    It’s not about LEGO being just for kids… it’s that this facility is just for kids. Really – any Lego fan is likely to be a tinge disappointed like I was going through, because it’s not set up as amazingly cool Lego displays but is rather a kid’s fun castle with buckets of Lego here and there and a model in the entrance-way.

    Why is this even a story? Not everything has to be for everyone. Sorry old man. It’s a shame that you drove all that way, but the kid’s fun castle is just for kids.

    • Again, if it were a facility “just for kids”, they would not have adult nights. Clearly, they have stuff there of interest to adults, or they would have no such beast, even once a month.

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