Disney bans children. Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d see in print. Granted it’s only one restaurant, in one upscale resort. But a precedent has been set.
According to the Associated Press, the restaurant in question is Victoria & Albert’s, Disney World’s only five diamond restaurant. Victoria & Albert is located in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Meals at this high-dollar restaurant start at $125 a plate. Now, the truth be told, I will probably never take my children – at least as long as they are children – to a $125 a plate restaurant.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not upset by the ban. Here’s why:
Firstly, the name Disney, particularly Disney World or Disney Land, is synonymous with children. After all, it has made its money off children. So the thought that Disney would ban children from any part of Disney World or Disney Land (even if it is at the resort) just sounds out of place.
But Disney today is not the Disney of my youth. Their market has changed. Now Disney is targeting singles, young couples and other adults trying to relive their childhood. This strategy is evident in the number of adult-type entertainment being offered at the resorts.
Secondly, Disney World is a vacation spot. How many people go on vacation where they go out to dinner without their children? Sure, we have taken my mother on vacation with us so that my husband and I go out for a drink and a little alone time while on vacation, but dinners are still for the family. Besides how many parents can bring their own babysitter. Children 10 and under cannot be left alone.
I’m sure the resort probably offers some type of babysitting. I don’t know about other parents, but I’m hesitant to leave my children with someone I don’t know. And is the babysitting available during evening hours too?
Furthermore, I think it’s elitist to say the parents with young children don’t deserve to enjoy a night of fine dining. Rather than ban the three families a month that frequent this restaurant, why not offer a family dining section.
We’ve encountered these “family sections” at several restaurants we’ve eaten at during our vacations.
Lastly, my children (except for being a little loud) are pretty well behaved at dinner. I attribute this fact to our practice of taking our children with us when we dine out. How will children learn to behave in a nice restaurant if all they ever eat at our McDonald-like eating establishments?
All I can say it’s a sad day when Disney starts banning children. I better take my children soon before it become an adult only facility.
(Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney Co.)