A Sad Day When Disney Starts Banning Children

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.

Victoria & Albert’sAccording 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.)

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5 Responses to A Sad Day When Disney Starts Banning Children

  1. Kelly says:

    Must fully disagree with you. Victoria & Albert’s has never catered to children. I was actually surprised to hear that people DO bring children, though it seems that it’s very seldom. Honestly, I would think that people would be a bit more respectful of the couples and adults in this atmosphere (because it IS a romantic, adult atmosphere) than to bring their kids into it where they are apt to become restless and scream and cry and ruin everyone’s expensive dinner where, yes, some couples are planning on getting engaged and what-for.

    Victoria & Albert’s is actually more for couples who are proposing, honeymooning or celebrating an anniversary. The meals, the atmosphere – it’s not really “child friendly.”

    I’m sure you’ve been to WDW before. Or at least that’s how I understood your post. If so, you must be aware that they cater SO many things exclusively to children – isn’t it time that adults had just one wee little place where they could take advantage of the opportunities there for couples and adults (besides Pleasure Island – which doesn’t prohibit children, but is most certainly not for children)?

    As for this:

    “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.”

    Actually, there’s a problem with this. The first person to make an adult exclusive atmosphere within one of the parks was Walt Disney himself. Club 33, in Disneyland near Pirates of the Caribbean, continues to cater not only to adults, but also to the rich as it requires a hefty membership fee. It was Walt’s own “child-free” zone. Because, after all, Disney designed the parks so that both children AND adults could enjoy it. Something that seems to have escaped the grasp of so many lately. If anyone truly says that Disney hasn’t been paying attention to the kids – they haven’t been paying attention. Adults have been BEGGING for just a little leeway all these years and they’re finally getting it and this is what comes of it: headlines saying that Disney is banning children.

    This is a story that has been blown way out of proportion with the press. No doubt their intention with a line such as “Disney bans children” – a headline meant to incite interest and passion.

    People seem to have forgotten that MANY people vacation at WDW without children – either honeymooning, couples, child-free couples, women’s groups, seniors, etc. And I am *always* amazed at how parents sometimes treat these people – as if they don’t belong which was EXACTLY what Walt didn’t want. He wanted everyone to have a good experience. Banning children from a ritzy restaurant made for adults is CERTAINLY not going to effect any child’s enjoyment of the park. In fact, I’m sure they are quite thankful for it!

  2. vacelts says:

    Kelly,

    There was a time when Disney World was a “family destination.” While singles, couples, honeymooners are welcome, they should realize that they will be surrounded by families with children. If they want to be interrupted by children then they should go to one of those child free resorts.

    Evidently, times have changed at WDW. But I still think there are ways to please both groups without a ban.

  3. What is truly sad is how Disney was forced to officially adopt an adults only policy for this restaurant in the first place. Enough people had their very expensive and romantic dinner ruined by ill-behaved children and their parents that warrented this move. Disney is a family destination, but what people forget is that families come in all shapes and sizes including families without children. Everyone should have a small corner of Disney to enjoy.

  4. vacelts says:

    Explosive Bombchelle, sounds like Disney should have banned irresponsible parents.

  5. Graham Rogers says:

    I have two children myself and I would not want them possibly spoiling a good night out in a high class restaurant that i have paid a lot of money for.
    This person is so anal it is beyond belief.

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