Do your kids like to win tickets at video games for prizes? How about trying their luck at the claw machines, hoping to snag a stuffed animal or prize? I know mine do! But, we’re hearing that those options will be no longer available at Walt Disney World. Prize redemption counters are being shut down at both the parks and hotels, but Disney didn’t say why. Here’s what the Orlando Sentinel had to say on what could be the reason~
Some in Florida’s arcade industry, though, say Disney appears to be avoiding the threat of legal action after the state’s 2013 legislation banning Internet cafes. In its wake, opponents of the legislation have sued Dave & Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese’s, arguing their arcade games also violate the broadly written law. Final rulings not been made in those lawsuits.
“I’m sure Disney’s the last place in the world that wants to get accused of operating a gambling house,” said Michael Wolf, an attorney representing the Florida Arcade and Bingo Association.
The law spells out that people can’t win more than 75 cents’ worth of prizes for each game played, and that the games have to be operated by coins. Like many other family entertainment centers, Disney’s arcades are activated by cards. With each game they play, people can accumulate credits on the cards that can be exchanged for things such as Hello Kitty plush toys, Disney princess purses and mini-air-hockey games.
James Harhi, whose company JFH Technologies fills and maintains arcade games at the resort, said Disney told him “it’s in their best interest to close these,” because it fears legislation could be interpreted as outlawing the video games with prizes.
Already, the Note’able Games arcade at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort has gotten rid of its redemption counter. Disney still has the prize counters in five other hotels, including the Contemporary, All-Star Sports, All-Star Movies, Pop Century and Art of Animation.
The Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland Arcade is closing Feb. 8, and games from there will be going into the hotel arcades to replace the ones that issue prizes for points. I know a lot of people like to hang out in the Tomorrowland Arcade while waiting for others to ride Space Mountain, so I wanted to be sure to put that date of closure out!
We will keep you informed as to any more information that may come out regarding this subject. Thanks to the Orlando Sentinel for the information.