Disney Resorts Are Closing Down Arcades

Looking forward to taking your kids to a Disney resort for some spring break fun? You’ll have to do without the arcade games. Every arcade on each Disney resort is closing permanently. Even popular favorites like Pacman cocktail arcade and Frogger are all being shut down and shipped out, with arcade employees transferred to other posts around the resorts. Why the sudden change in Disney’s on-site arcade offerings?

Florida is Cracking Down on Gambling

Disney has not released an official statement detailing the reasoning behind the changes to arcades, but Sandra Pedicini, an Orlando Sentinel reporter, thinks the motivation is due to Florida’s 2013 laws surrounding gambling practices. The new law states that no game-winner can receive a prize valued over 75 cents and each game must operate on coins. Disney’s newer arcade system uses cards.

Misguided Lawmakers

While many criticisms have arisen due to the vague terms of the law, Disney seems to be acting with extreme caution to eliminate cause for a lawsuit. Original proponents of the law wanted to shut down what they deemed “Internet cafes” which were in actuality casinos located in Florida strip malls. Due to lack of forethought when writing and passing the bill, now children visiting Disney resorts won’t experience the thrill of winning the “jackpot,” or collecting their large furry stuffed animal with their hard-earned points.

Back to Basics

Disney will not completely forfeit all arcade game activity, but all “claw” machines that allow children the ability to grab prizes are set to be removed. Prize counters will be closed. Games may continue, just without the reward of prize redemption from point accumulation. Arcades are returning to the old days, when your name next to the current high score was cause for celebration. Everyone knows that rewarding children with candy and toys after an arcade game success is the same as gambling…isn’t it? Future, more realistic law changes may take place in the future, but don’t count on winning a video game system from your arcade game points at Disney anytime soon.