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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What is Wrong with Parents? Kids vs. Bars at Disney

What is the drinking age in your State?  18?  21?  Most States are 21 including California and Florida.  We all know that it is illegal for a minor to drink or even hold alcohol.  I am hoping we all agree with this.

How many of you would go to your neighborhood watering hole/dive/bar/whatever, take your 5 year old with you and then sit them at the BAR next to the drunks?  If you are normal I would say none.

Now how many of you would go to Disneyland Resort or WDW, take your 5 year old with you to a BAR and sit them on the stool AT THE BAR?  I'm willing to bet there are more of you that would do that and right now I am calling you out as a bad parent.

If it is not ok to take Timmy to your local dive and sit him at the BAR (not a table) why is it ok to do so at the Mouse?  Because it is DISNEY?!  All of a sudden that makes it ok?

I know there are some people out there who think rules are made for everyone else but not for them and especially not for their special child.  Sorry to ruin your day but your kid isn't special and neither are you.  In California it is ILLEGAL to have a child at the BAR.  I found out that while it is not illegal in Florida, what kind of message are you sending your child?  Think about this for a minute.

Bars are places where grown ups go to drink fermented fruits and grains, let their hair down, perhaps curse, debauch, try to get laid, etc.  This does not change just because that bar is now at the Polynesian or the Grand Californian.  There are some places where it is just not appropriate for children to be.
* Strip Clubs
* Bath Houses
* The Adult Film Awards
* The French Quarter during Mardi Gras and....

I am so happy to report that the Rose & Crown pub in England at Epcot took out all of their bar stools!  YAY!  Now the kids can't sit at the bar, they have to go to the tables where they belong.  However, not all of the bars have picked up on this.

This past trip I was at the Tune In Lounge and a family that was waiting for a table at the eatery next door decided to sit at the bar.  While they are waiting, Dad wants a drink and sits their two tykes at the bar.  So I turn to the kids and ask them "Are you going to order a beer or a shot of whiskey?  Now make sure when you get back to school to tell everyone at Show & Tell that Mommy & Daddy took you to a BAR at Disney!"  At that point Dad paid for his drink and Mom drug the kids over to a table, where they belonged.  There was seating available so trying to tell me there was nowhere else to sit while they waited for their table was bogus.

I know, I'm a dick.  Actually, no I'm not.  I was being the adult.  The fact that these parents could not walk 5 more feet to sit down on the chairs provided is not my problem.  They are the ones setting the bad example for their kids by letting them know it is OK to sit at a bar before you are legally old enough to drink.  They are saying that drinking is a family activity, like waiting in line to get autographs from Princesses or taking a picture with Mickey Mouse.

We should be teaching children to be responsible adults and part of that is the reality that there are some activities/areas that are for grown ups and not for kids.  Period.  Please think about the message you are sending to your child when you allow them into an adult environment and understand that when you bring your kid into my grown up house, I will not change my language or behavior because you were the one who decided to be a bad parent and take your kid to a bar.


  1. AMEN! I love what you said to the kid at the Tune In Lounge. In New Jersey kids are not allowed to sit at the bar until they are 21. Maybe the parents were not offended as much as it gave them food for thought?

  2. Sing is sister! You are 100% right on target. I admit I'm even a little surprised seeing people carrying their kids around a liquor store, but I realize that's my weirdness (seriously though, we have a mega mega liquor store here that actually has those car carts for kiddos. WEIRD.) So, overall I don't think a child is being converted into an alcoholic by exposure to drinking, I think the point is that a bar is an adult venue. Don't set junior on the stool and expect things around him/her to go instantly School-House Disney. Say junior, would you like to eavesdrop a little on why so many college girls get UTI's? They happen at Disney too you know! Of course the bigger topic is taking your 3 year old to a signature dining restaurant and acting like you're in a cone of silence while your child begins to banshee it up. Well why not, it's Disney after all, which is for the children. Cough. But that's another topic...

  3. Well thank you both! I was starting to think I was alone in a Disney sea. I remember when Pleasure Island was WAY more adult/walking bar and parents would bring their kids and then get annoyed with the drunk people or the language (like mine). I would tell them that if adult behavior is too much for your kids perhaps you should take them to DisneyQuest or Rainforest Cafe or the Lego store. They would then come back with "those cost money" or "but this is Disney" to which I reply "Newsflash: WDW is not free in case you haven't noticed and Pleasure Island is a adult oriented area. If it bothers you, leave."

    I think there are just so many self-involved parents that figure that everything is for their kid and no one else would mind. Well there are things that are for adults and not for kids.

    Restaurants... ahhhhh yes.... I feel another blog coming on. (Must admit I am having my own temper snit since I lost 3 hours of writing yesterday due to a PC error and I can't face it for another 24 hours).