No More Prizes for Arcade Games at Walt Disney World

January 13, 2015, 12:51 PM · Walt Disney World has begun removing arcade-game prizes from its resort hotels, according to an Orlando Sentinel report.

The prize redemption counter at the All-Star Music is already gone, with redemption counters slated for removal at the Contemporary, All-Star Sports, Pop Century and Art of Animation. The Tomorrowland Arcade in the Magic Kingdom is closing entirely on Feb. 8. At the resorts, the arcades might remain, though guests will no longer be able to play for prizes.

Arcade tickets

Why is Disney doing this? That's the big question. If you're not living in Florida, you might not be aware that there's been a big stink in the state over the use of "Internet cafes" that have essentially been operating as illegal casinos. In response to that, the state enacted a law in 2013 that outlawed unauthorized games of chance. Trouble is... the way the law was phrased has led some to believe that the statute now makes arcade prizes illegal, too. The arcade industry has been trying to challenge the law, which it claims could make restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese and Dave and Busters illegal.

Granted, arcade prizes are not a core part of Disney's business, the way that they are for Dave and Buster's, so perhaps Disney's just using this an excuse to cut some expenses that probably won't cause a loss of business in return.

What do you think?

Replies (13)

January 13, 2015 at 3:28 PM · Outdated past time and a waste of real estate. They are relics now that there are consoles and computers in so many homes. Good to see them go.
January 13, 2015 at 4:36 PM · I think you're right, Robert -- Disney's using the not-very-well-thought-out law (not a new occurrence in the Florida legislature....) as an excuse to dump some vending contracts that aren't worth it to them anymore.

While I don't personally have a problem with the games, I can't believe they get that much business in a place like Disney or Universal. After parents have shelled out all their money on hotel rooms, park tickets, food and princess souvenirs, who has money left to plunk quarters (or dollars) into cheap toy machines? :-)

January 13, 2015 at 5:25 PM · On one hand, they are fun, and I remember much joy in selecting prizes as a kid... my knee jerk reaction was "What, thats stupid"

However, It is a form of gambling... and I'm not sure if we should be teaching kids how to gamble until they're really old enough to appreciate the risk/reward ratio right.

I didn't think it would turn into a hard question

January 13, 2015 at 5:29 PM · I didn't even know there was ticket games ala Chuck E Cheese.

I would be more concerned about Dave and Busters and Chuck E Cheese.

Nobody has ever interpreted FL laws strangely, have they :)

January 13, 2015 at 7:42 PM · Disney should be a shame
January 13, 2015 at 8:56 PM · I didn't even know there were ticket games at arcades at Disney World... that's too bad that they're going away. I've never been in an arcade on Disney Property (I pretty much regard all arcades as side attractions), but having a prize system changes everything. I might've stopped in.

As a teenager my friends and I used to hang out at this huge arcade targeted towards older kids. It was a blast racking up tickets and spending them on cheap prizes.

January 14, 2015 at 12:19 AM · I think its kind of sad to see them go. I mean I don't really get into getting tickets like I used to. But it is still one of the funnest things I have ever done.

I like to play game like those, especially when they are fun like shoot basketball or stacker.

I don't know, I guess when it really comes down to it, now days I am just indifferent on the situation.

January 14, 2015 at 5:57 AM · I'm sad to see the state of Florida possibly losing them, but at WDWR I applaud them removing these machine, I have never really understood who in this day in age would spend their vacation at Disney playing arcade games. But then again I'm not a huge gamer in that sense. Another though I will add is I hope the removal of the Tomorrowland Arcade doesn't open the door to Tomorrowland becoming similar to Hollywood Studios, meaning, lots of empty and unused buildings.
January 14, 2015 at 8:47 AM · It is ridiculous that the law did not exempt family entertainment centers. The law doesn't seem right. If they don't want people to gamble, outlaw the gambling sites, not computers and arcade games.
January 14, 2015 at 6:47 PM · No, I love Disney's arcades, especially the redemption games.
January 15, 2015 at 9:19 AM · As a local with kids, the arcades have been a great way to get the kids out of the house to kill some time in a fun way. We'd also grab lunch in the food courts and enjoy a drink by the pool. Each trip generated around $30 in Disney's pocket, not even counting money spent at the arcade. I know dozens of other families who do the same thing. Short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction to a law they're most likely exempt from.
January 15, 2015 at 1:50 PM · It's very hard to write a law to ban gambling but not hit these machines. Let's not forget the origins of pinball - a gambling game where you won "free games" on the covert understanding the barman would cash you out for those games you won but we're unused. Slot machines evaded bans by dispensing told of mints, which again would be redeemed for cash on the sly.

So how do you construct a definition that will permit prize machines (which essentially still are gambling) but not provide the opportunity for cash gaming. A prize token isn't cash, sure, but it has value (as its redeemable. A casino chip isn't cash either but is also "redeemable"

Is this likely an unintended consequence, sure, but nailing that definition down and getting the legislative wording right is harder than you probably think.

January 16, 2015 at 5:50 PM · You go to Disney World for rides, shows, the atmosphere, and sometimes food. You don't go to Disney to play games they have at your local mall or chuckie cheese back home. I am going next week with my family, including my niece and nephew, who will more than likely want to play games most of the time, I suggested to my sister "a no games policy" and she fully agreed!

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