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Adults without children are not welcome in Discovery Centre Manchester

DuqDuq Member Posts: 24
Just found this article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2924553/Disabled-man-40-mental-age-seven-barred-regular-visits-Legoland-child-protection-fears.html

Apparently AFOLs can only visit the Discovery Centre in Manchester at special evening events or make an appointment to be escorted around the premises by a manager. All in the name of child safety.
Shocking. Ridiculous.

Do they actually enforce this policy or is there something else going on here? How many of you AFOLs have been turned down?
«1345

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    Here we go again...
    Rainstorm26madforLEGObeemojasorbobabrickskiki180703
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 908
    edited January 2015
    I've not been (apart from a look in the shop), but I've seen talk both here and in Eurobricks of this policy being enforced.

    It's a bit disappointing, but at the same time I absolutely get it. Much of the Discovery Centre is more of a big play area with only a small Miniland, and I do believe that there are some organised events that AFOLs can go to, and you can always get into the (not very exciting) shop.

    I'm a big fan of child safety, and for parents to feel comfortable at the expense of annoying a few AFOLs ... that's probably worth it.

    Bear in mind that the Discovery Centres are not Lego-owned, but are run by Merlin (who run the parks too). If you want a good Lego experience in Manchester just go to the shop in the Arndale Centre in town.
    AndyPolandheAndorBrickmankiki180703
  • DuqDuq Member Posts: 24
    Thanks Pitfall. I did do a search but hadn't found that thread.

    I'm a parent and former teacher and I absolutely don't get it. I'm a big fan of Free Range Kids and I love Lenore's comment on a similar incident at LDC Toronto:
    So…if adults are there on their own, children are automatically at risk? The assumption being that even if not ALL adults are predators, all predators are adults, so let’s ban ‘em?

    By that logic, should we allow teachers into school if they don’t bring their offspring with them? Should kids avoid anywhere adults roam free?

    In Legoland, all adults are guilty until proven otherwise.

    And there’s no way to prove otherwise.
    Norlego
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    ^True, but they do background checks on teachers.
    andheAndor
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    I've been there with the kids and tbh its a bit grotty and not somewhere I'd be upset at not being able to go to!
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Same in Boston, MA.

    Disappointing, but I get it.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    I am a father with two young children and fully support child protection rules, but this man has a mental age of 7? I assume that he would be with a carer as well? I do not see a problem with him going in with his carer, which in my mind is the same as a teacher going in with their class?

    However, this is not LEGO we are talking about, this is Merlin and they are a whole different ball game! The problem is that LEGO will get the blame. If I was them, I would invite him over to Denmark and let him spend the day in the factory!
    mr_benn said:

    If you want a good Lego experience in Manchester just go to the shop in the Arndale Centre in town.

    Good suggestion mr_benn, if the Manchester shop is as good as my local LEGO shop, he would have a great time.

    Andor
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    This is so ridiculous.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^^The Lego family is still involved with the Legoland parks. As Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen's investment company, Kirkbi, owns 34.6% of Merlin Entertainments. So technically they would still to be to partly blamed at least.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    I'm a parent, and I think it is a good idea.

    I don't mind my kids having to wait their turn at something if they are waiting for a kid to finish. But to have to wait for an adult in such a centre is rather off putting. Whether it is at an LDC or a kids' playground.
    Bumblepants
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    Never been to LDC but wondering what attractions are there that would be of interest to a adult male going without a child?

    Looking at the overview map and rides and attractions list, nothing sticks out to me apart from the cafe?
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    The only thing that was vaguely interesting was the miniland. Also building stunt racers with the boys to send down the ramps was OK.
    Stupidly busy though and grotty and smelly.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    I think some of you are missing the main point? I agree that banning unaccompanied adults is responsible, sensible and understandable in a set-up like the LDC, but this is a man with a mental age of 7? I don't know what experience any of you have had with disability, but this is a human being that thinks and behaves like a child, not to mention that he appears to need a wheelchair when outside his home?

    I would agree that he should be accompanied by a carer or relative as sometimes it can be off putting for those not aware of such disability, but the ban seems unfair considering that he been attending on a weekly basis for several months with apparently no problem?

    Of course, like anything in the press, we don't know the full story, so there may be other reasons for the ban, but on the face of it, it sounds very unfair.
  • SuperTrampSuperTramp City 17Member Posts: 1,021
    ^They do have adult evenings though don't they? Its not like it cant ever go again.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380

    ^They do have adult evenings though don't they? Its not like it cant ever go again.

    So what would you say to him being there at the adult evening when he wants to play like a child? It is a no win scenario for him, poor soul. I bet someone would not accept him playing in the day amongst the children and equally someone would probably not accept him playing amongst the adults in the evening?

    I'm not being difficult, but the world can be very unfair accepting the disabled at times.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    I have to weigh in here. All my life I have been around people with disabilities. MD, MS and my best friends brother had Down Syndrome. I worked as a bus aid with children and adults with mental disabilities. There were anywhere from 8-23 years of age. There was a few times where the "adults" on the bus took their pants off. I was also attacked by the 23 year old and almost needed stitches. The "adults" may have the mentality of a 7 year old or younger, but they have the body and the hormones of an adult.
    beemowayneggJdslater
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,051
    Personally I think more places should try to separate adults and children, doing adult only evenings or days. But that is mainly as I hate children. Plus I am sure parents don't want to be around a grumpy bloke who keeps huffing as their children get under foot around museums etc.
    graphite
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    I'm beginning to struggle with the content of this thread.
    Pitfall69jasorDrLegOBrickmatticus_bricks
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 380
    No problem weighing in, it's just open and honest debate. However, i think trying to label adults with disability as a problem (or not) is like trying to label adults without a disability as a problem (or not), i.e. virtually impossible. For example, if you met me, you wouldn't know I have had MS for the last 24 years (please don't think I'm trying to score points but it is just relevant to the point I'm trying to make). The problem is human nature can stereotype based on what we experience in life, which can sometimes cloud what we think about a situation. None of us know the full situation but I still think pragmatism based on individual circumstances might benefit all.
    Pitfall69
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    the ldc is a glorified play barn, they do the right thing - keeping unaccompanied adults out during normal hours and going out of their way to provide more suitable times when adults can go without children. i'd say they've done more than they could have been expected to and still get it in the neck.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296

    Personally I think more places should try to separate adults and children, doing adult only evenings or days. But that is mainly as I hate children. Plus I am sure parents don't want to be around a grumpy bloke who keeps huffing as their children get under foot around museums etc.

    Yes, on a few occasions I have left a museum as I thought my kids were being too noisy and possibly distracting others (adults). I wouldn't want to have grown ups tutting at me in a LDC.

    As to the case of the "7 year old" man, then possibly a charity should talk to the LDC about having a special day put aside, and coordinating a day when many people of similar disability could go. I have taken my nephew to autism friendly cinema shows (lights left on, quieter sound system than normal, allowed to get up and move around, break in middle). Enough people attend such that the cinema can (financially) make it a monthly event, and also offer something to a community that need it. I wouldn't expect them to do it every week, especially if it is loss making (compared to opening it up to the general public) but having it monthly means a decent number of people coming.
    RedbullgivesuwindandhealdreddaimlesspursuitsAndor
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    AndyPol said:

    No problem weighing in, it's just open and honest debate. However, i think trying to label adults with disability as a problem (or not) is like trying to label adults without a disability as a problem (or not), i.e. virtually impossible. For example, if you met me, you wouldn't know I have had MS for the last 24 years (please don't think I'm trying to score points but it is just relevant to the point I'm trying to make). The problem is human nature can stereotype based on what we experience in life, which can sometimes cloud what we think about a situation. None of us know the full situation but I still think pragmatism based on individual circumstances might benefit all.

    Well, sorry...you do score points with me :) I definitely agree about stereotyping. I was just just commenting on my experiences growing up :)

    Andor
  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    Any rule that not only protects my child but ANY child is there for a reason and needs to be enforced. But in special circumstances like these provided the place of visitation is made fully aware of the individual and can provide suitable cover I don't see why nobody should be left out of enjoying not only LEGO but anything that makes them happy or helps them through.

    It can be a tough call doing the right thing sometimes.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,220
    It's not Legoland, a theme park with rides and stuff, it's basically a large kids' play area. You wouldn't have adults - any adults - using a kids playground, so the same applies here.

    As someone said, some disabled adults may have the mind of a 7 year old, but they have the body and hormones of an adult, and often cannot control them. Therefore, it's simply not appropriate.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    ^ I normally have a go on the swings when I'm in the playground with my kids. But not if there are other kids wanting a go. I still cannot resist the monkey bars either.
    Legopassion8andhepharmjoddougtsjasor
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,395
    I have been trying to stay out of this conversation as to not offend, but might as well weigh in. In general I support the policy as I have been there with my children and i get what they are trying to do. They are not trying to discriminate but to promote a safe environment. Their intent has to be considered before it is called discrimination. Now there may in the future be consideration for those with disabilities such as this, but at the time of the visit this was the policy. The employees were just following policy and as this is company wide, I'm not sure the management could even change it on the fly like that (I have found those in charge at the Chicago Discovery center to be exceptional, but I'm not sure what they do and don't have authority over). The next thing that bothers me is this spread all over the Lego facebook page. Lego does not run the Discovery Centers or Lego Land for that matter. Now I know everyone and their mother seems to want to jump in on some crusade to help this poor man but Lego has less control over this than they think, and I also think that if they asked more politely to have the policy looked at for these types of exceptions they may actually get someone to listen. As it stands it is a lot of repetitive finger pointing and shame on you type behavior. My last thought is this. On Big Bang Theory they have talked several times about going to Lego Land....can they even do that or do the Parks have a similar policy to the Discovery centers? (Okay that last one is just for humors sake. Sheldon at any place is just plain creepy).
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    No legoland parks, at least the one in the UK allow unaccompanied adults. But its a totally different environment. He should be told politely to go to the evening session, make it special somehow and that should be the end of it.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,950
    edited January 2015

    No legoland parks, at least the one in the UK allow unaccompanied adults.

    Not trying to be clever here, but for clarity's sake, do you mean: "No Legoland park will allow unaccompanied adults" (ie, no adults allowed) or "No, Legoland will allow adults" (ie, adults are allowed)?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    you're right - No. Legoland parks, at least the one in the UK, allow unaccompanied adults.
  • TechnicManTechnicMan Member Posts: 23

    you're right - No. Legoland parks, at least the one in the UK, allow unaccompanied adults.

    I went to the one in Windsor with a friend (both of us over 30) a couple of years ago and had no problem getting in. Has the policy changed recently?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332

    No. Legoland parks, at least the one in the UK, allow unaccompanied adults.

    Pitfall69
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,220
    It's just the discovery centres, as far as I'm aware. The main Legoland parks are effectively theme parks, so are open to all. The Discovery Centres however, are like indoor play areas. They're completely different things.
  • TechnicManTechnicMan Member Posts: 23
    Apologies. I missed the subtle punctuation change!
  • aldreddaldredd United KingdomMember Posts: 203
    this isn't LDC specific policy either - I've come across it in other places - Gulliver's Land Theme Park (very child orientated theme park) and the large Soft Play centres I know of have the same policy.
    As a parent, I'm comforted by this policy - it's enforced uniformly and consistently (to the point where I helped my mum to her car with my niece (as she was child minding) and had to my wife to come back over to get back in.

    That being said, there is clearly a demand, and especially if there is a well-being benefit, they pretty much have a duty (be it legal or otherwise) to make provision for this. Setting aside a day / morning per month as suggested I think is a good, practical approach.
    We have to keep people safe (adults and children, able and less so) - but no-one should be denied access to joy and happiness on the grounds of their physical or mental disabilities - you merely have to find ways to accommodate it.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ which they have been since introducing evening adult sessions after the last 'issue' with this.
    Pitfall69
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    aldredd said:


    That being said, there is clearly a demand, and especially if there is a well-being benefit, they pretty much have a duty (be it legal or otherwise) to make provision for this. ... We have to keep people safe (adults and children, able and less so) - but no-one should be denied access to joy and happiness on the grounds of their physical or mental disabilities - you merely have to find ways to accommodate it.

    In this case he wasn't excluded based on mental or physical disabilities. He was excluded based on his age. There is no legal reason that childless adults need be allowed entry to a children's attraction.

    If the demand is high enough, then there is a financial reason though.
    pharmjod
  • aldreddaldredd United KingdomMember Posts: 203
    In this case, yes - I was generalising in my remarks rather than speaking specifically about this policy.
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    Nobody with children is going to argue this policy
    If this policy was glanced over just once and something happened to my kid then there would be some crazy hell to pay
    Every parent would be exactly the same
    I don't care if the occasional adult is inconvienced
    It's the downside of being an adult that collects/plays with toys
    pharmjod
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Solarious said:


    If this policy was glanced over just once and something happened to my kid then there would be some crazy hell to pay

    Interesting.

    Without the policy, if something happens, it's no different to taking your child to one of thousands of other attractions, where the organisers have no particular responsibility.

    With the policy, if something happens, then there's "hell to pay".

    That opens a whole new bag of worms.

    And what happens when two adults take a number of children and leaves with the children leaving the other behind?
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 282
    As a parent, I feel this policy doesn't really do anything to protect my children. Children are essentially never abducted by strangers. In a setting like a huge playground, parents are usually supervising their kids to some degree. Predators who approach the problem tactically could either get jobs at LDC or else bring kids along, then leave them alone for a few minutes while they go off and find a victim. There is no real safety gained by preventing adults from visiting at any time. Like taking your shoes off at the airport, this is just security theatre.

    That said, there is also nothing really worthwhile for adults to see or do there. The LDC near Toronto has a tiny miniland that features some nice buildings replicating parts of Toronto, or other nearby scenes. But that area takes about 10-30 minutes tops to visit, and the rest of the LDC is just jungle-gyms and not-so-great rides.

    LEGO could solve everyone's problems by letting adults into the mini-land and only letting kids into the playground area. That would probably do for most AFOLs who don't care about the rides, while keeping the rides area less crowded and also appeasing the people who live their lives in fear every day.
    dougtsXefanBrickDancer
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    Ridiculous policy, and sadly a reflection of how over doing this sort of thing is actually perversely harmful to society and our fearful view of it. I myself have an 8 year old daughter, and yes am careful, but something is wrong with our society when an adult can't so much as glance at a child without the parent looking at them like a piece of dirt.

    I remember back in the 80s my grandad (wonderful man) would pat a little boy on the head or pass a word if they were next to us in the queue at the paper shop. How things change, for the worse...
  • jon_kjon_k UKMember Posts: 233
    discovery centre @Trafford centre ropey to say the least ...

    Lego @ Arndale Centre Manchester ... top banana .. and brilliant staff and its free to get in
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,296
    Is it down to protecting children, or protecting the children's environment?

    Sure, there are going to be there accompanying their kids. But adults going along for the experience are often a PITA and can ruin it for kids.
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    I am genuinely disappointed by the comments that I have seen in this thread. Apart from going in the store, I have not been around the Discovery Centre, but I would like to feel that I could unaccompanied by a child should I so choose to. To suggest that an adult could potentially harm a child in any way just because they do not have a child accompanying them is just about one of the most inane suggestions that I have ever heard. By all means, please show me any evidence to the contrary. Let's just burn everyone that doesn't fit the profile of normality at the stake and the problem's solved. I appreciate that this is a serious topic, but it's hard to take such stupidity seriously, especially when it's on a forum where adults play with Lego, which is considered abnormal by many.
    richoXefanvitreolum
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,985
    Last time I was at a fast food play areas, there were age restrictions. Often something along the line of 12 and under. Most folks generally do not have an issue with age stipulations in those cases. I am pretty sure that it isn't about how suddenly a 13 year old may harm a child.

    While we can debate whether the Discovery Center policy is fair to exclude adults because the thought is that the adult may be a an issues... I think it is far more simple.
    Basically the discovery center is designating the areas as a child's play center, so not really all that different than the play area case above. These sorts of age restriction are all over the place, and generally teens are the ones that get stuck dealing with it, in this case, adults get the short end of a very common policy that is all over the place... an age limit.

    Now, I do think there are extenuating circumstances in these cases in that we are talking about those that have a mental age well beyond their years. I do think a reasonable compromise then is to have specific times for disabled adults.

    Bumblepants
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,446
    Protecting ONE child is worth inconveniencing an adult here and there. It is no different than policies protecting air travelers. We have had nothing like what happened in 9/11. It inconveniences many sure, but I rather be inconvenienced than hijacked. There are many people that think taking off your shoes and what not is stupid as well, but the policy is there to protect us. The Discovery Center is being proactive. We aren't even just talking about abductions (only about 1/4 of abductions are by strangers). There's other things as well such as fondling and taking pictures of children.

    This topic is an emotional one for me and I am not not going to get into that again, but @augen‌ if you think I am stupid and living in fear of something happening to my children; maybe one day we can sit down and discuss the horrors of being a 6 year old boy who was molested. I hope to God nothing like that happens to anyone close to you...I'm sure you would change your tune.
    collect_thatpharmjodtamamahmRedbullgivesuwind
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    Yeah, saying someone is stupid for having concern for their children is frankly the stupidest thing I have heard all day
    Unless you count having the very adult compulsion of protecting the most important thing in the world compared to playing its toys
    Like I said, you can tell who here has kids
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    I have not said anyone is stupid for wanting to safeguard children, I have said that some of the comments in this thread are stupid. If you really understood my points though, you could would realise that it's not about protecting one child, it's about how the voicing of such fears can be so dangerous. I mean no disrespect in this @Pitfall69 for this is not personal, but this isn't about you. I was brought up to be cautious, but not fearful of strangers and that's the world that I want to live in, not yours.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2015
    No its not even being fearful of strangers its about ...

    1. being wary of adults that have a prediliction to hang out in children's play areas.

    2. Making an environment where children and parents (who've often paid a lot of money to be there) feel as comfortable and secure as they can be.

    3. Making money, its a business and clearly they've decided that the lost income of selling tickets to adults who want to visit a play barn is worth it. Also imagine the fallout for merlin/Lego if something happened and they were thought to be doing less than they can.

    4. Its much much easier to enforce a flat ban than expect / allow staff to make on the spot decisions. 'Yes sir, I know I let that 40 year old man in, but quite frankly he didn't look like a risk and you do.'

    As always we see everything through the eyes of Lego loving afols, change the Lego discovery centre to a Disney frozen themed soft-play barn. Would we still be arguing that 40 year old men should be allowed in, crawling through tunnels and dark corners of a maze with 8 year old girls? No, because they have absolutely no reason to be there.

    Its a simple rule that isn't discriminatory, doesn't impact anyones rights and they've gone out of their way to provide opportunities for adults to attend at special evening sessions. There really is just no story.
    dougtsew027roxiosidersddBumblepantspharmjodaimlesspursuitsemilewskiBJ21
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