Family booted from Busch Gardens Tampa for costumed kid

Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:31 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A woman says her family was kicked out of Busch Gardens Tampa because her 6-year-old was wearing a costume, and they have a policy against it.

Read more from WESH/Orlando.

See also: video from WFTV/Orlando.

Related parks

Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:02 PM
The Mole's avatar

Disney has a unique situation with dressed up adults. In Tokyo it's a normal occurrence for adults to dress up as the characters and walk the parks, and is allowed. At the state side parks it's allowed for Mickey's Not So Scary, under a few guidelines.

-Must not be inappropriate (sorry slutty nurse)
-No masks or covering of the face
-Guests cannot imitate other costumed characters, including signing autographs

There are rules, if you don't follow the rules, you get kicked out. If this family was jumping the lines and got kicked out does that mean they received bad customer service? No. You don't play by the rules, you get removed, and if you don't agree with the rules, then don't go.

+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 4:10 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Ok.. The only thing that Busch can truly claim fault for is the lack of visible posting of the no costume rule and the fact the family made it through the turnstile before being asked to leave. Busch even admits fault that they shouldn't have even made it that far and even tried to compensate them for the day.

But where in the rule books does it say these people need season passes or Augie's first born because they have been asked to leave for breaking a rule. It gets me when this sentiment of deserved entitlement is expressed because you broke a rule. Regardless if it was a visible sign or not.. It was a rule that wasnt fabricated 5 mins before they arrived. Park has reasons for their rules.. Period. Dont like it.. Dont go.. Blunt and harsh.. But fact.

VT has a no beer rule in the stadium for football games. I hate the rule, but I would dare think they owe me something if I happen to slip in with one and get caught afterward. I accept the rule.. (Even though I have no idea where its posted.. I know about it), and I respect the rule.

What also semi irritates me is the inevitable remark.. "well X park allows it". Well good for X park.. Where does it say that Y and Z park has to follow the same rules? I dont think this is one of those rules that will strip the attendance out from under the park if its not allowed. For most parks, when you go to a Halloween event (especially if it isnt even Halloween), you are going to see the dressed up workers attempt to scare the crap out of you.. Not to have people see you dressed up. You can do that for free on the 31st down your neighborhood street.

Either way.. I think based on the time line of events.. It sucks for the family, but all was done within policy to make it right for both sides.


+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 8:50 PM

"Waaaah, I'm a victim! They embarrassed me by insisting I follow their rules, (which I didn't bother to check on before I arrived.) The park should have provided me with proper clothing if they didn't want me to wear a costume!"

Following that logic, she and hubby should wear those costumes next time they're invited to a wedding and see if the bride and groom provide them with a tux and evening gown so they're "not embarrassed." Another thing, why is it people who are so embarrassed and can't bear to face anyone also can't wait to share their embarrassment with the nearest media outlet in a shameless plug for some compensation?

+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 9:56 PM

(which I didn't bother to check on before I arrived.)

Normally I'm the first to say well you should have checked the rules, and as someone whose worked in a theme park, I have no sympathy for people who ignore rules, but where could they have checked? The website doesn't say anything, and there's no signs out the front of the park, and even the front gate attendant didn't know about it. Any reasonable person who checked would feel assured that such a costume policy doesn't exist. I don't know if the family checked or not, but even if they did they wouldn't have been given the information, hence I feel that they got a raw deal, and should be compensated beyond a refund on what they spent. At the end of the day it was the park's fault they got through in costume, so it should be up to the park to fix the issue. If that means giving them another shirt then so be it.

There are rules, if you don't follow the rules, you get kicked out. If this family was jumping the lines and got kicked out does that mean they received bad customer service? No.

There's a big difference between this and line jumping. It was a rule that the park doesn't tell anyone about, and not even the appropriate staff member was aware of it. If the staff member that is meant to be enforcing the rule isn't aware of it, how can you expect a day tripping guest from the next town over to? Surly people can see the difference between this and line jumping here?

If it is their policy, then that's cool. I'm OK with that, and they enforce it, sure, fine, that I'm also OK with. It is their park after all, but I do think they should work it out so this sort of thing never ever happens again. I don't, and never will agree with the rule, but that's irrelevant to this conversation. Fact is this family got jibbed.


Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 10:05 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

joz said:
The website doesn't say anything, and there's no signs out the front of the park, and even the front gate attendant didn't know about it.

Actually, the Howl-O-Scream site does mention it.

It's not exactly easy to find, but if you scroll to the bottom of this page it's there - "No costumes are allowed"

And even still, at what point do you expect common sense to prevail? Where exactly is it acceptable to wear costumes - other than costume parties? It's not like just because it's nearing Halloween, you can suddenly wear a costume everywhere you go in the month of October.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 23, 2009 10:09 PM
+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 10:22 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Spoken like someone who doesn't watch enough Project Runway...don't....bore....Nina!

+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 10:59 PM

According to the time and price printed on the ticket on the news site, they were attending the park in normal park hours (at 2PM), not Howl-O-Scream.

You'd be surprised how many people wear costumes to parks. Again, at the park where I once worked, you'd always see kids wearing costumes, and if I recognise who they were dressed as, I'd always try to address them as that character (Hello Batman that sort of thing). You'd also see entire families wearing the same colour clothes so they could find themselves easier in the crowd. Never saw an adult wear one it but given they were with kids all wearing the same thing I wouldn't have thought anything of it.

Different park with different policies I know, but just saying that it seems to many people out there, it is fully appropriate to wear costumes to theme parks.


Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 11:19 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

joz said:
...it seems to many people out there, it is fully appropriate to wear costumes to theme parks.

People are stupid. :)

Seriously though...

According to the time and price printed on the ticket on the news site, they were attending the park in normal park hours (at 2PM), not Howl-O-Scream.

Even more reason to wonder why they thought it was appropriate.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 23, 2009 11:20 PM
+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 11:24 PM

And if you would like photographic evidence of what Gonch has just said, visit People of Wal-Mart.com, or you can just visit your local Wal-Mart and see for yourself. ;)

On topic though, I don't think the family is due anything beyond a refund of admission, and maybe a little on top of that for gas/travel. Is it unfortunate that they didn't make sure the rule was well known at least by admissions employees? Yes. But is compensation over refunding the admission and a little more warranted? Not at all.

And to go along with the quote that Gonch just added, at both KI and CP for their Halloween events they mention costumes not being allowed during Haunt/Halloweekends, which don't start until the evening (I think Halloweekends is technically all day, but for our purpose here...), but appears to be universally well understood that it also means no costumes for adults during "regular" daytime hours as well. Of course that's a small and limited example, but it certainly has parallels here.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, October 23, 2009 11:28 PM

Original BlueStreak64

+0
Friday, October 23, 2009 11:26 PM

^ People are stupid, I knew we'd find common ground sooner or later :)

On topic though, I don't think the family is due anything beyond a refund of admission, and maybe a little on top of that for gas/travel. Is it unfortunate that they didn't make sure the rule was well known at least by admissions employees? Yes. But is compensation over refunding the admission and a little more warranted? Not at all.

Or they could have just kept the admission and given them a shirt to change into at the time and everyone would be happy. Anyway I'm splitting hairs here, I've the point I wanted to make, I just felt kinda bad about everyone jumping down their throats when I don't think they really did anything wrong. Thank you for reading along :)

*Goes back to being a lurker*

Last edited by joz, Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:26 AM
Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:26 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I find it very hard to believe this family wouldn't have been just as upset and "embarrassed" had they been stopped at the gate and not allowed to enter. The only difference between that and what actually happened was the need to stop by guest relations for a refund. They chose not to do that.

I'm with RGB, too, in that it's amazing how telling the story publicly to the media nullifies the "embarrassment." I can hear it now, "But if by telling our story we could help just one family out there...blah, blah, blah..."


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:10 AM
Fun's avatar

joz said:
I don't think they really did anything wrong

They did do something wrong, they assumed.

+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:36 AM
LostKause's avatar

My bank has a no hood policy. You can't wear a hood over your head when inside the building. Is it kind of the same thing, perhaps?

I was stopped at the entrance to an after hours employee party at Cedar Point because I had black lipstick. Security told me that there was a no costume policy, but I told them that it wasn't a costume, that I always wear make-up while not at work. They still won the argument, and I wiped it off.

It shouldn't be such a big deal with the media and all. The mother was probably mad, but did she really have to get in touch with the news? She should have rolled with the punches and taken it as a lesson learned.


+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:52 AM

I think a lot of folks would be happier if they found a way to roll with the punches. The park should have a sign up disclosing the no-costume policy (particularly in October). Park employees could have stopped them when they were buying tickets (looks like the entire family was dressed in costumes) or before they entered the gate. So there are things the park could have done to help avoid the problem. But the family had the option of buying some t-shirts or sweatshirts and changing. Or they could have taken the refund and done something else with the rest of the day. It was one of their kids birthdays but they only had 3 hours in the park so hopefully the kid had fun doing other things on his birthday. And if not, he/she will have another b-day next year and hopefully the family will be better able to plan ahead for that one. I know a lot of people who seem to look for ways to make themselves miserable getting upset when little things don't go they want they wanted them to go.

+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:00 PM

I swear I'm not a troll. I stick to lurking since I normally agree with the majority view. In the 1 out of 10 debates where I disagree with the majority I don't really have anything to add to the conversation so just read on entertained. But for some reason I can't let this go until people at least understands my point. You don't have to agree with me but just understand where I'm coming from since I'm not sure everyone does....

They did do something wrong, they assumed.


No, you assumed they didn't check. What evidence do you have to support that they assumed? I've said time and time again, if they had done their research (which for all you and I know they did) it would have given them no reason to think wearing a costume was wrong. If it's such an important policy that it can lead to expulsion from the park, then why is it not mentioned anywhere? And given it's not, why should she have just "rolled with the punches?"

The whole common sense thing is something I can't really explain, and that's the easy way to prove me wrong. Ask me, at what point exactly is a family allowed to wear a costume? In this case? What if the costume was more gory? What if their faces were covered? What if there was loose hanging fabrics? How do you decide where the common sense line is? I have no idea, and that's the big flaw in my point of view. Having said that, even if you discount that side of the argument, the "It wasn't the families fault" thing remains.

If people want to shoot me down, do what Gonch did ask me where my so-called 'common sense' kicks in, but please, don't bring up irrelevant examples to prove what scum the family are. You don't pay to enter a bank (yet) and every bank I've seen there aren't signs out front telling you what you can't wear inside. An employee event is a benefit put on by your employer, not something you pay for. Totally different. What happened if they got rejected? What difference does that make, it's not what happened here. We could get bogged down on all sorts of 'what ifs'. I mean what if the ticket booth spontaneously combusted before they got to the park? Are they due for any sort of compensation in that case?

One last thing, I don't know how valid the 'embarrassment' thing is (I can only imagine the embarrassment she felt has to do with how her children view her, which I don't think is the park's problem), but a child who has their birthday ruined through no fault of the family, and a family have their day ruined through no fault of their own is a very valid complaint, and that alone warrants more then the price of admission compensation.

GoBucks89: I get where you're coming from, and I agree they could have bought T-shirts in the park, and if it were me that's probably what I would have done. Having said that, I think by that point it shouldn't have been the family's problem anymore. It was the park's fault they let the family into the park, and the park doesn't have to deal with the dissapointment in the kids that they had a major hand in causing.

Don't get me wrong, I hate people, I just feel that on this particular occasion it wasn't their fault. :)

Last edited by joz, Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:14 PM
Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:13 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

joz said:
Fact is this family got jibbed.

Jibbed? I don't know if they got jibbed, but I guess you could say they jibbed. (refused to comply)

The word your looking for is Jipped or Gypped.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:19 PM

^ Of all words to put in, 'refused to comply' was what I put in? Yikes! lol Yes obviously 'Gypped' was the word I was after, thank you for correcting me :)


Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1:44 PM

Seems to me that saying the kid's b-day was ruined and the family's day was ruined goes too far. They were not spending the entire day at the park as I understand it. So the majority of the b-day/day was still there for them to enjoy. And as noted, they still could have enjoyed their time at the park (after changing clothes) if they wanted to do that. They also could have taken the refund and come back another day. Sometimes you have to have a change of plans. Happens a lot (especially if you have kids). Its just how life happens. Take you kids to a park on the way home or to an arcade or see a movie or go bowling. And none of that is saying anything about the fault of either the family or the park. To me it doesn't matter. Roll with it. Life is too short to do anything else.

+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:11 PM
Fun's avatar

No, you assumed they didn't check.

If they had checked the regular BGT website- what would they have found? Nothing. If they did read the website, and based on it having no mention of costumes, decided to come dressed up, then yes, they made an assumption. The omission of the rule on the website or a sign out front is not relevant to it's enforcement. Try and use ignorance as an excuse when a cop pulls you over and see how far you get with that.

If they had asked prior to driving down there, this probably would not have happened. If someone or some text did tell them that they could come in costume, then I would feel differently, but the family makes no mention of asking anyone or getting a definitive answer to the question prior to coming to the park. That's where the assumption took place.

Oh and BTW, I do understand where your coming from on this, I just disagree with you is all.

Last edited by Fun, Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:12 PM
+0
Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:20 PM

My turn to agree with Carrie. What if they had been turned away at the gate? What if there was a large sign saying "No Costumes" posted at the entrance? Is the park still required to give them other clothes to change into, or otherwise compensate them? Would they still be gypped? They still traveled an hour, and the kid still doesn't get to spend her birthday at the park. I guess the headline would say "Family In Costume Refused Admission To Park" instead of saying they were booted from inside the park.

Why did the first version of the story only refer to the 6-year old being in costume? Did the parents forget to mention they were in costume too? Or did the reporter decide it made a better story to show the big old mean park persecuting a little 6-year old?

Joz, I suppose the embarrassment would be getting scolded by security in front of the other park guests and made to travel the "walk of shame" out the door. I suppose they wouldn't be embarrassed to be the only 4 people out of 30,000 walking around the park dressed inappropriately.

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...