No more arcade prizes at Disney, thanks to state's crackdown on Internet cafes


  • Photo by Lisa Padilla

The theme park blogosphere is reporting that Walt Disney World is removing arcade-game prizes from its hotels beginning immediately. No more claw machines featuring alluringly cute but barely attainable stuff animals, no more trading in your 50 tickets for a souvenir koozie, no more trying to rack up enough points to trade for a giant stuffed animal that smells like BPA. 

It seems that when Florida passed a 2013 law banning certain forms of gambling, which resulted in a crackdown on Internet cafes and "senior arcades" that operated in what used to be a legal gray area, some in the senior arcade business decided to take legal action, suing Dave & Busters and operators of other large-scale adult-amusement complexes, noting that the state could not be selective in its enforcement of what constitutes "gambling" and games of chance.

Although Disney has not explicitly said that it is removing its arcade prizes in an attempt to avoid being sucked into a similar suit, observers are speculating that's what's behind the measure. Not to worry – the games themselves will still be there. But now you'll have to play for fun.