LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Is For Kids

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne Logo Thumb

Today is the official grand opening of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Melbourne. From today thousands of excited kids will get to check out some great rides and attractions geared specifically to them. Unfortunately not everybody is excited about the opening. Adults without children will only be able to attend special AFOL nights once a month. This is a stance that has got some people angry, as demonstrated by 1 star reviews on the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Facebook page.

I admit that when I first learned about the global “no kid, no entry” policy for LEGOLAND Discovery Centres I was annoyed too. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against for being an AFOL – The first year I attended the Sydney Brick Show a woman approached me and told me off for taking photos, specifically saying that I had better not be taking photos of her grandchildren. Even though I love LEGO and hate being discriminated against, I am not annoyed about the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Policy, because the attraction is for kids.

Merlin (the operators of LDC) make this quite clear with the website calling this a playground.

LDC Melbourne Playground

If you have a look at what is actually at the centre then you get a clear picture of this being something that isn’t for adults.

All of those sound like great attractions for kids but not really something that I’d like to do by myself as a 31 year old man.

Admittedly there are a few things that would interest me – The Creative Workshop, LEGO Factory Tour and Miniland. The stuff that is not for me outweighs the stuff that might be of interest though.

The retail shop is open to the general public, even people without tickets.

One phrase that I have seen raised a few times by adults that are not able to attend is discrimination, but there is a bit of confusion about what is going on. The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre rules do not discriminate on the basis of gender or age. Adult men can enter with a child. Adult women can enter with a child. The determining factor is parental status.

I got in touch with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission about the policy. There response was that Victorian law protects people from being discriminated against based on a number of personal characteristics, including parental status and age. However, the law provides some exceptions where this type of discrimination can lawfully occur.

The available information about parental status discrimination related mostly to situations like people with children not being given a job because they have kids. I can’t find any specific examples that relate to LDC. Unfortunately the Commission is not able to make a determination based on an enquiry, and until an official complaint is lodged they won’t investigate the issue. It seems unlikely that Merlin are doing anything illegal, as one of the legal reasons for discrimination is safety of patrons. A claim they would most likely make in the event of a formal complaint.

While one night a month might not suit everybody, and it is better than a lot of other children’s play centres offer adults.

If anybody does wish to take the issue further you can contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission via www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au

One Response to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Is For Kids

  1. Apricots says:

    Very well said.

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