This is 63-year-old John St-Onge, a man who became a devoted Lego fan playing with his children many decades ago. Sick with cancer and diabetes, John and his now-adult daughter Nicole went to fulfill a dream: to visit Legoland Discovery Center in Toronto. He was denied entry. Updated.
Legoland employees told them that he couldn't get in because he didn't have any kids with him. The park cited child protection policies that prevent adults to get alone inside, stupidly implying that he—or any adult Lego fan—may be some kind of sexual predator. And they did so even while he was visiting the park with his daughter, who later said her dad was devastated by the rejection.
The whole episode is terribly unjust and sad. Lego is a company that appeals to everyone, from one- to 100-year-old people. And the park's direction is very aware that adult Lego fans are some of the company's highest spending clients. We love their product with a passion.
What's really weird is that I've been alone in the mothership's Legoland when I was a 36-year-old man, with no special press badge. I spent hours there and nobody batted an eyelid. John's episode doesn't make any sense.
Yet, in Legoland Discovery Centers—you can see part of the one in Westchester, New York in this image—adults can't get in to see the models. Apparently, that's the rule and there's no exceptions. Not even for cancer patients.
Sadly, John's too sick to travel to a big Legoland park. His dream was to go to the one next to the mothership, in Billund, Denmark. Perhaps Legoland should make an exception in some extreme cases like his. [CTV]
Toronto's Legoland Discovery Center has published this in its Facebook page:
Thank you for all of your feedback in relation to our adult policy. All comments have been directed to the appropriate members of the extended team. We have been speaking with John and his daughter directly and can confirm that John is very much looking forward to his forthcoming visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto, where he will enjoy one of our regular adult evening events. We look forward to welcoming him back soon.