Theme parks warn Pokemon Go players: Look out!
As kids and nostalgic adults collectively lose their minds over the new Pokemon Go app, Florida's theme parks are finding the parks swarming with guests with their heads down, concentrating on their phones instead of where they are walking.
And why would people who have paid close to $100 a pop just to get in the door of the Happiest Place on Earth be so absorbed in their phones instead of the multi-million dollar attractions before them? Because Cinderella's Castle is a Pokemon gym! So is Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom and the Universal Studios opening archway. Can a red-haired Weasley-looking Pokemon be inside?
The players use their smart phones to go on a virtual scavenger hunt for the fictional creatures, which were first popularized in the 1990s by Pokémon cards and the TV show. The app was released less than a week ago and already ranks among the most-downloaded and top-grossing smart phone app.
The game is "certainly creating a buzz" at Busch Gardens in Tampa said spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka. "While we want our guests to have fun and catch them all, we ask that they continue to follow all posted safety guidelines and procedures, including not entering restricted areas."
Legoland sent out a series of "guidelines" for its guests in a news release Tuesday saying, "Even a Pokémon Master must stay within guest areas. Please don’t climb any fences or follow any Pokémon into employee-only areas."
It gets worse.
"No catch is worth sacrificing your safety," Legoland cautioned. "All play must pause throughout the duration of your ride until you exit the ride."
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @SharonKWn.