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Willy Wonka 2.0? Parents Reeling After Fast Food Chain Screws Up Bluey Meet & Greet

What started as an eager opportunity for a Bluey meet and greet at a popular Las Vegas restaurant, quickly turned into an epic fail for Bluey-mad families and children alike. American hot dog chain Dirt Dog had touted the event as “a day filled with excitement and entertainment”, promising screenings of Bluey episodes, face painting, games, giveaways, and the much-anticipated opportunity to “meet Bluey & friends.”

Over 3,000 families had RSVP for the event, and were soon arriving at the venue and lining up. Their excitement was next level as children chattered excitedly about meeting their favorite blue heeler in person, and parents looked forward to a fun-filled day out.

However, their hopes were soon dashed when they discovered that the character they had come to see was not the vibrant and lovable Bluey they had envisioned, but rather a staff member dressed in a Bluey onesie.

bluey meet and greet at dirt dog expectation vs reality
One amused parent’s Facebook post. Source: Facebook

Over 3,000 people had RSVP online to this special Bluey themed event, so Dirt Dog knew what they were in for. But upon arrival, the bitter disappointment was immediate and widespread. Children, expecting to meet the animated Bluey they had seen on television, were confused and disheartened to be faced with a person in a Bluey onesie instead.

“He looked, like, unexpected. We could see his beard.”

And parents, too, were left feeling let down, accusing the restaurant of false advertising and lamenting the missed opportunity to create lasting memories with their children.

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Social media platforms quickly became inundated with expressions of frustration and disappointment from attendees. Angry parents took to Facebook to share their experiences, with many expressing feelings of betrayal and demanding refunds for the event.

One parent wrote: “Thanks for ruining my 3-year-old’s day!” while another described the event as “extremely disappointing,” labeling it as “false advertising at its finest.”

bluey meet and greet at dirt dog onesie
This was clearly not the Bluey they expected! Source: Facebook

The freebies soon ran out, and some children reportedly cried at the sight of bearded Bluey. The event went so poorly that Dirt Dog issued a formal apology on social media, acknowledging that they had underestimated the turnout for the event and promising to improve their operations for future occasions.

dirt dog's original invitation and follow up apology
Dirt Dog’s invitation and apology. Source: Facebook

“Let us make it up to you”

Dirt Dog had offered to host a ‘make up’ event with better planning for the large numbers and do the right thing by the Bluey brand.

Posted by Dirt Dog Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 28, 2024

However, the damage had been done, and many families left the event feeling disillusioned and dissatisfied. Even local costume hire companies chimed in, and you have to laugh!

bluey meet and greet at dirt dog costume
When opportunity knocks …. Source: Facebook

Cease and desist letter issued

Bluey’s exclusive licensee BBC Studios, has since issued a Cease and Desist letter to the Dirt Dog franchise, saying the unauthorised event is “likely to cause confusion and harm BBC Studios, Ludo Studio, and the BLUEY franchise.”

“BBC Studios has learned from press reports that you held a prior BLUEY DAY event that ‘descended into chaos’ with crying children and disappointed parents,” the lawsuit states.

“To prevent all further harm, BBC Studios demands that you cancel all planned BLUEY DAY events and that you immediately and permanently cease offering any services or products in connection with or that use in any way the BLUEY mark, any confusingly similar variations thereof, and/or any images of characters that are the exclusive intellectual property of Ludo Studio.”

Parents have solid expectations of Bluey

Outraged customers Dirt Dog’s Facebook page with negative reviews of the event.

Patrons said the face painting was done poorly by the untrained staff of the dining establishment, and the treats for the kids were gone before everyone made it inside.

Some parents also complained about the cleanliness of the restaurant and the guy inside the Bluey costume’s apparent disinterest in the kids.

Not quite the Bluey we know and love. Maybe they just need to stick with hot dogs.

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Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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