Melissa Hart’s fifteen-month-old may be big enough for some of the rides at Canada’s Wonderland, but he won’t be going to the park until he’s big enough for the food.
“When he’s old enough to have a $15 hot dog, we can go back,” Hart said.
Hart returned her family’s season pass Saturday after park staff stopped her from bringing in a home-packed lunch for son Max Wolk.
Staff told Hart and her husband only one of the items in the small lunch of yogurt, baby food, and a peanut butter sandwich was permitted inside the gates.
“They kept saying, ‘You don’t need that much food. Why does a baby eat so much?’,” Hart said.
However, official park policy permits parents to bring in baby food and snacks for toddlers with no limit on the number of items.
“We completely understand that families want to feed their children what they need. We understand it’s a long day and folks want to give their toddlers snacks,” said Wonderland spokesperson Dineen Beaven.
Beaven called Hart’s experience “unfortunate” and said staff will be re-trained on the existing policy.
Wonderland also allows visitors to eat home-brought food in a picnic area outside the gates, but Hart said that wasn’t an option for her family.
“With the way Max eats, it would be too many trips back and forth. And I couldn’t leave the yogurt in the car because it could go bad in the heat.”
Hart detailed the day on her blog, Naps and Sprinkles.
Click here to read the blog post.
Another mother, Christy Copely, mentioned in Hart’s blog post was told she couldn’t bring in all the snacks she packed for her four-year-old autistic son.
Copley’s son has food sensitivities including a gluten allergy, so he requires special snacks.
Her family stashed the extra snacks in their car and went on to the park.
She called the extra effort “a bit much,” but her family will revisit over the summer with their seasons passes.
“We bought the pass to enjoy as a family, and one way or another we’re going to enjoy it as a family,” said Copley.
Beaven said the park does try to offer a range of special food needs, including kosher, halal, and gluten-free options.