I met up with my friend Melanie and her girls Maddy and Sydney to check out the new Looney Tunes Play Area at Willow Bend Mall in Plano. While I had a great time visiting with Melanie, I have to say that I was very disappointed in the play area! I really wanted to like it. At first glance I thought it was cute, but the longer we were there (we stayed for 45minutes) the more and more flaws I saw with the place. I loved the old play area (pictures here.) It was perfect for toddlers because everything was low to the ground, with just enough things that were a couple feet tall for some of the older toddlers. I'm sad that they got rid of the old play area and replaced it with this.
A cute picture of Maddie, Izzie, Maddy and Sydney. This was on top of the ambulance, the one toy that seemed very popular. The only big problem was the tunnel underneath where they are standing is pointed right at the exit that has no gate. A kid crawling through the tunnel would be very tempted to keep crawling straight out the exit to the cartoon characters that are on the outside of the playarea.
Maddie was so cute standing on this flower. She told me she was SO tall! I have to say, that these little flowers were pretty cute. There were also little bugs, but they were rounded and the kids couldn't stand on them. Izzie kept falling off.
In the front of this picture is Dr. Tweety. An 18 month old girl was able to climb easily to the top and she was standing on his head. This made her almost as tall as I am. (Okay, I'm short, but still....) Once she was up, she couldn't figure out how to come down. I was looking for her mom when she decided the only way down was to step off. Luckily I caught her or she would have done a head dive. The elements should not be so tall and easy for a child that young to climb up them. It was scary!
Also, notice in the background was a big red scary monster. He grumbled and made noises which scared some of the kids. He also blocked the view to the entrance to the play area.
I was very sad to see a TV in the play area. The sign under the TV says, Available on DVD. Kids should be running around playing NOT watching TV at the park. Also, notice in the background, the green slide that is off to a weird angle. Kids start to slide down it and then fall to the ground because you can't slide sideways without railings, gravity gets in the way. This was another pretty tall element, but at least kids had a (sort of) safe way down.
It's hard to notice in the photo, but there were also two "toys" that were pretty useless. A board that said, "How tall are you?" and an x-ray board. The older kids (6yr olds) climbed on top of them and jumped down almost injuring the toddlers several times.
Even the skunks tail was a scary slide. Maddie almost fell off it several times while trying to get slide down. Notice the kid laying down? He's comfy watching tv. At least he isn't jumping on toddlers.
A general view of the play area. You still can't see if your child is leaving the play area because the ambulance blocks the view. I wish they would put a gate up, in the very least.
That all being said, both sets of twins did have a good time. It took a lot watching and spotting, but the place wasn't a total bust. I think most kids can have fun almost anywhere given half the chance. They did wear themselves out, ate a huge lunch at the food court and are now sound asleep for a (hopefully) long nap!
I'd be interested to hear what you think of this play area as compared to the old one or other similar mall play areas. Or, what you think an ideal play area should have in it!