Friday, October 16, 2015

The Game Station (Summer 2015)

Almost forgot to post this one! The day I went off to check out DisneyQuest for one final run I ended up taking the better quality camera over to The Contemporary Resort to go up to the 4th floor and once again check out The Game Station!

If you've seen the video I took a few months ago you'll notice the prize counter is completely gone. For those of you who are new, recently Florida put a new law into effect to curb places where they had "Senior Gambling" where folks pretty much had speakeasy's setup to win prizes like gift cards in order to skate Florida's gambling laws. The problem in the law's language is so vague that it applies to any machine that can award a prize worth more then 75 cents. So even the little claw game over inside of a supermarket can violate the law. Many companies like Dave & Busters have gone against the law because it's a major part of their business and I have heard that some of the language of the law has been altered, but Disney just didn't want to have any part in it and pretty much shut down all prizes at all of their arcades.

So now all of the resort game rooms that had prize counters are now gone, DisneyQuest no longer has a counter for tickets and prizes and the Pizza Planet restaurant in Hollywood Studios is still there but they no longer have the claw machines that you can win the little green aliens in. Considering much of that area is going to be torn down for Star Wars Land and the food inside is awful I'm not going to miss it.

The Game Station still and always will be the best arcade on Disney property. Even though it's a far cry from the mighty arcade that used to exist on the first floor what they lack in size they make up for the quality in the games. Thankfully the pinball still has a home as well as one of my personal favorites, F-Zero AX still lives at The Game Station.

Sadly it seems that Disney has let go most of the attendants that used to work in the arcades. Over the years that my family and I have been going I actually became friends with some of the workers at The Game Station. Since the law past and they don't need people inside to award prizes you might see one worker just walking around, other then that they don't seem to have full time attendants. To make up for this they have a system using QR Codes on (almost) all of the machines. If you scan the code with your phone it'll take you to a site called Arcade Tracker. On the page you give them all your info and you can tell them what's wrong with the game. When I arrived the pinball machines look liked they had not been serviced in well over a month. Just FILTHY looking games. So I scanned one of the pins and put in a report saying they needed to be cleaned and much to my worked! Not even a day later I walked into the arcade while we where waiting to have breakfast and all five of the pinball machines where clean! I even put in a report on my last trip at another arcade where the flight yoke on Afterburner Climax wasn't working correctly and it worked 100% when I visited!

So while the arcade is a pale shadow of what it once was it's still a great place to check out if like when I went the weather was really rainy and really hot. Now that DisneyQuest will be going the way of the dinosaur it's the arcade to visit in Disney World. But to be honest, I don't see them keeping the arcades for long. Disney has been using their new "Magic Bands" where you just scan your wristband and you can make charges on them. The arcades are still using the same machines from when I first started going back almost ten years ago. Unless I see them update the machines to take the bands I could see many of the arcades in the resorts leaving in favor of something like a quick service restaurant or someplace to get coffee.

So enjoy them while you can folks!

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