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Kids thought they were going to meet Bluey at a restaurant in Vegas. Instead, they got a long line and a man in a onesie.

Grace Dean   

Kids thought they were going to meet Bluey at a restaurant in Vegas. Instead, they got a long line and a man in a onesie.
  • A Vegas restaurant hosted a free "Bluey" event. Both kids and their parents were left disappointed and angry.
  • The titular character was played by a member of staff "in Bluey pajamas."

A restaurant in Las Vegas hosted what parents described as an "extremely disappointing" "Bluey" meet-and-greet event which left kids upset and their parents angry.

"Thanks for ruining my 3 year olds day!" one person wrote on Facebook.

The restaurant, Dirt Dog, promised screenings of the Australian kids TV series, face painting, games, giveaways, and snacks, as well as the opportunity to "meet Bluey & friends."

But when parents took their kids to the free event at the hot-dog restaurant on Saturday, they weren't impressed with what they saw.

In social-media posts, visitors described having to line up in the sun because the event was flooded with "Bluey" fans, only to discover that the titular character was being played by a man in a onesie which one Facebook user called a "Temu Bluey costume."

"Bluey is a guy in Bluey pajamas," one person wrote. "It's not an actual character costume." Another person said that the man in the outfit didn't wear the hood and sat in the restaurant "with no emotion."

"When I saw him I just ignored him. I was mad," a child who attended the event told FOX5 Vegas. Her mom told the network that kids were "distraught" and some were crying.

Many people pointed out that the costume more closely resembled Bandit, Bluey's dad.

"We are truly sorry this event wasn't the expected experience," Dirt Dog wrote in a social-media post. It said that it was "overwhelmed" with the turnout and would improve its operations "so we can ensure nothing like this will happen in the future."

Social-media users said that the restaurant was too small to host so many guests, leading to long lines that one Instagram user said "wrapped around the building."

Facebook users said that the only face paint on offer was whiskers and pawprints. One said that it looked "like a 2 year old did it."

Taj Wilder, who works at Dirt Dog, told FOX5 Vegas the restaurant had expected "maybe 50, 60 people coming out." If staff had expected such a big turnout, they would have had better controls in place, she said. Staff dressed as Bluey and painted visitors' faces, she added.

Some Facebook users said that they didn't see any of the promised games and activities, while another user said they were actually just board games at some of the tables. The screens playing "Bluey" episodes, meanwhile, had no volume, and some TVs were playing sports instead, some of the users said.

The event led to a barrage of criticism on social media.

"This was horrible and a waste of time," one person wrote on Facebook. "You pissed off a community of parents … My daughter was super disappointed."

"Long lines for nothing," someone wrote. "Kids were super upset and so are the parents."

"This was a joke," another person wrote. "I can't even tell you how many little children were upset. Why would you do that to kids??!"

"This event was EXTREMELY disappointing," someone else wrote. "False advertising at its finest."

Some people said they wouldn't return to the restaurant after their experience at the Bluey event.

"I would rather eat a hot dog at Sams Club, Costco or 7/11 rather than give them my money ever again!" one Facebook user wrote.

But not everyone was disappointed. Some commenters on Facebook and Instagram said they were grateful to the restaurant for putting on the free event.

"Bluey," which has spanned three series so far, has been a phenomenal success for Australian producers Ludo Studio, appealing to kids and their parents alike. Richard Haigh, managing director of Brand Finance, told Bloomberg that the franchise could be worth up to an estimated $2 billion and could go on to rival "Peppa Pig."

In February, a Willy Wonka-themed "Chocolate Experience" in Glasgow went viral after paying guests said it featured barely any of the freebies they were promised and a made-up character called The Unknown left some children crying.

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