MIAMI - Lines are now closed at all Build-A-Bear locations across the U.S. as thousands of people showed up to stores for Thursday's "Pay Your Age Day" event.
"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear Workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns," the company said in an email to customers. "We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."
Sky 10 was above The Falls near Pinecrest shortly after 1:30 p.m. as a long line continued significantly past the door for people who had already been in line before the announcement was made.
People appeared to be waiting as patiently as possible, some with babies strapped to their chests and many others with children in strollers. Older children could be seen playing with each other in line as they waited with their families.
One woman told Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos that she paid just under $50 for two stuffed animals and two outfits.
Another mother tried to make the line after picking up her kids from day care, but she was too late for the promotion.
"I brought my kids out of day care just to make it in time," Frances Freire said. "They cut off the lines and all I'm seeing online now is that we're going to get a $15 voucher, which is not what I would've paid."
Employees at Coral Square Mall said they too had to stop the line eventually after thousands of people showed up before 9 a.m. Thursday.
Pembroke Lakes Mall also reportedly had a large crowd, although some said they got there early and didn't wait too long.
"Got there an hour early. We were 30th in line. I thought it was well organized at Pembroke Lakes. Could've had more girls stuffing and sewing though," Jana Halbesma Caceres posted on Local 10's Facebook page.
But some people on social media said they waited in line for up to five hours at South Florida locations to get their discounted stuffed animal.
One woman said she had gotten to Coral Square Mall at 9 a.m. and was still in the line as of 1:30 p.m.
Many expressed their disbelief about the whole ordeal, saying they would never wait for hours for a store promotion.
"Pay my age for a stuffed dust collector?" Ann Jacks wrote. "I'd rather buy a bottle of liquid sin. My baby is 24 and he never liked stuffed toys."
The "Pay Your Age Day" promotion was available to customers who have signed up for the company's Bonus Club. Those who registered for the event, but didn't make the line in time will receive a $15 voucher.
It's unclear whether the same promotion will be held next year.
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