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‘Bluey Day!' at Las Vegas restaurant descends into ‘chaos,' leaves kids crying and parents furious

"We were overwhelmed with the turn out to this event," the restaurant, Dirt Dog, admitted while apologizing to parents who said the long lines and half-hearted costumes left their kids upset.

"Bluey Day" at a Dirt Dog restaurant in Las Vegas.
Obtained by NBC News

A Las Vegas restaurant apologized after its "Bluey Day!" promotion was poorly received by parents, who called out the eatery for long lines, half-hearted activities and an employee in a flimsy costume.

Operators of Dirt Dog restaurants sought to seize on the popularity of "Bluey" — a cartoon about a talking 6-year-old Blue Heeler dog, brought to life on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Disney Plus — with a free "Bluey Day!" at one of its Sin City locations earlier this month.

But Dirt Dog did not grasp the full scope of the popularity of "Bluey," as the event was quickly overwhelmed.

Social media posts about the May 11 event complained about a face painting station that shut down early, overpriced store-bought cupcakes and a "watch party" that consisted of a few TVs showing the cartoon on mute.

And while the restaurant promised that kids could "meet Bluey and friends," photos appeared to show a bearded man in an apparent onesie being passed off as the beloved pooch.

Here's just a sampling of the scathing comments from the restaurant's Facebook page:

  • "Anyone going to this today, don’t waste your time. It was completely chaos, the bluey isn’t even a costume.... it’s a dude in pajamas."
  • "This is not a true event for Bluey. Place is unsafe and overly packed and they just have some employees dressed in cheap Amazon Bluey Onsies. They are also selling their 'special treats' which look like big box store cupcakes for $3.50. Excuse to get more business by preying on the interests of small children and their families!"
  • "This event was EXTREMELY disappointing. False advertising at its finest. Bluey is a guy in a onesie. There are no friends of Bluey. Bluey watch party? On mute?!?!?"
  • "Dirt Dog made a huge mistake today. Maybe they didn’t realize what a following Bluey had, but the amount of people who were 'going' and 'interested' in the event should have clued them in. We were there at the very start of event at 11. It was already crowded and couldn’t get past the 'hostess' area. The face painting line went to the back of the restaurant."
  • “Temu Bluey costume and decorations from Dollar Tree featured at Dirt Dog Las Vegas Rainbow! Thanks for ruining my 3 year olds day.”

And mom Stephanie Hernandez told KVUU, a Fox affiliate in Las Vegas, that children were left in tears.

“The kids were distraught, some kids were crying. Some kids were upset, crying in their parents’ shoulders,” she said. “How could you do that to little kids? It was a very upsetting moment to see so many kids, especially my daughter, just really upset."

A staffer told KVUU that the restaurant was expecting a handful of kids and parents, but instead hundreds showed up.

"The whole city coming out and that's what we got, the entire city," said staffer Taj Wilder. "Now knowing who Bluey is, we would have planned ahead and would have had security there, there would have been more door regulations."

The gourmet hot dog restaurant apologized and said it appreciated the "feedback."

“We are truly sorry this event wasn’t the expected experience,” Dirt Dog wrote. “We were overwhelmed with the turn out to this event. We will continue to improve on our events so we can ensure nothing like this will happen in the future.”

A representative for Disney Plus could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.

A Willy Wonka festival in Glasgow, Scotland has been dubbed on social media as the “Fyre Festival for kids” after families were left massively disappointed.

The promotion's failure drew comparisons to the Willy Wonka-inspired “Chocolate Experience” in Scotland earlier this year which set the gold standard for bad family and children's events.

The Willy Wonka flub has even inspired memes to convey a completely underwhelming experience and disastrous event.

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