Separate But Equal: Bunny and Photo

At Burbank Town Center, Burbank, California, I found this sign:

The Easter Bunny is available for photos, according to the website of the company operating this service, March 25 to April 8, 2023.

Here is the problem from the sign and the website:

“Sensory Bunny” was April 2, from 9 to 11am.

This is what the set looks like in Burbank:

It looks like the house is a backdrop for photos.

So, nondisabled people have multiple opportunities during mall hours, except for breaks, while the sensory friendly experience is for 2 hours.

Pet Night on March 27 ran from 4 to 7pm, for a total of 3 hours, so pets got one hour longer than those who need sensory sensitive events, and are human.

For comparison, I checked  other Los Angeles area mall websites. There is no mention of anything similar to Sensory Bunny at Burbank Town Center.

So, this is praise and criticism.

Burbank Town Center took the first step in the right direction regarding holiday character photos, by including a period for the sensory sensitive, The criticism is that it isn’t enough. It should be on a case by case basis, as parents must request it when booking since it is required ahead of time.

Burbank Town Center and Amuse Matt Book Bunny should make Sensory Bunny available at all times.

Look at the booking pages.

This is for the regular session, today:

This is for Sensory Bunny, today:

Source: Amuse Matte Book Bunny – Get your Easter Bunny Pics

For Easter 2023, they are available at these malls (not available after April 8, 2023):

Valley Mall

Sensory Bunny, using different names, was available at:

Antelope Valley Mall

Burbank Town Center,

Great Northern Mall,

La Palmera,

Parkway Plaza,

Plaza West Covina,

Southlake Mall,

The Mall at Robinson,

Antelope Valley Mall is the best of these malls, having three days, Saturdays only.

However, three times are available for the final day, totaling 15 minutes.

To be inclusive, the schedule needs to be flexible for families who need sensory friendly events,

Instead of having separate booking times, the sensory option needs to be an integrated part of the booking process, to make it accessible for all.

These malls and this Easter Bunny company show that they can make the change. They must be more inclusive for the entire operation, for all available times.

I will check out how Santa Claus is handled when the workshops open at Los Angeles area malls in November 2023.

The next step is to make sensory bunny available as part of the regular booking process.

But still, this is better than the malls not including the options.

Antelope Valley Mall is the most inclusive, yet not inclusive.

Were autistics and others with sensory issues included in the planning of the service? Probably not.

What needs to change? Make sensory friendly a choice in booking at all times. Be flexible for the families who would use this service. Limited opportunities are essentially not opportunities for those who could take advantage of it.