Build-A-Bear 'Pay Your Age' lines close early due to safety concerns

The lines for Mall of America's Build-A-Bear Workshop are closed after large crowds flooded locations on levels one and three Thursday morning. Due to the overwhelming response, Build-A-Bear started limiting lines at their stores nationwide.

Wait times are expected to be around five hours for some patrons. 

The long lines were a result of Build-A-Bear Workshop's Pay Your Age event, allowing people to pay their age for any Build-A-Bear. 

Build-A-Bear released a statement Thursday announcing they were no longer accepting additional guests at any U.S. store location. 

"The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our guests and associates is our top priority. The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations," it read. 

Build-A-Bear said employees gave out vouchers to people in lines for a future purchase, however, they are asking guests to delay their trip over the next few weeks so the stores can better handle the response.

"We understand some of our guests are disappointed and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued guests as soon as possible," read the statement.

According to a company statement, Build-A-Bear started a new year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, which will allow people 14 years old and younger to "pay their age" for the Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month.