Are you ready for Disney's new smoking and stroller rules?

April 30, 2019, 12:33 PM · Are you ready for cleaner air, clearer walkways... and huge queues for Guest Relations at Disney's theme parks tomorrow?

As we reported first last month, the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts will ban smoking, wagons and oversized strollers starting tomorrow, May 1. Visitors who wish to smoke or vape will be asked to leave the security zones inside the parks, and the smoking ban also extends to Disney's shopping districts: Downtown Disney in California and Disney Springs in Florida.

Strollers must be no wider than 31 inches and no longer than 52 inches to be allowed inside the Disney parks, starting tomorrow. And anything looking like a wagon, whether pushed or pulled, will be barred from entering, as well.

Baby Herman
Baby Herman's gonna be mad....

People who come with oversized wagons or strollers will be asked to return them to their car or hotel room, as they now are told when trying to enter with other banned items, including selfie sticks, masks and adult costumes. For parents caught out without a stroller because of the change, Disney now will be renting tandem double strollers that meet the new size rules.

Theme Park Insider readers overwhelmingly supported Disney's new policies when I asked you to vote on them last month. But whenever Disney changes its policies, guests queue at Guest Relations offices to complain, so I would expect the same tomorrow, despite the policies' majority support.

Disney tried its best to tell people about the changes, using its social media channels and sharing the news early with publications such as Theme Park Insider. But if Disney's still getting people through the gates who ask "So, what is a 'Fastpass'?," you'd better believe that there will be plenty of guests arriving tomorrow with no clue about the new rules.

While the stroller rules will be relatively easy for Disney to enforce — with an initial check at security followed by a final line of defense at park entry — the no-smoking rule is gonna be tougher. Facing a long walk to exit security and a wait to get back in, it's going to be mighty tempting for a lot of smokers to try sneaking a few puffs in spots where they might think they can get away with it. (Pack a gas mask inside the Tom Sawyer Island caves, everyone.)

Disney's ops and security teams ought to be able to anticipate where smokers are most likely to try cheating the rule. Will Disney send extra cast members for enforcement to those areas, encouraging word to spread that there really is no place to get away with smoking inside the parks, or will smokers find and publicize the spots where Disney isn't enforcing the rule? We will find out over the next few days.

Replies (11)

April 30, 2019 at 1:04 PM

Always a non-smoker so I don't mind the new rules and can even appreciate it. The stroller issue is something else but it can help as well so this should aid foot traffic and make things easier for other guests.

April 30, 2019 at 1:23 PM

There's only one option: Hotbox Mission:Space.

April 30, 2019 at 1:33 PM

I think the smoking ban is going to be next to impossible to enforce. Normal cigarette smokers are probably out of luck because of the time it takes to smoke a cigarette - they'll probably be spotted or ratted out by fellow guests before they get halfway through, but e-cigarettes and vaping products are "quick hitters" that will be impossible to track down. It happens all the time now without a smoking ban in places with guests discretely grabbing a drag and a puff of thick fog quickly dissipating before anyone outside of a 5 foot radius smells it. Clearly some of the larger, less expensive vaping units would be identified by security and prohibited from being allowed through the entry gates, but there are plenty of smaller units that are easily concealed that will inevitably enter the parks. Also, smart, savvy vapors will find locations within the parks where exhaled fog juice will either dissipate even more quickly (near fans and exhaust systems) or where it will blend into the latent environment (near misters, smokey grills/food stands, fog machines, etc...).

Disney also hasn't noted where the designated smoking areas will be outside the park gates. Will they be in the general entry area, where clouds of smoke and fog will shroud guests' first impressions of the parks, or will there be a corral off to the side out of sight with appropriate ventilation to prevent clouds from forming anywhere near the physical gates. Also, if guests have to leave the security perimeter, will they be immediately allowed back in when they're finished, even if the park is at capacity? In other words, if the gates are closed to arriving guests, will smokers be able to get back in the park, or are they stuck until the gates reopen?

As I noted on the original thread about the smoking ban, I find smoking/vaping disgusting, and appreciate the efforts to keep the air quality in the parks as clean as possible. However, smokers are people too, and shouldn't be treated as second class citizens just because they have a nicotine addiction. I applaud Disney for making an effort here, but I think this is going to create far more problems than it solves, and the presence of designated smoking areas throughout the parks was an appropriate solution that satisfied the greatest number of guests. This is a prime example of if it's not broken, don't fix it.

April 30, 2019 at 2:07 PM

Disney Springs will still have designated smoking areas

April 30, 2019 at 2:11 PM

An interesting update ..... Disney has just sent a notification to my phone reminding me about the new rules that apply to "smoking, strollers and stroller wagons" come May 1st.

We shall see ...

April 30, 2019 at 2:19 PM

Disney Springs will still have designated smoking areas as will the on site resort hotels. Which Walt Disney World Resort has consistently repeated as have every source other than Theme Park Insider.

April 30, 2019 at 2:37 PM

Technically the parks have "designated smoking areas" too David, they're just outside the parks' security perimeters. I'm not sure what your beef is here. If guests had to walk through security to reach Disney Springs, Downtown Disney, or the resorts, these designated smoking areas would be outside of security, just like the parks. It's not like there will be a smoking area inside a resort's courtyard, or down a corridor between two stores/restaurants at Disney Springs/Downtown Disney. I think it's important to note that if you want to smoke on any Disney property starting tomorrow, you can expect to take a long walk to find a designated smoking area - far longer than you would have to walk today. That goes for theme parks, water parks, resorts, and the retail complexes.

April 30, 2019 at 6:39 PM

Russell, Disney Springs is keeping their seven on-stage designated smoking areas, and they are throughout Disney Springs. Not part of May 1st ban of designated smoking areas. Not same as what's happening in the theme parks nor Wide World of Sports nor at Downtown Disney in California. Yet this article repeats the misinformation, as did the survey and the previous articles on this. Designated Smoking Areas are staying throughout Disney Springs.and yes, some of the existing and not going away designatef smoking areas are, in fact, in courtyards at the on-site resort hotels and between shops and restaurants at Disney Springs:)

May 1, 2019 at 8:17 AM

Everything past Disneyland’s security checkpoints are now smoke free, including Downtown. Compared to Disney World this seems a little far. Disneyland And DCA are smaller parks, but combined they have more visitors than any of Disney World’s theme parks, all of which still have a designated area near the entrance. I would not be surprised if a designated area is made somewhere between the park entrances and Downtown Disney.

Maybe he did manage to quit, but there might be a familiar face leaving the park to have a smoke.

May 1, 2019 at 8:45 AM

That lousy part about this is it separates families who have one parent that smokes or vapes. They now have to make the long hike out the door and make the long hike back through the line. That is outrageous and will solve nothing. You see, i vape and also followed their rules to go to the smoking sections in the park. Now since they want to be ridiculous about it, I’m going to vape wherever because it dissipates quickly and won’t bother even the crankiest soccer mom. No one will know that I’m doing it and There are plenty or areas away from people where this can be done. This whole thing solves nothing but angers a ton of people.

May 4, 2019 at 9:54 PM

Funny how you can't smoke in the park now BUT you can still get Cancer from just walking around the park....I'm sure you have all seen the signs before....If not take a look see. Oh and can't make vape clouds but it's ok for the park to put out cancer chemical clouds.

“The Disneyland Resort contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive