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.
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.Tweet
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