If you’re heading to Disneyland or Disney World this summer, be sure to leave your cigarettes, vapes, and oversized strollers at home. A new rule banning certain sizes of strollers and smoking within the park goes into effect on May 1, and the reason behind it may surprise you.
These new bans will come into effect for several Disney properties, including Disney World, Disneyland, Downtown Disney, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. If you’ve had the privilege to satisfy your inner child and visit any of these Disney locations, you know that crowds there can be a nightmare. With the upcoming opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland in May and Disney World in August, the crowds are bound to reach levels the park has never experienced before, even with the recent price increase.
Deb Koma, editor for the Disney site AllEars.Net told CNN that the bans "are for the better" and she believes "Disney is smart to consider all these various ways to minimize the problems the throngs of Galaxy's Edge visitors might create.”
It’s no secret that people are excited for the upcoming Star Wars-themed rides and immersive experiences, so it’s no wonder Disney is looking for ways to alleviate some of the stress the crowds will create.
While some might argue the bans are problematic, Disney has made it a point to make alternative options available for guests. Stroller regulations will now require strollers to be smaller than 52 inches long and 31 inches wide, which the majority of strollers already are.
"Restricting stroller size and prohibiting wagon strollers will, hopefully, eliminate the traffic problems they can cause - blocking walkways, bumping into guests (especially little ones) and taking up space in queues and elsewhere,” Koma told CNN.
If you’ve ever had to sidestep around the herd of strollers in the center of many of the attractions, it’s hard to argue with that statement. According to Theme Park Insider, if your stroller doesn’t fit in the requirements and carrying your toddler around is a horrifying idea, Disney will now offer double stroller rentals within the parks.
The smoking and vaping ban will move designated smoking areas from inside the park to outside the gates. While this is a big change and inconvenience to smokers, it follows the recent trend of companies trying to eradicate smoking and its presence in the media. Some companies have even gone so far as to replace cigarettes in movies with kazoos.
We’re all thrilled for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We can only hope this new ban helps alleviate the crowds and keeps us from wanting to turn to the dark side.