Disney bans smoking at US Disney parks

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

On May 1, Disney parks in Florida and California will become smoke-free, the company announced on Thursday.

Read more from The New York Times.

It's good to see that the words "smoke free" actually mean that – as opposed to the myriad of "smoke free" parks with designated smoking areas all over the US.

That said, I liked the Vietnamese approach of putting smokers in a cage:


Yet more evidence Disney hates poor people.

We're at Disney this week, and with the press release I've paid more attention than usual. Honestly don't think I've seen a single smoker outside a designated area. I haven't seen anyone vaping either.

The part we found more interesting was the restrictions on stroller size and banning the wagons. Never thought I'd need a tape measure on vacation, so I can't say for sure I've ever seen a stroller larger than the new requirements. The only strollers I think might be directly impacted would be the Cinderella's Carriage kind of custom rentals.

I've read elsewhere of at least one parent with a side-by-side stroller that is 32". Whether that gets by or not, I don't know. I suspect where there is one there are many.

Last edited by Brian Noble,

Not a smoker, so I don't have a horse in this race, but I think this is a pretty bold move to essentially force guests outside of the turnstiles to light up. We all know that getting into and out of the parks isn't the most convenient of tasks, especially if the smoking areas are outside of security.

Personally, I was fine with designated smoking areas; and the ones that were at WDW were pretty hidden out of the way. And while I hate the smell of smoke, I never really got bent out of shape with the occasional whiff from a distance.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging,

31" x 52" does seem like an arbitrary number unless there is something specific behind the move. The last max size I've seen for ECV's on Disney busses was 30" x 48".

We saw some reasonable comments against the smoking ban, along those lines. Especially for the elderly, where giving up an 80 year smoking habit isn't likely, the hassle of leaving the park to smoke is probably a deal-breaker on a multi-generational family gathering at Disney.

Ken P said:

...giving up an 80 year smoking habit isn't likely, the hassle of leaving the park to smoke is probably a deal-breaker on a multi-generational family gathering at Disney.

This is kind of the angle that I was looking at it from. Again, I don't smoke so I can't personally relate; but some of the smokers that I do know can't go very long before having to light up again. It really consumes them and their daily routine on a level that I will never fully understand. One of my co-workers won't even fly because he cant go that long between smokes. I'm not taking a stance or defending smoking; just my observations.

When my park went smoke free, probably about 10-15 years ago, and we went to the designated smoking area model, we had numerous significant discussions on if and how revenue might be impacted. I'm surprised that WDW would make any move that could potentially negatively impact a possible revenue source; unless they plan on building a gift shop outside the parks next to the new smoking areas...

OhioStater's avatar

There is no way this is going impact their revenue. They can't keep enough people away as it is. That said, if someone is so controlled by their habit that it dictates where they choose to go on a vacation, it's time for some serious self-reflection...unless of course you just don't care.

What a fun message that would be to relay to your kids.

"Sorry, Dick and Jane....we're going to have to cancel that trip to Disney cause daddy needs to light up every 2 hours".

Who knows, maybe this will actually encourage some people to learn how to take control of their habit (I'm serious)...much in the same way that restrictions on certain rides have encouraged people to lose weight so they can fit to ride.

It will make the park a nicer place to be overall, as the designated smoking areas can be put to much better use. Real estate in the park, no matter how small, is valuable.

It would be nice to see Cedar Point go in this direction.

As for the stroller rule, I have been an owner of single and double jogging strollers, and the parameters they have set are more than reasonable. Plus, the rental places (like Orlando Rental) all have strollers that meet these requirements. Some strollers people bring are just obnoxiously big.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

That post was more judgmental than the one you made on pointbuzz. Somewhat surprising I will say.

I’m at Carowinds today and what’s griping me are all these people taking up space in the smoking areas who aren’t even smoking. Lounging around, parking their huge strollers, unpacking their lunches... not smoking.

Vater's avatar

It'd really be nice if smoking would be banned everywhere, including in your own private home, moving us closer to that Utopia we all want.

Seriously...I get the annoyance of being around smokers when it was allowed everywhere in parks (and bars, and malls, etc.), but now it's bothersome to have designated smoking areas? I used to smoke, but haven't for years, and it is nice to see fewer people smoking in public these days compared to any prior period of time in my life, but good heavens. I dunno, maybe I'm empathetic because I know what it's like to be a smoker.

And for the record, I don't take issue with Disney's decision. It's a private company and they have every right to set whatever policy they want.

Last edited by Vater,
Bobbie1951's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

That post was more judgmental than the one you made on pointbuzz. Somewhat surprising I will say.

Judgmental, intolerant and prejudiced.


Jeff's avatar

And I say, so what? If you would decline a vacation for your kids because you want to smoke, that's pretty messed up as far as moral standards go.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I totally expect you to be judgmental. :) Just not OhioStater. And none of that is to say that people don't have a right to be judgmental. Have at it. I just expect it from some more than others.

And kids are denied (and afforded) a whole host of things every day based on their parents, parents' interests, likes, dislikes, fears, past experiences, prejudices, etc. Just part of life. That smoking and vacations would be singled out seems weird.

GoBucks89 said:

That smoking and vacations would be singled out seems weird.

We're not talking about parents who chose to move for a better job, chose to be missionaries, or who simply prefer camping over amusement parks or whatever. We're talking about a self-destructive addiction. And if a parent chooses to indulge a self-destructive addiction at the expense of a family vacation, that's kind of messed up.

Brandon | Facebook

kpjb's avatar

Personally, I have found that when you offer a convenient way to get smokers out of the public eye, they are pretty cool about it and will comply. Smoking areas are a good example of this... I rarely see anyone with a cigarette outside of designated areas. However, if you're telling someone that they have to walk from BTMRR out the front gate to light up, they're going to disobey.

...or Disney just closed a sponsorship to sell nicotine gum in the parks, which is also a possibility.

Last edited by kpjb,


OhioStater's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

That post was more judgmental than the one you made on pointbuzz. Somewhat surprising I will say.

I'm surprised you took it that way, but I digress. It was apparently also intolerant, sexist, and racist.

I work with people helping them overcome various addictions quite frequently, and I've had a few myself (yes, I even smoked over a pack a day at one time). Smoking doesn't even register on the radar of human behavior that most people would be judgmental about that I come across; so to be clear, I couldn't care less what behavior someone wants to perform. Glass house, stones...

But to my point, yes, I would argue there is a problem that could present an opportunity for some self-reflection if you start finding your behavior...regardless of what it is...finds you doing something as absurd as cancelling a vacation simply because said behavior is not permitted there.

But this only applies to people who actually wish they wouldn't be trapped in the habitual behavior pattern they find themselves in (e.g., someone who smokes who wishes they could stop). If you just really dig smoking, awesome.

I have a strong addictive personality (which explains a few things), so I have to be mindful of my various vices. For example, my wife and I enjoy alcohol in all it's wonderful forms. From wineries to breweries, you name it, we enjoy it. That said, alcoholism is pretty common in my family tree, and I'm aware of my own susceptibility to getting addicted to fill-in-the-blank.

We're booked for our George Lucas love-fest in 2020. Let's say that between now and then Disney also banned all alcohol in all of its forms on all of its property. Let's say I had a drinking habit so strong that I couldn't possibly go a day without at least one drink.

Are you saying that if I turned to my daughters and said we couldn't go because daddy just can't handle being in a place where I can't drink for a day...much less a week...much a less every couple hours...that wouldn't be a moment where I might want to pause and ponder my life choices?

Like I said on Pointbuzz, that might be a time for some self-reflection. Because I just cancelled my daughter's vacation. Because of alcohol.

Which is apparently prejudice.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

LostKause's avatar

I have a few smokers in the family, and they have graduated to vaping. Vaping does not smell bad, and the vapor dissipates quickly.

Smoking areas are a very reasonable solution to the smoking-in-public problem. What Disney is doing seems pretty extreme, in my opinion.

Tekwardo's avatar

Bobbie1951 said:

GoBucks89 said:

That post was more judgmental than the one you made on pointbuzz. Somewhat surprising I will say.

Judgmental, intolerant and prejudiced.

As a lung cancer survivor who never smoked a day in his life but STILL lost part of my lung, Im admittedly judgemental, intolerant, and prejudiced towards smoking. I don’t think anyone should be forced to be around it anywhere. If people want to smoke they can do so in their homes or cars.

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