Disney bans smoking, vaping at theme parks

Designated smoking areas will be available outside entrances

ORLANDO, Fla. – Starting May 1, smoking will be banned inside all Walt Disney World theme parks.

Disney announced the ban Thursday, saying smoking areas will no longer be present inside Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme parks, water parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex or Downtown Disney in California.

Designated smoking areas will be available outside the entrances of the areas listed above and at Disney Springs in Florida.

David Jones works at the Orlando Vape.

He said 50 percent of the shop’s business comes from Disney guests and employees.

“I don’t think it will really affect our customers per se, I just think it might affect the amount of time they spend in the parks,” Jones said.

For guests who have room or dining reservations, smoking areas are also available at Disney Resort hotels.

The ban also includes vaping, Disney said.

Anna Resende is visiting from Brazil. She does not think the changes are necessary.

“I really don't think it's necessary because vapes don't give you a smell,” she said.

Another policy change will likely affect parkgoers who bring their own food in coolers.

Disney park officials said that, starting May 1, loose and dry ice will not be permitted in any Disney parks. Reusable ice packs are still permitted.

However, guests will be able to get cups of ice at no charge from food and beverage locations around the park.

The change was to help streamline bag and security checks at park entrances, according to Disney.

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Disney also announced that its stroller guidelines will change.

"We are adjusting our guidelines on stroller sizes, which will require them to be no larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long," Disney said in its Parks Blog.

Stroller wagons will no longer be permitted at Disney's theme parks.

"These updates are designed to help guest flow and ease congestion, making the parks more enjoyable for everyone," Disney said.

Disney explained the reasoning behind the policy changes on its website. Click here to learn more about the changes.

All of the park policy changes go into effect May 1.

Baby Wheels employee John Hopgood said all the strollers at the store will meet the requirements.

“We received a few phone calls from our customers. Just checking whether the strollers they are going to rent, if they are going to fit with the new policy,” Hopgood said.

News 6 contacted other Central Florida theme parks to see if they would also consider a similar move.

"We have a small number of smoking areas in each of our parks," a Universal Orlando spokesperson said in an email to News 6. "They are located in out-of-the-way spots and have not been a source of concern for our guests. That said, we are always reviewing our policies and procedures."

Legoland Florida in Winter Haven told News 6 that it has designated areas throughout its park for guests who choose to smoke.

"We will continue to always explore innovative solutions that’ll enhance our guest’s safety and park experience," Legoland said in an email to News 6.

SeaWorld Parks, including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, prohibit smoking inside the parks, except in designated areas. A SeaWorld Parks spokesperson said the theme park does not have plans to change that policy.

Stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.