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Disney announces new stroller and smoking policies at all theme parks and properties

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse encourage guests to “get your ears on” during the “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in January 2019.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse encourage guests to “get your ears on” during the “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in January 2019. Miami Herald File

Some coming changes at Disney parks in Florida and California could apply to you as you consider your family vacation plans.

Fond of oversize strollers, pull wagons, smoking and ice cubes?

Pay attention.

This week Disney officially announced changes to its park policies at all of its properties, including Walt Disney World and Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Disneyland and Downtown Disney in California, its water parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Bay Lake, near Orlando.

Smoking changes

According to WDW News Today, there will be no more smoking areas inside the parks. Designated smoking areas will only be outside the entrances and at designated areas at the resort hotels — but not in your rooms or on the balconies. (That smoking policy had already been in place.) This rule includes vaping.

In Texas there are at least four open lawsuits regarding injuries from electronic cigarettes exploding. According to research by a UNT Health Science Center dean there was an estimated 2,035 e-cigarette injuries in emergency rooms from 2015 to 2017.

Stroller changes

Stroller sizes will also be enforced and can be no larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long. This change is a reduction in the 36-inch-wide size that had been allowed.

This isn’t too much of an adjustment for families with little ones., because it encompasses most strollers — including some double jogging strollers.

If your stroller or double jogging stroller exceeds the size limits, you can rent either variety at the parks.

founders (4).JPG
Wagons like these at a 2010 Cooper City 51st annual Founders Day parade will not be permitted at any of Disney’s parks starting May 1, 2019. They were already forbidden but the company will not strictly enforce its no wagons rule. JULIE LANDRY LAVIOLETTE Miami Herald File

Another difference is that Disney will now “strictly enforce” its no stroller wagons or pull wagons, like the Radio Flyer, policy. These changes will help ease congestion at the parks, Theme Park Insider said. The move also will hopefully eliminate the aggressive use of SUV-sized strollers — basically playpens on wheels — and wagons to bump people out of your way.

(Of course, you would never do that.)

Loose ice changes

Carrying loose ice, like cubes, or dry ice, will no longer be permitted in the parks. Re-useable ice packs are OK, though.

Effective date

The policy changes are effective as of May 1.

This is a blockbuster year for theme parks. Almost every Florida park is getting a new ride or show. Check this out to know what's coming to the Florida theme parks in 2019.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.


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