Getting ready for that summer vacation to Disney?
Whether you travel to Florida or California, you’d better plan ahead if you’re a smoker or a stroller user.
On Thursday, Disney announced that starting May 1, smoking and certain large strollers will no longer be allowed inside Florida and California Disney parks, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland theme parks, water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney.
Guests who smoke will still be able to light up in designated areas outside park entry points and in smoking areas at Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.
Disney parks routinely get more crowded in the summer, and they’re likely to see even more visitors this year as a new “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” land opens in Disneyland in California at the end of May and at Hollywood Studios in Florida at the end of August.
“As we expand our offerings, we will continue to take steps to enhance the guest experience and make it more enjoyable for everyone who visits,” said a Disney spokeswoman.
Deb Koma, editor of the AllEars.Net Disney fan site, agrees that the new policies will be an improvement.
“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,” she told CNN.
“Guests shouldn’t be too concerned with this new policy, because many strollers already fit the size requirements.”
Both the stroller and smoking changes “are for the better and (I) think Disney is smart to consider all these various ways to minimize the problems the throngs of Galaxy’s Edge visitors might create,” Koma said.
Disneyland raised ticket prices in January, ahead of the “Star Wars” summer opening, by an average increase of 8% although prices vary by ticket.
Measure that stroller
Take out the tape measure to check the size of your family’s stroller. If your stroller is larger than 31 inches (79 cm) wide and 52 inches (132 cm) long, it won’t get inside the park. (Disney says that many existing double jogging strollers fit within those limits.)
Nor will stroller wagons, although superfans know that regular wagons were already prohibited.
If you prefer, Disney will rent you a stroller for $15 for the day or $13 daily for a multiday stay. Walt Disney World in Orlando offers a double stroller rental, and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim will soon offer one, too.
One last new rule: If you’re bringing a cooler to the parks, loose or dry ice isn’t allowed anymore. Use reusable ice packs or visit a park’s Quick-Service location for free cups of ice.