The Walt Disney Company has now released some new rules that will affect its guests effective May 1, 2019.
As The Gemma, I say…
If my addiction to Diet Coke can compare in even a small way to a nicotine addiction, I can understand the frustration of smokers over the new smoking ban inside the parks. Would I walk outside the park entrance to obtain a cup of my favorite icy drink? Absolutely! I know I would have to account for an interruption to our visit here and there, and I’d probably do my best to stretch out the time between “fixes,” but I’d just do it.
The analogy of smoking and Diet Coke drinking ends with the impact of my Diet Coke drinking on others. I’m the only one affected by my habit. (Though my husband might disagree, as we often have to detour to my favorite drive-thru.) Walking past the smoking section near Thunder Mountain Railroad I hold my breath. Ditto for most other smoking sections. I have to agree with those who think the ban does not go far enough. The Pop Century smoking areas–which seem particularly ill-placed–can choke an unsuspecting passer-by.
Evidently Disney believes the best response on their part is to ban smoking in the parks. While I am doing a little happy dance over that one, maybe a better solution all around would be to just place them in areas that are more separate from non-smoking guests.
As The Newbie, I say…
The last rule, which I can get behind is the no smoking rule. In the past, Disney used to have designated areas where people could smoke, but now you will have to go to the entrance of the park. When I was a cast member, I never saw anyone disobeying this rule, although I am sure there were people who did. However, for 6 months of working in the parks to have never seen anyone smoking outside of these designated areas, I would assume that it happens fairly rarely. I can tell you the smell of cigarettes does make my park experience less enjoyable, however, I try to put myself in a smokers shoes. What if Disney decided that Diet Coke could only be consumed at the entrance of the parks? I would be pretty annoyed, and to be honest, I would probably try to sneak a couple of swigs when I didn’t think anyone was looking. I wonder if now that these designated smoking areas are no longer available, if smokers will be tempted to do the same, rather than make the trek to the front of the park. For someone who can visit the parks often, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, however, for someone who only gets to visit once a year or every other year, this walk majorly cuts into my valuable park time.
Collectively, we say…
Let’s “Imagineer” some other options for how Disney could spend more time and effort cutting down on second hand smoke that may be more effective. While eliminating the use of cigarettes totally in the parks could be effective, we think it could backfire. What about:
- Have areas that are more separate from walking paths or heavily populated areas.
- Designate a fenced off area to reduce the amount of “smoke flow” onto those walking by.
What are some of your ideas for reducing the amount of second hand smoke in the parks? Tell us what you say in the comments below!