Disney bans smoking at U.S. parks ahead of ‘Star Wars’ openings

Entertainment

Security officers staff the entrance at the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, U.S. June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Barbara Liston

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co will ban smoking, vaping and large strollers at its U.S. theme parks in California and Florida starting on May 1, the company said on Thursday.

The restrictions are designed in part to help deal with the large crowds expected to flock later this year to new “Star Wars”-themed attractions at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Disney said in a blog post that it would remove designated smoking areas at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, water parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and the Downtown Disney shopping district in California.

Smoking areas will be available outside park entrances and in Disney hotels, the company said.

Stroller size will be limited to 31 inches wide and 52 inches long, and no stroller wagons will be permitted. Disney said many strollers on the market, including many double jogging strollers, fit these specifications.

“These updates are intended to provide a more enjoyable experience for everyone who visits by, among other things, easing guest flow and reducing congestion,” Disney said.

Disney also banned loose ice, often brought in coolers to chill beverages, and dry ice to help speed bag checks at entrances. Reusable ice packs are allowed, and visitors can ask for free ice at food and beverage stands, the company said.

The 14-acre (5.67-hectare) “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” sections will open May 31 at Disneyland and Aug. 29 at Walt Disney World.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Richard Chang

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