Disney has dropped a trio of significant rule changes that guests heading to Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts will want to be aware of before arriving for their vacation. The park is restricting stroller sizes and types, eliminating smoking inside its parks, and prohibiting loose ice in coolers or cooler bags.

Smoking:

Beginning May 1, Disneyland and Walt Disney World will eliminate all smoking area inside its theme parks, water parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Downtown Disney in California. Guests will be asked to use designated smoking areas outside the areas listed above if they want to light up.

Note that Disney Springs will continue to have designated smoking areas inside the shopping and dining district.

To be honest, with all the international visitors to its theme parks, I thought Disney would never do this. I hate walking through a cloud of smoke in the parks whenever I’m near a smoking zone, so I applaud the decision.

Loose Ice:

Starting today, those who are bringing a cooler or cooler back into the parks and water parks to store snacks and drinks can no longer use loose ice or dry ice. Instead it’s recommended you bring re-usable ice packs instead.

Once you’re in the park, you can request complimentary cups of ice for your cooler from any Quick-Service location that serves fountain drinks. Although this sounds like it would get impractical.

Strollers:

No matter where you walk through Walt Disney World and Disneyland, you’ll encounter families pushing strollers, storing them near attractions, and using them along the parade routes. Often you’ll find them used as the napping zone for kids who are tuckered out after a long day.

Disney rents strollers, but families often bring their own. Like vehicles on the road, the trend has been to bring larger and larger strollers. This has been adding to congestion in the parks and Disney has decided it needs to get things under control.

Beginning May 1, Disney will begin enforcing new guidelines on stroller sizes.

They can be no larger than 31″ (79cm) wide and 52″ (132cm) long. According to Disney, many strollers on the market, including many double jogging strollers, fit within these size guidelines.

Also, Disney has long prohibited wagons in the parks. Beginning May 1, they will extend this rule to stroller wagons. These had become very popular recently.

At Walt Disney World you can already rent a single or double stroller for each day or length of stay. Disneyland currently only offers single strollers, but is working to add a double stroller option. There are third party rental services that deliver to your resort, be sure to check that their strollers fit within Disney’s new guidelines before renting.

The general sentiment among guests visiting that parks is that they seem more crowded than ever. Restricting stroller size will certainly help a bit. Disney says, “these updates are designed to help guest flow and ease congestion, making the parks more enjoyable for everyone.”

Know before you go:

As you plan your Disney vacation, it’s a good idea to look at the rules for each destination, which are available on DisneyWorld.com/Rules and Disneyland.com/Rules.

Word have these changes have been filtering through various Disney discussion boards for a few weeks now and reaction is usually pretty mixed. How do you feel about the new stroller limits and the elimination of in-park smoking?