It’s summertime! The kids are finally out of school and you have been planning for this vacation time for months. One of your possible summertime destinations is Florida and Walt Disney World. If you are a smoker and haven’t been to Florida or Walt Disney World for awhile, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
A Florida statewide smoking ban went into effect on July 1, 2003, banning smoking in enclosed workplaces and restaurants with some exemptions like designated smoking rooms in hotels/motels. Walt Disney World Parks was one step ahead of the state ban, exempting smoking to designated areas only in 2000. They took that exemption one step further June 1, 2007 by making all their rooms NON-smoking, including balconies and patios. This was an excellent public relations move by Disney. Guests benefit from clean-smelling rooms with no lingering traces of smoke that could make their little ones sick. Disney cast members (the title given to workers) benefit from not having to clean up the toxic waste left over from smoking. And Disney benefits in lower liability costs and cleaning costs in their rooms and parks. Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor smoking areas in each resort. Please note: if you decide to smoke in a room, balcony or patio, a “room recovery fee” of $250-$500 (plus tax) will be assessed.
When you head out to the parks, be sure to get a guide map. If you are a smoker, this is especially important because the smoking areas are designated on the maps. It would be nice if you didn’t make your family wait for you while you light up. First, there is so much to do and see, why waste it smoking? And second, it’s not nice to expose your family to your secondhand smoke. They will be able to smell it on you later when you catch up to them. According to one smoker, the designated areas are few and far between. Think of it as a positive; as a smoker you get exercise trying to find the designated areas. And truthfully, are you there to smoke, or to spend time and have fun with the family?
If you visit one of their water parks, miniature golf courses, golf courses or Disney’s Wide World of Sports, be sure to follow the smoking guidelines as it has been restricted to designated outdoor areas and lounges.
I applaud Disney World’s smoking ban in all the rooms. There is nothing worse for a non-smoker to have to breathe in lingering, stale tobacco-smoke air all night long, especially a guest with asthma or other respiratory problems. When my children were young we had to endure tobacco smoke throughout the park, and smokers blowing smoke in our faces. It’s a small world now that the tables have turned and non-smokers are gaining more rights. I understand Disney World’s desire to accommodate guests from all over the world and provide them with areas to smoke, but as a non-smoker I still have to smell the lingering tobacco odor.
Disney is all about the kids, and truthfully, none of them should be around smoking anyway. It’s a pretty happy place now. If Disney banned smoking on all their property, it would truly be the happiest place on earth.