Oversized Strollers Banned at Disney World & Disneyland
Walt Disney World and Disneyland have instituted a number of controversial rule changes that limit use of strollers, ban smoking in the parks, and prohibit loose ice. This post discusses the polarizing policies, what led to them, and “rumors” or urban legends that have arisen since these changes. (Updated October 2, 2022.)
For starters, you might wonder why we’re revisiting this topic over 3 years after these rule changes were made at Disney’s theme parks in Florida and California. Honestly, we were just as confused when noticing that this was suddenly one of our most popular posts yesterday. Usually, posts about old rule changes that have long since been forgotten by most visitors to Walt Disney World and Disneyland don’t see a sudden spike in views.
Then it came to our attention that there’s a viral TikTok video making the rounds, which claims that Walt Disney World and Disneyland are banning all strollers in October 2022. (I’m not going to link to the video, because attention is exactly what these people crave. I hate that I’m even addressing this nonsense.)
This TikTok video has over 3 million views, 90k likes, and over 6,000 comments–many of which are treating this as real news. Despite that, the video hashtags include #fakenews and #babylonbee, which seem to suggest it’s satirical. However, nothing about the video itself would give this impression. It’s just stupid, which is about par for the course with TikTok, in my experience.
In fairness, as someone over the age of 13 who doesn’t want the CCP accessing (more of?) my data, I do not use TikTok. So I’m not the best arbiter of what happens on TikTok or what passes for humor on the platform. In its defense, I’ve “heard good things” from friends about the creativity of creators on TikTok.
Yet, whenever I see TikTok come up in the context of Walt Disney World or Disneyland, it’s for the dumbest possible things–challenges to drink water out of toilets or whatever, “satire” like this, and the most obnoxious dances ever. But you’re probably not here for my old man yells at cloud schtick.
Presumably, many of you finding this post saw that viral video, freaked out, and frantically searched whether or not it’s true.
It’s not true. Neither Walt Disney World nor Disneyland have any intentions of banning strollers completely in October 2022…or ever. A Disney spokesperson has directly debunked this “rumor” as something that will not happen.
As a general matter, it’s always a good practice to consider whether any rumor passes the smell test. Disney has done a lot of things that defy common sense in the last few years, so this isn’t always easy. However, banning all strollers would be implicitly sending a message to the company’s target demographic that they are not welcome at the parks.
It’s true that there have been rule changes in the past to limit strollers–and the company arguably went a bit too far with that–but it was done as a measure to address the ballooning size of them. A cottage industry of novelty stroller rentals was popping up, with guests bringing in royal carriages and starfighters that took up entire walkways. That was a crowd and congestion issue, and one that the narrowly tailored rule change addressed without alienating Disney’s bread and butter.
In short, Disney won’t even ban children from bars and nightclubs–there’s no way they’re going from that to banning strollers. It’s utterly inconceivable.
As for the past rule changes, here are the details if you still want or need them for whatever reason. All of these rules that follow took effect on May 1, 2019 at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
These rules all remain in place as of October 2022. However, there have been questions about inconsistency with enforcement or lack thereof. Some visitors to Walt Disney World and Disneyland have reported success in using larger strollers, including wagons, in the last couple of years. There are even groups on social media and other sites that recommend breaking the rules and using the banned strollers.
As a general matter, we don’t recommend breaking rules. Setting that aside, we think it’s terrible advice to break this rule and bring an oversized stroller to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Even if it’s true that enforcement is hit or miss, the risk outweighs the reward. If you take a stroller that’s banned and you’re stopped at the gate, it’s going to be a significant and costly disruption to your trip.
Why even risk it? Is the upside of using a wagon really that attractive? Purely from a cost-benefit perspective, breaking the rule does not make sense. The problems you’ll have if you’re stopped far outweigh whatever perceived advantage exists in using a contraband stroller.
Digging into the details, there are big changes to stroller size rules.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland are banning oversized strollers. The rules now require strollers to be no larger than 31″ (79cm) wide and 52″ (132cm) long. Additionally, stroller wagons will also no longer be permitted, which includes the Keenz strollers that have become popular with Disney fans.
Most strollers on the market, including some double jogging strollers, fit within these size guidelines. Of course, Disney’s rentals on both coasts fit within the parameters, and we’d assume third party stroller rental companies will scramble to add and remove strollers to their fleets to ensure full compliance.
Disney indicates that these updates are designed to help guest flow and ease congestion, making the parks more enjoyable for everyone. We’ve heard that, more specifically, Disney is aiming to tighten up operations and smooth traffic flow for the crush of crowds.
This is not the first time both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have done something to tighten up stroller rules. The same policy was on the cusp of being implemented last year, with size check stations outside of security, and a guest recovery protocol. For reasons unbeknownst to me, that enforcement never began and was shelved.
This would eliminate the large novelty strollers (the royal carriages that are more like undersized parade floats than oversized strollers), which have become a burgeoning small business around Walt Disney World. It’d also ban the stroller wagons that are pulled and loaded with enough rations to traverse the Oregon Trail.
Presumably, the goal is to roll out enforcement before bigger crowds arrive so that word starts to circulate about the new stroller policy so people leave their kids’ Cadillacs at home. For all parties involved, it’ll be better if the crush of crowds is reduced as much as possible.
As a non-parent, I’m not about to touch this topic with a 10-foot pole in terms of offering commentary. I will say that I’ve unintentionally locked eyes with a parent trying to navigate an oversized stroller amidst the gridlock of post-fireworks crowds in Magic Kingdom, and seeing the desperation and dejection in their face is something I can never unsee or forget. You could call it a cautionary tale, I suppose.
Next, smoking areas have been eliminated inside Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks, water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports, and Downtown Disney in California. Designated smoking areas will be available outside the park entrances, at resort hotels, and Disney Springs.
An all-out ban on smoking at Walt Disney World and Disneyland seemed like an inevitability, especially as American societal norms have rapidly changed. Real world smoking restrictions have become more stringent, with a growing number of states and cities, enacting laws that require all workplaces and public places to be smoke-free. While some Disney fans are lauding this change, I’m a bit apprehensive.
I’ve never smoked and question why anyone would start vaping or smoking knowing what we know now. However, our societal views about smoking are only a little over a decade old, and there are still plenty of older smokers who predate America’s more “enlightened” attitude towards smoking. Moreover, smoking is still viewed very differently throughout the rest of the world, and many guests visit Walt Disney World from those countries.
Like many non-smokers, cigarette smoke bothers me. I rejoice at the prospect of walking my favorite trail in Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure without having the serene sense of nature spoiled by smoke. I’d love to never smell cigarette smoke in the parks again.
However, I’m also a realist. I question to what degree this ban will be effective and to what extent smokers who previously were willing to jump through some hoops to light up will now just say “screw it” and smoke wherever. Out of my own self interest, part of me wonders if we’re better off with avoidable in-park smoking areas than an outright ban with guests violating that ban.
I also have a bit of empathy for the older generation, that started smoking decades ago and has been unable to kick the addiction. Yeah, it’s gross, annoying, etc., but for many people it’s not quite as simple as “just saying no.” I can’t think of an example of any popular habit about which public opinion has soured quite as quickly as smoking.
Despite many addicts taking up smoking before we knew the extent of its addictiveness, smokers are now vilified in a fairly unprecedented way. I’d hazard a guess that this is due to the unique second-hand effects of smoking, coupled with misplaced anger over how Big Tobacco deceived the public for so long. That’s all well beyond the scope of this post, though.
Anyway, I can already foresee the comments section of this post having a strong anti-smoking slant. I can also foresee a smoker chiming in, feeling upset or ostracized. Before piling onto that person, pause for a moment of empathy…and if you can’t muster that, at least pause to think about whether you’re truly better off with people breaking the rules and smoking wherever because they have an addiction and feel the new restrictions are too onerous.
Finally, there’s a ban on loose or dry ice that has been implemented starting today. This means that if you plan to bring a cooler or cooler bag to store snacks and drinks for theme park or water park adventures, you need to use reusable ice packs instead.
My first reaction to the “no loose ice graphic” was huh?! I didn’t realize this a problem, and thought maybe I missed some news about the social clubs of Disneyland having turf wars with ice cube fights at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port.
In reality, it seems this rule is being implemented so cooler checks are easier for security to conduct at bag check. Apparently, it’s difficult to check the contents of a cooler with a bunch of loose or half-melted ice. This makes sense, and I can’t imagine many people being outraged over this one…but I’m sure there will be a few people.
To recap all of this, loose ice and smoking are banned at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and have been for over 3 years. Similarly, oversized strollers and wagons are also banned. Enforcement of the stroller rule is much more hit or miss, and some people might advise you to break that rule. We think that’s a risky recommendation and not worth the hassle, but you do you.
However, there is no rule on the horizon banning all strollers at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. That’s a nonsense “rumor” that was made up solely for the purpose of generating fake outrage and controversy in the name of supposed satire. Unfortunately, it has fooled a lot of people, who are now concerned that it is or will be a real rule. It is not and will not. Mark our words: Disney will never ban strollers.
For additional information about Disney’s park rules, see: DisneyWorld.com/RulesFAQ and Disneyland.com/RulesFAQ.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What are your thoughts on stroller size limits at Walt Disney World and Disneyland? Pleased or displeased that smoking is no longer allowed in the parks? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments of these rule changes? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
I stopped smoking 25 years ago. I think this new rule is ridiculous. Disney allows alcohol in all the parks. I would much rather get an occasional smell of smoke than stepping in vomit or dealing with a drunk. But Disney isn’t making any money on smokers. Entrances will be heavy with smoke. Now everyone will get a whiff of smoke.
Truly curious, have you had a problem with someone visibly drunk vomiting in front of you? I’ve seen plenty of children vomit and… umm… other stuff in Disney Parks, but never had a problem with stepping in adult vomit or dealing with a drunk… Disneyland passholder here
I do not understand this decision to end smoking areas.
I quit smoking in 2012 but, in my innocence, I still think that smokers are not criminals, are not inferior or less intelligent than non-smokers.
I know that nowadays the politically correct and the hypocrisy reigns in this world. Why not ban fast food to avoid obesity? Why not get rid of cars and polluting factories? And the weapons so beloved in the USA that contribute to the death of so many victims every year?
Of course, this view is based on the principle that smokers are required to respect the space of non-smokers and vice versa.
I have visited WDW more than 15 times being the last one in 2010.
Me and my wife were planning to go back there September this year.
Since my wife is one of the many criminals who smoke a few cigarettes a day, it is clear that this visit is canceled forever.
I am more than happy about the smoking ban. I’m going to Disney in the Fall with a friend who has smoked for over 20 years. I let her know about the new rule, and she said, “smoking is my problem, not anyone else’s. I’ll have to make do.” As for the people who will just break the rules and smoke, they would do that before, as well. The concept of not having rules in place, because, “people are going to do whatever they want,” is a little absurd to me. With that logic, why have any rules in place, at all?
The wagon ban, I don’t understand as much, certain Keenz wagons are smaller than the perimeters that Disney lists for acceptable strollers. Thank goodness that they’ve banned those giant Cinderella carriage strollers, though. Who in the world would want to lug that through Disney?? I have a hard enough time with my compact UB Minu stroller.
My feelings on these matters are it is Walt’s House. If you do not like the rules don’t go.
I agree. They are a business. If people don’t like the rules and business suffers, then they might change the rules. However, I don’t see these rule changes “hurting” Disney’s bottom line.
I agree with Tom. Smoking is bad and gross but an outright ban is a bad idea. Sadly , it is to be expected in this pc self righteous world of hypocrites that are somehow making the war on personal freedom seem “ok”. Beware folks , next it will be farters, belchers and queefers that will come under attack. Where will it end? Will there be a ban on inappropriate loud laughter or smelly flip flops wearers? I ask the Disney Overlords to stop this unAmerican behavior. But alas thrre is no money in it for them , like there is for alcohol so screw the smokers. Boozers you’re days are numbered I’m sure.
You’re dramatic. Sadly, you’re one of those.
On the smoking ban, CNN reported that guests will have spots to smoke outside the entry gates, so it’s inconvenient but still an option for smokers. I was at Epcot two weeks ago and walked right by people smoking in a an area near the Land pavilion and the smell definitely negatively affected my visit.
On the stroller issue, it’s really a shame that strollers are being targeted for restrictions. Strollers are truly necessary for a family park visit for lots of people. The rental strollers are not an option for a lot of people bc we also use strollers to and from the bus stops at the park. The 3rd party stroller rentals I’ve seen in the park always look a lot dirtier and used than my own. It can be very expensive to have to buy a new stroller for a Disney trip.
Finally, I’m disappointed that strollers are addressed and not scooters. The rascal scooters are a problem during congestion. Why not limit the number and use to individuald with documented medical necessity? Or some other way?
In our experience, we’ve had more issues and witnessed true physical harm when people on scooters don’t know how to operate them and run others over or bump into people in crowds.
What if there are people that do not have kids and are unable to enjoy the parks because some of these huge strollers block pathways and why would you need to pack so much in a stroller, some of these are like moving vans, like it was said about smoking sections leave some of your kids stuff in your car and if you need it go and get it out “it’s inconvenient but still an option” right? No I am not a smoker incase you were wondering
There are also locker rentals at the front of every park so if you don’t drive yourself, you still have a place to put extra stuff. And Baby Care Centers in every park with extra supplies if there is something you couldn’t bring. Disney is pretty expensive, so spending $75 on a small stroller for trips and vacations isn’t adding much to the overall expenditures, as it will get used more than once.
Can I put zip locked ice in my back pack? It will be confined and not loose!
May 1 comments on Disney Facebook sites should be interesting …
Having been a Disney World patron since the late seventies, I have observed many changes. The idea of stroller regulation is one necessary for the continued enjoyment of all visitors. When our kids were small we used umbrella strollers. Yes, we took a break during the day, went back to the hotel and went swimming … even took a nap if necessary. Disney World has been a “happy place” for our family for years. I am sure the stroller rule will add to the overall enjoyment of the park.
Having just returned from DW earlier this month, I can see why some changes were made. As for the smoking, I really only realized people were smoking when we stumbled into a designated area by mistake. Otherwise, I didn’t see it as much of an issue, but I am wary of the enforcement of this as it seems most cast members don’t want to be confrontational.
Thank you for the stroller enforcement! We actually laughed as people dragged their RV wagons thru the lines. Nothing is scarier at DW than seeing a massive double wide stroller heading their way when you’re late for your fast Pass! Seriously, this is as much an issue on the busses as well as these giant behemoths take up so much space in an already crowded bus. When we used to use a stroller, we used a small easily foldable one that took up little space.
I am one of those older people who started smoking at age of 15. I smoked for about 30 years and then I quit. I am of the belief that if you want to do something bad enough, you can do it. I also know that there are people who enjoy smoking. But you have to realize that in today’s world, the restrictions for smoking are getting more and more stringent. I am not one of those ex-smokers that preach to those who do, so if you want to smoke, you just have to abide by the rules. We are planning a visit to WDW in August and was going to buy a stroller wagon so the 5 years old could ride or lay down if necessary. Oh well, have to follow the new rules.
My concern as a non-smoker is that people will just smoke in the bathroom stalls. I really don’t want to have to come out smelling like smoke every time I have to use the restroom. It would be like middle school/high school all over again. I have been to Disney World 30+ times and have never encountered a smoker but obviously there have been enough complaints to warrant this decision by Disney. I also understand the concern of asthmatic individuals and as a parent I certainly don’t want my child exposed to it, but I agree with many others that there has to be a better solution for everyone.
I am very happy about the smoking ban but very frUstrated about the stroller rule. I bought the Keenz because it was acceptable for our trip. We go in September and now I have a $350 stroller I cannot use there. I have two small children and have to use a double stroller. The Keenz is smaller than my old front to back double stroller. I feel that since it’s within size limits it should be allowed. Now I’m stuck trying to find a new stroller that I like.
I would really recommend just some silly umbrella strollers. We took our two kids and just used umbrellas. It honestly saved time and a ton of energy to whip those around than any sort of double stroller.
Who spends $350 on a stroller?
Someone buying a double stroller. Many of them can be very expensive.
Tara, Babytrend Sit N’ Stand fits within the new size restriction. We’ve brought it on the last four or five trips to theme parks and it’s pretty maneuverable as far as double strollers go.
I would highly recommend you getting a lightweight umbrella stroller than can be accompanied by a BUGGYBOARD or stroller step. These are the coolest solutions for you and your kids. If one of your children can stand up on their own, then this is such a treat for your kid. My son used to love this feature when I didn’t want to use the double stroller.
I’m a non-smoker, but am very happy Disney has decided to ban smoking in the parks. It’s a nasty habit and health hazard for everyone. Designated places in the parks didn’t work, as I saw many people smoking else where. The large stroller ban is great too. Too many people with large stroller barge in front of you or run into you. When my children were little and we had strollers, we always stayed close to the sides of the streets near the sidewalks to let the ones without strollers get by. It’s called courtesy. Watch where you are going! Don’t be in such a rush. I only wish Disney didn’t allow alcohol in the parks. Walt never wanted that. I for one don’t like to see drunk obnoxious people ruining others vacation. Disney World and Disneyland was created as a family happy place! It seems like now it is being catered more to the adults.
The smoking areas where already moved to far away locations at Magic Kingdom and thought we were far enough off the beaten path of non-smokers. I have a hard time smelling coffee shops and perfume stores. It is funny that pot smoking is just starting to become legal with everyone against smoking now and how cigar smoking is still more acceptable. Epcot is huge so I suppose there will be smoking outside both entrances.
I applaud Disney for making their parks smoke free. I would even support a full on Disney property smoking ban. I think all public places should be smoke free. I could understand your sympathy about older people smoking before they knew the risks and not being able to stop, however, my mom who is 68 years old has said that ever since she was a kid, she was aware of the risks of smoking. I think the risks have been known long enough that people should not be offended by rules put into place to safeguard people, especially children, from the effects of second hand smoke. Well done, Disney!
Maybe the smoking ban will help with some crowd control. I would never choose to lite up anywhere, so therefore I will now choose to spend my money elsewhere. Was a good 17 year run. By Disney 🙁
You never chose to light up anywhere, but as a former cast member I can tell you that I’ve encountered many guests who wouldn’t adhere to the designated areas, and would be rather nasty when I kindly asked them to move. From that perspective, I understand why this ban is being implemented. However, I personally think this is too stringent…people will have nowhere to go and wind up smoking anyway.
I’m not a smoker and the smell of cigarette smoke, and walking through smoke clouds always makes me nauseous. I have been to Disney more times than I can count, and I’ve never experienced this in any of the parks. I think Disney had done a great job of allowing smoking guests the ability to smoke when they needed to, and non- smokers to not be bothered by it, and obviously most people who smoked were very respectful of the designated smoking areas. I think now you will see people finding hidden areas to smoke, or vaping as they walk (because it doesn’t have the same smell as cigarettes and the device can be palmed), having complete nicotine fits, or not going at all. Smoking is a habit that is hard to break, and as long as it isn’t infringing on someone else’s enjoyment of the park I think the smoking areas should stay.
Hi, thanks for all your articles. I am a smoker, and I have to say that it has always been on comfortable smoking at Disney World. With that being said, there were only a minimum of areas where people could smoke, and they were totally out of the way. Obviously I am not happy with this decision, I have never smoked in a non-smoking area at Disney World and feel like this new rule is not justified .
Am so happy to be going to The World this November. Had already made reservations for the Sweet spot you said “could be “ a little lower in crowds since GE opens in August. As to the smoking ban “ good enough”, quit smoking 19 years ago and was one of those Moms that Never Ever let her child see her smoking. So glad they closed the Parks to smoking. As for going through the security gates , started using a clear purse years ago and have found it made the Security People Very Happy! They have all sorts and sizes of clear bags available and would love it if Disney had just one Security line for Clear bags!
Finally, NO SMOKING. People pushed the boundaries of where they smoked.