But smokers… no need to fret. Because instead, the two parks will follow their US counterparts by introducing airport-style “designated smoking areas” in secluded corners of each land.
This news, first rumoured several months ago, follows the introduction of a complete “smoking ban” throughout most public buildings in France last year, when England notably also joined the rest of the United Kingdom for a similar ban. Disneyland Resort Paris have wasted no time in taking advantage of this new-found French distrust of the smoker, banning smoking throughout all restaurants several years ago and now confirmed, from April this year, to be taking the brave step to outlaw to designated corners the legions of smokers amongst the millions who visit the parks each year.
Each park will have at least one Smoking Area in each land — 10 in Disneyland Park and 4 at Walt Disney Studios Park. The full locations list, as first confirmed by member HTH2004 on Disney Central Plaza forum via the new park maps for the April season, is as follows (and we’ve created a couple of maps to help illustrate the expected locations) :
MAIN STREET, U.S.A.
‘¢ Entrance (outside of gates to the left of turnstiles, next to toilets)
‘¢ Arboretum (terrace outside toilets next to City Hall)
‘¢ Central Plaza (near Discoveryland entrance)
‘¢ Fort Comstock (covered walkway outside toilets on right of land entrance)
‘¢ Pocahontas Indian Village (outside the former Pueblo Trading Post store)
‘¢ Restaurant Hakuna Matata (unused terrace opposite the restaurant)
‘¢ Au Chalet de la Marionnette (covered walkway next to Adventureland exit)
‘¢ Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin (former queue area of the windmill)
‘¢ Autopia (near the toilets to the side of the attraction)
‘¢ Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet (small square outside the entrance)
Walt Disney Studios Park
‘¢ Studio Photo/Strollers (next to the stroller rental building)
‘¢ Art of Disney Animation (between AODA and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye)
‘¢ Place des Stars (between Stitch Live! and CinéMagique)
‘¢ Piazza Sergio Leone (between Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Moteurs… Action!)
The Parisian parks will certainly have comparatively more smoking areas than their American counterparts, with Disneyland in California home to just three smoking areas and its neighbour Disney’s California Adventure park having four. Smoking laws and public feeling about the habit are, however, much stronger in California than much of Europe, and the two parks in Paris may well have a tough fight on their hands in keeping smokers to these designated areas.
It remains to be seen just how strictly they will be enforced by Cast Members, but large warnings will no doubt be placed throughout the parks in addition to new information and location markings on updated park maps. As for the smoking areas themselves, in the US parks these consist of some extra seating, bins with ashtrays and subtle, neatly-themed signs declaring the area as designated for smokers.
The areas chosen — or perhaps “condemned” — in Paris — soon to become “no-go areas” for non-smokers — should not cause too much concern for fans, largely placed in secluded corners and near toilets. It is particularly interesting to note that Fantasyland, the most popular land in Disneyland Park, will have only one smoking area — a brave choice, but one which will benefit the children enjoying its attractions no end. The designated areas should also bring an end to smokers lighting up in queue lines, during outdoor shows or in the middle of crowds waiting for parades. It should improve the atmosphere and enjoyment of the parks’ pathways, and in turn help to increase all-important ‘guest satisfaction’ even further.
From 1st April 2008, it’s the start of a great big beautiful smoke-free tomorrow…