Effective June 1, you will only be able to smoke at designated outdoor areas, while staying at any of Disney’s 22 hotels and timeshares.
They are responding to demand from their guests, the theme park’s spokesman Jacob DiPietre said Wednesday.
The transition to become smoke-free will allow Disney to better accommodate the increasing number of guests requesting nonsmoking hotel rooms, DiPietre said.
The ban follows a 2000 measure that restricted smoking throughout Disney’s theme and water parks, limiting smoking to designated areas, DiPietre said.
“We’re focused on responding to what our guests are asking for and our guests are overwhelmingly asking for smoke-free rooms,” DiPietre said. “The number of guests requesting smoking rooms has declined dramatically in recent years.”
DiPietre could not provide figures tracking the decline, but said it has been “significant.”
Less than 4 percent of Disney’s more than 24,000 hotel rooms are currently smoking optional, DiPietre said.
Guests caught smoking after the ban could face cleaning surcharges as high as $500, DiPietre said.
If Disney does not have the demand for smoking rooms, then the theme park should reduce the number of smoking rooms available — not ban smoking rooms altogether, said Gary Nolan, U.S. regional director of The Smoker’s Club, a smoker’s rights group.
“Disney is going to send money elsewhere,” Nolan said.
Abraham Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality at the University of Central Florida sees Disney’s smoking ban as a positive move.
The odor from smoke lingers long after the smoker has checked out of the room — even permeating to nonsmoking rooms, Pizam said.
“Nonsmokers are really belligerent,” Pizam said. “They want a smoke-free environment and they don’t want to be affected by second hand smoke.”
Some hotels located on Disney property are not owned by the theme park and will still offer smoking rooms after Disney’s ban takes effect next month.
The 17-floor Royal Plaza hotel, for example, offers its 4th floor to smokers.