New CDC Campaign Points to Controversial Disney Park Changes

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney smokes a cigarette in a featured image

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

It’s no secret that things at the Disney Parks are incredibly different in a post-COVID world, but a new development from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention might cause a massive shift in how Disney handles hazardous guest behavior. The rise of a new antismoking movement might force Disney to shift its parks’ layouts.

Cruella De Vil smoking a long cigarette with the smoke surrounding a picture of the dalmations
Credit: Disney

This week, a report from Fox News announced that the CDC is embarking on a new non-smoking crusade by utilizing the testimonies of former smokers to urge others to quit the habit. The new campaign will undoubtedly have a noticeable reaction and likely some successful results, but what does this have to do with how things are run at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort?

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The new campaign shares “Real Stories from Former Smokers,” and one individual’s response might force the House of Mouse’s hand. The report from Fox reads,

“In the new batch of stories, the CDC is highlighting Ethan B., 59, who started smoking cigarettes at age 10 and later started smoking menthol cigarettes when he joined the Army at age 18.”

“I wanted to look cool and be cool,” he told the CDC. “All the billboards said it was cool.”

Since quitting in 2020, Ethan B. said he has come to realize that the tobacco ads that appealed to him while he was growing up were misleading.

Disney has never pushed the use of cigarettes, although they have lampooned and satirized the deadly habit with Goofy. However, the Walt Disney Company definitely has connections to tobacco that it would rather its consumers forget.

Walt Disney, Smoking, and the Disney Parks

Walt Disney reads a book laying down. He has a cigarette in his mouth.
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that while Walt Disney was indeed a beloved figure, he had a regular smoking habit that eventually led to his death in 1966. Since then, Disney has gone to great lengths to eradicate Walt’s tobacco use.

Related: Smoking EPCOT Drink Stuns Guests at Disney Bar

Although the studio might be able to edit out its founder’s collection of cigars and cigarettes, it’s not the only step it could take. As the CDC’s campaign points a finger at advertising and billboards, how long will it be before the Walt Disney Company has to get on board and make changes as well?

The caterpillar smoking a hookah in Alice in Wonderland
Credit: Disney

At the time of writing, the Disney Parks offer designated smoking areas at their resorts, which might come off as tasteless given the circumstances of Walt Disney’s passing. If this new non-smoking initiative has its promoters targeting advertising and media, what’s to stop them from going after the biggest shark in the multimedia ocean?

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Granted, that’s a highly speculative statement, but one that could have realistic results. As much as Disney is committed to immersion in its worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy, few things shatter that illusion faster than a whiff of menthol-laced smoke.

In this writer’s opinion, and likely that of several other Disney park guests, the smoking areas should have been eliminated a long time ago. As the new smoking cessation campaign gains more and more traction, it could cause companies like Disney and others to take a bigger step.

Do you think Disney should help stomp out smoking too? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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