No Stroller For You

by David Koenig, staff writer
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Is your pint-sized princess excited to visit Disneyland's new Fantasy Faire once it opens March 12? Rapunzel, Belle, and friends are anxious for you to be their guests, once you make it past the Stroller Nazis.

The charming courtyard looks like a scene right out of Beauty and the Beast, but its size is so limited, there's precious little room to manuever, let alone park, strollers. So, Fantasyland Operations hosts and hostesses will be positioned out front to direct guests, before enterting, to park their strollers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or in Frontierland.

The exception will be: if the child is asleep in the stroller when the guests enter the Faire, they will be allowed to proceed. Wheelchairs and motorized assistance vehicles will also be permitted.

Although strollers are not permitted on most attractions, Disneyland has never before instituted a stroller ban for an entire area. Disney insists confiscating strollers is nothing new, but the only example that could be cited was how cast members relocate strollers near the entrance of Mickey's Toontown to alleviate guest flow in front of it's a small world.

But shuffling around empty strollers is fraught with far fewer problems than stopping children from entering a land—a land intended primarily for children—until they give up their wheels.

Disney won't say how long the ban will last—or, for that matter, won't even fully fess up that there will be a ban. According to resort spokesperson Kevin Rafferty, Jr., "Our goal is to ensure an excellent guest experience at the new Fantasy Faire, which may or may not include permitting strollers into the immediate area. The best scenario can be determined once Fantasy Faire is operational."

But Disney is planning on extreme crowding in the area. So while the old Carnation Gardens stage may still be there, the anticipated congestion will likely doom any chances of the stage ever again hosting swing dancing—currently banished to Downtown Disney.

In fact, expect the Fantasy Faire crowds to spill out and make the entire Plaza area considerably more congested. Come to think of it, I wonder if the crowding had anything to do with the Entertainment Department's decision to discontinue the birthday celebrations at Plaza Inn (effective after Fantasy Faire's first weekend) and return the tables to the Foods Department, which can turn the tables more quickly? (See "Pat E. Cake Gets Iced.")

Buzz Coming to Disneyland?

The latest parlor game among cast members is trying to guess which restaurant at Disneyland will be the first to serve alcohol (apart from the private Club 33). After the Magic Kingdom in Florida successfully began serving wine and beer last fall in its new Fantasyland, Disneyland employees figure it's only a matter of time before the booze starts flowing at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Management has given no inkling that such a move is being planned, but wine seems a natural for the Blue Bayou (although knowing Disney, I suspect they'd choose a more strategic location, such as the Hungry Bear, to extend guest traffic to the far western end of the park, or the Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque, to boost buffet sales).

Comments

  1. By olegc

    I'm still not a fan of seeing Fantasy elements outside the border of the land. That shot earlier this week of the Horse car in the Hub with the spires and colors of Fantasy Faire in the background just kills the notion of any real transition. next thing you'll know is the the explanation will be the hub is the transition, not the traditional "gates". I think the features in FF are fantastic but who recalls the launch of PFF in the Fantasyland Theater? The crowds were massive and parents' "strong" desire to make sure their child gets their time and experience will not translate well to the smaller space. Would it be possible that Main St. vehicles are put on hold because the area has to be used for queuing? or something into Fantasyland itself? All for the mighty buck. I know people always say "Disney is a business" but there is something to be said about attending to ALL guests' experiences and not simply the segment willing to shell out a hundred bucks for costumes and accessories.

    as far as the alcohol - I guess I am over the whole "not in Disneyland" thing. Though that video of the man in front of ToT last year getting maced was quite interesting. My guess would be BB and the Ranch since these are longer-seated meal locations. I can't see them doing HB anytime soon only because it would be difficult to manage keeping the containers local to the restaurant. At MK in WDW do they require the bottles/containers to stay within the confines of the restaurant? if so -then they'd probably want locations that have single or well-viewed entrances. Hmm...

  2. By mikedoyleblogger

    So here's what I foresee: "You just let that family ahead of me enter with a stroller! Why can't we?" About 100 times an hour. And a lot of those parents aren't going to wait for an answer, either. This has PR nightmare written all over it.

  3. By DannyeF

    My kiddos are too old for strollers now (which is so nice!) but I would never have balked at setting the stroller aside if a cast member asked me to. I think a lot of parents are aware that the stroller is convenient for their family, but can make trouble for others, especially in crowded areas. I would rather hold my child while waiting in line than feel like I was causing a problem for someone else. Disneyland is supposed to be fun for everyone, not just the ones with massive baby equipment. I hope other parents would agree with me and that they won't bug the CM's too much. And I would even have taken a sleeping baby (or two--I have twins) out and left the stroller behind. Maybe it's because we are once-a-year visitors from the far-away Midwest, but I wouldn't care if the babies woke up. Nobody sleeps much on a Disney vacation! :-)

  4. By carolinakid

    I hate strollers so this news makes me smile.

  5. By danyoung

    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    That shot earlier this week of the Horse car in the Hub with the spires and colors of Fantasy Faire in the background just kills the notion of any real transition.

    I thought that shot was very disingenuous. You could easily take a shot of the trolley in front of Tomorrowland, or the wilds of Adventureland. The Hub has always been a place where the themes blended, and I think they did a nice job with this new area.

    And I've always thought the Blue Bayou would be a much nicer restaurant if they'd serve beer & wine, at least with dinner. Why spend all that money on fine dining if you have to sip iced tea with your steak? It'll be a great move, and I can't wait to watch long time DL regulars lose their minds!

  6. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I thought that shot was very disingenuous. You could easily take a shot of the trolley in front of Tomorrowland, or the wilds of Adventureland. The Hub has always been a place where the themes blended, and I think they did a nice job with this new area.

    You are right, of course, but I also do believe that the other "transitions" are subtle. You see something beyond a gate, so to speak (well, in frontierland's case literally). Now with FF - especially the super-bright canopy of the old bandstand, and it hits you square in the face. The press pieces also have said that FF is "inside Fantasyland" so I guess the princesses are exercising eminent domain on the Dapper Dans...

  7. By Toocherie

    Aren't there already some attractions where strollers aren't allowed? For example, on Star Tours, IASW and Nemo? How is this any different?

  8. By currence

    Quote Originally Posted by Toocherie View Post
    Aren't there already some attractions where strollers aren't allowed? For example, on Star Tours, IASW and Nemo? How is this any different?

    Yes, but at least for Nemo when the lines were 3-4 hours long you could keep the stroller until the last 10-20 minutes when they parked it for you. It sounds like for this area the strollers will be banned completely, which may make for more frequent meltdowns if the line to see princesses exceeds an hour (and I assume it will).

  9. By candles71

    The old line had you park your strollers. We were always asked to.

  10. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by Toocherie View Post
    Aren't there already some attractions where strollers aren't allowed? For example, on Star Tours, IASW and Nemo? How is this any different?

    true - but all of those are rides themselves (with a queue) - not an area where you can walk around freely (there is a queue for princess meet and greet). THat whole area where the stage is and the old seating for eating - will be stroller free. Think if the old Princess Fantasy Fair at the Fantasyland THeater had no strollers- anywhere Maybe the bridge up over the creek into the new Fantasy Faire can be called a troll bridge (DOH!)

  11. By cstephens

    I can't remember if the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at DCA allows strollers.

  12. By candles71

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    I can't remember if the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at DCA allows strollers.

    No it doesn't. You are directed to park them across the way against the rail for Grizzly.

  13. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    No it doesn't. You are directed to park them across the way against the rail for Grizzly.

    OK, thanks, I haven't been there in a long time and couldn't remember if I saw strollers in there.

    So there's a precedence for not allowing strollers in an area (not just a ride).

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