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These Are the Secret Disney Theme Park Policies You Need to Know About

If you're heading to Disney World or Disneyland, here are the new rules and regulations you need to know.

If you've been to the happiest place on earth, you know it can get quite chaotic. In 2018, for example, nearly 21 million people visited Walt Disney World in Florida and more than 18 million headed to Disneyland in California. To keep the crowds from creating mayhem instead of magic, the Disney parks have instituted a series of new rules, in addition to ther already lengthy code of conduct. We understand that with this many Mickey-loving people in one place, safety and security are important—but some of these Disney theme park policies are so shocking, they border on outlandish. Read on for everything you need to know about what you can take to Disney and what has to stay at home.

You can't bring wagons or extra-wide strollers.

Parents getting their kids attention for a photo at Main Street USA, the entrance to Magic Kingdom amusement park in Walt Disney World. This is a very popular photo spot as the Cinderella's Caste is in the background.

Many people travel to Disney with multiple small children, so this one definitely stings. Strollers wider than 31 inches are now prohibited in both Disney World and Disneyland, as are wagons of any sort. You can still rent strollers at the parks, but if you were planning on saving money by bringing your own megastroller, you're out of luck.

Ice is not allowed.

tons of ice cubes

As of early 2019 you're forbidden to bring ice (or dry ice) into Disney parks. Allegedly, it slows down the mandatory bag check and entry into the park. Only reusable ice packs are allowed to keep your snacks cool.

If you're looking to keep your beverages chilly throughout your Disney visit, freeze your drinks in advance and sip them after they've defrosted into chilled goodness.

Selfie sticks are a big no-no.

woman taking selfie with self stick

Sure, it's hard to get the perfect shot of Cinderella's Castle by yourself if you can't use a selfie stick—or "hand-held extension poles," if you want to get technical—but not getting hit by someone else's stick is worth it. Plus, you may be surprised how many people are happy to help take your picture—and you may meet some new friends in the process!

Clothes can't be hung out to dry.

clothes being hang on a balcony

Don't assume that you have free rein over the balcony in your hotel room at any of the Disney resorts. According to the new Disney rulebook, it's prohibited to hang any towels, bedding, or clothing on your balcony. Instead, we suggest draping your damp bathing suits over the shower rod or towel rack in the bathroom.

Gifts cannot be wrapped.

wrapped gift with red bowtie

Planning to celebrate a birthday at Disney? Don't bring any wrapped presents to the park. Security is very strict about packages and boxes if they can't check what contents are inside. However, you can arrange magical experiences like character dinners or a surprise cake instead, which are more fun for everyone anyway.

You can't wear punk clothing.

toddler with punk clothing

Punk rockers—or at least, their accoutrement—are not welcome in Disney parks. All items with spikes—i.e., purses, bracelets, or jackets—go against Disneyland's dress codes, no matter what creative fashion statement you want to make.

Tattoos should be covered.

The official Disney policy prohibits "objectionable tattoos"—so cover them up, or you're not riding the Haunted Mansion. Clothing with "objectionable material, including obscene language or graphics" isn't allowed either.

You can't scoot, skate, or bike.

no wheels sign

Even though you'll probably end up traversing at least five to 10 miles in a day at Disney World, skateboards, scooters, skates, shoes with wheels built in, or any kind of bike—including tricycles and unicycles—can't come in to Disney parks. Oh, and leave your pogo sticks, remote-controlled toys, and drones at home, too.

Ashes cannot be scattered in the park.

woman holding funerary urn
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

There are evidently quite a number of devoted Disney fans whose final wish is to spend eternity in the happiest place on earth. And frankly, we can't blame them. One problem: It's completely forbidden to scatter a loved one's ashes at any of the parks. "This type of behavior is strictly prohibited and unlawful," a representative told USA Today. Any guest caught in the act will be "escorted off property," but many still try!

Costumes are for kids only.

kids wearing superhero costumes

Think you're going to dress up like Hans Solo to visit the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge or want to emulate your favorite Frozen princess? Not so fast. It's absolutely against the rules for anyone over 14 years old to dress in a costume at Disney.

Masks are just for minors, too.

a couple wearing mickey and minnie masks

If you want to get around the "no costumes" rule by donning a cool Mickey mask, think again; anyone over 14 can't wear a mask at Disney parks either.

Plastic weapons aren't permitted on the premises.

blue and yellow plastic gun in a briefcase

Whether it's a plastic Toy Story water pistol or a fake Pirates of the Caribbean sword, if it looks like a weapon, you can't bring it with you inside a Disney park—yes, even if you bought it at a Disney store. (Needless to say, all real weapons are verboten as well.)

You can't pack camping chairs.

man sitting on foldable chair

You know those super convenient camping chairs you can sling over your shoulder that would be perfect for watching a Disney parade or the nightly fireworks shows? Don't even think of entering with them. Folding chairs of any kind are prohibited.

Smoking is not allowed.

no smoking sign on a pole

As of early 2019, there are no longer smoking areas anywhere within Walt Disney World or Disneyland parks. However, smoking is permitted in designated outdoor smoking areas at hotels, though not in rooms or on balconies.

And marijuana is prohibited as well.

no smoking marijuana sign on paper

Although marijuana is fully legal in California, and medical marijuana is legal throughout Florida, Disney theme parks are located on private land, meaning they can prohibit the substance—and unsurprisingly, they do.

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