Can You Get Both Worse And Better?
So, I’d heard that Disney was going to be ban-hammering all smoking sections from its parks beginning May 1st, and was a little surprised when the officer at the Epcot security checkpoint looked at my recently-placed-in-a-bowl vape and said, “we’re telling people that there’s no more smoking in the parks.” I thought that was oddly stated. “I thought that didn’t take effect until May 1st,” I said, flaunting my internet knowledge. He shook his head. “No, it’s today, it’s now.” A’ight, can’t argue with that, and I collected my vape, and other metallic and non-metallic surrenderibles, and made for the gate, but not before he added, “and we’re telling people you can’t smoke in the designated smoking areas.” Right, got it, thanks. We’re telling people. How very oddly worded.
I imagine that some hardcore smokers were totally gonna lose their shit when they got to the park and got this bit of news. They, like me, had heard about it because it’s kind of a pretty big deal. Wait’ll they find out that it’s gonna be a walk out to the front gate for smoke breaks sooner than they thought.
I was bugged more by his insistence than the actual surprise of the policy change happening earlier than reported, and it wasn’t going to put a damper on my day. I recently went to zero nicotine with my vape and have been using it less and less, one step closer to quitting entirely. Nicotine is actually prescribed to ADHD patients in patch form - something about it is like a natural Ritalin. I went from cigars to 6 mg vape and then trolled around at 2 mg of nictone (per ml) for the pure medicinal nature of it. It’s still not the best thing to have in your system, so I went to 0 mg recently, which means that I’m just vaping propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and flavorings. My usage has gone down, but the habit is still clinging.
Every smoking area I passed was chock full of smoking smokers smoking and vaping vapeheads vomiting volcanic vapeness. Not like all subtle-like, cutting a low profile, but sort of aggressively smoke breaking as a sport. Like the mentality was, “they can’t tell us all there’s no smoking!”
There didn’t appear to be any sort of enforcement at any of the designated smoking areas, so why did the guard say what he did? If he walked through the park right now, would he be shock-ed? I thought about that amusing scenario while I stood and vaped like the rest of them.
I’ll miss the concept of the smoke break. There’s something inclusive, socially, about it, like being part of a club of outcasts. For some, it’s zen, for some, it’s sanctuary, especially at the parks around 2pm with a screaming toddler and the 12th long line for something. The designated smoking area overlooking the World Showcase lagoon was the best for grabbing a beer and then chilling with the vape and watching the shuttle watercraft do their synchronous swimming routines. The area in Italy was, for some reason, the most social and you’d meet some of the nicest and most interesting people. Stuck in between Japan and Norway, that little spot had great sunsets and the area near MIssion: Space was the quietest, even with the occasional monorail buzz and the distant whine of Test Track vehicles.
Found myself getting kind of misty, thinking about some of the coolest smoke break moments over the years at the parks. As for guests who are smokers everywhere, I wish you luck, and to the cast members who soon will have to enforce the new policy, I feel for you and wish you luck also, and to the bartenders at all of the parks, you lucky bastards, you’re gonna be busier than usual helping people to find their chill. Good luck.