GLENDALE - In a quiet press release this morning, Walt Disney Imagineering announced an ambitious project to create the Small World Stroller Parking Structure at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Long plagued by feet-tripping rows of strollers abandoned in a quasi-orderly fashion, the Small World Stroller Parking Structure will be a welcome addition. The attraction is renowned for its popularity with the discerning 1-36 month old demographic, sometimes causing headaches for guests and castmembers alike. Disneyland's ad hoc stroller parking area has frequently been the scene of "stroller rage" incidents, culminating in a horrific 18 stroller pile-up late last year that caused the death and dismemberment of 24 infants, toddlers, and an inexplicable handful of eight-year olds whose parents still allow them to ride in strollers. The open nature of the existing lot also became the target of thieves and joyriding stroller-jackers.
"These sorts of incidents are unacceptable," stated Disneyland president Michael Colglazier, "as well as damaging to our reputation as a safe, enriching, and magical place to bring children whose eyes are not yet developed enough to focus on distant objects."
|Soon this area will become the world's largest|
stroller parking facility. Photo: cyclotourist.
The Small World Stroller Parking Structure will be the largest of its kind in the world until Tokyo builds a bigger one. At five stories, the parkade will have space for 10,000 strollers in a range of models from umbrella to full size to travel system, tandem, hybrid, and sports utility. "The story of the Small World Stroller Parking Structure will blend seamlessly with the existing story of It's a Small World," baselessly claims someone from Imagineering from a video posted on the Disney Parks Blog. Plans are to have the parking structure look kind of like something designed by Mary Blair or Rolly Crump, but not exactly like it, making it seem inauthentic and cheap in a way you can't quite put your finger on.
This is one of several projects initiated by Imagineering this year to make Disney Parks a more inviting place for the neonatal. Disney has already rolled out a redesign of the costumed characters to make them less alien and terrifying to infants who see nothing but Mickey's monstrous gloved hands, crazed eyes, and huge gaping maw bearing down upon them. Another project will have the pirates ships removed from Peter Pan's Flight so that strollers can simply be attached to hooks without having to remove the child. Taking ques from Disney Cruise Lines "youth clubs" and theme parks' Package Check Service, a planned expansion to Disneyland's Baby Care Center will allow parents to drop-off their children for pick-up at the front gate at the end of the day. Guests staying at Disney Resort Hotels in Disneyland and Walt Disney World may also opt to have their children delivered back to their rooms within 24 hours.
"We are committed," said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek, "to Walt Disney's dream of creating an entertainment enterprise where parents could ill-advisedly refuse to let their own children stop them from visiting."
"I vividly remember," reminisced Colglazier, "when my parents told me about how I screamed all the way through Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion when I was a newborn, and then how I couldn't walk anymore and had a breakdown in the middle of Tomorrowland when I was four, and the swimming pool of the motel behind Disneyland when I was seven, and how I just totally didn't want to be there with my lame parents when I was a teenager."
"I want to make it easier for parents today to create those same kinds of magical memories with their kids. After all, Disneyland is for kids."