GET TO KNOW: Stroller Parking at Walt Disney World

first_imgShare This!Given that many Disney World guests are families with young children, it’s no surprise that many Disney World guests come to the parks with strollers to help transport those children.While strollers can be a huge help in getting kids to major regions of the parks and resorts, once you’re within more defined areas there are limits on where you can bring strollers. They are not permitted in most attractions or restaurants.Note: Stroller use restrictions generally do not apply to guests using strollers as wheelchairs for medical reasons. If yours is a medically required stroller, stop at any park Guest Relations office on the first day of your trip. They can issue you a tag that allows you to use your stroller in more situations. Because you can not bring your stroller into most attraction or restaurant buildings, you will encounter many “stroller parking lots” at Disney World – designated areas where strollers must be left while you proceed toward an attraction on foot.Some stroller parkings are so designated with signage, while others will be implied by the presence of other strollers.Here are some things you need to know about parking your stroller at Walt Disney World:I have an expensive stroller. I’m worried about it getting stolen, can I bring a lock for it?No. Stroller locks are not permitted at Walt Disney World.I couldn’t find my stroller at the park. Doesn’t that mean it was stolen?No. Having your stroller stolen is highly unlikely. However, it is a near certainty that your stroller will be moved at some point during your stay. There are cast members assigned to keep order at each of the stroller parking lots in the theme parks. As guests enter and leave the area, the cast will straighten the rows and make sure that all spaces are filled in. If you don’t see your stroller where you left it, just look nearby and you’re bound to see it.I still don’t see my stroller. Help!This is where some easy personalization, like a colorful balloon or bandana tied to the stroller handle, can make spotting your wheels much easier.If you’ve really looked all around and still don’t see it, ask a cast member for assistance. Having a photo of your stroller can make it easier for others to help you search.Do I have to take all my belongings with me when I go on a ride, or can I leave things in the stroller?I’d venture to say that most people leave at least a few personal items in their strollers. You’ll routinely see diaper bags, snacks, jackets, and other personal items left in strollers in the lots. I did this dozens of times myself and never had anything other than a cookie taken out of my stroller – and that was done by a crafty squirrel.Of course, you do want to be sensible about leaving valuables in your stroller when you’ve left it to go on rides. Don’t leave anything in your stroller that is irreplaceable or expensive. This means you should take your wallet and cameras with you on the attractions.That squirrel thing was joke, right?Not even a little. If there is any food accessible in your stroller, squirrels and birds will find it. You can assume that if you have popcorn or cookie crumbs in your stroller when you park it, then your stroller may be visited by animals.Squirrels make frequent visits to strollers at Walt Disney WorldAre there any actual rides that I can bring my stroller on?Generally not. The one exception I can think of is the Disney railroad in the Magic Kingdom. Personal strollers may be brought on board the railroad if they are completely folded.What about the monorail?You can bring strollers, sometimes open and sometimes folded, on the transportation between the Disney World parks and resorts including the buses, boats, monorail, and Skyliner.What about restaurants? Can I bring my stroller inside while we dine?Generally not–most restaurants have stroller parking zones outside the entrance area, but exceptions can be made in some circumstances. Large double strollers can be a fire hazard and are usually not allowed into restaurants in the theme parks. The Disney rental strollers are virtually never allowed in table service restaurants in the parks.However, if you have a small personal stroller and your child has fallen asleep in it during your meal reservation time, cast members will sometimes take pity on you and allow the stroller inside, particularly if you have a newborn or tiny infant who would be physically incapable of sitting in a high chair even if your child were awake. If you’re in this situation, it never hurts to ask nicely.If you have a child sleeping in a stroller, look for quick service restaurants with outdoor seating as an easy option.Can I bring my stroller into the gift shops at Walt Disney World?Usually, yes. You might encounter a few shops here and there that will ask you to leave your stroller outside, but for the most part you’re okay to shop with a stroller.What happens to my stroller when it rains? Won’t everything get wet?Most stroller parking lots are out in the open, not under cover. There are frequent flash thunderstorms in Orlando. During the rainy season, it makes sense to keep your stroller covered. If you have your own stroller, or are renting from an outside vendor, you can get a dedicated plastic cover for your model. If you’re renting from Disney, try using a poncho as temporary cover while you’re off on the rides.Anything else I should be thinking about?It never hurts to throw a towel in your stroller while you’re at Walt Disney World. This can be used to clean up spills, serve as a blanket or sunshield, or pad the seat of a Disney rental.Stroller parking at the Contemporary resort, outside Chef Mickey’sStroller parking lot at Epcot, between the the Land pavilion and the Seas pavilionStroller parking, New Fantasyland area, Magic KingdomStroller parking, Adventureland, Magic KingdomStroller parking, Tomorrowland, Magic KingdomStroller parking, Animation Courtyard, Disney’s Hollywood Studioslast_img read more

The stool pigeons

first_imgIn Punjab’s Rs 500 crore a year human-trafficking industry a new kind of sport has come to light. It is called kabootarbaazi-helping people land overseas on a genuine visa, but one secured by having the aspirant adopt any one of these common fraudulent guises: sportsperson, artist, preacher or a minister’s,In Punjab’s Rs 500 crore a year human-trafficking industry a new kind of sport has come to light. It is called kabootarbaazi-helping people land overseas on a genuine visa, but one secured by having the aspirant adopt any one of these common fraudulent guises: sportsperson, artist, preacher or a minister’s personal staff. So when five women players of a dubious cricket team from Jalandhar went missing in London, the only surprise in Punjab was the gender of these “kabootars”. Two of the five girls returned but this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Though there are no authentic figures, every year around 500 youths from Punjab are estimated to reach foreign shores through this “sporting” route. Let alone fake sportspersons, even the tales of promising players-some of whom were India’s medal winners in global competitions – doing the disappearing act abroad are legion. In the recent past, two Punjab boxers – Lakha Singh and Gurcharan Singh who had won medals in the Asian Games and represented India in the Olympics-jumped ship. They disappeared while on an official sporting tour in the US. The well-oiled migration mafia is now an open secret in Punjab. But the lesser-known dimension is the involvement and patronage of the state police officials, sports authorities and some politicians in the multi-layered racket that has a deep nexus with shady travel agents and some NRIs who form crucial conduits. A Punjabi diaspora in Britain and north American countries helps the runaway sportsmen from the state melt away into their communities with ease. The entire trade has been a big moneyspinner for several police officials who are plugged as office bearers in most of the official sports bodies and private sports organisations. A section of top brass of the Punjab Police has been under the cloud for facilitating human smuggling through the “sporting” route by sending teams to foreign countries. The Punjab Armed Police (PAP) – employer of a large number of sportspersons-has almost become the hub of this nefarious activity. The modus operandi is simple: the kabootars are included in the official teams going abroad, where they simply disappear. Alternatively, the PAP players are inducted into a club for the purpose of strengthening the case for visa for the entire team which has “fake” players. In the recent past, kabaddi, wrestling, basketball and hockey have been the common sports used for off-loading kabootars in foreign lands. A top sports official in Punjab has been reportedly identified as the kingpin of the operations to drop fake wrestlers abroad as part of an officially sponsored team. A former kabaddi player-turned-police official is known to have raked in lakhs of rupees by exporting foreignseekers in the garb of players. “It is a more-you-dig-the-more-youfind type of racket in Punjab,” says a senior state sports official. But given the fact that a powerful lobby of police and sports officials has a major stake in the racket, it continues to be under wraps. Sports has become the best way to beat the system now in place. “The sporting route is an expensive deal but ensures safe landing,” says Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Jalandhar range) Dinkar Gupta. The reasons why sports has emerged as the most common factor in this business is because post-September 11, immigration rules have been tightened by western governments. Heightened rules of surveillance have choked the favoured immigration routes used for the smuggling in human cargo. It is not surprising, therefore, that Punjab has seen a mushrooming of sports clubs and “international” tournaments. Much of this sporting surge is not to produce champions but to groom players and prepare the documentation to seek foreign visas under the garb of sports tournaments abroad. In Phagwara, for instance, an akhara recruits and trains the aspirants as wrestlers. The most sought-after countries are the US, the UK and Canada. The price tag for migration through this scam is between Rs 7 lakh and 12 lakh. Some survive, some don’t. In Jalandhar, the capital of the smuggling racket, the nexus between sports organisers, police officials and travel agents runs deep. When the travel agents hook the foreign aspirants and strike the deal, the police and sports authorities facilitate their trips abroad. “It is a no-risk-high-profit business,” says a senior police official. A leading travel agent has been allegedly running a human smuggling racket in connivance with a former top official of the Punjab police who had been a sports administrator at the PAP. A karate coach in Jalandhar has been known to belt out “black belts” to foreign-crazy youths at a huge price only to buttress their visa applications for overseas tours. Many a ruse is employed with alleged government help to establish the credentials of a club before applying for visa to the US, Canada or European countries. For example, Ravi Sharma, the owner of the dubious Lynex Club of India, which sponsored the controversial women’s cricket team to England, had taken the same team to Sri Lanka four months ago with ease. The trick worked in his case as the British High Commission granted a three-week visa to his 13-member team. The girls had paid Sharma Rs 2 lakh each for facilitating their entry into Britain. Of the missing five-Mandeep Virk, 19, Rajwant Kaur, 24, Baljeet Kour, 22, Parvesh Rani, 25, and Ekta Andotra, 21-Rajwant and Parvesh returned under pressure from relatives. “Their disappearance was preplanned,” says Sharma, while denying having struck a “money-for-migration” deal. The girls’ parents, far from being anxious about their daughters melting away in London, insist that Sharma had assured them a six-month visa but produced only a three-week one. A sports-goods dealer until a few years ago, Sharma allegedly became one of the numerous fly-by-night sports promoters who make fast bucks through human smuggling in the garb of conducting teams abroad. Last year, the Kapurthala Police booked Sunny Gill and Loveleen, son-in-law and daughter of wrestler-turned-film star Dara Singh for allegedly duping 78 youths of Rs 3 crore that they had collected from them promising a passage to Canada as members of a wrestling team. But Canada-resident Gill never provided them visas. The desperation to reach greener pastures often touches bizarre levels. When the British High Commission held a cricket quiz before the cricket World Cup in South Africa in March, a youth from Faridabad won the contest and was granted a gratis visa along with one for a companion for a free trip to Britain. He chose to take a friend along instead of his newly wed wife. They too wanted to try their luck abroad. The two never returned-a fact that came to light only when the winner’s wife made queries about her missing husband. Clearly, not all aspirants of luxury in the West are equal in their luck.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more