Tobacco Shop

Tobacco and smoking accessories
from around the world
Tobacco Shop, Disneyland

Photo by Robert Demoss, 1987

Do you smell the aroma of pipe tobacco? It’s coming from the Tobacco Shop here on Main Street, U.S.A, at Yesterland. As your park guidebook says, you can buy “tobacco and smoking accessories from around the world” here. As a souvenir of your day at the park, take home a handcrafted pipe and a tin or pouch of the finest tobacco.

Sorry. None of the products feature Disney characters.

If you’re looking for cigarettes, you’ve also come to the right place—even though you don’t see them on display. The tobacconist keeps them under the counter. Just ask for any of the popular brands.

Don’t forget to grab some complimentary Disneyland Tobacconist matchbooks.

Disneyland Tobacco Shop matchbook

© Walt Disney Productions

Souvenir matches

Puff on your cigarette as you walk around the park. Smoking is prohibited in attractions and their queues. You can put out your cigarette in the ashtrays conveniently located at the entrance to every attraction.

The Tobacco Shop is one of the reasons Main Street feels like a real American town around 1900. You’ll find many of the shops that you would have found in a real town of that era, such as a pharmacy, candle shop, china shop, and a table-service ice cream parlor.

The Tobacco Shop opened in 1955 as one of the original shops on Disneyland’s Main Street. It was located between the Magic Shop and the Main Street Cinema on the east side of Main Street.

In June 1990, the Tobacco Shop closed permanently. In its place, a new shop, Great American Pastimes, sold baseball cards and sports memorabilia until 1999. Then, 20th Century Music Company moved in, selling Disney CDs and videos, including CDs featuring Disneyland entertainment. It’s now primarily a Disney pin shop.

Former Tobacco Shop, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

20th Century Music Company

Cigar Store Indian on Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

Cigar store Indian long after the departure of the Tobacco Shop

A traditional cigar store Indian stood in front of the Tobacco Shop on Main Street when the shop opened in 1955. When the Tobacco Shop went away, the Indian stayed. And he’s still there today—an ornamental resident of Main Street who reminds long-time Disneyland guests that there was once a Tobacco Shop here.

The tradition of cigar store Indians goes back centuries to a time when many trades had visual signs. It was a way to call attention to the goods or services available in the shop, even if the customer was illiterate or a recent immigrant who did not read English. Barbers had barber poles; locksmiths had keys; tailors had scissors; shoemakers had boots.

Tobacco has long been associated with Indians, who introduced Europeans to tobacco. In fact, Christopher Columbus wrote about tobacco in his diary in 1492. But while the symbols of other trades were attached to a shop’s exterior wall, a cigar store Indian was a statue that stood on the sidewalk in front of a tobacconist’s shop. By the late 19th century, the heyday of cigar store Indians had ended as municipalities had passed ordinances prohibiting them from blocking public sidewalks.

Cigar Store Indian, Frontierland, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

Cigar store Indian long after the departure of the Tobacco Shop

Disneyland has a second cigar store Indian in Frontierland, where he draws attention to the Westward Ho Trading Company, another store with an emphasis on Disney pins. When did cigar store Indians become a visual symbol for Disney pins?

Disneyland Park stopped selling cigarettes anywhere in late 1999. In early 2000, Disneyland Park limited smoking to three outdoor and zero indoor locations. The smoking spots shifted slightly over the years. For example, in 2007, the smoking spots were near the Tomorrowland Railroad Station, on the side of Big Thunder Mountain, and at Fowler’s Harbor near the Haunted Mansion.

Disney California Adventure and the Disney parks in Florida had similar smoking spots.

Fantasia Gardens near Matterhorn Mountain, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Fantasia Gardens near Matterhorn Mountain as a smoking area in 2009

California proposition 65 sign at Fantasia Gardens, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

California proposition 65 sign at Fantasia Gardens

Smoking at Paradise Pier, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Disney California Adventure smoking in 2013

Elsewhere at the Disneyland Resort, smoking was also restricted. When the Grand Californian Hotel opened in 2001, it was 100% smoke-free, including all guest rooms. The Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel became smoke-free in 2006.

Although it had become a lot harder to smoke at the Disneyland Resort than when the Tobacco Shop was operating, it became a lot easier to breathe smoke-free air. Most smokers respected the rules. (Thank you!)

As of May 1, 2019, Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort have been entirely nonsmoking. Smokers are now relegated to locations outside of the security checkpoints. The same restriction applies at the four theme parks, two water parks, and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World in Florida.

No smoking at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 2019

Former smoking area along Big Thunder Trail at Disneyland Park, May 2019

No smoking at Disneyland

Photo by Chris Bales, 2019

Prominent sign—in case anyone thinks smoking is still allowed in the park

The Walt Disney Company’s aversion to smoking isn’t limited to its parks and resorts. In July 2007, Disney became the first major movie studio to restrict depictions of smoking on screen. New films that carry the family-oriented Walt Disney label show no smoking at all. Smoking is “discouraged” in films from Disney’s more adult-oriented brands.

The change in attitude toward smoking is not unique to Disney. Until 1988, when the U.S. Congress banned smoking on flights of less than two hours, most flights had smoking and non-smoking sections, although the smoke tended to spread throughout the cabin. By 2000, most of the world’s air routes had become smoke-free. Where Hollywood once portrayed smoking as glamorous (so that the actors would have something to do with their hands), smoking in movies is now largely limited to criminals and nervous types.

Melody Time DVD cover

Melody Time DVD cover from Amazon © Disney

Melody Time, the movie that includes smoker nonsmoker Pecos Bill

However, it can get ridiculous. When Walt Disney’s 1948 animated feature Melody Time was released on DVD in the United States, the Pecos Bill episode had been edited so that Pecos Bill would no longer be a smoker. One “offending” scene, in which Pecos Bill rolls a smoke and lights it with a lightning bolt, was cut entirely. Throughout the rest of the episode, the cigarette hanging from his lips had been removed digitally.

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Updated October 11, 2019.