Harry Potter Theme Park Modifies Ride To Accommodate Larger Visitors

The “Forbidden Journey” ride at Universal Studios’ Harry Potter park just got a little less forbidden, at least for some obese tourists. The park has added new larger sized seats to the ride, so at least some of those who were turned away in previous months might have better luck now.

In June, we wrote about Banks Lee, a guy who was turned away because of his size and who started a blog detailing his diet to get down to Forbidden Journey size. He accomplished that on August 27th (see his blog for the full story), but he went back to give the revamped seating a test run and reported on it:

Now, with the addition of the modified seats, the test seat process has changed. When you sit down, there are three lights next to you; red, yellow, and green. As I stated earlier in the post, red=no ride, yellow=modified seat, and green=sit anywhere. If you get yellow and need a modified seat, once you get to the part before the loading platform where the second test seat is, the attendant will put you in the middle line, which is reserved for guests needing the modified seat.

Since there are only around 8 vehicles that currently have modified seating, you have to wait for one to come around. Once it does come you go to the loading platform, and choose either of the outside seats. The two middle seats are not modified. You still need three clicks to be able to ride, but they are now much easier to get, especially with the little extra room you have in the seat.

“Too wide to ride: obese visitors force Harry Potter ride to upsize” [The Sydney Morning Herald] (Thanks to catastrophegirl!)

Comments

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  1. ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

    In before, “Oh no! If we let people be fat, they’ll- they’ll… um- be fat!”

  2. kenj0418 says:

    Hagrid is pleased.

  3. FatLynn says:

    Well, it seems they know their audience.

  4. BridgetPentheus says:

    great, make seats bigger for fat people so I slide out more. FAIL.

    • Lollerface says:

      put some meat on those bones, skinny

    • physics2010 says:

      FTA only a few of the seats have been modified, though your concern may still be valid for the two center seats between the fat seats.

      • BridgetPentheus says:

        on most normal rides the bar never comes down far enough on me and I have to hold on to avoid falling out, it kills the fun. The worst at Disney is seeing all the fat people on the scooters, maybe if they walked around the park they could fit into rides WITHOUT them having to be modified. Whenever we went to theme parks when I was a kid we could eat a ton because we were running constantly from one point to another. People can do something about being fat.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          You do realize that almost none of what you just said has anything to do with what physics2010 said or your original comment. They only modified some of the seats. If you can’t fit in the unmodified seats then the fact that they changed some of them doesn’t matter. If you can fit in the unmodified seats then the fact that they changed some of them still doesn’t matter.

          There’s no reason for you to be complaining about this.

          People can do something about being fat.
          So? You could do something about not being fat.

          • BridgetPentheus says:

            The standard seats are already made bigger to accomodate how large people have gotten, the modified seats are just inexcusable. I’m not going to become fat just because other people are stupid enough to.

            • Anonymously says:

              Quite bitching, you’re skinny therefore more attractive and healthy than everyone else. Also, classifying everyone who is overweight as “stupid” is also highly insulting.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              The standard seats may have been modified in the past 30 years; I don’t know. I do know that I have had a lifelong problem with seats being too big for me, and therefore, I would be more prone to slide around – whose problem is that? Mine, because I am short and small. Just like the same seats don’t fit me perfectly, they also don’t fit a larger person perfectly. You make assumptions like how large people are fat – I don’t think musclar football players can fit into those seats any better than a person who is of comparable weight and size due to fat, not muscle.

              So what’s the solution here? It’s hard for me to get any taller or bigger just to fit into a seat without sliding around. I’ve solved this by not going to theme parks and riding roller coasters that may have seats that are too big for me. The world can’t accommodate everyone’s needs and preferences.

              • Outrun1986 says:

                Honestly if you are an adult, I do not think you will fall out. It may feel like you are falling out but you won’t. Most adult coasters are designed for those who are 48 inches and over, in other words they can accomodate a skinny, 48 inch kid. There are lots of small and thin people who go to theme parks, and I guarantee you they have a much better time then those who can just barely fit into rides or those who know they are too big but feel entitled to ride anyways cause they paid for the ticket. There is no minimum weight limit on coasters (at least I have never seen one). Some rides are also supposed to give the sensation that you are falling out, and most roller coasters with lapbars also have seatbelts which you can adjust. If you hold on and keep the proper riding position, I do not think you will fall out.

            • NebraskaDan says:

              How about me? I’m 6’4″ and about 300 lbs. I’m a former D1 Football player, and haven’t gained weight since my playing days. I guess I’m a slob who deserves what I get right? Those normal ride seats fit me fine….it’s the harnesses that don’t fit over my shoulders.

              How about this. Evolve. People have been getting bigger, taller, and stronger for thousands of years. The superobese are a small minority of that group. More people like me exist than ever.

            • Marshmelly says:

              Aah no, you are surely not stupid enough to be fat.

              Stupid enough to make rude, insensitive, and ill-informed comments? Certainly!

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              the modified seats are just inexcusable.

              Why? If the modified seats mean that they make more money I don’t see the problem here. And again, the modified seats don’t affect you.

              I’m not going to become fat just because other people are stupid enough to.

              You pointed out that fat people could lose weight to fit in the seats. I was simply pointing out that gaining weight would also help you fit in the seats. You certainly don’t have to do so but it does mean you won’t fit in the seats.

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                actually the modified seats DO affect thinner people – in a good way. the people who need the modified seats are taken out of the main line and have to wait for one of the 8 modified seats to be available. that means people who don’t need the modified seats get on the ride sooner.

                the folks waiting for one of the 8 modified seats are going to be likely be waiting a little longer, if not a lot longer.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      1 – there are only a few modified seats for larger people, and larger people will be sitting in them.

      2 – if the modified seats aren’t safe for smaller people they will not allow smaller people to ride in them.

      3 – your comment is dickish

    • Woofer says:

      It’ll be fine. One day we’ll all be sitting in one-size-fits-all WALL-E chairs because we’re all the same size.

    • SkittleKicks says:

      Each seat has its own shoulder harness / thigh bar combo. Your seatmate’s needs don’t affect yours. You can go back to quiet seething now.

    • kajillion says:

      A thin person has never slipped out of a roller coaster seat because of fat person accommodation, it just makes coasters more scary for us non-fatties and isn’t that the point of roller coasters>?

  5. Lollerface says:

    Queue the “OMG .. fat people don’t deserve fun!” comments

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That, and the “they did it to themselves” comments.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        They did. I used to be one, now I’m not. I sure as hell did it to myself. Most of them…like 98%…did too.

        I don’t want to hear the “it’s genetic/glandular” bullshit. Even the medication story is bullshit for a lot of people.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Loias wasn’t saying that they didn’t. But someone always has to point that out in these threads even though it is completely irrelevant. We’re talking about a theme park ride modified to allow larger passengers. It doesn’t matter why those passengers are large.

          • dreamfish says:

            “It doesn’t matter why those passengers are large”

            It does if they start screaming discrimination and looking for lawyers.

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              There’s no mention of discrimination or lawsuits in the article. By your own logic it’s irrelevant.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          As Rectilinear pointed out below very correctly, it’s not that it is/isn’t true, it’s that someone always how to blame them. And congrats, you did it so beautifully.

          I’ve had some poor habits that aide in overweightness, but I knnow thin people who eat much more teribly than I, and just as sedentary. It’s ignorant to say that being fat is completely the fault of the person. It’s also ignorant to use blanket statement like that.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Have you read anything about various causes of obesity?

          Anything?

          There are a lot of things that contribute to the obesity problems. There are numerous studies and news articles about the studies that you could read.

          From the news today:

          At least part of the blame for childhood obesity might be traced to a unexpected cause — a certain strain of the virus that causes the common cold.

          New research shows that youngsters who were infected by adenovirus 36, which causes the common cold and slight gastrointestinal upset, were an average of 50 pounds heavier than children who hadn’t been infected by this particular strain.

          source: Childhood Obesity Might Be Linked to Strain of Cold Virus

          This is ONE of MANY studies that show that there are numerous contributing factors to the obesity problem that are outside of the control of the individual.

          • kataisa says:

            We’re blaming obesity on the cold virus now? LOL

            Why do people ignore the fact that obesity wasn’t a problem until only a generation ago when high fructose corn syrup, fast food, and processed food in boxes became mainstream? Hm, nope, no correlation there.

          • jnads says:

            Classic rookie statistics mistake.

            Correlation does not imply causation.

            Just because two are related, one doesn’t necessarily cause the other.

            Maybe the underlying cause, a SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE, causes both _obesity_ and _disease_.

  6. qbubbles says:

    I’d fit in them damn seats just fine if it werent for my tits. As soon as I’m done having kids, I’m getting those suckers sliced off. No one needs size G boobs.

    • rpm773 says:

      Alright. I’m going to need another cup of coffee to process everything said in this comment.

    • Rocket says:

      No pun intended?

      • qbubbles says:

        Haha, no. Its meant to read that the boobs are the suckers, not the kids. Although, they would be. Too. Lol.

        Yeah.

        Once I’m done having kids, I’m gonna get {{MY BOOBS}} sliced off. And really, size G is just gratuitous at this point, isnt it? I wish I could donate.

        • j_rose says:

          It’s actually not that big. For some reason, American bra companies are afraid of going above a D, and just like to tack more Ds on. Where we have DD, Europe uses E. DDD = F. So you’re just the next size up. I wear a 34G, it’s not huge. I know a girl with 32D, and no one thinks her boobs are huge. The average size is larger than D, and 85% of women in American wear the wrong size. Most women don’t even understand how the band and cup sizes work. Not that the Victoria’s Secrets of the industry are helping.

          /rant.

          • qbubbles says:

            Yeah I had to get measured since I’m gonna need one of them fancy nursing bras soon. I had the right band size but I was sporting a DD/E and the lady handed me a G.

            Still, G is DDDD which is terrifying to me. I got boobs when I was 11, and they never stopped growing. I’m 26 now, and they’ll just get bigger with milk. Joy.

            • jesirose says:

              Why is it terrifying? It’s just a letter. The only thing I dislike about my Gs is I can’t wear button-up shirts. But I can wear a TON of sweaters, tanks and tees that look awesome. Once you get the right brand and size, it’s AMAZING how good clothes can feel and look.

              Mine have been going up since I was 12. If they become uncomfortable I’ll look into surgery, but as long as I buy a new bra every few months I have a good set of 6 or so I can wear throughout the week, and I don’t mind.

              • breny says:

                Great advice!

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                It kind of depends on certain circumstances. If you’re tall, you’re more proportioned but if you’re shorter it may put more stress on your back. Certainly not terrifying, but probably a little irritating if you have to deal with back pain.

            • breny says:

              Having G-cup sized boobs is a pain (literally). Even with a properly fitted bra, it’s still uncomfortable.

              My sister just got her 32Gs downsized to 32DD. She is thrilled. No more neck and shoulder pain. I had my downsized years ago. Smartest thing I ever did.

              Try not to sweat the number on your size. Until you can downsize, you want the best-fitting support you can get. The number is what it is.

    • davere says:

      This is not just a female problem. My partner is in shape and is very muscular and he has a large chest, which can be an issue on some rides.

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      Ditto. I’m a 34G, and nursing, and anything squishing/pushing on them HURTS. I can’t even let my husband hug me too hard. If you’re looking for a good nursing bra, I recommend Bravado. I have an under wire-free model, it’s very stretchy, and it comes in S/M/L sizes so you can just pick your size from the chart.

    • daveinva says:

      Speaking as a red-blooded American male, I weep for what you contemplate.

    • dg says:

      Pictures or it’s not true!

  7. Bativac says:

    This isn’t a comment about overweight people being able to ride. I have no thoughts on that. If Universal wants to put bigger seats on the ride then go for it.

    I just wanted to say that this ride, and the castle leading up to it, are both awesome. I am not a Harry Potter fan but I was completely impressed. The ride was incredible! The special effects in the castle were amazing!

    One more thing: “butterbeer” is “cream soda” only they charge between four and eight bucks for a cup.

    • physics2010 says:

      And they probably don’t even add the butterscotch schnapps. :-(

    • jessjj347 says:

      But it has awesome caramel “beer head” (so kids can think they’re cool because it looks like they’re drinking)!

    • grucifer says:

      I believe it used to be the dueling dragons ride, which definitely had an awesome line to wait. Not sure what changes they’ve made (I imagine they added a bunch of HP stuff to the castle?!) but I’m sure it’s still pretty cool.

      The ride always freaks me out when the dragons get close to each other and I feel like my feet are gonna hit the feet of those on the other car, haha.

      • Bativac says:

        No, you’d be wrong – Dueling Dragons is a different ride. That has been turned into “Dragon Challenge.” The ride is the same but the queue is nowhere near as cool as it used to be.

        “Forbidden Journey” more than makes up for it though. It’s amazing.

        • grucifer says:

          Hmm that stinks about the DD coaster line.

          And right on, just looked up Forbidden Journey, it does seem pretty cool. Not sure the next I’ll be in that part of FL, but I’m sure I’ll get to Universal to check it out. Also did like it better than Disneyworld.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i haven’t been to the park yet, nor tried butterbeer, but this crafty lady who has tasted it made a recipe so you can be a good consumerist and make your own at home

      http://www.chicaandjo.com/2010/09/10/hot-butterbeer-recipe/

    • ajlei says:

      Uhh my cup of butterbeer was a little over $2, I don’t know what you’re paying more than that for if you’re not getting a souvenir cup.

  8. Phildogger says:

    All I have to say is, it’s about time. I spent my Honeymoon at Disney/Universal, and I gotta say that Universal was a huge letdown. I am 6′ 7″, and could stand to lose some weight, but I had NO problems on any rides or attractions at Disneyworld. Universal, however, was a joke. I eventually stopped even trying to get on most rides, and sent my wife by herself with some friends of ours. People are getting bigger every year, and it is not just a matter of weight, folks. Universal can keep it, I will not revisit the next time I go to Orlando. Disney makes everything incredibly consumer friendly, including places to store bags/pocketbooks on most attractions, while Universal has paid lockers for your stuff. No thanks.

  9. Phildogger says:

    All I have to say is, it’s about time. I spent my Honeymoon at Disney/Universal, and I gotta say that Universal was a huge letdown. I am 6′ 7″, and could stand to lose some weight, but I had NO problems on any rides or attractions at Disneyworld. Universal, however, was a joke. I eventually stopped even trying to get on most rides, and sent my wife by herself with some friends of ours. People are getting bigger every year, and it is not just a matter of weight, folks. Universal can keep it, I will not revisit the next time I go to Orlando. Disney makes everything incredibly consumer friendly, including places to store bags/pocketbooks on most attractions, while Universal has paid lockers for your stuff. No thanks.

  10. zantafio says:

    No more need to go on a diet and exercise!

    Thanks you Universal for accommodating the obese, this is one incentive less for them to get them to do something about their health problem.

    • Lollerface says:

      Yeah cause a 3 minute ride is going to finally get me to the gym, stupid.

      • DoktorGoku says:

        Congratulations!

        You just called somebody “stupid” on the internet.

        You have successfully proven your point, which was *insert point here*, and the other commenter is now aware of how superior you are.

        You may now return to your regularly scheduled smugness.

      • zantafio says:

        Did you read the article? Clearly not.

        Here’s the important line you forgot to read:
        “a guy who was turned away because of his size and who started a blog detailing his diet to get down to Forbidden Journey size.”

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Glad to see other people’s health is your business. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go shove a multivitamin down someone else’s throat. All for the greater good, doncha know.

      • DoktorGoku says:

        Eh, vaccination? Herd immunity? Ever studied public health?

        I’m not saying one person’s being overweight affects my health directly, but to say that one person’s health is not another’s business is just flat wrong.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          I didn’t make a blanket statement about anything. I made a remark implying that it is possible for people to be willfully intrusive with other people’s bodies. Ever hear about abortion?

          • DoktorGoku says:

            “Glad to see other people’s health is your business.”
            -Paringknife

            “I didn’t make a blanket statement about anything”
            -Paringknife

            Ready to try again?

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              It’s called context. I know you know what that is, you got through med-school, I’m sure it involved some reading.

              • DoktorGoku says:

                I know exactly what context is.

                I also know what point you had in mind, and how you failed at making it.

                When you go through medical school, you have to learn to say exactly what you mean. When people froth at the mouth, raging, with the “YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY BODY OR OTHERS WITH THEIRS” they forget that- sometimes, like with vaccines- public health can indeed be an issue. Are they talking about that? Usually, no. What they are doing, however, is trying to generalize a greater point about individual freedoms as relates to their particular issue at hand- what you tried to do here- without considering that the specific context that they are thinking of is not what’s in most people’s minds. They fail to understand how ridiculously arrogant that is.

                TL;DR: I know exactly the context you mean, and I’m pointing out how incorrect/arrogant your phrasing of it is.

                • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                  Question: Would any reasonable person understand exactly what I was saying?

                  Answer: Yes.

                  Communication status: Success.

                  And for the record, the froth around my mouth is shaving cream. I like to let it sit for a second before I use the razor.

                  • DoktorGoku says:

                    “Would any reasonable person”

                    See… that’s exactly what I’m talking about :(

                    Eh, it’s too late in the day already to be arguing the philosophy of philosophy. Enjoy thy shaving cream. I tend to use an electric razor myself, but having moved to a drier climate recently, I’m considering going back to cream and standard razors. Now I just gotta find sommit other than Barbasol.

                    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

                      Well, everything kind of seeks its level. This being Consumerist, I think applying Schopenhauer’s ideas on synthesis is a tad too exhausting for my purposes (although he does make it sound like it should be effortless.)

                      That being said, Barbasol works fine for me, but then I like a little stubble and I don’t get ingrown hairs/dryness. I know some folk who swear by the moisturizing gels though. Balm instead of alcoholic aftershave is probably a bigger help I would think.

        • zantafio says:

          one person’s being overweight affects your health insurance premium.

          Most of people criticizing my initial post seem to forget that.

    • rpm773 says:

      This sucks. It’s still early on monday morning, and it’s already Fat People:1, Bitter Malcontents:0

    • BigBoat2 says:

      But a vitriolic forum post is going to send them screaming for treadmills and carrots?

      • DoktorGoku says:

        Just as much as posts like lollerface’s are going to convince others of their point.

        We should all argue on the internet!

        I’m actually thinking that I should brush up on my bariatric skills after reading this thread.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I’m fat, and I like carrots. I eat them a lot.

        THE CARROTS DO NOTHING!!

        • JixiLou says:

          People who’ve never had to worry about their weight seem to think carrots are a magically food that lets you simply shed 100 pounds, and us fat people are just too darn stupid and lazy to eat the Magic Carrots.

        • Vogue007 says:

          How much ranch do you eat your carrots with?

        • Griking says:

          The trick is that you don’t eat them in addition to your normal meals. You also probably shouldn’t cover them with gravy.

          But anyways, grats people. They now had to redesign an amusement part ride to accommodate you. But of course that’s perfectly reasonable to expect nowadays huh?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Congratulations. You’re the first.

    • whatdoyoucare says:

      This made me laugh because there is a commercial on tv here for a weight loss center/system that a man went on and lost weight after he couldn’t fit on the ride with his daughter at an amusement park. Being unable to ride on the rollar coaster was the impetus to change for him.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Why should it be Universal’s job to try to convince overweight people to lose weight? They’re not in the health care business, they’re in the entertainment business. If modifying seats so more people can use the ride makes them more money then why shouldn’t they do that?

  11. georgi55 says:

    While I have no interest in Harry Potter rides, this is not just for “fat” people, it’s for tall people with long inseam like me as well. I’m 6’3 but my inseam is probably equal to someone who’s 6’6 or 6’7, and I’ve been turned away from rides because my legs do not fit, or if I try to cross them the bar won’t come down as my knees get in the way. In most cases I am able to fit if I’m in the front of the “car” – not whole train but each car that has 2 or 3 rows, and in extreme cases I have to request to be at the very front of the ride where there is no wall and you can stretch your legs out. Most places are accommodating, but at Six Flags I had to call a supervisor up to allow me to wait for a different seat – the high school part time kids that worked there didn’t want me to try another seat for whatever reason.

    All your little people have no idea how hard it is to be tall so you call accommodations like this “great, makes fat people fatter”. Don’t ask me how I survive 14 hour flights when I can’t get emergency row seating…I basically die a little every time I fly. Oh and nothing is more aggravating than seeing a little 5′ guy sitting on emergency row…

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Clearly your problem is that you’re not willing to work to get shorter.

      What’s the big idea trying to encourage airlines to offer bigger seats and more legroom? Don’t you know how important it is that we be allowed to make fat people uncomfortable? It’s a damn sight more important that not letting airlines cram us together like sardines. Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

    • MrMan09 says:

      “Oh and nothing is more aggravating than seeing a little 5′ guy sitting on emergency row…”

      Well they are merely thinking of your safety, when the crowd panics and rushes the exit a 5′ tall speed bump squashes down much easier allowing faster exiting.

      • watch me boogie says:

        As a 5′ tall speed bump, this made me laugh heartily. +1

        To georgi55: definitely see if the 5′ guy is willing to switch seats. I hate being in the exit row because you have to put everything up overhead, and the extra room doesn’t benefit me seeing as my feet don’t even touch the floor anyway. I’d definitely move to help out a tall person… well, unless you’re seated next to a screaming kid. Then you’d need to throw in some Xanax as an incentive.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      You overtall people make me sick! I work very hard to stick to society’s short aesthetic. I live in a constant state of restriction and self-denial to maintain a healthy height, and yet you waltz through life being as tall as you please. Would it kill you to eat some shortcake now and again? Are short ribs just too much for you?

      Height kills! And I for one, am not going to let my tax dollars pay your head-smacking medical expenses because you’re too lazy to stay short enough to fit through regular height doors.

      I swear, the next time I see some inconsiderate tally drinking a TALL latte, I’m smacking it out of their beanstalk paws!

  12. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I think this is good. There are a lot of larger people in the world, and unless there is no way to build rides to accomodate them, then it is good business sense, and the right thing to do, to build the rides so they can ride them.

  13. Sian says:

    What’s worse than getting turned away because you can’t fit in a ride?

    Having to wait for the ‘fatty seat’.

    • Suaveydavey says:

      Especially in a designated cattle area on the loading dock.

    • ARP says:

      I imagine a lot of people will argue with the attendants that they’re not fat and can fit in the “regular” seats. That’s why these sorts of seats and related rules (e.g. Southwest will make you buy two tickets, etc.) are so difficult- you’re dealing with a person’s ego.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        It’d help of the rules were applied consistently. How many stories have been posted here where a person didn’t have to buy two tickets one way but had to when they came back?

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      Yes! That’s a weight-loss incentive right there.

  14. jessjj347 says:

    Hey, in other news remember that guy who called 911 when the ride got stuck in June and said he was upside down? The ride doesn’t even go upside down….I confirmed.

  15. Bernardo says:

    So theres goes the motivation some more peole who are horizontally challenged to their weight need to get pissed off start a blog and lose weight. Good job universal.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Why should they care whether or not their ride gets people to lose weight? Besides, it apparently only got the one person to start a weight loss blog so apparently it wasn’t big motivation for that in the first place.

  16. Erik_says_this says:

    What about the rides that have a bar that comes down to prevent you from falling out of, say, Jurassic Park The Ride when going down the very steep drop and you’re holding on to your gf and the car for dear life because some gigantic fellow won’t let the bar hit your lap.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      All those rides are supposed to require the bar to come down to a certain point to make sure people stay in their seats. I don’t think it has to be touching your lap to keep you in; otherwise they’d need to be separate bars for each seat. It’d be impossible to get the bar to hit everyone’s lap when it’s one bar for multiple people.

      I’m sure it’s scary as all get out that you’re moving around in the seat but I think the minimum height for the bar is supposed to keep it from being a safety issue.

      • Erik_says_this says:

        I seriously doubt it came down to the point it should have. The guy who sat in our row was well over 300lbs and I had my hand wrapped around the bar and my other arm around my gf. I’m 5’9” 175 and my gf was around 115 so this was not a safe situation.

  17. PLATTWORX says:

    (eye roll). I used to be heavy growing up. Very heavy at one point. Why must we adjust rides to fit people who simply need to control their diet and begin to exercise?

    • apple420 says:

      Maybe their marketing department would like to sell more tickets, and has decided it would be profitable to make a minor adjustment to the ride? This will make the guests happier and avoid more potential embarassment.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Why must we

      1) No one said they “must”. Again, this was not the result of a lawsuit or anything. The park chose to make this change.

      2) “We?” Do you work at Universal or something?

  18. MostlyHarmless says:

    All *I* want to know is… is there an Hermione ride?

  19. babyruthless says:

    I think this is fantastic. I spent three summers in high school/college working at a theme park, and it was all-around horrible for everyone involved (would-be rider, would-be rider’s friends, employee) when someone was too large for the rides. It was embarrassing. I’m sure it sucked to wait in line for so long only to get turned down. And the people that were too large to fit safely in the seats split pretty evenly between being “OMG, let me out of this thing right now! I want to crawl in a hole and die after this experience” and “I waited in line for two hours. I want you to do everything in your humanly power to make the bar click.”

    Also, I think that more (as in all) rides should have an “example car” out front to see if you’ll fit.

    Last also: if you get to a ride and aren’t sure if you’ll fit, walk up the exit ramp (like you would if you were handicapped and skipping the line) and ask the attendant if you can try to sit in the seat before you wait in line. I also think that being in charge of the situation and proactively finding out if you’ll fit would be about 100x less embarrassing than waiting until you’re going to try to ride and finding out that you won’t fit, or you will but it will be a huge struggle.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      1. All (or most) rides should have a test seat, that is actually a seat from the ride in the same state that the ones on the ride are with the exact same restraints. I have heard a ton of stories about people fitting in the test seat, but then not fitting on the actual ride. Kind of defeats the purpose.

      2. The test seat should be placed at the entrance of the line with an attendant staffing it, if you fit in the seat you get to ride the ride, if you don’t fit then you don’t ride (again lets hope that test seat is accurate). This saves the 2 hour wait if you don’t fit. This would really help and its just good business, customers pay enough to get into the theme park, the park can afford to place a test seat at each ride that would require one and test any questionable patrons.

      3. People are getting bigger and taller. Fat people EXPECT to fit on a ride, they do not expect to be turned away. There are A LOT of fat people that go to theme parks, and in fact I have seen more fat people at theme parks and fairs then I do at the grocery store, even if its a store like Sam’s club. I actually find it really ironic, but I have definitely seen the highest concentration of fat people ever in one place at theme parks. They do not know that they might not fit on a ride. I know this cause I am a theme park fan, but 99% of the general public that goes to a theme park expects to fit on every ride. The group of theme park fans make up a very small percent of the people that go to a park.

      4. Unfortunately the customer base of theme parks isn’t going to change anytime soon, in fact people are going to keep getting bigger and taller and there is nothing that can be done about it. A few people might lose weight but there is no way to simply convince the masses that come to parks that they need to lose weight. The parks must accomodate, or else they will definitely start losing business, and they are already losing business (although not for this reason alone) so they don’t need to lose any more.

      5. Rides have gotten a lot taller and faster say since the 1980′s, requiring more restraints. Most rides during that time period only required an OSTR harness or a lapbar, but now rides require an OSTR, a lapbar to pin your legs down, and a seatbelt under the lapbar. This means more restrictions on what types of guests can ride rides, meaning less riders will be able to participate no matter what. Perhaps we need a return to more creative, basic rides instead of always competing for the tallest or fastest. This way the rides would be able to use less more accomodating restraints, and more people would be able to ride each ride.

      6. In extreme cases parks should post the dimensions of the largest person able to ride a ride at the gate before you purchase your tickets. Aka if you have a waist over 36 inches you may not be able to ride these rides (that is just an example). Most parks have no problem listing that kids under x inches may not ride certain rides, but they do not give any maximums other than height in a few cases or they put additional restrictions may apply which is vague. This way people know what to expect before they go in the park, and there are less hard feelings about not being able to ride certain rides because the rider has been informed beforehand. If people complain, then at least the ride ops can refer to the sign and tell the customer that they have been informed and if you are on the borderline and you get to ride it becomes a pleasant surprise. But parks won’t do this because they don’t want to lose business, they want people to go in and buy a ticket. The reality is they should be doing this. You don’t find the sign with all the restrictions until you get into the park and go to the ride. The parks only hand out a huge safety book if you ask that lists all the restrictions and no one reads those. If parks were more upfront about the restrictions then there would be less problems.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i just really need to know why you think whether people shop at sam’s club or anything other store has to do with their weight?

  20. Vogue007 says:

    I can just see the all of the portly folks who are hoping sooo badly their seat light doesn’t turn yellow which in itself is humiliating…but that’s not it…now you have to struggle to get your ass out of the seat and wait in the “special” line with the rest of the piggies. They should at least have a corn dog stand next to that line considering there are limited seats and they might get hungry during the wait.

  21. balthisar says:

    Well, now, all we need to do is convince the people who run the burros at the Grand Canyon to get bigger ones, too.

  22. Beeker26 says:

    *waves wand*
    Fattius Eliminatus!!!

  23. dumblonde says:

    So what happens if you want to ride with someone who needs a modified seat but you don’t? They seem to assume fat people roam around in packs. Just change all the seats! Ugh the ride is not that great anyway. It gave me horrible motion sickness and it broke down.

  24. kcee911@yahoo.com says:

    Apparently, people don’t seem to understand that it wasn’t just “obese” people who didn’t fit on this ride. A body builder wouldn’t fit on this ride. Someone with broad shoulders, someone who is very tall, or someone with large breasts wouldn’t fit on this ride. The new seats make this new ride more accessible to so many people. Someone who is very obese still won’t fit in the modified seats. Also, thinking that making a few larger seats on a ride at Universal Studios is aiding the obesity epidemic is just ridiculous. If people want to diet, they’ll diet. If they don’t, that’s their decision to make. Having these larger seats doesn’t change the ride for average or smaller sized people. It just makes it more enjoyable for everyone. People need to stop being so closed minded and realize that people come in all shapes and sizes.

  25. kataisa says:

    One Harry Potter fan had previously been so disappointed at being turned away for his size that he began a diet and launched a blog to share his progress.

    Bingo! That’s exactly what should be happening here. Instead of Disney accompanying all the fatties who render rides dangerous because of their extra weight, maybe the big people should accommodate Disney by losing some weight so that they can safely use the rides?

  26. scotchguard says:

    The only comment I have is that when my family traveled to DisneyWorld to go to the new Harry Potter park, the main HP ride was broken down all day and I didn’t get to ride. :(

    Doesn’t matter what the size of the seat is if the whole ride’s broken. I’ve heard this ride breaks down a little too frequently.