According to WebMD the percent of Americans who are obese has now reached 26%. And, the percent who are either obese or overweight is now at an alarming 63%. This trend means that more and more guests will be too large to be safely seated on some theme park attractions. If restraints like lap bars and over-the-shoulder harnesses do not fit correctly, riders could be in danger. Last month, guests were turned away just as they were about to ride the new Forbidden Journey ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
… according to some Harry Potter lovers, pudgy muggles — those who weigh about 265 pounds or more — are getting tossed from line at the most-hyped ride in Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park. – AOL News
Both roller coaster enthusiasts and average theme park-goers could find themselves in a similar situation. Thankfully, The Fat Girl’s Guide to Living has written a number of theme park tips for larger guests. The writer recounts an early memory of riding Cedar Point’s Magnum in it’s second season. Then she gets into tips like educating yourself on amusement park ride policies and size and weight restrictions.
For example see Cedar Point’s “Guests with Exceptional Size” section of their Rider Safety Guide:
“Due to rider restraint system requirements, guests of exceptional size may not be accommodated on some of our rides. This may apply, but not be limited to, guests who exceed 6′2″ or those who exceed 225 pounds, have a 40″ waistline or 52″ chest or females who exceed 200 pounds or wear a size 18 or larger.
Our larger guests may experience difficulty on Blue Streak, Chaos, Corkscrew, Disaster Transport, Mantis, Maverick, maXair, Mean Streak, Millennium Force, Mine Ride, Power Tower, Raptor, Skyhawk, Top Thrill Dragster, Wave Swinger and Wicked Twister.”
She also mentions the test seats placed in front of the queues of many roller coasters these days. I never really thought about them, but test seats (like this one in front of Intimidator) could definitely prove useful. This particular test seat had a light that needed to turn green before you knew that you could fit safely. The article’s author continues the article by mention non-ride things to do at amusement parks like shows and possibly less restrictive rides like bumpers cars.
What’s Your Take?
Are you an overweight or obese theme park fan? Do you have tips for overweight guests visiting theme parks? Leave a comment below.