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Plus-sized Problems in Harry Potter Theme Park?

HollywoodNews.com: It has been almost a week since the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the reviews from fans and critics alike have been mostly positive. Much has been said about the overall feel of the park, the authenticity and the care and detail that went into making the park a fully immersive experience into the world of Harry Potter.

However, there have been some reports from fans and critics in regard to the apparent size restrictions for the main attraction, the Forbidden Journey ride. The first known report came from HPANA fan site creator Jeff Guillaume, who commented that due to his size and stature he was unable to ride. This was followed by reports from other fans who stated that they, too, could not fit the rides. However, it has been difficult to determine just what the actual restrictions are: the ride itself only states a height requirement of 48″ minimum, and there has been no weight limit posted. The question of fitting into the rides seems to be a matter of girth around the abdominal area. There have also been concerns in various forums regarding women who are “top-heavy, as the ride employs an over-the-shoulder harness method to keep riders in their seats.

Riders can test the seats themselves; there are two “tester” seats within the queue for the Forbidden Journey ride, in which potential riders can check to see if the ride’s 3-lock safety mechanism will allow them to comfortably fit in the seat. It is not known at this time whether or not Universal will eventually adjust the seats to accomodate heavier patrons.

What do you think? Should the seats be adjusted, or kept as they are? I, for one, will be stepping up my exercise program for the next few weeks, as I will be visiting the park next month and have no plans to miss out on this ride.

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  • June 29, 2010 | Permalink |

    It’s not necessarily just the weight, it the size for the shape of the restraint. I’ve been to Universal several times and have had to use the alternate seats in both roller coasters because I am barrel chested. While each seat has some top weight limit, it also must stay within some center of gravity limit for the arms. I don’t think the engineers were thinking, “Hey, Americans are too fat. Let’s keep them off our ride as punishment!”

    However, it was just plain stupid of management to not insist on a separate bench with only 3 seats with larger restraints designed for slightly larger sized torsos. Even if it just allowed another 5 – 10 percent of the guests to ride, it would show they were aware customers come in all sizes. Think of all the positive good will they would have generated. If even most of these folks are overweight, they are folks with disposable income in a tight economy. Not a smart use of that mega million investment.

    We were going to come down in the Fall. Now we will wait and see what Universal does.

  • July 5, 2010 | Permalink |

    We just got back from Universal. I was able to go on the Forbidden Journey ride (and I loved it), but I was a bit concerned prior to going since I read about someone who could not fit on the ride. The Dragon Challenge ride does have several seats in 2 rows that accommodate larger guests. For the Forbidden Journey ride, I would say that if you are over 260 lbs (that’s a number someone else quoted) and are not extremely tall, you may have issues if you are “apple” shaped.

  • July 7, 2012 | Permalink |

    So I have to pay over $300 to not fit in the rides? Or have to lose 50 lbs to MAYBE fit in them. They should have something on their website saying what the weight limit is for the seats.

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