Amusement Park Tips for Overweight Guests

Theme Park Tips

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 Roller Coaster Test Seatspounds, 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.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

81 Comments

  1. I know I didn’t fit on Top thrill Dragster at Cedar point, close but no cigar, butt too big for seat belt. Millenium force, I didn’t check. Wasn’t even Close. I didn’t try Top thrill today. Tomorrow at Carowinds, hope I fit in Fury 325. If not I’ll lose 40 pounds and come back next year if my back survives this year.
    it’s not the weight, it’s the distribution, my weight in butt and thighs 🙁 (yea it’s weight too – used to be 107 – need to get back to 115-120)

    Reply
    • I understand the hip and butt problem they need to make the seats and restraints better

      Reply
  2. We went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – Vallejo today. My daughter and I are both 5’5″ ish, 220 lbs-ish and 46-48″ around the biggest part of our middles.

    We fit easily on every ride including Medusa (row 4 which is supposedly roomier) and Superman.

    The only ride we didn’t try was Kong because it was the end of the day and a 30 minute wait with fastpass.

    Reply
  3. I’m 5’1 and 240 lbs…AND top heavy 🙁 Will I have issues at Kings Island?? HELP! I’m going tomorrow!

    Reply
  4. im going to Michigan adventure in a couple days I’m 300lbs 5″4 not sure if I will fit in the rides! Anyone know anything?

    Reply
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  6. am going to knott’s and am scared that am not going to fit. am 5’3 and weight 260 pound am size 18 o 19 do you think am going to fit??

    Reply
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  8. My fiancé and I went to Universal last spring to experience the wizarding world. We were extremely disappointed that we only fit on one of the Harry Potter rides. My fiancé is 6’4 and 250 pounds. It almost ruined our entire vacation that we couldn’t ride anything we made the trip to ride.

    Reply
  9. I don’t get to many amusement parks, but I love them when I get the chance to go! I am 5’6 and am 315lbs (currently)
    Disneyworld- I’ve been able to ride everything at Disney! Seven Mines and Test Track are tight, but doable.
    Disneyland- Radiator Springs and Matterhorne were uncomfortable at times.
    Busch Gardens Tampa- I was 280’s the only roller coaster I could do was Cheetah Run. Every other one was way too small. The water ride were all fine and Falcons Fury was fine too!
    Universal – 280’s I could do everything except Hulk and Rip Rocket. At 315 I couldn’t do any Harry Potter rides except Flight of the Hippogrifth.

    Reply
  10. Carowinds in charlotte NC is not a fat friendly park. They have all these rides that are made for people 200 pounds or lighter im 320 6 foot 1 and I have trouble getting on rides but it would make it better if they actually made the seat belts adjustable. Most of the restraints are very picky and they need to make it more for people that are stocky or muscular

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  11. I’m a female, 5’4 tall, 200 lbs, and I have large breasts. Honestly I’m terrified that I wouldn’t fit on roller coasteds.

    Reply
  12. Hi I’m 5/5 and 300 lbs. I’m taking my boys to great America six flags and was wondering if anyone knows if I will be able to fit on some rides and what ones. Thank u

    Reply
    • I went yesterday… I’m 5’4 and 317 and I could only rife the whizzler the water rides and the Gotham city roller coaster was a right fit

      Reply
  13. We went to Cedar Point and could not ride but the wooden rides. My husband is 6’8 and we are bigger but Have seen many other bigger then us but if your a women with a bit or hips at all they don’t work. They can make these rides without arm rest and longer seat belts it will still be safe. It was a very sad day for us. Yes we need to lose weight but like to have fun to. Some adjustments on the seats and they could fit everyone.

    Reply
  14. Went to Hersheypark over the weekend. The rides with shoulder harnesses are not very forgiving for those with a larger bust. I’m not skinny, but I fit fine in the the test seat until I tried to pull the shoulder harness down and buckle it. The only two coasters I tried the test seat for were Ferinhiet and Great Bear … both were a no go …

    Laff Track was another issue. The seats are small and low, so the lap bar won’t go down if you have a bit of belly or longer legs / thicker thighs. They have test seat too.

    I was able to ride the Racer and the Wildcat though the lap bars on those were snug.

    I’m 5’4″ and about 250 lbs and pretty poportional … If you read their site it says guests around 300 pounds or tall will have problems with some rides.

    I was at Disney World this year and had no issues with any of their rides. Nothing was too tight or small … all the coasters there were fine, the new Avatrar Flight Passage was fine , Mine Train was fine … and they say Flight of Passage and Mine Train can be an issue for larger riders.

    So I was a bit disappointed in Hershey’s lack of taking into consideration a little bit chubby or busty or tall people … there were guys who couldn’t ride because they were too tall for the harnesses, but then there were larger guys who could ride because they don’t have their bust to worry about with the shoulder harnesses.

    I watched quite a few people try the test seats out and have to walk away. I have never had issue with shoulder harnesses not fitting before …

    Reply
  15. We went to carowinds in Charlotte, NC today and my friend who is not that heavy could not ride most of the rides…we’ve gone every year and have not changed sizes, but this year it seemed the harnesses were all adjusted to only child sizes. He had two clicks on the harness and felt fine to ride but the belts were too short. Some of the staff was rude when they wanted him to get off. I was ok to ride but out of respect, I got off too..not gonna be a jerk and still ride when my friend had to do the walk of shame…I’m not overweight and some rides were still a little snug. We did get to ride fury and that was awesome. The test seat was broken so it was a roll of the dice, but we got to ride. Pretty disappointed as some very small kids were allowed to ride but we could not. Do not think we will visit again after this. Not every person is a size 0 so some adjustments should be made for adults who are larger but still ok to ride other than the child size restraints. Also line jumping seems to be a huge problem but the staff lets it go on. We had 6 teens jump in front of us by going under the railings right by an attendant and she did nothing. Was kinda pissed because we were waiting in line a good amount of time….not cool Carowinds, not at all

    Reply

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