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.

77 Comments

  1. My Cousin is….. obese. He probably ways more than 260. He might be the largest person on my mother’s side of the family. We went to Carowinds and he could not ride Intimidator because he has….. well I guess a beer belly or something. Anyways while I did feel bad for him for not fitting in the seat, I stopped feeling any sympathy because he and his friend SPIT on the Hurler and it landed on some lady’s forhead. It’s just sad to see people who can’t fit in certain rides at theme parks. I went to Over Georgia over the summer and there was a rather large family who skipped the Dahlonega Mine Train (and they missed out on alot because that coaster is amazing!) because they couldn’t fit. Maybe the government should look into funding for seats get large people into rides.

  2. Does anyone know anything about Seaworld in Orlando?

  3. If you are overweight, please keep in mind that some of the rides with only lapbars may close and lock but may be positioned incorrectly (on your stomach instead of actually on your lap). On airtime hills, the stomach can shift out from under the lapbar, effectively rendering your lapbar useless. This has caused injury and death on some roller coasters. I used to worry about this when I was heavier than 200 pounds, and I’m really not trying to be rude, I really do worry about it for people sometimes.

    A few tips on riding though: B&M roller coasters DO tend to offer a roomier seat, and I haven’t seen too many people get turned away from their coasters. Intamin’s OTSR coasters seem to fit heavier people better than some of their lapbar-only rides (Intamin’s sizing IS much more restrictive in general). Many old wooden coasters with buzz bars and no seat dividers are friendly for larger guests as well. If you don’t know what type of restraints/trains are used on rides, I would definitely find out what coasters are available at the parks and look up pictures of the trains to get a better idea as to what to expect for seating.

  4. hi, im worried this summer in like a month and a half my friends and I are going to six flags in new jersey. im about 6 foot and weigh 385. my friends 6’5 and 260. im afraid that wed get there and not ride the rides. please give me some tips. most of my weight is around my stomach and my legs. I was able to fit into the denominator at dorney park and hydra at dorney. so tips please

    • Rayven, you may want to call or write the park ahead of time with your concerns. Remember that the issues come from your SIZE, not your WEIGHT. You need to accurately measure your chest and waist and contact the park, and get their feedback. However, bear in mind that they exist to make money, so they may simply say “come and try the test seats before getting on each ride” so you’ll still come and pay to get in the park.

  5. Bizarro (similar to Hydra at Dorney) has 2 “big boy seats” in the center of the train. Forget about El Toro … gonna be way too tight!

  6. I’m an ex college football player, 6′ and about 315lbs. None of my dimensions fit the cedar point breakdown and now I don’t think I’m gonna go. I love riding coasters but I refuse to pay the money just to be told I can’t ride anything. 44-46″ waiste and 56″ chest. This has got to be discrimination of some sort.

  7. People also need to remember that men and women are going to have different issues. With women, it’s usually the width of the hips and butt. With guys, it’s usually the belly. So a 300 lb guy might be able to fit on something, but a 250 lb girl with really big hips won’t be able to. Not fair, but it is what it is!

  8. I went to Carowinds today in nc an I am around a 24-26 in women’s clothing an I had trouble on almost all rides today which were 4 and I couldn’t ride the brand new one called Fury 325. They have the same seats as the intimidator but they have the green light that tells you on the test seat if you can ride because I use to be able to ride the intimidator but they would have to push down the lapbar. It’s unfair I think bigger people like adrenaline too not everyone is a stick. I thought it was the law that they had to have lap belts not just bars on the rides.

  9. Does anyone know about the Rampage at Alabama adventures? I’m 6’0 about 300, and wear a size 42. Does anyone know about any weight restriction there?

  10. anyone know about The new Fury at Carowinds. I am larger in the thighs and this seems to be a problem for those kind of restraints like on The Fury. I can ride the afterburn but not the intimidator. Crazy, because I see people larger than me getting on the ride but I believe they are larger on the top and have smaller legs.

    • Shelia, from what I can tell, Fury has the exact same seats as Intimidator.

  11. I went to Six Flags Great America last weekend and was unable to ride the rollercoasters. I was taken off of V2 because the safety harness would not close. I then tried the tester seat for the Demon and again the safety harness would not close. I ended up not trying any other rides as i was extremely upset. I am about 250 lbs and a size 18. I am big in the chest area but never thought I was too big to ride a rollercoaster.

  12. Im going to Seaworld and I’ve looked everywhere to find out about size limits on rides and can’t find any.Does anyone have any experience in What rides a 280 pound women can ride on. I really don’t want to do the walk of shame or have to sit in a tester seat.

  13. I’m a young woman about 5’4″ and 235 lbs, and we’re headed to cedar point in a couple days. Should I be worried about seats? My weight is pretty evenly distributed between chest stomach and thighs( 46, 46, 54) and I’m nervous. Any suggestions or experiences?

    • Hi i was wondering how it went for u at cedar pointe? Im going tues with a skinny friend and my son and im nervous i wont fit… is their any rides i should just steer clear from?

  14. goin to Silver Dollar City next month. I have recently gained 23 lbs and I’m terrified! I was 202 and now I’m 223 and busty. I’m 5’2″. I’m going with my brother and his five children and I will be be SO embarrassed if I can’t fit 🙁

  15. Six Flags Great America Gurnee IL
    I have wide hips which was a problem for fitting into the seats for Batman and Raging Bull (Raging Bull I could wedge in, but very uncomfortably). There was no problem for the water rides (raging Rapids, log/boat rides) Superman, or the Whizzer. There was no test seat for The American Eagle, the Demon or Vertical Velocity, so I did not try them. I wear a size 16, and carry it in my hips. There were many people larger than myself who were able to ride. Men with small hips and large gut areas were fine.
    There were no rows of larger seats that were talked about in other locations.

  16. Don’t feel bad guys. I had the same problem at Dollywood with the mine and eagle ride. I was able to get on eagle, but not the mine ride. I was watching off to the sides and realized that the back rails do not raise on those rides like they should to accommodate larger passengers. Its not your fault. I’m 5’9 286 lbs. I have an unusually long back and short legs and I have been made aware that seats raise upwards and open up, but the ones at Dollywood do not raise. Thats why I didnt fit. I’m really not a round person, and even my cousins wondered why I couldn’t fit. When I sat next to my cousins I towered over him because of my back length, but standing next to him I’m the same height. Don’t feel bad.

  17. I am a 5’4″ 250 lb 18 year old girl, and I am planning on going to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg VA. I know I will be able to fit the larger person seats on Griffon, but what about the other rides? I will be going with my mom, two younger brothers, and boyfriend, all of which are skinny and fit. I will b working to lose weight but we are going in about a month. what rides are able to fit me?! I know Appllos Chariot is out, I barely fit that when I was 170 pounds (Even as a somewhat smaller girl, I was just a bit overweight, I have huge thighs and the lap holder thing barely set down on them. I know it wont close now so that’s a no for me!)

  18. i got to ride the new ride at busch gardens williamsburg, tempesto. and im 6 ft tall and weigh 300 pounds,they had to get a seatbelt extender which i thought was great they had 😀 also i got to ride loch ness monster and verbolten. i couldnt fit into a few rides like alpengeist and apollos chariot. some of the rides have wider seats butthey really arent that much help when the seatbelts are too short

  19. im taking my brother to darrien lake in ny and he 300lb does anyone know if there are any roller coasters he could go on.

  20. I am 300 lbs and I am going to silverwood any tips

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