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Leg room on attractions is an issue for riders with disabilities

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Published: July 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Leg room in a ride vehicle is something that anyone with no mobility with their legs cares about when deciding which attraction to ride. If the space for the legs is too narrow, it could mean a very hard transfer. I will give some examples of wide and narrow leg rooms.

Splash Mountain has a very narrow leg room; so much so that even ambulatory people have to put their feet over the seat to get into the log. Pirates of the Caribbean, on the other hand, has a much wider leg room, so getting in is much easier.

New rides tend to have more leg room than old ones; Tomorrowland’s Speedway has a very narrow seating, but Radiator Springs Racer and Test Track is wider. Although, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s seating looks like it was made for dwarfs.

The best rides are the ones that don’t have space limits for the legs; Soaring and Forbidden Journey comes to mind. The worst are the log flumes as mentioned above.

As someone with no mobility on my legs, sometimes I wish I didn’t have them – that way I could ride Splash Mountain, but of course that is a crazy thought.

If you are interested to know if the leg room will be a problem for you before going to a Disney park, go to allears.net where there is a link to the attraction’s seating photo gallery.

Readers' Opinions

From Tracy Bates on July 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM
7 dwarfs has a really small ride vehicle. My wife has a knee injury and can't bend it much so she couldn't ride that one because of the lack of legroom. (And was deeply disappointed.)
From Anon Mouse on July 2, 2014 at 11:44 AM
Leg room is a problem regardless of disability. People are generally getting larger and fatter. I'm a tall person. Most seats are rather uncomfortable. Thus, the older rides with the smaller vehicles are a problem. As Disney retrofits older rides with new tracks and vehicles, they can alleviate the situation, but nothing will truly fix the problem. Only new rides seem to resolve the situation.
From James Trexen on July 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Dudley Do-Right has the worst leg room on any ride, ever. I love the attraction, but have to hurdle obstacles for it.
From Robert Niles on July 2, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Throwing fuel onto the flames... Matterhorn Bobsleds (post-refurb), anyone?
From 76.231.145.106 on July 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM
I agree with Robert - Matterhorn in DLR
From 31.51.15.175 on July 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM
The Cars ride in Disneyland Paris has hardly any leg room, especially in the front seats!
From 131.247.226.43 on July 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM
Here's a list of rides that I have trouble fitting on due to legroom. (I'm 6'6".)

Barnstormer (then again, it was made for children, I guess)
it's a small world (every row but the front; I only fit in other rows if I sit sideways)
Magic Carpets of Aladdin (the joystick gets in my way)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (back row seems worse; getting the bar down is kind of awkward, I either have to put the center bar it between my legs if I'm riding solo or be squished on one side if I'm riding with a friend)
Pirates of the Caribbean (every row but the front; the new boats have a place to put just my feet underneath the bench in front, so I can actually sit in other rows now)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain (even the front rows)
Splash Mountain (getting in is difficult but I can get the lap bar down easily)
Tomorrowland Speedway (getting in is very hard but I can actually get to the pedal if I sit with my knees up)

Gran Fiesta Tour (every row but the front; same as small world)
Maelstrom (every row but the front; kind of the same issue as small world and Gran Fiesta Tour, but different boat)
Spaceship Earth (I have more legroom in the back, but my knees always touch the seat in front of me, so I usually sit sideways)
Test Track (I cannot sit in the back rows, but front rows have more legroom because there's no bench in front)

Rock n Roller Coaster (I could fit in the legroom rows [1 and 7? I haven't been on in years] and the other rows were a tight squeeze; this was mostly a torso height problem for me)
Star Tours (not that bad, but I prefer sitting in the last seat of the back row so I can put my legs out in front of me)

From 184.35.5.144 on July 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM
Forbidden Journey is not designed for larger people. If you have a large belly you can forget this ride and it is one of the newer rides. I wish designers would consider all sizes and situations when designing ride cars. We all come to these parks for one reason, FUN!!!!!!!
From 71.0.64.66 on July 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM
Every time I ride Jurrasic Park my legs and knees are smashed by the big drop at the end. EVERY TIME! Why do I still ride it?
From 38.103.208.34 on July 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM
I have room issues on the Superman coaster cars at SFNE & Darien Lakes there is NO leg room whatsoever! My shins and knees got squished & bashed pretty good b/c of the strange restraints.

I alsi had issues with Georgia Cyclone coaster at SFOG & the new trains on the Arkansas Twister b/c the seats were more narrow & I had a very difficult time squishing in there & Road Runner Express at SFFTx...a bit too short for me, I had to spread my knees sideways to fit.

Also I detest the new cars/restraints for the remodeled Iron Rattler at SFFTx. Nothing to hold on to except a knob in between the legs & the lap bar barely fit b/c I'm a taller person, my legs had no room so my knees had to either bend sideways or be raised up where the lap bar wouldn't fit well. NOT comfortable! I'm not planning on riding it again.

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