I don't care it people are embarrassed to sit in the test seat, that's what there there for. If you can't fit in the ride and are to insecure to try the test seat don't complain. It's not your right to ride roller coaster. These people have made a personal choice to be overweight don't make the rest of us pay for it.
You know, I know that I am heavy, but I do not need a reminder in front of strangers, probably the worst kind of embarassment at a theme park. Damm right they should change these roller coasters if they can. Either that or get test seats outside of the ride. The whole point is there is nothing like that. Also, I am a little heavy, but not morbidly obese and I do not fit too well in some of the roller coasters. Its a big problem and I think that the theme park industry needs to fix it for the future rides if at all possible.
Sports stadiums are doing the same thing. Seat in a seat at Fenway or Wrigley, then compare those to a modern stadium like Coors. Modern ballparks, even the "throwback" designs, are huge, thanks to the need for wider seats, aisles and concourses. People from 2007 simply do not fit in seats designed for people from 1910.
Complain all you want. Lose the weight yourself, if you wish. But if you want theme parks to stay in business (and I certainly do!), then you ought to be pleased to see parks doing the things that they need to do to appeal to a larger number of customers.
There are a select few rides out there, though that do seem a bit small. My only size limitation, if any, is being too small at 5'2". But one type of seat in particular, Ghostrider at Knott's Berry Farm, seems tight. I'm surprised how anyone bigger than me (which is pretty much everyone) can ride in it.
People that have closed minds and only see things from one point need to think before sounding off.
Also, the whole "not all of them can help it" excuse doesn't float. Maybe 2-3% of these people have a medical condition that causes there obesity. Your not going to make me feel bad by saying they can't help it.
Does it bother me when I go to Busch Gardens and see the "larger seats" for overweight people? Yes it does because that just shows American culture is conforming to a problem in a way that it thinks is the best solutions. It's like putting a bandaid on a knife wound, it's only going to get worse. Next they'll be making every seat on every train to fit larger people. What happens to us average or smaller sized people? More injuries will start to show up, both in the average/small size Americans as well as the overweight. Reason being that the average/small size Americans will have too much room to move around during the ride and that heavyweight people will be crammed into a ride that their body isn't designed for. Not to mention, allowing them larger seats on a ride is only allowing this health risk to continue.
Lastly, all of these changes to accomodate are coming right back at us. With parks having to spend more money on "alterations," there goes their budjet for new rides. You know where they get all the money when their budjet runs out? Ticket sales, so not only are people getting fatter America, but everyone's wallet will only become anorexic because of theme parks and amusement parks.
P.S. - Before any retaliation comes my way, yes I have not fit on a ride before. I have plenty of friends who are overweight but they are all trying to do something about it because they want to be able to go out and do stuff again. If everyone works together, we can stop this issue of overweight. If someone's overweight, don't sit there and laugh or talk behind their back, be polite. They are intelligent and the comments don't help them. If everyone was a little more supportive, we could change a lot of things.
Yes, most folks, even overweight and some obese ones, can fit on to many theme park attractions. But weight loads take their toll on ride systems. And being able to put just three people in a boat row, as opposed to four, for example, affects ride capacity and wait times.
The Small World example is appropriate. Perhaps it helps some readers to think about what Disney is doing not as an accommodation for "fat people," but as prevention for ride downtimes. Either Disney does that, or everyone continues to suffer through increasing downtimes... or Disney puts scales at the entrance and starts turning away people over a certain weight.
Roller coasters aren't the main issue here, to be frank. Sure, that's where you see the sample seats and plus-sized seats. But there comes a point where weight and body mass correlate strongly with the heart and circulatory problems that endanger people who go on high-G-force thrill rides. And seat sizes can be an effective way of screening out riders who would be at risk.
G forces are not an issue on dark rides, boat rides and in theater shows. Capacity and visitor satisfaction are. For *those* reasons, parks are going to have to deal with what is happening in society, and adjust in an effort to retain and expand their market share.
Back to the financial aspect. The reason I say it "might" be a good move is because I have my doubts. Obese person much more likely to have heart problems. High intensity thrill rides may not be suitable for these persons. Does the potential for lawsuits from the families who could be hurt by a obese loved one being seriously injured or dying outweigh the possible financial gains. It's not a risk I would want to take, but that's also why I'm not a CEO.
Finally, I do agree all rides should have a test car or harness before you enter a line. People who can't fit the ride only slow down the line and cause embarrassment.
this idea could save a lot of money because they would only have to change a few cars, and not the whole ride system.