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Size issues at Busch Gardens Tampa?

Busch Gardens Tampa: Is a size 18 too big for the coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa?

From Pineapple Princess
Posted February 18, 2005 at 6:51 PM
HI! I am new to the Tampa area, and hopefully this weekend we will be visiting Busch Gardens. I am slightly worried however because last summer, I had issues at Knotts Berry Farm due to size issues. I am a size 18 and was unable to fit on a few of the rides, and it was horrible. I am now concerned that this might happen again. Is there anyone out there, perhaps around my size or larger who can tell me if this is a worry I should have? Should I even bother going because I just won't fit on the coasters there?? I need some heads up. Thanks!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Ken Martin
Posted February 18, 2005 at 8:47 PM
I am sorry to say that rides are not designed by size other than adult or child. Some parks are placing size chairs at the entrance to a ride. How you fit will depending on your body size. Some people have large chest and hips. Some are large around the middle. There are so many variations as each ride is as individual as we are.

Make do mistake, people large and small have been ejected from rides. Please don't be embrassed if you don't fit and keep in mind you might have to sit in the ride to see if you fit.

Please remember safety first.

From Michelle Pilling
Posted February 19, 2005 at 7:18 AM
I know what you mean, both my husband and myself are of the larger size, i found it hard fitting into rides, I panic if they can't put the belts on before the rides. I found no problems during trips to the U.S.A, only in europe at smaller parks.

From Pineapple Princess
Posted February 21, 2005 at 8:53 AM
I thought I would say something about the trip, since there might be someone out there wondering the same thing I was wondering.
I had no problem on any of the coasters. THANK GOODNESS!
I know that people are all shapes and whatnot, but sizes are standard(to a point) To fit into a size 18 you have to have the measurement to fit kwim?
The average Americian woman is a size 14, so I am no farther off average than a size 10.
Anyway, I saw many people larger than I am on the coasters too, and I am SO happy to say that Busch Gardens Tampa isn't anywhere close to being larger sized unfriendly as Knotts Berry Farm. Heck, my husband, with a size 36 waist didn't fit one of the coasters there.

From Jason Moore
Posted February 22, 2005 at 9:22 AM
I believe they even have specific seats on certain coasters which are better equipped to handle larger size guests. I went with a friend who happens to be quite large in the chest and she fit fine once she was placed in the "special" seat.

From lizzy slatton
Posted April 23, 2005 at 4:43 PM
yes i live in the tampa area and comgraulations on your move but Busch Garden does have size frindly seats and i think there closer to the front of the ride but dont quote me on that

From gabby hodgins
Posted July 31, 2006 at 1:36 PM
Yes, you will be able to go on all the rides

From Becky Clubbs
Posted April 16, 2007 at 1:09 PM
I know this post is old, but if you still check this account, I would appreciate a response. I had the crappy experience this weekend of not fitting onto the Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City. I am now on a diet/weight loss program because not fitting onto theme park rides is a pretty big motivator for me.

Anyway, I am a size 22/24. I am coming to FL in June and plan on going to Busch Gardens. I am just wondering if you think I will have any trouble fitting on the rides. Thanks for any help you can give.

From Erik Yates
Posted April 17, 2007 at 3:54 AM
Becky, my wife is also of the same size you are and she has no problems in the "modified" seating that all coasters at BGT have. I'm not sure exactly which rows have the seats, but I do know on Sheikra its the middle row on each car. The modified seats are wider and have two buckles.

From marcus beuro
Posted May 18, 2007 at 9:19 AM
At bush gardens africa rides such as shekra, have a belt extention, so if you can not fit into the seat just rais your hand and they will bring over the extention, you may also want to look for the signs in the line indicating the larger seated row. I have to do this all the time at bush gardens.

From Becky Clubbs
Posted June 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM
Just wanted to update. I went to the park and had no problems. I didn't even have to sit in the bigger seats - which suprised me. Sheikra and Lion roller coasters were both closed, so I don't know about them. I was pretty disappointed - Sheikra looks like an awesome coaster!!

From Christy Shuman
Posted June 16, 2007 at 6:10 AM
I am a size 16 and was worried about the same thing for BGE and I had no problems either, and did not need to use the bigger seats. I rode griffon at BGE this past week and had no problems so you probably wont have any problems with Sheikra. Awesome ride by the way.

From Eduardo Ponzoni
Posted December 9, 2008 at 4:47 AM
Hello guys!

My name is Eduardo and I am from Brazil.
I'm going to Orlando next week and I am worried about it because of my weight.

I am 5'74 height and 286 lbs.

Everybody is saying that bacause of my weight I will not be able to go into any attractions in Walt Disney World, Universal and Busch Gardens. Is it true? Can you tell me something about it?

Thank you so much!

From Vic Oneal
Posted December 4, 2009 at 9:57 AM
I know this response is late, but this is just a reference for others who have concerns in the future as i did with the waist sizes.

I fit comfortably in a xl/xxl size and weigh roughly 17 stones. i wear 38 trousers that fit comfortably, but also fit in a 40 and 42 also.

Thanksgiving '09 i went to busch gardens, sea world, universal studios and island of adventures. I went on ALL the extreme rides (meaning upside down and big drops types) and at the end of it all, i didnt have much trouble.

The best test is to go on the hulk ride of island of adventure as that definately was the tightest squeeze of the normal seating (however they did have the special seatings if u didnt fit in the normal seats)

The seaworld rides (manta and karken) i had absolutely no trouble getting into and this park definately put thought for the bigger guys and an xxl would still fit on these seats comfortably, also these are two of the best rides in orlando!

Busch gardens rides were all fine, sheikra was fine and also included special seats if needed but i didnt need it (last row, third seat was one of them).
Kumba was the tightest squeeze but manage to fit on it after a few sucking in of the stomach. Montu and the rest of the big rides were fine, not as bad as a kumba squeeze but not as forgiving as shiekra.
I was shocked that i managed to fit in the older rides (the swinging boat that goes upside down and the wooden rollercoasters) and EVEN the kiddy rides (such as cheetah chase) this was because it was either a pull down bar or it was the old method of the shoulder guards but i was more comfy in these rides than the extreme rides.

Universal Studios/Island of Adventures most of the extreme rides were a tight squeeze but also had specific rows with the special seating. The special seatings were on rows 3 and 6. These special seatings felt like it would fit an xxl to xxxl guy (on a loose fitting of xxxl) not anymore than that im afriad. Theres always staff just before the ride entrance so just ask where the special seating is if they have any.

As i said, hulk was the tightest squeeze out of the whole 4 parks, dueling dragons was abit more forgiving but also a tight squeeze, it did have special seating aswell and rock it ride was also fine, it was as loose as the sea world rides. all the other rides were fine to get onto.

Hope this helps future park riders!

From Jen Hern
Posted September 26, 2010 at 9:28 AM
so the seats are fairly roomy? b/c my chest is quite large and im a woman.

From AC Maurer
Posted October 11, 2010 at 8:37 PM
As a former ride operator, there isn't a particular clothing size that can or cannot ride. It all depends on if you can safely fit in a particular harness. If you are large on top and small on the bottom, you may be able to ride coasters with a lap bar type harness, but not a coaster with a harness that goes over your head. If you are worried about whether or not you can fit, most coasters have "test seats" at the entrance that you can try out before you get in line, and the ride operator at the entrance can help determine if you can ride or not. Otherwise, you might wait in line just to find out you can't ride. Telling people they can't ride is no fun for anyone. Operators try to be discreet as possible but sometimes it is awkward, but it's nothing personal, just safety.

From Angela D'Amelio
Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:35 AM
I know this post is old, but I wanted to comment anyway...right before I email Busch Gardens. I went to Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa with my husband this weekend, and needless to say that we were very unhappy with the rides. I am aware that I am not thin, BUT I am also not very large at all.

I am a size 16 with rounder hips and a large chest. I had to jam myself into these seats, and for half of them, I was not even in the seat throughout the ride. My husband also had issues, and he is about 20 pounds lighter than me. He tried to say it was for safety as well, but I don't buy it. When a tall child who weighs at least 100 pounds less than me plants his scrawny little rail body into the seat right before me and doesn't slip away to his death half way through the ride, my business side starts screaming from the other part of my brain.

I am aware that the smaller the seats (and yes, even by an inch or two), the more people can fit into one row of cars. The smaller the cars for a ride, the longer a ride can be in the only area big enough to be designated for a new attraction. I get all of that, but they have just lost two customers. I know it's not that big of a deal to lose two people (again, screaming business side), but I can't imagine we are the only ones, given that there were countless others who were much bigger than us who would clearly not be able to wedge into any rides at all.

Even if I miraculously became skinny, the Busch Corporation can rest assured, we will not be back. That is very insensitive and rude to leave out so many from enjoying the rides.

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