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Seatbelt Overzealous Cedar Point, Any Problems Riding and Does it prevent you from going to the park?

Cedar Point: Cedar Point and there overzealous Restraint change and Should they Build new rides that accomidate Big/Tall people?

From Gary Swanson
Posted May 18, 2008 at 9:35 PM
Everyone is talking about the Cedar Point seatbelt Requirements and how they are way overzealous, have you had any problems at the park with getting on rides and do you think they should take in consideration accomidating people that are bigger and taller in future rides they build like two rows of seats devoted to big/tall people?

I have stopped going to Cedar Point because of this problem. I was able to ride everything, then after the incident at the Six Flags where the New England man fell out of the Superman ride because of the Lap bar not being properly engaged and he happend to have a large belly, Cedar Point and many other parks changed the restraints to fit only people within a certian frame size. I returned to the park a year later only to find that I no longer could ride Mellium, TTD, and had to squeeze and struggle into Raptor, Mantis, Magnum. The only rides I did not have to squeeze into and actually enjoyed because I was not thinking of how cramped and uncomfortable was The Power Tower and MaxX Air. I was very dissatisfied with the experience, and asked Cedar Point for an explanation, and recieved an email saying it was the manufactures that set the requirement. I responded and said that why was the requirement different for 5 years prior to this year, and got a generic response. I think they are loosing alot of business because of this issue.


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

From Gary Swanson
Posted May 18, 2008 at 1:21 PM
If anyone was wondering, I am 6'3 275, former football player.

From George Abagis
Posted July 19, 2008 at 2:07 PM
well i see what ur talking about cuz when i went to cedar point the seat belt for TTD AND Millennium
were a very tight fit for me but i still got on. they should make a special section. just because a guy fell out of a ride in SFNE cuz the lap bar faild
doesn't mean that if that happened to a "skinny" person he wouldn't fall out. that does make me angry
i think they should go back to the old way they put people in the cart.

From steve lee
Posted July 19, 2008 at 7:58 PM
Don't Raptor and Mantis have the "big boy" seats, or were they built before B&M started putting them on?

From Derek Potter
Posted July 19, 2008 at 9:54 PM
The ones that most people have issue with are the Intamin coasters...Millennium Force, Dragster, and Wicked Twister. Most of the other rides fit bigger people.

It's not always a weight issue with the seatbelts. It's more of a proportion issue. I'm 6'3 and run around 225-230, but I have an athletic build and a 36 inch waist. I fit into the rides fine, but someone shorter with more around the midsection would have more trouble. That's why the test seats are at the queue entrance. The B&M's at the park (Raptor, Mantis) have what are called "big seats" in a couple places on the train.

Cedar Point is following the recommendations of the ride manufacturer with their restraint policies. The restraint issue with Intamin rides came directly down from the manufacturer, and following these requirements is probably A) In the contract with the manufacturer, and B) keeps insurance costs down...not to mention increasing safety.

I understand that some are bigger by nature. Athletes are a prime example of larger framed people. They are the exception though, for the vast majority of bigger people (excluding those with illness) are big by their own doing. Obesity/being overweight is a huge problem in this country, and it's gotten to the point where we at this site have discussions on a regular basis regarding the subject of people not fitting on rides...a prime example of what's going on in the US

The bottom line, these rides are designed to go fast, climb high and spin upside down. The trains are only designed so wide, but they are designed to comfortably hold the average human being. It's unfortunate when naturally big/tall people can't make it into the seats, because in that case, it probably can't be helped. I don't mean to be too offensive here, but here comes some truth. For the other 95% of those large people out there who complain...if you don't fit, than perhaps it's time to lose weight, because not being able to fit into the seat of a roller coaster...a ride designed for a moderately healthy average sized human being... is a problem, and it's your problem.

Parks are responsible only for giving us killer rides and keeping us safe, and the size of a seat on a ride is the same size it's always been. There are big seats on a lot of rides these days anyway. It's a bummer for guys like Gary and other athletes and those with illness. Unfortunately for them, it may always be a pain. Everyone else in the complaint line, be quiet or fix the problem, because you have no case.

From hannah caller
Posted July 20, 2008 at 8:34 AM
Wow Derek kinda harsh dont you think?

Besides do athletes not get to the large frame you are on about by training??

so its just as much an athletes fault not being able to ride as someone who eats too much??

Oh and what exactly does the averange human being look like??

Some people will put on weight even looking at a chip but other people could eat 20 portions and not even put on a 1lb.

why shouldn't parks try and ensure that all can ride, the Hulk (IOA) has a row of seats that are made for bigger people so why cant others?

From Karin S
Posted July 20, 2008 at 8:52 AM
I know at BGA, Sheikra and Montu have seats which will accommodate larger riders and, to be honest, I am amazed at the sizes of some people at the parks. I make no judgements on their sizes since I don't know them or their medical history but I'm sure in some cases their size is self-induced.

Just curious - what exactly is an "athletic build"? Marathon runners and bicyclists tend to be thinner than some football players and bowlers and would fit easily on rides.

From Derek Potter
Posted July 20, 2008 at 7:52 PM
My term for athletic build in this case would be someone who is "in shape" and/or has muscle definition or proportion. Example, someone who is say 5'9" and 230 lbs would in many cases have more around their waist than someone over 6 feet tall and the same weight. The taller person in that case would probably have more proportion and a smaller waistline. That's not to say that runners and smaller athletes don't have a athletic build, It's just a term that I use to describe how somebody looks.

Look, I'm not trying to be on any kind of high horse or stand on a soapbox with this subject. How someone chooses to live is their business, and that is just fine with me. Some who are overweight have illnesses, and many athletes are just bigger human beings in general. Others just don't take very good care of themselves. Those who can't do much about their size have a more valid reason to be unhappy than those who can do something about it, and it's unfortunate when those who can't help their size...for whatever reason...are unable to enjoy certain rides. However, safety is the first priority with these rides, even at the expense of making some customers unhappy. That lesson was learned the hard way with the Intamin mega/giga coaster, when somebody who was 5'2" and 230 lbs with cerebral palsy rode, was thrown from, and died... on Superman at Six Flags NE.

Millennium Force at Cedar Point goes 300 feet in the air and 95 miles per hour, pulling probably around 4 G's at max. The trains have stadium seating and open sides. The restraint is a T-Bar, which according to ride specifications... (which parks follow), should be lowered to a certain point to be safe. The measuring stick for that distance is a seat belt. If it's not able to be buckled, than the T-bar isn't down far enough to be deemed safe. The seat belt is there to measure and to remove discretion from the ride ops, a measure that was put into place and enforced after the accident. In the case of this ride, a big boy seat wasn't built, and may not have even been possible in the first place. It's not any kind of a discrimination issue, it's a safety issue, and while ridemakers and parks are doing more to accomodate larger riders these days, they don't have a responsibility to do so on every attraction that they offer.

From John Jackson
Posted July 21, 2008 at 9:02 AM
Having recently visited Cedar Point, I can say that I was very disappointed to have been too big to be able to ride Millennium, Top Thrill, Wicked Twister, and Raptor due to being too large. This was my second time to visit CP and the first time I could fit in the test seat for MF, but it wasn't running. The other three were some of my favorite all time coasters. I also wish they had a row of larget seats, however, I can't blame the rides or Cedar Point. They're looking out for safety, and I'm sure fear of litigation is a factor as well.
After watching a special on Millennium Force, I made going to Cedar Point and riding MF a goal to help me lose over 200 pounds, and it worked. (though the damn thing wasn't running!) Although I had hope, after gaining 70 pounds back, when I returned this summer, I knew in my heart taht this time I would not be able to ride MF and TTD, so I have once again resurrected that goal to get to a healthier size and ride MF, and I will! (I'm a teacher so I just have to start saving pennies if I want to get up there next year again. lol) So, after a year of being away, I'm heading back to Weight Watchers this week to get started again, so next time I WILL ride MF!
BTW, I must say though, as someone who has lost and gained weight my entire life, if you believe it is all personal choice that people are obese, you have absolutely no clue. It is not like an overweight person can just get up and say, "Hey, I think I'll exercise, eat less and lose weight for the rest of my life," and then do it. It is an extremely difficult process that has to be worked on hourly throughout the day, so please be supportive of anyone you know who has this problem.

From Jeremy Palmer
Posted April 11, 2009 at 5:49 AM
I recurring isuuse I keep hearing with larger guests is "I could ride it last year." Did it ever occur to any of you that maybe you aren't the same size you were last year? All of the parks follow the manufacturer requirements and most update to the latest revision for the specs on the rides. It is in the name of safety and keeps their insurrance premiums down.

From Robert Miller
Posted April 11, 2009 at 6:58 AM
I read somewhere that the restraint devices are designed to hold a person in the seat in case they pass out on the ride. So that the more belts, bars or whatever that are there to hold you in, the more wicked the ride would be and you would be more likely thrown out if you passed out. Imagine being on a looping coaster that got stuck upside down, like some have done, and not having enough safty devices holding you in your seat.

That's why you should never try to beat the height requirement on rides, they're designed to hold a certain size person, child or adult. I assume that's why some coaster manufactures are designing big boy seats, to accommodate larger guests like you Gary and John, to keep you from falling out if you passed out for whatever reason.

And Derek, you make some valid points, and I tend to agree with you. But no safety device can hold you in, if the ride operaters don,t make sure they are properly adjusted for each person.

From Scott Polidore
Posted March 19, 2010 at 10:09 PM
jeremy, your point is way off base and wrong,friend. i didnt gain a single pound between seasons at CP and couldnt fit the dragster,mantis or raptor the next season. why? belts were shortened and seats were replaced with smaller ones.

From gino aloisio
Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:25 PM
I can appreciate everyone's opinion and all, but what I really would like info on is what "belt size" would you think these seat belt restraints go up to? 38? 40? 42? Does it depend on the ride? I don't think I'm obese, just a bigger build. I would just like to figure out if I have a fair shot of getting on these cedar point coasters. Any input is appreciated :)

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