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Forbidden Journey to get modified seats for larger patrons

Universal Orlando: Responding to criticism from patrons, park management has decided to modify the seats on the Forbidden Journey ride to acommodate larger patrons.

From Ray Karch
Posted September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM
Having myself just been rejected because the restraint would not fit over my shoulders, I am very pleased to learn that Universal is now making adjustments to allow larger patrons to enjoy the Forbidden Journey ride.


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

From Robert Niles
Posted September 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM
Got a link?

From Ray Karch
Posted September 14, 2010 at 2:38 PM
It was an Associated Press article entitled "Engorgio" (which cited Orlando Attractions Magazine as the source.) I read it on my MSN homepage "Potter ride OK for butterbeer bellies".

From Anthony Murphy
Posted September 14, 2010 at 5:05 PM
So these seats must be really restrictive then.

Is it that tight of a squeeze?

Good for them though!

From steve lee
Posted September 14, 2010 at 6:32 PM
First thing I found on Google

And one more...

From Ray Karch
Posted September 15, 2010 at 1:29 PM
Anthony,
Yes,I thought the seats were kinda small (as if they were designed only for kids.) There were quite a few people that day who were not able to ride and it was NOT always because they were too fat. Some just had broad, muscular shoulders and the restraint/harness would just not fit over them.
I can hardly wait to go back and finally do the ride.

From Terri Pierce
Posted September 16, 2010 at 8:03 PM
I am a very small adult, 4'9'' and around 95 pounds. I usually feel lose and VERY VERY small in theme park seats. Half the time I fear my life because I feel like I slip and slide all over the seat. With that said, I just got back form IOA and rode this ride twice. The seats were VERY snug on me and I didn't move at all. Actually I COULDNT move at all. They didn't tell us to take our flip flops off... and around the first turn I realized I probably should and tried to reach for them.. no not happening. Not that you're supposed to be able to do that but just stating my point.

From Javier Suarez
Posted September 29, 2010 at 9:46 AM
I wonder if larger seats will worsen sight lines, obstruct views, and make the ride less immersive. Plus they remove a terrific motivating factor for some young people to lose weight.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:35 AM
Javier: Worsen for whom? The other, "normal" sized people? Why not focus on the fact that that the modifications will allow some to experience something they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do? I'm no engineer, and haven't been on the ride, but I fail to see how modifications to the seats will ruin the ride for anyone. I'll assume you're not a particularly large fellow.

As far as your last comment goes, I admit I used Millennium Force as an incentive to lose weight...about forty pounds..several years ago. but everyone can't do that.

From Javier Suarez
Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM
I'm sorry for bringing another side to a one-sided conversation. My comment begins with "I wonder if" because the purpose of a discussion is to consider different angles. No one should feel entitled to get on all rides, especially rides themed after juvenile literature.

That's why I wonder if Universal is just being delicate with their PR and not explaining ways in which the ride would be negatively altered. As you have demonstrated, people can be so touchy. Otherwise why are the seats small in the original design? It's a fair question.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:26 PM
Javier said: "No one should feel entitled to get on all rides, especially rides themed after juvenile literature."

So I guess, as a 46 year old fan of the Potter novels, who happens to be overweight and not a juvenile, I shouldn't be entitled to ride? There's a difference between being "entitled" and being physically able.

Javier ALSO said: "As you have demonstrated, people can be so touchy."

Did I demonstrate it well, Mr. Let's Make It Personal? After all, it's all about me! Didn't you know that before you joined yesterday? I thought everyone knew that! Silly me!

From Colin Creevey
Posted September 29, 2010 at 1:30 PM
I have to say as a non American, I find it a bit strange at how upset grown adults get about not being able to get on a ride/rollercoaster. To be honest I always thought theme parks, amusement parks etc were for children and teenagers, certainly from my perspective its always been about my children and what they can get on, never about what I might want to do. I've come to realise that in Universal it seems to be more about the adults. Of course its not wrong that a 46 yr old adult might want to ride Harry Potter, I'm looking forward to it myself, but my main concern is that my 7yr old might not be tall enough to get on - he is a big harry potter fan. The outrage here and on other boards that I have read from adults not being able to ride it is, to tell the truth, a bit weird to me. Get over it, you're not little kids.
I love theme parks, but for heavens sake, get real, if you are too big/small whatever to ride an attraction, do something else.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM
Colin, you state your point well. And I'm definitely not a "little" kid..:)

I've been turned away from two rides in my life..Millennium Force in 2003 or '04, and a junior coaster at Dorney..of course that doesn't include the kiddie coasters I COULDN'T ride because I wasn't with a young child. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I've been on my share of THOSE, too!!!

From Beth Schroeder
Posted September 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM
I just have to mention that the ONLY way that kids under age get in the park is with their parents or guardians who have the money! If I'm going to pay a huge sum of money to get in the park, with or without a kid, I want to have access to everything that I want to ride because I PAID FOR IT! It is about being entitled since I PAID FOR IT. Theme parks are not just for kids. By not allowing me on a ride because of size is discrimination. Most theme park fans will tell you that it is more about the adults than the kids though the kids get catered to because the parks know that Mom and Dad want to bring their kids for a fun family vacation. Again it all comes down to money. Kids don't have money, parents do. I ride any ride I want to, though there are ones I don't choose to. The idea is that I can if I want to. Javier your prejudice is showing when you are more concerned about whether you will be impacted by a change in seat size rather than caring about whether everyone who wants to ride can if they meet the safety guidelines. If it requires a simple modification in the restraint system that accommodates a larger person then why should anybody care if the seat restraints pull out longer than they use to? Lets all have a good time at the park!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 29, 2010 at 5:03 PM
Beth said: "Javier your prejudice is showing when you are more concerned about whether you will be impacted by a change in seat size rather than caring about whether everyone who wants to ride can if they meet the safety guidelines."


That was the way I interpreted it. Prefacing it with "I wonder if" doesn't hide the intent.

From Tyler Rizzo
Posted September 29, 2010 at 5:08 PM
It is kind of funny how the "large" riders seem to be really vocal online. I am a larger guest, but I have never been to big to ride a ride. If I was, I don't think I would cry for modifications, I think I would hit the treadmill.

It's also ironic how many large theme park enthusiasts there are, considering how much exercise is involved with visiting a park.

From steve lee
Posted September 29, 2010 at 9:50 PM
Javier: "No one should feel entitled to get on all rides, especially rides themed after juvenile literature"

Interesting that you feel the need to point out that the ride with the 48 inch minimum height limitation is themed after juvenile literature...

I could say more on this, but I think everyone else has already covered the necessary terrain. Good job, everyone else!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:45 AM
Tyler:

I've often thought of that irony, because going to parks is pretty close to the only exercise I get. On a hot day, I can lose five pounds walking around a park. It's also interesting that I'm more a cold weather person, but the only time I can enjoy my favorite activity is when the temps are warmer than I'd like. Aside from the crowds, I like the Halloween events for that very reason, and also enjoy early Spring visits. I was at Dorney last year on October 17th, and Hershey on Halloween AND Thanksgiving weekend (no coasters open on the latter date, though.) I froze my __ off and had a blast. A couple of years ago, I went to GAdv in late March/Early April in 30 degree weather under threat of a blizzard, and got 26 rides on Toro in about an hour and a half. Also, for the only time in my life, rode a coaster in a snow squall! Runaway Train, and I was the only rider!

From Carlos M
Posted October 3, 2010 at 8:10 AM
Regardless of how big or small someone is, I think as an PAYING adult, I should be able to ride EVERYTHING I want to!! This is not a $9.99 park!!! If I am paying good money per person, then I should be able to enjoy every ride and thrill it has to offer!

From Ray Karch
Posted June 8, 2011 at 7:56 AM
My wife and I finally got back to IOA. I rode Forbidden Journey twice (in a row.) It was excellent. I especially enjoyed the sensation of flying and following after Harry. My thanks to Universal Orlando for "less restaint" (meaning bigger seats.)

Note: There are more ADULT readers of Harry than there are kids. And the park is for FAMILIES not just kids. While some rides ARE designed for kids, this one is now for everyone.

From Scott B
Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:55 AM
Have any other tall people been on this ride? I'm 6'4" and went on this last year. I swear that the second time I went on this, my foot hit the whomping willow's arm. Well, it was more of a grazing but it was still contact and it freaked me out!

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