Larger Riders - California Great America

July 19, 2016, 4:23 AM


I'm visiting Santa Clara next week and wanted to go to Great America. I'm a bit worried that I might not fit some/all of the rides.

I'm just over 6ft and 265 pounds. 90% of weight in gut. No massive thighs, arms, man boobs etc, though obviously a little bigger than most people. Am quite 'squishy' lol.

Akward, I know, but just checking what it will be like, and if the park is worth a visit. The Park safety pdf suggest difficulty on 6 rides for larger riders, but from research, I see it depends more on how your weight is distributed.

I probably won't ever be back to Santa Clara, so it's now or never really! Short of a quick operation and speedy recovery, I won't be losing any weight in a week, lol. Considering I was 300pounds+ I've done okay so far.

Thanks for your help/opinions.

ps. I know I'm a fat guy, sorry.
pps. Will this park likely be mega busy on a Friday or Saturday during the day?

Replies (8)

July 19, 2016, 5:16 AM

I've never been to Santa Clara (let alone California) but I think you won't fit based on the types of rides at CGA. For Goldstriker and Grizzly, I'm not sure if the lapbar will close. However you may fit on Flight Deck and Deamon due to the over the shoulder harness. I think you are most likely to fit on Flight Deck if they have rows for guests of larger sizes.

July 19, 2016, 3:25 PM

Jaiden, I'd suggest not giving advice for a park you haven't visited.

Gutter, it's hard to say whether or not you'll fit without knowing your experience with other rides. Therefore, I'll run through the coasters based on my experience with various installations of their type.

Demon: If you can fit on an Arrow looper this one will be no problem. The restraints on this coaster are very accommodating for larger riders, you just have to be able to buckle the belt yourself.

Flight Deck: This coaster uses regular B&M seats, but due to its age the larger seats (the ones with two belts) are not available. If you can fit in a regular B&M seat on any other B&M coaster you'll fit here.

Gold Striker: Gold Striker uses slightly more accommodating Millennium Flyer trains than older GCI coasters. If you can fit on a GCI, you'll fit here. If you can fit on another wooden coaster with ratcheting lap bars, you'll also likely be fine here.

Grizzly: This is probably the tightest coaster in the park since the lapbars only lock in a single position. My guess is you will have a tough time fitting on this one. If the wait isn't bad and you want to try, go ahead, but if there's a line I'd skip it. Honestly, this is the worst coaster in the park so if you miss it you're not missing much.

Psycho Mouse: The most accommodating coaster in the park. You shouldn't have any problems here.

Vortex: This is the same as other B&M stand-ups, but unfortunately it is difficult to estimate fit if you haven't been on one of those. They are a little tighter than a regular B&M, but for the most part if you can fit a standard B&M seat you can usually fit a stand-up. I'd give this one a try, but if you barely fit Flight Deck (or don't fit it) you probably won't fit here either.

For the non-coaster rides, I'd say if you can fit on Flight Deck you can probably fit on any of those. The one exception is Delirium, which is surprisingly tight (I actually don't fit that one and I'm right on the border for what weight Cedar Fair says may cause trouble).

As for crowds, my experience with the park is limited to weekdays, but assuming Friday is similar you shouldn't find any lines longer than 20-30 minutes if you go that day (and some attractions will likely have no wait at all). Saturday may be more crowded, but this is not a park that gets 60+ minute waits regularly. Even on Saturday, if you get there at opening you should be able to do everything in the park by dinnertime without any difficulty. Gold Striker is the longest line in the park, so do that first. Afterward, ride Vortex and Flight Deck, then take the Delta Flyer to the back of the park and do Grizzly and Psycho Mouse. From there, just go around the park in either direction and stop at rides as you come to them.

July 19, 2016, 4:47 PM

Hi there,

Flight Deck: I'm going to go with AJ on this one. I didn't remember the larger seats on this one, so if you fit on a normal B&M, you should fit on this one

Gold Striker: This one depends. The seats are very narrow, so that might be a problem, but if the weight is in the front, you'll probably be fine. (The seats are ultra comfy by the way)

Demon: If you sit in the front row, you'll make it no problem.

Vortex: The front right seat is a specially designed "big person" seat. If you sit there you should be ok, but it would probably be a tight squeeze in any other seat.

Psycho Mouse: I can't quite remember this one so just listen to AJ

Woodstock Express: My dad is tall (6'2") and lean and couldn't fit so I wouldn't count on it/

Grizzly: This one is a toss up. Again my dad is 6'2", lean, and could hardly fit, so if the line is short, try it. This coaster has a special place in my heart as it was my 25th credit. It was also ranked the worst wooden coaster in the world, but I thought it was fun.

Non coaster rides: I don't remember riding any flat rides, but they looked accommodating. When I went I did ride Mumby's Wild Ride (now Mass Effect: 3D), and the seats were really comfortable and you would definitely fit. Mass Effect has received amazing reviews and is one of the best non Disney/Universal dark rides. I highly recommend riding it.

Crowds: I went on a July weekend, and I walked on every ride. Im not sure if this is normal, but if it is, You'll be able to ride every coaster in the park with some rerides plus Mass Effect.

Order of rides: Enter and ride Gold Striker, then do Flight Deck, walk a short distance and do Mass Effect: 3D, and then take a hike to the back of the park and do Physco Mouse. Congrats! You've now done every ride that will get a line. Psycho Mouse has a capacity that makes Premier Rides Launch Coasters look like B&Ms, so that why I would do the park's 3 most popular rides, then do that.

Have fun!

July 20, 2016, 2:45 AM

Thanks guys, that's great information, I really appreciate it.

I think since I'm only here once, I'd regret not at least trying!

So I'll report back once I've been (will be a few weeks).

Based on your info and what I've read, I think Delerium would be a definite no go. Thankfully, it wasn't one that was over appealing to me anyway, I much prefer coasters.

Are there tester seats outside each of these rides? And are they accurate.

Thanks for the tips on the try for the front right seat on Vortex. It's a a shame the big boy straps aren't on Flightdeck.

I'm not really worried about fitting in the seats, I'm just not built for that to be an issue, it's almost definitely a concern about the belts reaching over the belly, lol. Suck it in I think!

July 20, 2016, 10:01 AM

I remember that there was a test seat outside of Flight Deck and Vortex. There was definitely not one for Grizzly, and there might be one Gold Striker. I have found that it is a luck of a draw thing with how accurate they are, 50% of the time, they're bigger, 50% of the time, they're smaller. So if you get to Flight Deck and you can't fit, if there are open seats and your alone, try switching seats, you could get a longer belt and fit. Here is my tip for Delirium, try riding the Drop Tower, if you fit on that, you'll fit on Delirium. The seats are almost identical. Ride in the front row of the yellow train on Demon . It is so smooth and fun it has its own Instagram page (no I'm not joking). Be sure to have fun, and if you have time, mark down what rides have test seats and if they're accurate, so if anyone else has this question, you can help them out!

July 20, 2016, 1:57 PM

I honestly don't remember if anything at CGA had a test seat. The two B&M coasters might have had one, but I'm 99% sure nothing else did. In my experience, I've found that if a test seat says you're good it is very, very rare that you'll be rejected on the ride itself, but if you're really close but can't quite fit in the test seat you can sometimes fit on the actual ride with the assistance of the operator.

As for Delirium, I had no problem riding Drop Tower but tried two different seats on Delirium before being rejected, so I don't know. I fit fine on other models of the same attraction at other parks, Honestly, though, if you've been on a similar ride elsewhere you're better off skipping it for more unique attractions. Mass Effect, Drop Tower, Rip Roaring Rapids, and Loggers Run are the highest priority non-coaster attractions at the park, so after riding all the roller coasters focus on those before moving onto the flats.

July 21, 2016, 5:08 AM

I'm fairly sure all B&Ms have test seats. I haven't seen one without.

July 23, 2016, 7:59 PM

I'm 5' 10" & 215-210 & they gad to really force down delirium for me today. They were packed, but due to a combo of a special Taste of Orleans event, and some corporate groups, including Paypal. Weekdays can be near walk ons, but one should be on point weekends, esp getting to Gold Striker quickly. Mass Effect continues to impress me after 5 rides on multiple days. There's a real sense that Cedar Fair is going to get serious about this park, and it's exciting to think that it's becoming a park that is more than just a few good rides and let's leave.

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