Larger folks - Which theme parks have roller coasters we can ride?

April 3, 2019, 11:35 AM

Good afternoon everyone!

I was always a huge fan of amusement parks until I started to gain weight, then it was just upsetting going to the parks. I got to the point where I didn't fit on really any rides at any parks. I'm 5'10 and weigh a little over 300 pounds and these are the amusement parks I've either been to and had no luck with the rides or heard not to try: Six flags atlanta, dollywood, kentucky kingdom, and cedar point. While I'm down from 330 lbs to 300 I still fear that I'll be too big for most rides. I wanted to see if y'all had any recommendations for theme parks without as many weight restrictions. Are there any parks that you know of that have either larger seats or extended belts? I've done some looking online but haven't found a whole lot of helpful information. Some of the parks' websites have weight restriction info but I wanted to hear from actual people too. I live in Kentucky and am interested in any theme parks across the United States that I might be able to visit and actually ride the rides! Thanks a ton in advance!

Replies (5)

April 3, 2019, 12:21 PM

It's not really the parks, it's the ride manufacturers, and restraint systems that have gotten significantly more restrictive as rides have gotten more forceful.

RMC, despite their huge popularity, has some of the most restrictive restraints among roller coasters. While their seat belts have plenty of play, the lap bars have to come down rather far in order to send a green light to the ride ops. RMCs are extremely discriminatory to guests with larger guts, hips, and thighs, and I've seen some guests that I wouldn't consider "fat" forced into the "walk of shame".

Intamin is a bit of a mixed bag. Their lap bars (like on Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster) are almost as restrictive as RMCs, but the problem for most guests are their uber short seat belts. Anyone with 40+" waists are probably going to be a tight fit if they can get the belt to latch at all. Their older OTSRs found on their inverted impulse shuttle coasters are not just discriminatory to large waisted guests, but those those with larger busts/shoulders, or taller than 6'4". However, their newer OTSRs, like those found on Maverick, Kingda Ka, and Intimidator, are extremely accommodating (probably best in the industry).

B&M has typically been the best at accommodating larger guests. The clamshell restraints found on all of their hyper/giga coasters are not only accommodating, but some of the most comfortable around. Most of their coasters featuring older OTSRs (like Raptor, Alpengeist, Kumba, SheiKra, etc...) have special seats that can allow for larger guests. The drawback of these is that you have to make sure you're queued in the right row, and those seats are rarely in the best locations on the train. The newer B&M OTSRs are a little more restrictive, but are still pretty accommodating. Also, while parks with newer B&Ms don't actively advertise the "big boy seats", if you can't fit in a normal seat, ride ops are trained to know where the special seats are on each train, and will guide you on the platform (sometimes you might need to wait a cycle or two though).

Premier coaster trains are also pretty accessible even to larger guests unless you have unusually large legs, preventing the belt from latching to the lap bar. Same goes for Mack, S&S, and Zeier. Most older wooden coasters are accessible to virtually anyone that is ambulatory, however some of the newer ones can be restrictive to guests with larger midsections.

If I were to say one park that has the most number of accessible roller coasters/attractions, I would probably say Six Flags Great Adventure. El Toro, which is the best ride in the park IMHO, is probably the only one you would have difficulty with. All of the others have either special seats (Green Lantern, Batman, Medusa) or have more accommodating restraints (Kingda Ka, Superman, Nitro, Joker, Dark Knight, and Justice League)

April 3, 2019, 1:02 PM

I had a guy sit next to me on 7DMT last weekend, who must have been pushing the 300lb mark, so there are a few out there, even though they are family type coasters.

Mako, Fury and others that use the clamshell restraints all have to be clicked a certain number of times to trip the safety switch, that's why it's common to see 2 or 3 ops pushing down on some poor persons restraint to try and get that extra click to allow the seat color to turn green from red on the overhead screen.

I also found this on one of the Reddit posts from a few years ago, and I can confirm all of this is still good information as I visit BGT 4 or 5 times a year .....

"I can tell you with specificity about the BGT coasters. Sheikra, Kumba, and Montu all have "modified seats." These are standard B&M OTSRs with two center straps instead of one. Modified seats are on all 3 rows on Sheikra, and the center rows on Kumba and Montu. They allow you to ride with a single "click" instead of the usual 3. (These seats are also available on Kraken at Seaworld)"

The person who wrote this also mentioned he was 300lb.


April 3, 2019, 1:05 PM

My man! Great work on your progress! That ain't easy and isn't always recognized so good job!

Russel's advice is good! Consider it endorsed.

I'm gonna speak bluntly. I've got plenty of friends who wrestle with this. Everyone is different, and we've seen inconsistent results because muscle and fat "squish" differently on people. You really won't know about a ride till you try. Fortunately, when your issue is weight, simply walking around a theme park for a day is an act of progress. (As opposed to being too tall and just learning parks are built for people shorter than you.)

So my advice would be to pick something close that you can reliably visit and just keep trying OR go with the family and friends that motivate and support you whenever you can and keep making that effort.

April 3, 2019, 2:08 PM

I really appreciate the feedback guys, definitely learning a ton right now! I have realized that the easiest way to deal with this is to keep pushing myself. It's like you said Mike, at least I have some control over it! Mako thanks for the tip on Busch Gardens, I've never been and have been wanting to go! Russel thanks so much for the detail of your information, helped me realize it might not be a problem with the parks themselves. I'd love to try out Great Adventure next time I'm out in that area. Thank you so much for the responses guys!

April 4, 2019, 8:28 AM

Yeah man! When you do get to a park, let us know how it went.

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