Size limitations

Edited: June 5, 2015, 4:18 PM

I have just been to Orlando and was very disappointed with some of the rides. I am a large chested man and had great difficulty getting on most of the roller coasters.
Most parks have modified seating for the larger chested person, which is a help. At the universal parks this helped really well and I was able to fit into the seats safely except Harry Potter and the forbidden journey but sea world and Busch gardens was another matter.
Even though they had modified seating on most of the rides, I was unable to fit in safely. The overhead bars came over and locked safely but was unable to connect the seat belts. This was very frustrating and slightly embarrassing.
The thing is that at guest relations in Busch gardens, I was told that I would fit no trouble on all the rides except maybe cheetah hunt.
Has anybody else had this problem and don't you think that all theme parks should do something about it.
As I say I can fit on all the rides and I can be locked in.
It is just the 2nd safety feature in the double seat belt I am unable to lock.
Can these belts not be longer and pulled tight.
What does everyone think of this. You're comments would be much appreciated.

Replies (4)

June 7, 2015, 12:24 PM

I guess this is all to do with safety. They could extend the length but then presumably they are set at the specific length for safety reasons. Would it be worth risking it just to fit on a ride. Not for me.

June 7, 2015, 1:54 PM

Now, I've never had a problem fitting on a roller coaster, but I have made visits to parks with friends who had issues. While I haven't been to Florida, I have plenty of experience with B&M coasters and they all seem to be about the same when it comes to seat sizes. The only difference is that some coasters have special seats with two belts that can accommodate larger guests. I believe it is B&M that specifies the belt length, so unless Universal has modified seats or Busch Gardens/SeaWorld uses shorter belts for some reason it's strange that you couldn't fit some rides provided all of them had the double belt. The belt is a safety feature in two ways: 1. If the restraint fails, the belt will keep it from opening, and 2. Even if the restraint were open as far as the belt allows, the smallest rider who meets the height requirement could not be thrown from the train. Because of this second feature, simply using longer belts is not an option.

As for roller coaster safety in general, most rides are capable of accommodating about two standard deviations from the mean body size. However, it is practically impossible to design a ride that can accommodate 100% of the population safely. Generally, more intense rides are more restrictive out of necessity, so while it is unfortunate larger guests may not be able to experience some attractions for safety reasons. As a general rule of thumb, if you are over 6 feet, 2 inches, weigh more than 225 pounds, have a waistline over 40 inches, or a chest over 52 inches, you may find you don't fit on everything (note: values taken from Cedar Fair guest assistance guides). Every single guideline is there to ensure that riders will remain safe, and there are plenty of incidents that demonstrate what happens when these guidelines aren't followed properly. Even though nobody wants to get denied a ride, I'm sure anyone would rather take the embarrassment of a walk of shame and the disappointment of missing a ride over the serious injury or death that would result from being thrown out of one. Now, while I don't think there is a need to modify existing restraint systems, I think parks should make an effort to have a test seat available at every attraction with restrictive restraints so that guests can verify whether or not they fit before spending time in line. Some parks do a good job of this, but others could definitely use improvement in this area.

June 8, 2015, 5:00 AM

I am right on that edge of not being able to fit in myself. Honestly, I used it as a reason to lose weight.

Oddly enough, there was only one attraction I was unable to fit in California when I visited a couple of weeks ago (Roller Coaster at Knotts)

June 8, 2015, 6:38 AM

All of the roller coasters at Busch Gardens and Sea World have test seats located just before you enter the queue. If you have larger proportions, I highly recommend checking your fit in the test seat before getting in line. If you cannot secure the restraint and lock the seat belt on the test seat, you probably won't be able to fit on the actual train, even in the special "larger guest" rowas. Depending on your actual dimensions, changing your body positioning in the seat will affect the way OTSRs fit. Some larger guests need to slide all the way back (usually shorter, stockier guests), while some others need to sit a little further forward in the seat (taller with broader shoulders). Again, trying on the test seat is the best way to eliminate the "walk of shame".

I wouldn't be surprised as more intense coasters are built that more restrictions are placed on riders. including actually weighing them before boarding. Water parks have already started doing this as some water slides require groups of guests to be weighed collectively before boarding multi-person rafts. Some coasters now are setting maximum height requirements in addition to standard minimum height requirements that have been around for decades.

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