Thanks to Ian (who I’ve been begging to take me to the Harry Potter theme park) and @GinandPopcorn for alerting me to this story: some guests are being turned away from the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride for being unable to fit in the seats.
Universal seems to have anticipated this issue, stationing staff “wizards” and test-seats along the line and at the entrance to Forbidden Journey. Riders test their ability to fit in the seats, as well as the restraint (which must click three times to be deemed safe and for the potential rider to be allowed into the attraction).
Harry Potter fan Jeff Guillaume, who was turned away from the ride, has a good collection of follow-up posts and commentary here.
A lot of the debate I’ve seen is focused on safety, and rightly so. Many rides at many parks around the world use a single-bar restraint system (“lap bars”) for a row of people. One larger passenger will cause the bar to lock much higher than the waists/legs/laps of the smaller guests, presenting a safety and comfort issue.
But that is not the case on single passenger restraint systems, which most modern rides, including Forbidden Journey, employ. These are the over-the-shoulder harnesses or lap bars that lock in place differently for each passenger.
It’s strange to me, because I’ve never had any issues with any of the rides at Disneyland, and they have a whole range of restraint systems, all of which I can fit in with no problem. And I’ve been to Disneyland dozens of times, as well as Disney World in Florida and Eurodisney. I can’t think of a single time my weight was an issue in terms of me enjoying the rides.
I am a huge (HA HA GET IT) Harry Potter fan, and I have been dying to go to the new theme park. But there are only three rides in the theme park, and only one of them is the “signature” ride of the whole park. If the main attraction won’t accommodate fat people, and I might be turned away while I’m waiting in line… why would I want to spend all that money on a vacation that would end in embarrassment and shame and disappointment? I can stay home and be disappointed just the same. And I am.
Posted by mo pie