All things Universal Studios Hollywood

waltography

Well-Known Member
I still dont get it. explain it to me like I am 5
Sorry! The tweet in question is addressed to plus-size folks where they're saying "You don't need to eat healthy. We know you're unattractive in LA because you're fat, but here at Universal Studios this is a safe space for you to be hot." It's weird because it 1. assumes their audience is fat, 2. insults them about their size, and 3. doesn't even provide the kind of experience they want for their guests. (Definitely an overblown breakdown and I wouldn't go so far as to dissect this tweet like this again but I hope it makes more sense.)

But it brings up a really interesting point that compared to their peers like Disney, Universal rides have restraints that are unnecessarily restrictive, which means plus-size people can't ride Universal rides more often than not.

This trend started with the Harry Potter rides and their Kuka arm vehicles (all the reviews at the time mentioned how unusually restrictive the ride vehicles were, and there was a whole blog called Three Clicks that detailed someone's weight loss to ride the ride). But it's continued through nearly all their rides since, including the recent Secret Life of Pets ride which has individual lap bars that hug your thighs. (Imagine having a test Doombuggy or seashell outside the ride to see if you'll fit and you can see how ridiculous this restriction is.)

Screen Shot 2021-08-26 at 10.44.07 PM.png


That it can be a roll of the dice for some of my plus-size friends whether they can ride with me or not is odd for a theme park when there's another park down the I-5 that can accommodate more body types just fine.
 

Tamandua

Well-Known Member
Sorry! The tweet in question is addressed to plus-size folks where they're saying "You don't need to eat healthy. We know you're unattractive in LA because you're fat, but here at Universal Studios this is a safe space for you to be hot." It's weird because it 1. assumes their audience is fat, 2. insults them about their size, and 3. doesn't even provide the kind of experience they want for their guests. (Definitely an overblown breakdown and I wouldn't go so far as to dissect this tweet like this again but I hope it makes more sense.)

But it brings up a really interesting point that compared to their peers like Disney, Universal rides have restraints that are unnecessarily restrictive, which means plus-size people can't ride Universal rides more often than not.

This trend started with the Harry Potter rides and their Kuka arm vehicles (all the reviews at the time mentioned how unusually restrictive the ride vehicles were, and there was a whole blog called Three Clicks that detailed someone's weight loss to ride the ride). But it's continued through nearly all their rides since, including the recent Secret Life of Pets ride which has individual lap bars that hug your thighs. (Imagine having a test Doombuggy or seashell outside the ride to see if you'll fit and you can see how ridiculous this restriction is.)

View attachment 582866

That it can be a roll of the dice for some of my plus-size friends whether they can ride with me or not is odd for a theme park when there's another park down the I-5 that can accommodate more body types just fine.
I live in Los Angeles, like 2500 miles from WDW, and I've still had friends complain to me about not being able to fit on Flight of Passage at animal kingdom. Maybe Rhode wanted to shame some people on the way out.
 

waltography

Well-Known Member
I live in Los Angeles, like 2500 miles from WDW, and I've still had friends complain to me about not being able to fit on Flight of Passage at animal kingdom. Maybe Rhode wanted to shame some people on the way out.
Super fair criticism with FoP, but to me it appears to be the exception and not the rule at Disney parks.
 

1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
Sorry! The tweet in question is addressed to plus-size folks where they're saying "You don't need to eat healthy. We know you're unattractive in LA because you're fat, but here at Universal Studios this is a safe space for you to be hot." It's weird because it 1. assumes their audience is fat, 2. insults them about their size, and 3. doesn't even provide the kind of experience they want for their guests. (Definitely an overblown breakdown and I wouldn't go so far as to dissect this tweet like this again but I hope it makes more sense.)

But it brings up a really interesting point that compared to their peers like Disney, Universal rides have restraints that are unnecessarily restrictive, which means plus-size people can't ride Universal rides more often than not.

This trend started with the Harry Potter rides and their Kuka arm vehicles (all the reviews at the time mentioned how unusually restrictive the ride vehicles were, and there was a whole blog called Three Clicks that detailed someone's weight loss to ride the ride). But it's continued through nearly all their rides since, including the recent Secret Life of Pets ride which has individual lap bars that hug your thighs. (Imagine having a test Doombuggy or seashell outside the ride to see if you'll fit and you can see how ridiculous this restriction is.)

View attachment 582866

That it can be a roll of the dice for some of my plus-size friends whether they can ride with me or not is odd for a theme park when there's another park down the I-5 that can accommodate more body types just fine.
Thank you. Huh? Wow, what a strange tweet.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
People need to lighten up.
Not all of us are stick figures like you presumably must be to make such a comment. Theme parks outside of Disney are very different, often very restrictive, places and experiences if you are of size, and even Disney, as has been pointed out, is getting worse than it has been in the past as rides like SDMT, FOP, and Tron are built.

Clearly you've never been "walk of shamed" on an attraction, but let me tell you that it really sucks, especially when it's on something where there's no rational reason you shouldn't be accommodated, like SLOP. And there's little to no communication of ride size restrictions other than vague "unusual body proportions" boilerplate that is meaningless to those not in the know, and little to no understanding of size restrictions on the guest's part. Usually people don't truly understand until they are on a ride and are told they can't fit.

Furthermore, a lot of walk of shames are ultimately based on arbitrary factors that are out of guests control or realm of knowledge, including but not limited to:
1. Seatbelt length, which is often extremely inconsistent. You could fit easily in one seat and be denied riding in the seat right next to it. I once rode Millennium Force, immediately got back in line, and was turned away because of a difference in seatbelt length. The time between my ride and my second attempt was about fifteen minutes, and nothing was consumed, nor were clothes adjusted in that time period. It was the seatbelt.
2. Ride op ability/willingness to help you fit. Do they help you at all? If they do help you, is it a stick figure or one with some muscle? How much do they particularly care about helping you in that moment? How much are they aware about seatbelt length/seats that are easier to fit into on the same train? Because you cannot assume that ride ops will inherently know which seats are more likely to accommodate you or will tell you this information. Sad but true.
3. Poor communication in general about which seats might accommodate larger riders. I've done this enough times that I know if I want to ride a B&M invert a la Silver Bullet at Knott's or Batman at SFMM, and I'm a bit heavier than normal, I need the seat with two seatbelts. Alas, the only thing the signage typically says is that a specific row might accommodate larger riders, even though typically only one seat (of four), the one with two belts, is actually any better than the others on the train. I had a situation like this at Worlds of Fun occur, where there were multiple parties who needed the seat with two belts, but wouldn't have known that if I hadn't told them. This is more common than you might think.
4. Parks making their own arbitrary decisions about what is or is not a "safe" position on restraints. This is not to say that there isn't any difference between safe and unsafe riding positions, but some parks really and truly make their rides more restrictive than average just because. For example, typically you can ride B&M inverts if you can get the belt on the restraint to fasten. Unless you're at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where you also need to get the restraint to lock down an additional position. Likewise, you can ride wooden coasters with PTC trains (like Ghostrider used to have) if you can get the bar down even one click. Unless you're at Kings Island, where for some reason you need it to go down two clicks. Guests who would fit on Forbidden Journey at Universal Orlando may not fit in Hollywood even though it's the same ride because Orlando made modifications to the restraints that Hollywood wouldn't on their own version even though the USH version is newer. Wicked Twister at Cedar Point had intentionally shorter seatbelts vs. other impulse coasters like V2 that led to people who would've been fine on any other impulse coaster to be kicked off. B&M Hypercoasters at Cedar Fair parks have additional seatbelts they don't need to operate safely anywhere else. And so on and so forth.
5. Some trains are poorly equipped to handle guests who are simply tall. Not fat, tall. Premier Rides is one example of a rides company that consistently makes this error.
6. Ultimately, every person's body works differently. I can tell you my experience about whether or not I can expect to fit on the ride, but that may have little or nothing to do with your actual body shape. Or someone who has a similar build to me might fit on rides that I can't or vice versa.

So no, people shouldn't just lighten up. Obviously rides have never been and will be designed to accommodate every body type imaginable. But it's a huge and growing problem that the industry clearly has no idea how to handle, and not all of it is on the guests. People absolutely have a right to be frustrated about the situation and a needless, tone-deaf PR tweet that calls attention to the situation without doing anything to better it.
 
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SplashGhost

Well-Known Member
Not all of us are stick figures like you presumably must be to make such a comment. Theme parks outside of Disney are very different, often very restrictive, places and experiences if you are of size, and even Disney, as has been pointed out, is getting worse than it has been in the past as rides like SDMT, FOP, and Tron are built.

Clearly you've never been "walk of shamed" on an attraction, but let me tell you that it really sucks, especially when it's on something where there's no rational reason you shouldn't be accommodated, like SLOP. And there's little to no communication of ride size restrictions other than vague "unusual body proportions" boilerplate that is meaningless to those not in the know, and little to no understanding of size restrictions on the guest's part. Usually people don't truly understand until they are on a ride and are told they can't fit.

Furthermore, a lot of walk of shames are ultimately based on arbitrary factors that are out of guests control or realm of knowledge, including but not limited to:
1. Seatbelt length, which is often extremely inconsistent. You could fit easily in one seat and be denied riding in the seat right next to it. I once rode Millennium Force, immediately got back in line, and was turned away because of a difference in seatbelt length. The time between my ride and my second attempt was about fifteen minutes, and nothing was consumed or clothes were adjusted in that time period. It was the seatbelt.
2. Ride op ability/willingness to help you fit. Do they help you at all? If they do help you, is it a stick figure or one with some muscle? How much do they particularly care about helping you in that moment? How much are they aware about seatbelt length/seats that are easier to fit into on the same train? Because you cannot assume that ride ops will inherently know which seats are more likely to accommodate you or will tell you this information. Sad but true.
3. Poor communication in general about which seats might accommodate larger riders. I've done this enough times that I know if I want to ride a B&M invert a la Silver Bullet at Knott's or Batman at SFMM, and I'm a bit heavier than normal, I need the seat with two seatbelts. Alas, the only thing the signage typically says is that a specific row might accommodate larger riders, even though only one seat (of four), the one with two belts, is actually any better than the others on the train. I had a situation like this at Worlds of Fun occur, where there were multiple parties who needed the seat with two belts, but wouldn't have known that if I hadn't told them. This is more common than you might think.
4. Parks making their own arbitrary decisions about what is or is not a "safe" position on restraints. This is not to say that there isn't any difference between safe and unsafe riding positions, but some parks really and truly make their rides more restrictive than average just because. For example, typically you can ride B&M inverts if you can get the belt on the restraint to fasten. Unless you're at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where you also need to get the restraint to lock down an additional position. Likewise, you can ride wooden coasters with PTC trains (like Ghostrider used to have) if you can get the bar down even one click. Unless you're at Kings Island, where for some reason you need it to go down two clicks. Guests who would fit on Forbidden Journey at Universal Orlando may not fit in Hollywood even though it's the same ride because Orlando made modifications to the restraints that Hollywood wouldn't on their own version even though it's newer. Wicked Twister at Cedar Point had intentionally shorter seatbelts vs. other impulse coasters like V2 that led to people who would've been fine on any other impulse coaster to be kicked off. B&M Hypercoasters at Cedar Fair parks have additional seatbelts they don't need to operate safely anywhere else. And so on and so forth.
5. Some trains are poorly equipped to handle guests who are simply tall. Not fat, tall. Premier Rides is one example of a rides company that consistently makes this error.
6. Ultimately, every person's body works differently. I can tell you my experience about whether or not I can expect to fit on the ride, but that may have little or nothing to do with your actual body shape. Or someone who has a similar build to me might fit on rides that I can't or vice versa.

So no, people shouldn't just lighten up. Obviously rides have never been and will be designed to accommodate every body type imaginable. But it's a huge and growing problem that the industry clearly has no idea how to handle, and not all of it is on the guests. People absolutely have a right to be frustrated about the situation and a needless, tone-deaf PR tweet that calls attention to the situation without doing anything to better it.

I agree with all of this.

As someone that is 6'4, I have had my share of close calls on rides, but I have always been able to fit except one time on Batman at Magic Mountain which prompted me to lose weight and I was able to ride it again a few months later. It could have just been a really short seat belt that time that I got turned away. Batman being an old B&M doesn't have any of the double seat belt seats that accommodate larger riders, but I have never once needed those on Silver Bullet.

I think theme park rides in generally are becoming much more restrictive to guests that are larger. Almost anyone can fit on Viper at Magic Mountain and that is one of the most intense coasters out there. If almost anyone of any height and weight can ride Viper, there is no reason they shouldn't be able to ride 99% of other rides as well. Newer coasters in general are much more restrictive. I don't have much issues with Premier trains since their lap bars are more lenient than the ones on RMCs, but they definitely need some more leg room.

One of my biggest concerns is the increase of rides with maximum height limits. It seems like more and more rides are being built with maximum height limits and as a tall person, these really concern me. Hangtime at Knott's has a 77 inch max height limit, and while I have been on it several times, I know I am right at that height limit so I am fearful that I might get height checked whenever I ride it. I can understand coasters not being able to accommodate people over 7 feet tall, but there is no reason that someone in the 76 to 80 inch range shouldn't be able to ride all adult coasters. When you are tall, there is nothing you can do to lose height and I wish manufacturers and parks would care more about accommodating tall riders.

As someone that was able to ride all the coasters at Cedar Point (I needed a ton of help getting on Wicked Twister and was miserable because of how tight the restraints were on my shoulders, but still I fit), I found Flight of Passage to be a pretty tight squeeze because of my height.

In general, I find Arrows made after the early mine trains to be the most comfortable rides to me and the most accommodating for larger guests. I usually have to squeeze on wild mouse coasters, but I felt like I had some extra roomy luxury seat on Psycho Mouse at California's Great America. Magnum XL-200 has a ton of ejector air time, but I had plenty of room and the lap bar was very accommodating. The only thing that might cause issues for some people are the short seat belts that Cedar Point put in.

I know a lot of the super restrictive restraints are because the parks and manufacturers are paranoid about safety issues, so they figure it is easier to deny certain people from riding, instead of designing the ride to be more accommodating. Over time, people are getting taller, so the ride manufacturer need to make rides more tall friendly instead of less tall friendly. I love RMCs, but I really wish their trains and seats were more tall friendly.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
I agree with all of this.

As someone that is 6'4, I have had my share of close calls on rides, but I have always been able to fit except one time on Batman at Magic Mountain which prompted me to lose weight and I was able to ride it again a few months later. It could have just been a really short seat belt that time that I got turned away. Batman being an old B&M doesn't have any of the double seat belt seats that accommodate larger riders, but I have never once needed those on Silver Bullet.

I think theme park rides in generally are becoming much more restrictive to guests that are larger. Almost anyone can fit on Viper at Magic Mountain and that is one of the most intense coasters out there. If almost anyone of any height and weight can ride Viper, there is no reason they shouldn't be able to ride 99% of other rides as well. Newer coasters in general are much more restrictive. I don't have much issues with Premier trains since their lap bars are more lenient than the ones on RMCs, but they definitely need some more leg room.

One of my biggest concerns is the increase of rides with maximum height limits. It seems like more and more rides are being built with maximum height limits and as a tall person, these really concern me. Hangtime at Knott's has a 77 inch max height limit, and while I have been on it several times, I know I am right at that height limit so I am fearful that I might get height checked whenever I ride it. I can understand coasters not being able to accommodate people over 7 feet tall, but there is no reason that someone in the 76 to 80 inch range shouldn't be able to ride all adult coasters. When you are tall, there is nothing you can do to lose height and I wish manufacturers and parks would care more about accommodating tall riders.

As someone that was able to ride all the coasters at Cedar Point (I needed a ton of help getting on Wicked Twister and was miserable because of how tight the restraints were on my shoulders, but still I fit), I found Flight of Passage to be a pretty tight squeeze because of my height.

In general, I find Arrows made after the early mine trains to be the most comfortable rides to me and the most accommodating for larger guests. I usually have to squeeze on wild mouse coasters, but I felt like I had some extra roomy luxury seat on Psycho Mouse at California's Great America. Magnum XL-200 has a ton of ejector air time, but I had plenty of room and the lap bar was very accommodating. The only thing that might cause issues for some people are the short seat belts that Cedar Point put in.

I know a lot of the super restrictive restraints are because the parks and manufacturers are paranoid about safety issues, so they figure it is easier to deny certain people from riding, instead of designing the ride to be more accommodating. Over time, people are getting taller, so the ride manufacturer need to make rides more tall friendly instead of less tall friendly. I love RMCs, but I really wish their trains and seats were more tall friendly.
RMCs are my body shape's worst enemy. It feels entirely random whether or not I will be able to actually ride. I wish I was kidding when I say that the sensor was literally flickering back and forth between go and no go on Steel Vengeance this summer, and because the go/no go screen is prominently displayed for everyone in the station, everyone there could see my predicament. Not fun.

New premiers are typically fine, although some like Sky Rocket basically are only options for taller people in two rows. The ones that are harder for me are the retrofitted trains, the ones that used to have shoulder harnesses. They're far less roomy and difficult to make work. I've never failed to get into a newer Premier, but the retrofitted ones can be dicey (they also have a strange, protruding piece of the floor in one of the seats in the front of each car, on top of what is already less leg room than the back of each car has).

You make the excellent point that older rides, bizarrely, are often more accommodating than newer ones! I can't think of a single restraint design that's exceptionally problematic on any rides made prior to the nineties. Some of those changes were by necessity as the rides have gone on to do more extreme maneuvers, and I get it-some people have died because of poorly designed restraints. But perhaps they could just tone down a handful of moments so more could ride? I can get airtime without having to be sewn into the seat to experience it safely. There's a happy medium that too often just isn't being considered.
 

celluloid

Well-Known Member
eing an old B&M doesn't have any of the double seat belt seats that accommodate larger riders, but I have never once needed those on Silver Bullet.

I think theme park rides in generally are becoming much more restrictive to guests that are larger. Almost anyone can fit on Viper at Magic Mountain and that is one of the most intense coasters out there. If almost anyone of any height and weight can ride Viper, there is no reason they shouldn't be able to ride 99% of other rides as well. Newer coasters in general are much more restrictive. I don't have much issues with Premier trains since their lap bars are more lenient than the ones on RMCs, but they definitely need some more leg room.

One of my biggest concerns is the increase of rides with maximum height limits. It se
RMCs are my body shape's worst enemy. It feels entirely random whether or not I will be able to actually ride. I wish I was kidding when I say that the sensor was literally flickering back and forth between go and no go on Steel Vengeance this summer, and because the go/no go screen is prominently displayed for everyone in the station, everyone there could see my predicament. Not fun.

New premiers are typically fine, although some like Sky Rocket basically are only options for taller people in two rows. The ones that are harder for me are the retrofitted trains, the ones that used to have shoulder harnesses. They're far less roomy and difficult to make work. I've never failed to get into a newer Premier, but the retrofitted ones can be dicey (they also have a strange, protruding piece of the floor in one of the seats in the front of each car, on top of what is already less leg room than the back of each car has).

You make the excellent point that older rides, bizarrely, are often more accommodating than newer ones! I can't think of a single restraint design that's exceptionally problematic on any rides made prior to the nineties. Some of those changes were by necessity as the rides have gone on to do more extreme maneuvers, and I get it-some people have died because of poorly designed restraints. But perhaps they could just tone down a handful of moments so more could ride? I can get airtime without having to be sewn into the seat to experience it safely. There's a happy medium that too often just isn't being considered.

Intimin I feel is 99 percent of the issue with rider size and comfort/ability to ride if you are even large waisted or thick shoulder as their rides are often extreme steal coasters or odd configurations. They are also arguably the company with the most coaster restraint issues of injury and death, Gerstlauer being another one.

With RMC's I finally fit after losing a lot of weight this year, but even at 250 I fit comfortably in Steel Vengeance, the retractable seatbelts at Cedar Point were a nice touch instead of fixed to the sides. The issue was not with the fitting comfortably, but with the ride not being comfortable because my thighs and shins were in pain during a lot of the air time ejector elements which I was losing until each one started to actually hurt.
I went on Outlaw Run years ago at Silver Dollar City and I never remember it hurting.
 
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