Monday, June 28, 2010

Harry Potter Fans Deemed Too Heavy for 'Wizarding World' Ride

From yahoo, Most people remember the feeling of not being tall enough to ride an amusement park ride, but some would-be riders of the signature attraction at Universal Studios' new "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park in Orlando are being turned away because of their girth. The ride, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey," employs individual restraints to keep each guest tucked in to his or her seat, but the restraints aren't large enough to accommodate heavier riders.

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).

One Harry Potter fan, Jeff Guillaume of Lansing, Michigan, expressed disappointment on his "Harry Potter" fan site after he failed the test. Guillaume is 5'8" and weighs 265 pounds, and says the restraint wouldn't fit over his torso, though he reports that other rides at the park have special cars reserved for bigger riders.

Universal, which doesn't have "specific weight limits (just the test seats and a requirement that riders be at least 48 inches tall), says the "body dimension" restrictions are "to ensure the safety of our guests. It's #1."

That's all fine and good, but considering the average weight of an American man is 191 pounds (and rising: in 1960 it was 166 pounds), "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" could be turning away quite a few potential revelers.

Universal isn't the first theme-park operator to deal with issues raised by the growing rate of obesity in the United States. In 2007, Disney had to modify the "It's a Small World" ride after weighted-down boats began regularly getting stuck in the plume.

One Harry Potter fan who was unable to ride "Forbidden Journey" when his seat test yielded only two clicks of the restraint, is turning the incident into a personal motivational challenge. Banks Lee, who says he's 6'2? and approximately 310 lbs, has decided to diet and exercise until he can get on the ride (and hopes to continue his quest even after meeting that goal.) He's even started a blog: Banks Lee and the Three Clicks: My Journey to Fit on an Enchanted Bench, where the Orlando resident is documenting the long walks and sensible diet that he hopes will lead to a ride on "The Forbidden Journey."


Octopunk said...

Weird how people will lose weight for an amusement park ride but blame airlines when they're too fat to ride planes.

I guess plane rides aren't that magical.

Catfreeek said...

My God that woman's ass is an entity all in itself.

HandsomeStan said...

I have zero sympathy for those that can't make it on the ride. It's too bad they don't have a "Ride of Shame" where, once they've failed to fit in the practice chair, the fatties are forced onto a little scooter and paraded in front of the skinny people waiting in line, depositing them back outside. Make it look like a bent, sagging broomstick or something.

On another note, I can't get enough of that park. It sounds utterly unbelievable. The butterbeer alone sounds delicious.

moe said...

to HandsomeStan will im skinny an i did ride the harry ride. but first off you got some dam problems you think you are so cool. reading your post makes me want to beat the crap out of you an then crap on you for the person who you are. an you know why you can't try there butter beer is because you are to dam poor to to the parks an you are in a library writing blogs about big people because you don't have a life. i can't stand people like you. you are a waste here on earth that needs to be gone.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree with all these logical comments, being that fat is a choice you have to keep making daily. You would be less of a burden on others as a heroin addict, at least you could stay out of peoples way and would make less methane.