Guests have trouble squeezing into Orlando seats

Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 10:03 AM | Contributed by Jeff

"Test seats" front four rides at Islands of Adventure and its sibling, Universal Studios, appearing alongside the old-fashioned determiner of roller coaster ridership: the trusty yardstick. SeaWorld has a test seat in front of its Kraken roller coaster. Walt Disney World has two. Some guests find that they can't fit in the rides. About 64% of Americans are overweight.

Read more from Knight Ridder via The Sun Herald.

Monday, July 5, 2004 11:00 AM
I definatally know the feeling. I used to fit in Dr. Doom, but now cannot. I barely fit into the 'fat people seat' on Hulk. I fit pretty good on Dueling Dragons. I also fit on everything at US. It seems to me with many people being oveweight they would try and accommodate more. I do appreciate IOA because they do have the 'big boy seats,' unlike many parks.


Monday, July 5, 2004 11:11 AM
While I understand its a problem, the problem doesnt completely lie with the parks and manufacturers, its also in the 64% of Americans. Im not saying anything against them, im lazy and love to eat and are one of them, but its about time America starts getting into shape. Think about, thats well over half of our population (duh 64%), and thats not right. While im not really noticably overweight, Im losing it gradually just to get back into my proper weight range. I remember a comic once where it shows Americans in 2010 in a museum with clothing on display, on the tab it read "early 70s" with 5 or six "typical Americans" gasping at the sight of them and how small they were. Ah well Im sure Mcdonalds new salads with little step counters and such are really going to open the flood gates to healthier living...*** This post was edited by P18 7/5/2004 11:12:00 AM ***
Monday, July 5, 2004 11:52 AM
the guy in the article said it was not the seat. But him.
Monday, July 5, 2004 1:28 PM
Do we really need another debate on whether or not its the coaster or the rider that needs to adapt?

Recognition can breed change. Will we change or will the rides change? Only time will tell. If you want to slam big people, or complain about restrictive rides, do a search first. You will find that there is very little left to be said.

Here's a recent one loaded with faux debate.

*** This post was edited by CoasterDad64 7/5/2004 1:32:53 PM ***

Monday, July 5, 2004 5:56 PM
It would be impossible to accomidate all riders, no matter what. Ride manufacturers use averages to create seats and restraints, and that's not going to change. Think of it: if manufacturers only made large restraints, what would happen to the small riders? They'd get tossed around like who knows what. Obesity can be fought, in more ways than one. This sums it up: It sure as heck isn't going to change from the way it is now.
Monday, July 5, 2004 7:38 PM
Maybe it is just Intamin's way of telling people that if they dont shape up, they're not going to have that long and propserous life. Roller coaster companies are just helping win the battle against obesity.
Monday, July 5, 2004 11:16 PM
Jeff's avatar Look at it this way. If a ride can accommodate bigger people, it will probably come at the expense of smaller people. Smaller people are more apt to ride and account for the 2.4 kids that bug mom and dad for ice cream and T-shirts. Who do you suppose is most likely to be accommodated?
Tuesday, July 6, 2004 11:57 AM
But, Jeff, is that necessarily so?

Do kids really have a problem riding in a Yo-Yo with a 22" wide seat? (I think the Yo-Yo has about the biggest single seat of any ride out there...) How much of the problem goes back to the whole question of whether rides really need to have individual seats in the first place? And what need is there to accommodate young children and small adults when the ride has a 54" minimum height restriction?

Furthermore, coasterwiz claims that manufacturers are building to that really the case if the seat is too small to accommodate 64% of the population? What average are they using, then?

--Dave Althoff, Jr
Whose stomach still hurts from the 11" lap bar on Big Dipper...

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 12:29 PM
Seems to me the news has reported a few accidents this past year where the riders were able to slip out from behind the restraints. I'm thinking of those where it was not due to operator neglect or riders intentionally preventing the restraint from closing properly. I seem to remember there was a young boy who slip from a Drop Zone restraints. There was also a child who fell out of a water ride because the rider she/he was with was huge compared to him/her and the common restraint wouldn't close far enough.

I may not be accurate with my stories (memory access is slow), but these examples suggest the need for individual restraints and limits on the definition of the average rider. Perhaps a minimum weight requirement is in our future.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 1:58 PM

escKey said:
Perhaps a minimum weight requirement is in our future.

You may be right. I have seen it on some water slides already.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 3:22 PM
Jeff's avatar Dave: Consider the girl that "wiggled" out of that fair ride recently and died. You said yourself that she shouldn't have been able to do that. Anyone could get out of a Yo-Yo. I'm not saying that's because of the size of the seat, but when someone gets out and gets hurt, you know that will come up.

Also, no one ever said 64% of people couldn't fit, just that 64% are overweight. If you used the estimates of the Millennium Force crew for that ride, they turn away about 6%.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 4:33 PM
There are a lot of things I wish I could do, but I can't, because I'm skinny. Strike fear of injury into my loud teenage neighbors, or people who talk at movie theaters, for one. Or actually compete with my huge friends when we play trampoline basketball. Or be able to get my money's worth when I go to Old Country Buffet.

But I can't. So I'm not going to whine about it. :P

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 4:51 PM

If you used the estimates of the Millennium Force crew for that ride, they turn away about 6%.

Even with that number, that's still around 1100 people a day that are being turned down to ride. That's a nice chunk of unhappy consumers. Sure it's better then 64%, but it is still no good.*** This post was edited by DS 7/6/2004 4:51:35 PM ***

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 9:28 PM
This issue is very simple. No one should be obese. If we looked at ourselves (as a whole) we would realize that we are one of the fattest countries in the world (so to speak.) The article quotes one person saying the the "airline seat problem is getting worse." Well, is it the airline seats that are getting smaller, or are poeple getting bigger? Going back to my first comment that no one should be obese, yes that is right.
The problem is that people are and we as Americans always look for the fast fixes like a a magical pill or surgery that will remedy everything with no work. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Now we can all point fingers at urban sprawl, and say that our lives are too busy. But the truth is very apparent. Eat fewer calories than you burn in a day. AND, if you have time maybe increase your calorie intake. Sixty four percent of Americans should not be obese. For people that are muscular or tall, that is a different issue and I hope that there is a way for you to be accomodated. I do understand there are special circumstances where someone is obese or large, but for your AVERAGE American there is no excuse.

And in response to RideMan. Our (American) average is out of proportion. The rest of the WORLD does not sustain a 64% obesity rate. Look at the averages again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 9:54 PM
Jeff's avatar Culturally that's our biggest problem. You don't need Atkins or some other fad diet. A balanced diet with proper portions and regular exercise work. I know some doctors will prescribe radical diets for the short-term, but to make it stick in the long-term it requires a lifestyle change, and that's not something Americans are very good at.
Tuesday, July 6, 2004 11:21 PM
"This issue is very simple. No one should be obese."

Okay, and the concept of world peace is simple too.

Why rehash the same overworked arguments?

Should Americans lose weight? That's easy, of course. Is losing weight as easy as you suggest? That's easy too, absolutely not.

Should ride manufacture make wholesale changes to make their rides more accessible to bigger people? That's not so easy. Supply and demand suggest yes. If B&M can safely accomodate people in the "big boy" seats, there is no obvious reason why the others cannot as well. If you cannot fit in the "big boy" seat (or its counterpart) you shouldn't ride.

There is room for a compromise.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004 8:26 AM
I agree. The problem is that our culture supports it and it is not okay. WE ARE ONE OF THE FATTEST NATIONS IN THE WORLD. We need to remedy that. I just find the comments like, "the airline seats are getting smaller" very offensive. Obesity follows smoking as the second biggest killer for the heart. There are certain circumstances that obesity can happen, but no one is born obese.

CoasterDad, I agree with most of your comments. The supply and demand issue is different. There are MANY kids that are too short to ride coasters like Hulk, Kraken, MF, etc. Should we change because of supply and demand to accomodate those people?

Unfortunately, the status quo says that a lot of what I have said is wrong, even though the majority of my comments hold their value.
*** This post was edited by coasterMNguy... 7/7/2004 8:28:24 AM ***

Wednesday, July 7, 2004 8:47 AM
Just a note here concerning Atkins Diet. I lost 50 lbs on it during the course of a year and while I have been off it for two years I have still kept off 40 of those pounds.

There is no quick fix to this solution. Some of you maybe remember the Colossus Roller Coaster accident at Magic Mountain after it first opened (around 1978) where a heavy set woman "popped out like a champagne cork" on the double dips causing the ride to be modified. There was no immediate shutting down of ALL wooden roller coasters and restricting overweight people from riding. I think that there is a lot of overreaction to this issue because of the mindset of being overweight as a major health problem and the fears of lawsuits.This is happening for the most part on certain rides with certain restraint types and I believe those devices need the modifications. It seems that soon anyone over a 34" waist or 40" chest will be prohibited from riding any roller coaster or major thrill ride. In the long run the parks will lose business since no one wants to pay $45.00 just to ride Tilt-A-Whrils (when they are opened) or Merry-Go-Rounds (and some of those have weight restrictions).

I cannot say that this is true for those who post here but many people who state that others need to lose the weight have never been overweight themselves and don't realise the difficulty in losing weight once you are more than 20 pounds over your ideal. This same statement can be made for smokers, drinkers and any other situation where there is an excess. Sometimes there are emotional or biological reasons why a person has this excess and these need to be delt with. I have seen smokers condemn a "Fat Person" appearance for being unhealthy or ugly but they continue to light up one cigarette after another with their yellowed teeth, nails, and stale smoke breath (I have nothing against smokers just people who are judgemental. They need to evauate their own lives first).

*** This post was edited by OlympicParkFan 7/9/2004 5:44:48 PM ***

Wednesday, July 7, 2004 10:21 AM
"Should we change because of supply and demand to accomodate those people? "

We don't need to change, it is already happening. This is why we have family coasters like the Jr Inverts and mini-woodies (no jokes please). These are child sized rides with adult style thrills.


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