OWA faces criticism over ride weight restrictions

Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:17 PM | Contributed by Jeff

General restrictions were listed on the website last week for all rides: “Due to rider restraint system requirements, guests of certain body proportions may not be able to be accommodated on some of our rides. This may apply, but is not limited to, guests who exceed 6’2” or those who exceed 225 pounds, have a 40” waist line or 52” chest, or females who exceed 200 pounds or wear a size 18 or larger.” On Monday, OWA posted about the requirements on Facebook, saying that it had “received inquiries today regarding the posted rider safety restrictions” and citing manufacturer requirements.

Read more from The Sun Herald.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:38 PM

I find it hilarious that the restrictions are exactly the same, word for word, as Cedar Point's, and they lose their minds.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:38 PM

Bad idea PR-wise to start using precise numbers....emphasize SAFETY instead. Besides, "fluff" can squish, larger bones are what prevents restraint systems from locking...but even those vary by manufacturer, restraint type, etc.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 8:17 PM

Precise numbers gives people a better idea of what problem areas could be and better indication as to whether someone will be able to ride.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:30 PM

Alabama

not exactly a place known for healthy eating habits. Although I'm amused at the "size 18 dress" part, don't think I've ever seen that listed on a Fun Guide before.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:34 PM

from the article:

"Said one Facebook commenter: “I am 6’2”, 260lbs. I have rode every single roller coaster in the Southeast with ZERO issues...and now a park opens a mile from my house and I can’t ride anything there? OWA will not get a dime of my money. Enjoy.”

Ridden Cletus. It's "Have Ridden"

I'll save my usual round of comments, so as not to reopen that can of worms.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:36 PM

Alabama. Where Obesity is genetic but Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:41 PM

also from the article:

But ultimately, it is the ride manufacturer and not the park who decide the restrictions. The ride was designed by Italian company Zamperla, and it apparently did not take into account that OWA was surrounded by states with the highest levels of obesity in the country.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:51 PM

I know we've been down this road before, but I'm not convinced it's solely a MFR decision. The clearest example to me was when, on his 5th birthday, our son rode Twister, Superdooperlooper, the Mine Train, etc with 42 inch limitations, and then when we returned to our home park, CP, he wasn't allowed to ride any. The same style Arrow Mine Train at WDW, Thunder Mt, is only 36 inches.

I believe (with nothing to back this up other than observations) that there might be different limitations per state. (Waldameer's waterslides have lower restrictions as well) But more likely it comes down to insurance and how much risk the park wants to assume. Cedar Fair and Six Flags have very high height limitations and very attractive profits to ambulance chasing lawyers. They also go out of their way to provide Kiddie areas so that the younger guests still have plenty to do.

Disney, while an even bigger corporation with even deeper pockets, might go the other way. They may pay much higher premiums and assume a greater risk. But then again, what good is a Disney Park if the younger guests can't ride most of the rides?

Again, this is mostly my own observation. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong. I know someone will.

P.S.

On a side note, I've seen plenty of Size 36 people squeezed into Size 18 clothes. They are quite plentiful at amusement parks.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:53 PM
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Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:20 PM

GoBucks89 said:

Precise numbers gives people a better idea of what problem areas could be and better indication as to whether someone will be able to ride.

I don't really agree, unless you want to say "certain riders over 200# may be unable to ride." But even then, you end up with a 6'7" stick-figure person under 200, and they're unable to ride your Impulse because they're too tall. When people are unable to ride, it's typically because the OTSR can't close due to chest dimensions (boobs can squish to a degree, ribs much less so) or because hips and thighs prevent a lapbar from closing completely. I don't know my chest size, my hip circumference, *or* my thigh length...and I'm probably not alone in that.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:53 PM

rollergator said:

I don't really agree, unless you want to say "certain riders over 200# may be unable to ride."

Isn't they what they are saying?

Park: Due to rider restraint system requirements, guests of certain body proportions may not be able to be accommodated on some of our rides. This may apply, but is not limited to, guests who exceed 6’2” or those who exceed 225 pounds, have a 40” waist line or 52” chest, or females who exceed 200 pounds or wear a size 18 or larger.

You: But even then, you end up with a 6'7" stick-figure person under 200, and they're unable to ride your Impulse because they're too tall.

They mention height as well. And they are not saying that you won't be able to ride if any of those apply just that you MAY not be able to ride. And they are not saying if you are under all of those listed criteria you will be able to ride.

They are providing general guidelines which presumably are good indicators as when problems may occur (though as discussed here numerous times, a lot of factors determine whether there are issues -- some people who can ride weigh more than others who cannot ride). But its at least providing you some info. Not perfect but to me its better than nothing.

I don't know my chest size, my hip circumference, *or* my thigh length...and I'm probably not alone in that.

If you own or otherwise have access to a tape measure, you can measure all of those.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:54 PM
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Saturday, July 29, 2017 5:17 PM

I find it interesting that they list a different weight limit/suggestion for men than women. Especially since your waist/hip size, height or dress size is a closer indicator to whether or not you may fit than weight anyway. 200 pounds come in more shapes than you can imagine.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 8:52 PM

My business model has always been to design the rides to accommodate morbidly obese people. Then triple the candy prices at the concession stands.

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Monday, July 31, 2017 3:01 AM

Disney is self insured

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