"Walk of shame" an issue for larger enthusiasts

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the piece:

Universal’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has bedeviled many big and tall riders who discover at the last moment that their journey aboard the new attraction is indeed forbidden because they don’t fit in the “enchanted benches.”

The uncomfortable scene is a familiar one to anybody who has ever visited a theme park: The overweight rider becomes increasingly embarrassed as the ride attendant pushes and shoves with all his might on the over-the-shoulder restraint that stubbornly refuses to click closed. Everybody waiting in line knows what comes next: the walk of shame.

Read more from The LA Times.

Parks other than Disney hate all fat people. Disney just hates fat people if they are poor. :)

Looking at the number of young people who are overweight, parks (and a whole host of other industries) will need to accommodate larger sizes going forward. Just a reality. And to be successful in business, it doesn't help to turn away more and more of your potential customers.

jkpark's avatar

It's mostly American parks will need to accommodate larger sizes going forward.

I think manufacturers will continue to build ride vehicles that provide the safest and most comfortable rider experience. If they can do it with larger seats, they may accommodate, but I'm not sure manufacturers will necessarily go out of there way.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

Looking at the number of young people who are overweight, parks (and a whole host of other industries) will need to accommodate larger sizes going forward. Just a reality. And to be successful in business, it doesn't help to turn away more and more of your potential customers.


But the wrench in this is that body type is such a factor in the whole thing. When you're putting exceptional forces on someone, size matters. And at some point, something has to give. Can you design a restraint that secures both a 100 pound and a 400 pound person while still delivering a ride that's interesting in terms of forces exerted?

Or is the future "walk of shame" going to be a thin person thing?

"Sorry, sir. You're of too healthy a weight to ride today."

slithernoggin's avatar

Back in the day, roller coasters were designed with slide rules and handwritten calculations. I'm assuming that the technology available these days allows coaster designers to create seats that will accommodate a range of body sizes.

That said, I wonder if parks or manufacturers would go with trains that have sized seating -- that is, if each car has two rows, one row is for skinnier people and one row is for larger people?

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

I'm afraid to look at the article. Is my picture there?

or fat America can just lose weight. While I understand the Tall/big chest scenario for some restraints, the basic situation is that the rider is just too fat. It's plain and simple, America is a country full of obese people. It didn't always used to be that way.

Last edited by CreditWh0re,

I would expect the manufacturers to go as out of their way on this issue as their customers (the parks) require (within the bounds of safety and costs the parks are willing to pay). Trends don't show the issue as getting better any time soon. If you don't, another manufacturer will.

Issue at one point was somewhat uniquely American. Not so much any more. Obesity rates are climbing in Europe as well. The UK isn't that far behind the US (1/3 versus 1/4).

Estimates I have seen have about 1/3rd of the US as obese and about 2/3rds as overweight. As a business open to the public, you can take the view that all the fatties should go home, diet/exercise and then come back when they have lost enough weight to ride. May well make business sense if the percentages of overweight/obese people are lower when you look at a cost/benefit analysis. You could also have customers stepping on scales before they buy food and only offering salads to the too fat Americans. But as the percentage of overweight/obese people increases, that approach makes much less sense (and at some point just becomes plain dumb as a business matter). Now all of that assumes that accommodations can be made and maintain safety at reasonable costs. Businesses don't get to have customers as they want them to be or how they may have been in the past. They have customers as they are (and on a long term basis, will be).

As rider size increases, forces involved in rides increases more so. Safety must always be paramount. Though I would expect technology can and will help a lot addressing this issue and making accommodations. Can you provide a safe and enjoyable experience to 100 pounders and 400 pounders? Not sure. Just seems to me the range will likely increase. If at some point there is more money to be made in entertaining 400 pounders than can be made entertaining 100 pounders, I expect 100 pounders will be doing the walk of shame (or avoiding parks altogether). Not sure how likely that is though.

bjames's avatar

I have no sympathy for people that are so fat they can't fit into a ride's seat, or an airline's seat, or a cinema's seat. Walk of shame? They should already be ashamed just going out in public looking like that. I'm not a member of the SJW pack, so my opinions are probably not PC. The last thing we should be doing is feeling sorry for these fat turds, because if we do, we're pretty much just enablers for their obesity. The term "morbidly obese" exists for a reason. If you're so fat you can't fit into a ride seat, you're probably going to die young if you don't lose that weight; it's not something to be proud of.

Last edited by bjames,

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

ApolloAndy's avatar

While I maybe agree with a few of your points, you come off like a gigantic jerk (use your imagination for the word I originally had here). Calling people turds isn't just not PC, it's downright asinine and it's make you look bad, not your target.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

delan's avatar

Wait a sec, that wasn't sarcasm?

slithernoggin's avatar

Some people have legitimate medical issues regarding their weight. And Americans are hopelessly under-educated regarding healthy eating habits. People go to restaurants and order a salad because salad = healthy; meanwhile, many restaurants serve up salads where the calorie count rivals a burger and fries.

It's a complex issue.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

kpjb's avatar

When I imagine the walk of shame, this is what I think of.

Walk of shame


LostKause's avatar

I always imagine technology in which the seat and restraints conform to a rider's body perfectly, no matter the size. I mean, we already live in the future. Maybe my ideas are too far ahead... or too expensive.

If I was really smart, and had a gajillion dollars, and understood how to successfully develop a product ( and stuff,) I would totally create the restraint I am imagining. Lot's of moving parts, and automatic motors, and sensors. A rider would sit down and the restraint would just fold onto the rider. Think like the (terrible) movie Transformers.

Maybe we are not as advanced as I think we are. Maybe each restraint would cost six million dollars. Maybe I'm a dreamer living in a reality I can't control.

"Walk of Shame" where I come from is generally used to describe an early morning walk from a residential building wearing last night's clothes :)

Tommytheduck's avatar

Family Guy strikes again:

I'd love to post Cersei Lannister's shame walk as well,but I don't think that would go over well.

I've experienced both sides of the "walk of shame." At one point I was 287 lbs and went to Cedar Point. I believe it was Dragster opening season around 03. People were complaining about MF's seat belts being shortened. I had to do the walk of shame. I was able to fit on TTD, and a season or two later and CP shortened the seat belts on that ride too.

It's embarrassing and feel for anyone that has to do it. I went home after that weekend and went on a diet. The next season I was able to ride everything with no problems.

The next few seasons after they had shortened the belts on both coasters almost to the point where I can just get them fastened. If your waste is bigger than a size 38-40 then I'd suggest not even trying.

Jeff's avatar

bjames said:

I'm not a member of the SJW pack, so my opinions are probably not PC.

No, you just sound like a huge dick. What the hell is wrong with you? We can all acknowledge there's a real public health problem, but it doesn't mean it's OK to be like that. You're talking about other human beings.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Wait - you just called him a HUGE dick. Are you saying his huge size is a bad thing?

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