When you're too tall for the ride

Last week I was in southern California for a few days and decided rather impulsively to head over to Knott's one afternoon and try their new hang time coaster. When I got to the front of the line the ride attendant gave me a skeptical look, and waved me over to the wall. Turns out they have a height restriction of 77 inches, and I am 78 inches tall! I am otherwise fit, and can usually fit into any kind of seating arrangement (old arrow and Schwarzkopf rides being the hardest). In any case does anyone know if all Gerstlauers this way? Anyone else ever been kicked off a ride for being TOO tall? Kind of an embarrassing experience and one I hope not to repeat in the future.

Last edited by CoasterKev,

Also 78 inches tall - so far I haven't ever been turned away but there are certain rides I wont even try. Just made it under the restriction for Rip Ride Rockit at Universal, and managed to squeeze into Olympia Looping (just), but most mouse rides or smaller coasters I have little chance. I wasn't able to ride the log ride at IOA after the boats were fitted with the metal bars.

I find the biggest problem is being so tightly wedged in that all car movements can result in knocks and bumps. Space Mountain at WDW introduced me to a new kind of pain (apart from at the front seat - that was rideable) and Vekoma's with OSTRs are so tight that I can come off with bruising on my shoulders. Most rides I can get in as long as there is room to be a contortionist.

The most unnerving experience I had was on the Power Tower when it came to London. I hadn't actually noticed that I was above the maximum height - the restraint came down and obviously was down enough, but it had the effect of pushing me to the edge of the seat, resulting in a feeling of being right on the edge. I have no doubt I was completely safe but it didn't feel it. An experience I wont repeat even though I love the ride.

B and M's are the most comfortable!

I have to say that I love being this tall, its just a shame that it directly impacts a hobby that I love.

Last edited by tallguy,
sfmmlovernomatterwhaty'allsay's avatar

I’m 75.5”, so generally don’t get turned away because of my height. I’ve got a long torso, though, so classic Arrows and Vekomas are murderous for me- I got such bad bruising from Demon, Flight Deck, and Kong... not to mention Corkscrew at CP gave me legit whiplash because my head 100% cleared the headrest. Not sure why they even let me ride.

The one coaster I was initially turned away at was Raging Spirits at Tokyo DisneySea. My shoe inserts made me just a bit too tall, so had to try again on another day w/o them in. Even then, the Cast Member was super diligent in ensuring I was actually under the max limit. I finally got the OK, and was added to a list of “cleared” riders.

Jeff's avatar

Your != You're

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kpjb's avatar

I don't really see why it'd be embarrassing. Not your fault you're tall. (see how I used both variants there?)


Maybe embarrassed is too strong a word, but certainly bummed and let down. Looks like such a cool ride!

PS: is there any way for me to edit the thread title and correct my mistake?

When I had to do my first walk of shame because I was too fat? Now, that was embarrassing. Hold your heads high, tall guys.

I’ve mentioned this before, but at the parks I visited in Europe, particularly in The Netherlands where extremely tall people can be the norm, there’s a bar across the entrance to many rides. If your head strikes it out you go.
And the European enthusiasts carry on the same incensed conversations about accommodation that large people do over here.
But I bet there’s no “Row 4” for the tall ones....

I’m tall and fat. Double whammy.

But then again, what do I know?

I recall from my days at Elitch's, the SLC had a height limit of 80" and Half Pipe a limit of 76". I believe the Top Spin had a max limit at well, don't remember what it was though. So while rare, some rides do have limits.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

I am 77-78" as well... The only ride I have ever been turned away from was Green Lantern at SFMM.

There have been a few close calls elsewhere, but no real issues. Many trains can be uncomfortable or difficult to get into because of height, but I can usually squeeze in with some leg maneuvering.

Arrow trains with OTSR's are usually interesting as I have to slouch... PTC's just suck all-around with that hideous lapbar design pushing my long legs toward the center of the car... B&M's are easily the most comfy, for sure. Intamin trains, like on Maverick, are horribly uncomfortable due to that "hump" in the front of the seat, which becomes a pressure point in a very unfortunate area.

Another issue, having size 15 4E shoes, makes it extremely difficult to get into Dragster at CP... My shoes get stuck in the tiny little areas for your feet and I have to do some interesting moves to get in/out. Such a strange design the more I look at it.

So some small issues, but overall, I don't have too many problems.

Last edited by SteveWoA,

77.25" here, but Raptor Track thin. (I add in the quarter 'cuz whenever I tell people I'm 6'5" they say "You've gotta be taller than that!") I've been measured for all but one Vekoma SLC that I've ridden (max height 76"). On all but one they let me ride anyway (I could've weaseled my way on to that one too but figured it was a blessing not to have to ride another SLC). I've been at or over the limit on other rides with no issues. Not sure why the height requirement really comes into play (unless you're monstrously tall). I've had pain on some rides due to height (shoulders, head, knees, shins), but never anything that would keep me from riding. As for the "walk-of-shame" I say, don't sweat it. Since different ride ops might let you on, I say if you're willing to try the line, try to make it work. With the SLC I missed out on, I rode another ride at the same park with the same height limit multiple times with no issues. Never know when you're gonna luck out.

^ The shoes...I had trouble fitting my feet into Flight of Fear at Kings Island and my son too. It was really awkward but we were in the front seat, could that have been why? We only had the chance to ride once and all three of us rode front.

I didn't see a test seat out front, but honestly I wish they had let me try to fit in the restraints. If it's hand chopper clearance ride ops are worried about I know better than to raise my hands on most rides if it's a compact track. My home park is CGA, and I've ridden railblazer probably a dozen times since it opened. I don't dare raise my arms at the bottom of that first drop because it is quite close.

I think that 6'4" is the max for Superman: the Ride at Darien Lake. I think that 6'4" has been a cut-off on a lot of coasters too. I think that sometimes it has to be do with the headchoppers, or the legchoppers on inverted coasters. I want to say that the Minderaser at SFA has had a 6'4" max as well.

6'5" (77 inches). The only ride I have been denied entry was Gotham City Gauntlet (75 inch max) at SFNE. Managed to slouch my way onto Goliath (75 inch max) and Superman (76 inch max). When I was there the ride ops would carry a large "wizard staff" to check maximum height.

At Cedar Point I've been height-checked without issue, including Wicked Twister, Top Thrill Dragster, Maverick, and Gatekeeper (all 78 inch max). If and when they check is sporadic at best, minimum height appears to be the primary concern. On Gatekeeper once they told me to take my shoes off on the ride just in case - very strange.

"If no one is in your row, you may reride."

So as a tall guy, do you think that you would ever legitimately be at risk of tapping a headchopper if you ever kept your hands up? Or is that just a myth?

Dale K's avatar

I haven't tapped any with my hands up but I am not actually trying to reach up and touch it. I will say that Wicked Twister at cedar point is the first time I was nervous about my height (6'5"). I am willing to bet that if I pointed my feet downward, they would scrape the ground.

Last edited by Dale K,

Trackmaster said:

So as a tall guy, do you think that you would ever legitimately be at risk of tapping a headchopper if you ever kept your hands up? Or is that just a myth?

On Valravn in the front seat my foot hit the step when turning up the lift... Scared the hell out of me! I raise my legs when in front now... No issue in row 2/3 due to the elevated seating.Even the brake run platforms are closer than i'd like on that ride. Yet, Valravn has no max height limit (that I'm aware of), but I do get hassled on Gatekeeper all the time and even if I try, my legs/feet won't come close to touching anything.

Never tried to see if I can reach out and hit anything with my hands, I typically keep my arms inside the car at all times ;)

Last edited by SteveWoA,

Arms straight up, my fingers nicked the Gemini headchopper on the drop before the MCBR. Really caught me by surprise. CP Mine Ride has a few places where they actually have a metal shield since it's so easy to hit the support.

There seem to be many instances where it would be easy to reach to the side and hit a support or railing(especially on wooden coasters), so I don't even try and go there.

I've been denied rides on Rye Playland's bumper cars and Morey's Piers Rollie's Coaster for being too tall (although somehow I once got a ride on the latter, even though I've been the same height ever since it opened). My long legs make some rides uncomfortable, because my knees will inevitably press up against something. If the ride has a lot of sudden or dramatic movements, I'll usually end up in a little bit of pain. Nothing like trying to squeeze into the seat of a Broadway theater, though. That's usually sheer torture.

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