back to article Harry Potter theme park magically swallows big visitors

The operators at the Harry Potter Theme Park are busily enlarging the attraction's key ride after finding that it is a little too snug for many visitors. Universal Orlando announced on Monday it was "adjusting" the harnesses on its Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, in which robotic arms whirl carloads of punters …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Human rights violations!

    No doubt if they hadn't chubbed up the ride capacity, some tubbies would be marching (in their mobility scooters) to Congress in protest.

    We're here, we're king-size, we do want extra french fries..

    1. Player_16

      You are a terrorist...

      ...for posting that!

      You're killing me!

  2. Monty Burns
    IT Angle

    Never mind the big kids!

    I've never seen a ride cause so many tears from little kids. When you get off the ride (which is pretty awesome by the way!) there are always kids in tears.....

    Seems its a little to scarey for its target audience!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Harry potter!

    I think someone who is 300lb being "a little snug" on a children's theme park ride is fairly reasonable...

    Oh wait, it's in America!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    32 Jubs of whirling blubber...

    Never mind the increased harness size what has the mechanical safety factor of the ride gone down to?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "as they travel through part of Harry's fictional life."

    but which part? the part where he lives under the stairs? that would suck.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Harry Potter

    and the Philosophers 25 stone


    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Harry Potter

      I'll give you that one.

  7. georgeclooneylookalike

    Fact Hunt!

    Seriously, how long before someone falls out of a ride because they were too slim to fill the seat? We need a fat tax.

    1. SalemTheRat

      or a Fat Head tax

      Then YOU can pay.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Not always

      Depends how they enlarge the seat. if it's just a secondary restraint (that seat belt bit) that's lengthened it's no big deal unless they make it too long (ie it comes up too much if the primary restraint fails and allows an minimum size occupant to fall out). They can also reshape the harness bars so that a larger guest will fit again at no loss of safety to a smaller guest.

      Colossus at Thorpe Park had a "fat seat" as does Nemesis which basically was a longer belt and slightly less padding on the bars IIRC.

      Also it's not always fat, broad shoulders people will struggle with some rides as they won't fit in the gap and so the bars can't come down far enough with out crushing their shoulders, also I remember a friend telling Jordan to get off as her breasts were to big and the bar wouldn't lock closed.

      That said I have dealt with "larger" parents taking kids on lap bar type rides, who got a s**t on when I suggested that over a foot of free air between the kid and the bar wasn't safe so I wanted them to move to separate bars.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Not always

        *awaits inevitable*

  8. Andrew Moore

    We are taking about a country...

    ...where theme parks like this provide mobility scooters to its patrons, lest the fat f*cks actually get some exercise.

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      The riding of mobility scooters

      They could make the riding of mobility scooters an attraction in and of itself like the family fun-day episode of Phoenix Nights!

      Would be a great excuse too for an officially licensed version of "Potters Big Pink Paradise"!

      1. Ferret

        I'm waiting patiently...

        ...for Mr. Creosote's wild ride.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      on the subject of countries

      I'd like to point out that Britain's "The Biggest Loser" first aired within a few months of its American version. I don't watch much OTT TV here, and my only exposure to TBL is the Brit version on in-flight entertainment, along with other gems like "How Clean is Your House."

      I can't speak to the availability of mobility scooters as I haven't been to a Disney or Six Flags park in over 15 years. (I did however ride The Anaconda at Gold Reef City not too long ago and I think I nearly collapsed a few vertebrae pulling the retaining bar down. I'm 6' tall -- I pity taller people on these sorts of rides.)

      I've seen plenty of plus-size Brits on my travels -- so pot, kettle; black.

    3. Velv

      Viva Las Vegas

      Best I ever saw was in Las Vegas, where not only were the fatties riding around on the scooters, but they took them on the moving walkways!

      And it wasn't even for a speed rush - they didn't drive them on the walkways, they just sat there.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Was there in February, the Harry Potter development was looking very impressive.

      Witnessed a guy being turned away from The Mummy ride because they couldn't close the restraint enough... and yes, there were mobility scooters available, although I only saw a couple of kids racing around in them - probably sat their mum on a bench and left her there...

    5. Joe Zeff

      @Andrew Moore

      And what makes you think that the mobility scooters are only (or even mostly) for the overweight? I have a pair of friends who'd be unable to visit that park without them, because they're both in their 80s and couldn't walk long or far enough without one. I suppose it makes you feel good, somehow, to know that you're preventing my friends from visiting the park with their grandchildren. Personally, I'd suggest that you be a little less judgmental, lest you too be judged.

      There's an old saying that you might give a little thought to: Mene mene teckel uparshin!

  9. DP 1


    Disney and Universal have both fitted "plus sized" seating on their theme park rides in the past 5 years or so, this isn't that new. They just didn't fit them in HP world from the opening, which given the increasing average size of American waistbands, they probably should have done.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Have Cake, Will Travel.

    I always have my cake and eat it, as far as I'm concerned it's the only way. Just try eating cake that you don't have.

    Now, if I was able to eat my cake and still have it, now that would have been something.

    Anon, because I'm probably the only person sad enough to find the bloody expression annoying enough to post about it :(.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      If it makes you feel any better, you're annoyed for all the wrong reasons. That's exactly what the expression means: you would have your cake and eaten it. Ordinarily the two things are mutually exclusive - the expression means you wish have it in your hands and have eaten it simultaneously.

      It's been bastardised over recent years admittedly.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Chill

        'Eat your cake and keep it' might be better. But it's too late to change now.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I still have my cake

      I just ate someone else's. It seems that the cake was not a lie!

      1. Stumpy

        That's good...

        If it's someone else's cake, then it has no calories ... so feel free to have their cake and eat it.

  11. James Hughes 1

    Real men go on Mission:Space

    None of this namby wizard stuff. We want more trips to Mars.

    (Mission:Space - ride that most impressed me. Including that mental roller coaster at Busch gardens with an 80ft vertical drop)

  12. Montybank

    After trip to Mousewitz...

    I don't consider myself to be skinny in any way, (former loose head prop) but I was at disney this summer and holy carp did I feel thin and willowy. There were fleets of the little scooters wherever you looked. My mate refers to the riders as being "rascal fat" after the name of a popular brand of scooter.

    On one ride, it was snug for me, while they had to disallow a 15 yr old girl because they couldn't get the safety bar down. And I'm in my "built for comfort, not for speed" years...

    They'd best get those killbots on line as the military won't be able to see their own "boots on the gound".

  13. Graham Marsden

    They should have read Discworld...

    ... then they would have known that almost all Wizards come in the "oversized" category!

    (Who owns this robe with "Born to Rune" on the back...?)

    1. Just2Say

      Discworld has real wizards

      Graham, it was the Dean is Soul Music

      Americans do love to big it up

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Bumper cars

    "We are talking about a country where.....where theme parks like this provide mobility scooters to its patrons, lest the fat f*cks actually get some exercise."

    Probably someone claimed under ADA (Americans w/ Disabilities Act) that they were required. I don't know when "really fat" became a disability, and why someone that big couldn't bring their OWN scooter. But yeah. That said, my grandma is pretty out of shape and old, last time we went to a theme park she used a scooter. The park is very hilly, very spread out so there was a LOT of walking, and she has bad ankles.

    "They could make the riding of mobility scooters an attraction in and of itself"

    Well they do have bumper cars 8-).

  15. peyton?

    Parks I've been to

    For things with restraints, like coasters, they have a dummy seat at the start of the queue that you can plop yourself down into and determine, before waiting, if you will fit the ride.

    Seems like a simple solution to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Like @ airports

      Hand baggage gauges labelled "if it won't go in, it doesn't go on". It's soooo much fun watching when they try to enforce that :)

    2. Shane Orahilly

      re: Parks I've been to

      It's a solution, but once you've paid your entrance fee to a park, it's going to be gut-wrenching (ha) to find out you can't get on anything, whether you queue or not. A better solution would be either the "Every body's Happy" option that has been adopted of adjusting seats to suit the larger frame, or the more harsh (but twistedly amusing and not necessarily business-wise) option of making sure all media advertising the theme parks states "Most rides unsuitable for chubbers, but we have plenty of restaurants and fairground food for you to console yourself with".

      Prepare for boarding? I think not, Lardbucket.

  16. Jason DePriest

    I'm a little big large

    but even I understand that rides that hoist you up into the air and fly you around have to have weight limits.

    There are engineering and cost concerns and, at some point, you have to say, "this is the cut off."

    I've a gimpy eye which means I can't see all the fancy new 3D movies in 3D. I don't expect the studios to spend millions coming up with a magic way for me to see their fancy attractions. Just like I don't expect rides to accommodate my rolling gut.

  17. Tigra 07

    Details details details

    Did this ride have a cart to get into like a roller coaster or was the fat guy supposed to sit on a broom and expect it to carry his weight?

  18. JeeBee

    Disney Diet

    Why can't they fast track the fatties to a special ride which administers a rapid weight loss programme?

    Hey, they've got to power those bio-diesel cars somehow! Unlimited, free fuel!

    And meat for burgers.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    300 pounds = 21.4285714 stone

    F@@k me, 300 pounds is 21 stone .. is this "kid" American? If he is, surely even British kids were calling him a lard a$$ while queuing up? 21 Stone is surely an arm-chair football supporter by our standards not a "kid".

    Where's that farmer who wanted to use a big catapult to send $hit flying on trespassers when you need him? He can wave his magic wand as he goes ............. FLYING THRU THE AIR ...... weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fat check at entrance

    Having had pre-launch entry (good ol' Virgin holidays), and actually having a chance to go on the ride, I can assure you that there are demo ride seats at the entrance of the ride.

    Just 'cause you ignore it, don't mean it ain't there. Fatty.

  21. gimbal


    That man's motivation to loose weight - starting at 300+ pounds - his motivation is: So that he can fit himself into an amusement park ride, but - more special than that - it's a Harry Potter amusement park ride.

    o m g.

    To each their own... I hope it works out for him. Besides that I'm sure it would make for quite the touchy-feely "human interest" piece, on local news, I just hope it works out for that man's health. Geez.

  22. Bill Fresher


    I'm 7 foot 3 inches, weigh 22.5 stone and have 7% body fat. I can't fit on these blimmin' rides either. It's not just the jelly bellies that are losing out.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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