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Comments for OpEd: Is Universal Orlando Too Exclusionary?

Universal Orlando

All Images Credit Universal

24 Comments

  1. This is a very interesting article. My husband was unable to ride Pandora’s Flight of Passage because he was too tall. His long legs didn’t squish in there. He got a fast pass for the whole group because they couldn’t lock him in; they used it for Dinosaur. Losing weight in this case would not work. He would have to get shorter. I wonder if ride vehicles are not designed for Americans (size of waistline or height). Americans are taller. I hope he can fit into the Tron Lightcycle.

    1. Chris

      If Tron is designed the same way, they have two ADA friendly regular seats at the end of at least some of the trains, so hopefully.

  2. EricJ

    Are you asking that they give you PERMISSION to be fat?
    That’s not under their jurisdiction.

    (Me, I can’t ride most of the Hogwarts, Pandora or Galaxy’s Edge rides from Access concerns, but at least it’s not my own fault.)

    1. Chris

      You do understand that many people who are over weight have other medical conditions that prevent them from loosing the weight, no matter how “right” they eat and how much they exercise right? In short, being overweight isn’t always their own fault.

      Additionally, there are people with no medical conditions that eat perfectly, exercise and never loose weight, but are considered perfectly healthy otherwise, so there is no need for surgery.

      So please stop the fat shaming and claiming that it’s their own fault they can’t fit on the rides.

      1. Eric M

        You see a lot of old people and you see a lot of fat people, there is a reason you don’t see a lot of old fat people.

        Everything you’ve just said is what’s wrong with America prioritizing people’s feelings over their health is getting people killed years before they should.

        There is no magical medical affliction that will prevent you from losing weight that is untreatable.

        Obesity is caused by a combination of two things laziness and lack of self control.

        If you are so obese you cannot fit on a roller coaster your choice of theme parks is not your gravest concern.

        1. AL

          You are so wrong on this one buddy. I have degenerative disc disease. I am unable to work out for more than 5 minutes because of it. I also have an extremely slow metabolism because I have had to be limited on what I can do for so many years. If I eat a salad, I gain weight. My husband is 6’5″ and built like a linebacker. He’s in the gym daily, he was also born with type 1 diabetes. A lifetime of injecting yourself with insulin makes you overweight. We are just 2 instances. There are MANY MANY more.

  3. KenG

    Obviously all rides must have some restrictions due to size and shape for safety and we have seen over the years the consequences if that fails.
    However…. As you said a 40” waist is not that large and really for men fairly average (I myself wear size 34-36” pants but I’m only 5’6” tall).
    So, I am wondering if they mean 40” across at the waist line rather than 40” in circumference.
    There needs to be better clarification here and to the author of this article, that should have been asked directly of Universal!

    1. robert

      no they mean standard 40″ waist, height makes it harder too

  4. Chris

    What’s do terrible about it? It is showing how they are not being inclusive.

    1. Dan

      I am 6′ 3″ and almost 300 lbs. I fit on every ride I tried (including everything mentioned in this article) at both Universal and Island of Adventure. This article is pure Disney backed BS

      1. Noel Salas

        When you have a freakin KIDDIE ride at US Hollywood, Secret Life of Pets, with a freaking MEASURING BAR that doesn’t allow parents to ride, that is absolutely effin ridiculous. The dam ride moves at 1 mile per hour, are we going to spin out?? fall out? They are not inclusive at all.

      2. Drew

        Dan, you are a lying schill. I am 6’2 and just under 300 and I could not fit on any of those rides

    2. Jeffrey

      I just came back from Universal last week. I’m only 5 foot 9 and I weight 245. I had no issue riding almost every ride mentioned. My waist is over 40 inches so not sure this article is right.

  5. Steven Eldredge

    The Problem With Using Averages.

    Average, (or mean) often doesn’t represent reality. for example:

    Person A has $0.00
    Person B has $1.00
    Person C has $2.00
    Person D has $97.00

    The average person in the group above has $25.00. The reality is that no one in the group has an amount of money that even remotely resembles the average amount of $25.00.

    What really matters is the Distribution of waist sizes. How does Universal’s Attractions compare to the Median waist size?

    It is Very Very likely that Universal’s Attractions fit at least 80%+ of their guests.

    Be careful with “Average” Median is much more useful. (50% are below, 50% are above) I went looking for the Median waist sizes and couldn’t find them… I guess that the median waist size doesn’t make a very good headline!

  6. Eric M

    What a ridiculous article. Congratulations on being the symbol of everything WRONG with America in the 21st century. If Americans are shovel so much food in their face and exercising so little they can’t fit into rides built for normal sized humans by their European manufacturers the issue is a public health crisis and not the “inclusivity of the theme parks”

    SMH

  7. Candace

    Well the fact that they are Disney largest opponent, thousands of guest each week visit the park. I think they are exclusive enough. Dontcha think. Terrible article…. Disappointing Disney. Thought you were better 🙄

  8. Hank

    It’s actually a really interesting and informative article Mike. Maybe a few of the big words were too hard for you to understand.

  9. Joe

    I spent a short vacation at Universal with the intent of riding the HP rides. I was kicked off both of them. My waistline was 50 inches. I will never go back there.
    Also, now WDW is doing the same thing. Can’t fit on Avatar and most likely not on the new Tron.

  10. David Jose Hernandez

    Wow. Universal, not just as a theme park, but as a company is so f*cking stupid and idiotic. That the safety and accessibility toward visitors being their #1 top priority, is a complete joke. A lie. Which is no wonder why disney seems to be destroying them in terms of keeps their customers safe and happy to ride anything

  11. Lee

    “Disney has proven that roller coasters can have loops and be fast and exciting, but also not be incredibly restrictive.” How so? Any disney coaster that goes upside down have the exact same OTS restraints that UO has on there coasters.

  12. Marlee

    Well this article fails to account the fact that Disney has their own team of engineers and they build their own rides. Thats why they are called imagineers. Universal does not, they actually contract companies like Intamin or Bolinger and Mabillard to build their rides. So while they maybe involved in the themeing of a ride, that doesn’t mean that they have much input in the manufacturers constraint devices. that its what helps protect universal incase of a guest injury or something like a person falling off a ride where to happen. Thats why their team is know as universal creative. Does this mean they have zero engineers on staff? no, their role is more of a maintenance one. It is however kind of sad that the person that wrote this article made no mention of this, because while disney had the real estate and budget to have their own engineering team on retainer other theme parks dont. Much like universal, they pick from a manufacturer’s catalog

    1. Christine

      This isn’t true. Rock n’ Rollercoaster and Expedition Everest were manufactured by Vekoma (Dutch). Incredicoaster was manufactured by Intamin (Liechtenstein) and Slinky Dog Dash by Mack Rides (German). There’s actually plenty of overlap between Disney and UO coaster manufacturers as well, ex. Velocicoaster was also manufactured by Intamin. In both cases the commissioner (Disney/Universal) is paying for a product and should have the freedom to lay out their desired specifications. They’re still at least partially responsible for the final product.

      1. Mac Russ

        Yeah, no. It’s all about the ride mechanics and experience. Restrictive restraints and smaller ride vehicles sometimes are necessary to accommodate the G-forces that are incurred. THINK about the difference here. It’s why this article is ridiculous.

        Intamin has slung a few people out of their cars over the years, so it makes sense that their most intense coaster to-date would have extremely limiting restraints/cars. Compare it to Incredicoaster which is one of their tamest; it CAN have an ADA section. Same with Vekoma. The restraints and cars for Expedition Everest and Rock and Rollercoaster are much more free and accommodative than their newer launch coasters.

        Disney offers family experiences, Universal offers THRILLS. Disney pushes the frontier of world-building. Universal sometimes pushes the frontier of thrill rides. Universal just installed an Intamin coaster that tries it’s best to eject you. Past Intamins have succeeded. The restraints and accessibility are tied to the severity/uniqueness of the ride.

  13. Simon

    Seems to me, tall people can’t help it, but obesity is not compatible with these rides. Maybe health is a concern, that the rides may cause harm to larger guests.

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