Universal Studios Bashed For Restricting Plus-Sized Guests

in Universal Studios Hollywood

Mario Kart Bowser's Challenge

Credit: Universal

Fans have been voicing concerns about the accessibility of Universal Studios’ newest ride.

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance with red carpet
Credit: Universal

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Both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood are filled to the brim with jaw-dropping rides, thrilling attractions, and amazing live entertainment. But the most exciting aspect of the California Resort has to be the brand-new Nintendo-themed land.

Super Nintendo World will be opening on February 17, 2023, and we couldn’t be more excited to experience it when it finally opens at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Super Nintendo World
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

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Super Nintendo World is a gamer’s dream come true, with Universal creating an ultra-immersive world for Guests to get lost in.

The new land isn’t just pretty to look at, however, with Guests having tons to do while inside. Guests who purchase a Power-Up Band can get the most out of the Super Nintendo World, using the band to deepen their interactions across the land.

Guests can also enjoy themed dining at the Toadstool Cafe and do some serious shopping at the 1-UP Factory. However, there is some controversy forming regarding the land’s main attraction, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. This Mario Kart-inspired ride takes Guests on a virtual-reality adventure as they race against familiar characters such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and of course, Bowser.

Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge, new immersive attraction at Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

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Ride accessibility has been a big issue for decades at theme parks, with Guests and fans alike pushing for more inclusivity among theme park rides and attractions. This is a crucial initiative for Resorts like Universal, Disney, and Six Flags to engage in, as it not only allows for more Guests to experience attractions but creates a more welcoming and friendly atmosphere as a whole through the Parks and Resorts.

Unfortunately, Universal Studios Hollywood is being called out for the rather strict requirements for the new Mario Kart-themed ride in Super Nintendo World.

The New York Post detailed some of these reactions from fans, with criticisms mounting against Universal for how limiting this new attraction is. Universal states that anyone whose waistline is 40 inches or greater may not be accommodated on the attraction.

Social media personality and content creator Rocco Botte blasted the ride on Twitter, saying that “the body size limitations on the Mario Kart ride are absolutely ridiculous. I’ve never had any issue fitting into any ride in my entire life, and I can BARELY fit into this one. Completely absurd.”

Bowser statue inside his castle on the Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge attraction in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal

Avid theme park fan and content creator David Vaughn issued a warning about the size restrictions, saying, “Unfortunately, the new Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge attraction comes with a warning that guests whose waistline is at least 40 inches or greater may not be accommodated on the ride.”

Another online personality wrote, “Trust me when I say ‘lose a little weight’ is not a novel suggestion. Universal has a history now of releasing new rides (Harry Potter, Life of Pets, and now Mario Kart where they don’t accommodate big people, yet they WILL take full admission price from us. Seems unethical.”

Similar concerns were raised at Walt Disney World when Avatar Flight of Passage opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The ride features a new type of restraint where Guests are nearly lying down on their stomachs as if they are straddling a bike. Leg restraints unfold and are placed onto the backs of Guest’s ankles.

Disney does not have an official “cutoff” weight limit for this experience but does offer a test seat outside of the attraction for Guests worried about being able to fit into the seat.

Credit: Disney

TRON Lightcycle/Run will reignite these worries for Guests when it opens in April at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Similar to Flight of Passage, Guests straddle the seat, this time a literal bike, with back and leg restraints securing Guests on the ride.

Again, TRON Lightcycle/Run only has a height limit, not a weight limit, meaning Guests will have to check if they are able to experience the ride on the test seat provided. It’s important to note that Universal Orlando will also house its own Super Nintendo World when Epic Universe opens in 2025. The new Park in at the Orlando Resort is set to be massive and will feature tons of new lands, rides and experiences.

Will you be visiting Super Nintendo World when it opens later this year?

in Universal Studios Hollywood

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