Creator Addresses Complaints of Size-Restrictions Amid Disney and Universal Backlash

in Theme Parks

A group of people riding Walt Disney World's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World received a lot of backlash earlier this year when they opened TRON Lightcycle / Run due to the fact that many people were having trouble fitting into the seats of the roller coaster. This marked the first time Disney has really had an issue like this, as they’re typically seen as the more “size-inclusive” Park. Universal has famously been slammed for their tight seats and discriminatory size requirements for most of their thrill rides.

Four Guests upside down on a Universal ride.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

The theme park community has been calling attention to the lack of size-inclusive rides at the Universal Parks for years, and the uproar was at an all-time high with the opening of TRON and the thought that Disney was heading in the same direction. In a recent video posted to TikTok, creator @jothemama stitches a video that included a woman discussing the issues she faces as a plus-size traveler. These issues, according to the original video, include size-restrictive excursions, non-reinforced toilets, and flimsy chairs.

Guests ride bicycle-like vehicles through a trippy field of space flowers.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

In response to the video, @jothemama explains that she used to work as a trail guide for horseback riding tours. She explains that the trail rides had weight restrictions for the safety of the horse, stating that horses have no regard for what is or isn’t politically correct or inclusive. She continues her explanation by talking about zip lines, roller coaster harnesses, boats, and bicycles also aren’t aware, they just have to follow the laws of physics.

rock n roller coaster
Credit: Disney

“The world is your oyster, and I understand that there are situations where people are unable to control their weight,” she says. “If you intentionally put yourself in a situation where there are rules and boundaries in place to protect your safety that are outside the control of those operating the situation, and you get mad, that’s on you.”

A couple rides TRON Lightcycle/Run at Disney World
Credit: @jump2parkspeed on Instagram

The comments agree with her, with many stating they’re either plus-size and understand there’s things they physically just can’t do, or they lost the weight in order to do it. “People saying they need to design for larger don’t realize that they need to fit a range,” comments @adgesanchez12. Compared to Universal, Disney’s attractions are pretty lowkey. Very few are considered actual “thrill” rides, and while Disney does have roller coasters, they’re pretty mild compared to those offered at Universal, SeaWorld, or other theme parks.

SeaWorld Orlando Is Now Offering FREE Beer
Credit: SeaWorld Orlando

Considering Disney caters to and is marketed as being a family-friendly theme park, it makes sense that their rides are mild in comparison. At most, the majority of their attractions have a height requirement, which is also a safety factor. As @bussdownbarb says, “there are also height requirements for certain activities, but you don’t hear petite people complaining about them.” Unfortunately, there have been occasions of parents using boosted shoes to make their kids seem taller to ride rides, but again, the rides are designed with certain safety factors in mind, whether that be height or weight.

Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando
Credit: SeaWorld

With the addition of TRON to the Magic Kingdom, it gives older kids and Guests a more thrilling attraction to ride in order to make them feel included as well. Universal offers several roller coasters that flip, take Guests upside down, and through sharp turns, similar to TRON. Due to the nature of these rides, it requires certain height, weight, and safety restrictions. While Universal should include more size-inclusive attractions throughout their Parks, Disney’s newest coaster is the only one with restrictions.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster glowing green at sunset.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

It’s an unfortunate exclusion for many people, but as @jothemama states in her video, “a roller coaster harness does not decide who it fastens for.” As technology continues to improve and innovations are made, it’s very likely that roller coasters and more thrilling rides will be able to accommodate riders of all ages, height, and size.

Do you think that theme parks need to include more size-inclusive rides? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments below.

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