How big is too big? Some theme park riders fear small seats and ‘the walk of shame’

Six Flags Weight Restrictions?

This is a good question, without a simple answer.

Most rides don’t have a posted wait limit. A few do, with limits around 250 or 300 lbs. But the cat majority use their restraint systems to prohibit larger would-be-riders from riding. If you have ever ridden a B{amp}amp;M roller coaster with over-the-shoulder harnesses (think Batman: the ride), then you’ve seen the belts that attach the seats to the harnesses. These are there not as a redundant safety device, but to make sure that someone that is too late to ride, will not be able to fit. If the buckle won’t latch, then the guest can’t ride.

It’s har…

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My boss is making a huge gesture and buying all his employees season passes to Six Flags (well, he can get them for cheap hahah), but I’m a rather large dude, at 5’10″/340 lbs. I haven’t been to Six Flags in over a decade/100 lbs lol, so I honestly have no idea if I would fit in any rides at all. I know El Toro is notoriously for the thinner-minded of us, but all the rest? I remember loving Nitro (not even sure if they still have it hahah) but I can’t remember how much room I had in the seats back then.

Anyone have any resources I can read through about this?

Six Flags Magic Mountain:

Im overweight and just questioning what rides are good and bad to ride.

Hi, my cousin is getting married and her along with her fiance decided to combine the bachelor and bachelorette party and take the wedding party to six flags magic mountain. My concern is that i am a big girl. i am bout 300lbs, i wear 2x/3x clothes and am a size 24 in pants. I have never been to many theme parks. I went to California Adventures park and rode the SCREAMIN roller coaster and had no problem. But i am unsure about six flags. is there any suggestions of what rides i can and cannot ride. Any input would be wonderful. I just want to save myself the embarassment. Thank you!

I know that they put weight restrictions on water slides…..though they do not enforce them…I’m not sure about the coasters. I think as long as you can fit in the seat, you can ride. I know thats how it is at parks like Islands of Adventure that provides modified seating on their coasters.

Really? Modified Seating? Cool!

If you could fit in Californian Screamin, I do not see it being too much of a problem at Magic Mountain.

Yeah, modified seating….for fatties like me Anthony. Its not on every car, just certain seats. And Busch does it as well.

Well I am not too skinny either!

That reminds me! I need to stay on my New Year’s Resolution!

That might say something about our society in general with the bigger seats and all. I wonder if Disney does or will do this.

Well I used to be about the same size I liked to never had gotten in the GA Cyclone seats but the inverted, standups, floorless coasters haven’t been any trouble at all, neither has regular coasters like viper, Loch Ness, Ninja, BBWolf, etc. SFOG Ninja {amp}amp; GASM was a slight snug fit but nothing like the Cyclone. I’m happy to say I’ve lost SOME weight but still have trouble w/certain coaster trains like the Cylone but I did ok w/Colossus, Rattler, Rebel Yell, Hurler, which, like Roy Scream was a slight snug fit but nothing like Cyclone {amp}amp; did fine on any of the reg. steelies which had enough room. Weird huh. Just keep in mind that it seems, for me anyway in my opinion just for myself, as though the older models like viper, SFOG Ninja, etc. have a narrow fit as opposed to newer ones like the floorless, inverts {amp}amp; standups which I know the inverts have special seats just for larger people like me, they’re usually rows 5-6 or 4-5, I know that Alpengeist had a sign posted telling which seats were the larger seats. As far as SFMM, you might fit in Viper, Superman, Ninja. You most likely will fit in Riddler’s Revenge, Batman, Colossus, Scream, {amp}amp; Goliath but dunno about X, Revolution, DeJaVu, the mine train or Tatsu since I haven’t ridden those 5. Hope this helps.

From Sara Giba

Posted March 8, 2008 at 11:06 AM

So, I know it’s a year later but how did it go? I’m overweight too but never had any problem with any ride, except batman. For some reason, and maybe it’s the way I’m built, after the shoulder harness comes down it takes the attendant a lot of push to get my belt snapped in the crotch. Anyone else experience this?

Ya you should be fine on all B{amp}amp;M. Try to aviod arrows like viper, and revolution the seats are tight for me and im not over weight. But im also 6 foot 1.

Not on that one but liked to have never gotten the belt clicked on UltraTwister or Poltergeist which I’ve ridden several times but for some reason last time, cudn’t hardly get it done {amp}amp; I’d LOST some weight by that time.

i don’t know of any «weight restrictions» on the roller coasters. but if the safety restraints do not close the way they are designed to, then that person won’t be allowed to ride. the park doesn’t make the rules, the state doesn’t make the rules, it’s the company that made the ride that makes the rules. one time, i was trying to secure a guest on a roller coaster and the safety bar just would not close. i tried and tried using all my weight (i’m a big guy too) with no luck. she wasn’t huge, but her legs were and that prevented the lap bar from securing properly. she wanted to see a supervisor. she stated that we embaresed her trying to secure the lap bar. did i get in trouble? no, because i went by the book and it was a safety issue. same thing with kids not tall enough to ride a ride. again, safety issue. i would hear it all from upset parents. «my kid already rode it» sorry. not going to put YOUR child’s safety in danger just because you didn’t check the height limit that is posted at the begining of the line.

Well, I just went to SFMM last weekend, and the one coaster that I had a problem with was Batman. the strap was about 4 inches away from the fastener, and took the help of the attendant and not breathing deeply for the duration of the ride to get on. Now I’m not a small guy (5’8 270lbs 54 jacket size), but I thought that it was strange, because six months eariler, I went to Disneyland, and my wife and I fit in Space Mountain with no problems(I was in the 290 range then, and My wife was over 310). Just wondering if it’s the way B{amp}amp;M made it or what. I guess I’ll find out when I’m on Flight Deck later today at California’s Great America.

regarding magic mountain california, the only ride that you may not be able to fit in is the riddler. scream has a special seat (there are two belt that meet on the middle versus one between the legs) colossus, viper and all the older coasters have lap belts that work fine. looks like could just be a bit tight

I disagree, Riddler’s is a standup, they have a lot more room than even the floorless type like Scream because the harness is only over the shoulder, your lower body is not sitting IN anything, just on a little bitty bicycle seat which might pinch your rump but since there’s no restrictive box to sit in you’re basically «free to move about the cabin» so-to-speak. As for Batman, I’ve never had any trouble latching down {amp}amp; my top half is quite a bit bigger than my bottom half so you’d think I’d have trouble latching down or buckling but so far I haven’t, I’ve only had trouble in certain woodies {amp}amp; Arrows. I’ve only ridden a couple of Scwartzkopfs like Revolution {amp}amp; Rev was closed when I went so I really can’t tell you about that one, especially since I think it still has OTS Restraints which is odd for them because they usually only have a lap bar in most cases. The suspended coasters like the Ninja at SFMM may be kinda hard getting in/out of, I usually have trouble w/that but once I’m in I’m okay. Anyway, I hope you had a good time.

this is off topic but im 5’10 and weigh 240 pounds and when i sit down my stomach in 12 inches would i have any problem on the rides?

i’v bean to SFNE and went on super man but it was a tight fit but iv lost 15 pounds since then.

some one please tell me cuz i don’t want to drive a day and not get on the good rides

From lan jav

Posted June 7, 2009 at 12:26 PM


I can’t really tell you about Six Flags Magic Mountain but im sure it is like my local park Six Flags ST. Louis there should be signs in the ride ques also you may ask a ride operator but if you are really unsure go to guest services and ask about which rides they will let you ride.

I just went to Six Flags Great Adventure yesterday. I am about 5″9″ 300Lbs and although I still have somewhat of an athletic build I am still plenty fat around the waist.

Roller Coasters and Fit.

Superman — Good fit with plenty of room to spare.

Scream Machine — No problem

Nitro — Little snug but in there.

Rolling Thunder, Dark Night, Skull Mountain — Tight but not really a problem.

Bizzaro — Renovated Medusa. There is a big person seat in row 5. It was the only ride that I saw yesterday that said that specifically. It was still a very tight fit though… Not uncomfortable but took a good amount of force to get it buckled.

Batman — No way… Couldn’t squeeze the seatbelt in.

El Toro — Not even close. Lap seat belt had a good 6 inches left to be able to close… I saw normal sized men squeezed into this ride. I asked about any rows with bigger seats and they said there weren’t any. This ride seemed to just be built small.

After researching the internet for a couple of days on weight restrictions for Magic Mountain I found nothing that could really help out. Of course some of the writers on this thread made me feel a little better but was still extremely nervous to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain since I didn’t want to embarrass myself. After sending them e-mails asking about weight restriction and test seats I got such bias answers that I just decided to go.

There are no weight restrictions in any ride. Basically if you can lock the restraints you can ride. I am a big girl at 300lbs and 5’4 inches tall. I wear a 22 size pants and a 2x/3x blouse size. If you’re a girl, you have to realize that the reason why you might not fits it’s because of your thighs and not your stomach.

Rides that you will fit

All water rides
Déjà vu
Terminator (tight snug but in)

Stay away from Scream and Riddler Revenge you will not fit.

My friend who is a male 6’0 and 300lbs was able to ride every single ride including the Scream (tight snug) and the Riddler Revenge (good fit). I guess men have a better body type for the rides.

Hopefully this helps. Enjoy the trip and stop worrying about fitting in the rides.

This question is for carolina herrera

did you ride batman? and how was the fit?

I’m going to six flags in calfornia in August and wanted to know if there is a weight limit on any of the rides?? Please let me know…I would very much appercatie it Thanks=-)

Ok I’m 6 4 280 and I worry about the rides to but I just went to magic mountain and here is how I fit on the rides

X2: Good fit

Viper: barley fit (legs were to long)

Tatsu: Good fit

De ja vu: too tall :(

Apacolypse (terminator): ok fit a little tight

Ninja: sit in the front part of the car couldn’t fit in back

Riddlers revenge: too big

Scream: sat in the seat for big guys and fit

Goliath: plenty of room on that bad boy

Didn’t ride colassus or batman

Hope this helps can someone make me a list for cedar point? Thanks


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How big is too big? Some theme park riders fear small seats and ‘the walk of shame’

Universal’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has bedeviled many big and tall riders who discover at the last moment that their journey aboard the new attraction is indeed forbidden because they don’t fit in the “enchanted benches.”

The uncomfortable scene is a familiar one to anybody who has ever visited a theme park: The overweight rider becomes increasingly embarrassed as the ride attendant pushes and shoves with all his might on the over-the-shoulder restraint that stubbornly refuses to click closed. Everybody waiting in line knows what comes next: the walk of shame.

“The walk of shame is an embarrassing experience,” said Mike Galvan, who penned the “Big Boy’s Guide to Roller Coasters.” “I’ve been there many times. It’s disheartening.”

Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster coaster at Cedar Point.

(Cedar Point)

Galvan likens the straight back and flat seat on Forbidden Journey to an “old wooden chair” that provides little wiggle room for larger riders.

“When the over-the-shoulder restraint comes down, if part of you is hanging over, whether it be your gut, your thighs or your shoulders, you’re going to be very uncomfortable,” Galvan said.

While there are no height or weight maximums for Forbidden Journey, the safety restraints must be able to close properly in order for guests to ride, Universal officials said.

Wild Eagle

The Wild Eagle coaster at Dollywood.


Like many theme park attractions, Forbidden Journey has a tester seat near the entrance for visitors who might be worried they won’t fit on the ride. But as big and tall riders will tell you, those tester seats often can be misleading.

“I do not trust the accuracy of the test seats, no matter the park,” Galvan said. “I can only suspect that the seat belts on the test seats are intentionally short to minimize the potential of riders getting the ‘walk of shame’ at the station. I’ve also had the opposite happen, where I made the test seats but was rejected from the actual ride.”

Galvan, 31, is a regular contributor to SFGAmWorld, a fan site for Six Flags Great America outside Chicago. In 2007, he was so overweight that he stopped going to theme parks because he no longer could fit on the rides. Over the next three years, he lost more than 130 pounds so he could return to his passion: roller coasters.


The Mammoth water slide at Splashin’ Safari water park at Holiday World.

(Holiday World)

Anybody who has ever been kicked off a ride because he or she was too big will tell you that theme park attractions are not designed for people who are heavier or taller than average.

All theme parks have euphemistic names for “exceptional sized riders” or “guests of larger size” —those who are too fat or too tall to fit safely in an attraction seat. Some ridemakers even try to make accommodations with “big boy seats.”

So how big is too big?

Cedar Fair, the parent company of Knott’s Berry Farm and 10 other amusement parks, offers very specific size requirements for “guests of larger size.” Cedar Fair warns that men over 6 foot 2 inches or 225 pounds with a 40-inch waistline or 52-inch chest “may not be accommodated on some of our rides.” The park operator says women over 200 pounds who wear a size 18 or larger could have trouble fitting on some rides.

Wicked Twister

The Wicked Twister coaster at Cedar Point.

(Cedar Point)

At Ohio’s Cedar Point, some coasters like Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster and GateKeeper have a 6-foot-6-inch height maximum. Ohio’s Kings Island institutes height maximums for a number of rides, including Firehawk (6-foot-9), Invertigo (6-foot-6) and Delirium (6-foot-4). Tennessee’s Dollywood has 6-foot-6-inch height maximums on a number of rides, including the Wild Eagle wing coaster. The Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain has a height maximum of 6 foot 5 inches.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia sets aside two rows of seats on the Alpengeist and Griffon coasters for riders with “chest measurements exceeding 52 inches.”

Utah’s S{amp}amp;S Worldwide, which makes roller coasters and drop towers, sets its restraints for a maximum weight of 300 pounds and equips its seatbelt locking mechanisms with no-go sensors that restrict over-sized riders.

Splashin’ Safari water park at Holiday World in Indiana uses a walk-on scale to ensure the maximum weight on the six-passenger Mammoth rafts doesn’t exceed 1,050 pounds.

It’s a Small World

Disney’s It’s a Small World water ride.


Disney parks have no height or weight maximums on any attractions, according to officials. Disneyland famously replaced the 1964 boats on It’s a Small World because the increasing waistlines of Americans were causing them to run aground — an assertion reported by MiceChat and vigorously denied by Disney officials.

Theme park officials typically respond with prepared statements when asked about making accommodations for “riders with unique physical attributes” (such as this one from Six Flags): “We work closely with ride manufacturers to incorporate safety systems that are designed to accommodate people of average physical stature and body proportions. We require that all seatbelts, lap bars and shoulder harnesses be positioned and fastened properly. Due to the rider restraint system, guests of a larger size may not be accommodated on some rides.

As has been well documented, Americans are getting fatter. The average weight for adult men has risen from 166 pounds in 1960 to 195 pounds in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average weight for women increased from 140 to 166 pounds during the same period.

Addressing the issue is complicated for ridemakers in part because every rider carries weight differently — with problem areas ranging from the hips, waist and stomach to the chest and shoulders. For big riders, coaster rideability varies from park to park.

One of the biggest concerns for larger riders is what Galvan calls the “seat belt lottery.”

“It’s absolutely amazing how from one row to another, the length of the seat belt will vary,” Galvan said. “The only reason I can think for this irregularity would be off-season maintenance. Some rides are more egregious than others in this department.”

Older coasters by Arrow Dynamics and Schwarzkopf tend to be the easiest to ride for larger riders, according to Galvan’s “Big Boy’s Guide to Roller Coasters.” Some Bolliger {amp}amp; Mabillard rides can be tight fits, while others offer rows with larger seats, Galvan said. Vekoma, Gerstlauer and Mack Rides typically present few problems, while Premier and Intamin often prove difficult for bigger riders, he said. Intamin’s suspended launch coasters like Wicked Twister at Cedar Point and Volcano at Virginia’s Kings Dominion cause the most problems for big riders, Galvan said.

“The issue with these rides is the seat belt and the lack of an audible ‘click’ when pulling the restraint down,” Galvan said. “Not to mention that you have the seat several feet off the ground, so you have to tippy toe or jump up to get into the seat. Depending on your body dimensions, you might not be able to maneuver yourself to get into the seat properly.”

There are no industry standards among ridemakers and amusement parks when it comes to accommodating bigger riders. Some parks require two locking clicks to secure a lap bar or over-the-shoulder restraint on a ride, while others insist on three clicks. Seat belt lengths can vary from ride to ride and row to row.

“Most manufacturers, if not all, hoping to do business in the U.S. are now offering optional ‘jumbo’ seats to buyers to fit larger adults,” said Bob Dean of Florida-based Leisure Labs, which represents Mack Rides, Great Coasters International and Mondial.

Parks cite safety concerns whenever a large rider is prohibited from a ride. In recent years, there have been several high-profile accidents involving larger riders being thrown from a theme park ride.

A man who weighed more than 300 pounds was seriously injured in 1999 when he was ejected from the Superman coaster at the former Six Flags Darien Lake. Six Flags argued that the man was too large for the ride’s lap bar restraint to engage.

Investigators said the rider’s weight was a contributing factor in the death of a 292-pound woman who fell out of the Perilous Plunge water ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2001.

In 2004, a 5-foot-2-inch, 230-pound man fell to his death from the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags New England. A state report found the overweight man’s girth prevented a T-bar restraint from fitting firmly.


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