Friday, June 25, 2010
Most people remember the feeling of not being tall enough to ride an amusement park ride, but some would-be riders of the signature attraction at Universal Studios' new "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park in Orlando are being turned away because of their girth. The ride, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey," employs individual restraints to keep each guest tucked in to his or her seat, but the restraints aren't large enough to accommodate heavier riders.
Universal seems to have anticipated this issue, stationing staff "wizards" and test-seats along the line and at the entrance to Forbidden Journey. Riders test their ability to fit in the seats, as well as the restraint (which must click three times to be deemed safe and for the potential rider to be allowed into the attraction).
One Harry Potter fan, Jeff Guillaume of Lansing, Michigan, expressed disappointment on his "Harry Potter" fan site after he failed the test. Guillaume is 5'8" and weighs 265 pounds, and says the restraint wouldn't fit over his torso, though he reports that other rides at the park have special cars reserved for bigger riders.
That's all fine and good, but considering the average weight of an American man is 191 pounds (and rising: in 1960 it was 166 pounds), "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" could be turning away quite a few potential revelers. Sorry Hagrid.