Height restrictions have always been a challenge for some theme park guests, as safety features on thrill rides are not designed to accommodate every rider. But Mario fans are flocking to Universal Studios Hollywood this month for the opening Super Nintendo World They may find themselves unable to enjoy the park’s most exciting attraction, this time because of their waistlines.
according to The last report in Wall Street JournalUniversal Studios Hollywood warned that some guests may not be allowed to ride Mario Kart: Kart Challenge, which allows guests to climb aboard the go-kart and experience Nintendo’s popular racing game in real life through augmented reality effects and animated characters, “if they have a waist circumference of 40 inches or more.” With the average male waist size in America right now exceed 40 inchesThis limitation will likely leave many guests very disappointed after enduring what will likely be very long lines at the new attraction.
In recent years, amusement parks across the country have become stricter about safety and restrictions on ride vehicles, and it’s not just high-speed attractions like roller coasters that can take riders through inverted loops and sharp curves. As indoor rides have become more sophisticated and now provide riders with highly immersive experiences, the technology they use has also become more sophisticated…and more dangerous.
Cars that aren’t on the road now deftly weave through attractions such as Galaxy Edge The rise of resistance With greater speed and agility than the ride vehicles used in classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean. As a result, while hackers do not restrict riders, Mario Kart: Kart Challenge will, where there is a serious risk of injury if the passenger exits the vehicle before finishing the ride. Furthermore, there is now more focus on securing young children safely in the same seats as adult passengers, which contributes to more restrictions for larger guests.
Jeff Polk, Senior Vice President of Resort Operations at Universal Orlando Resort, said the Wall Street Journal That many of the attractions at its parks offer testing benches located outside of the games is a result, allowing guests to test restrictions and ability ahead of time to avoid finding themselves away after hours waiting in line. But at the same time, some park visitors also said to Wall Street Journal Pre-testing seats can be awkward and embarrassing and is not always indicative of the actual ride design and layout.
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Some attractions, like Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Florida, now offer certain seats specifically designed for larger guests. But as the pandemic-weary population is embracing travelling and vacations again, theme parks are bursting at the seams with hours-long wait lines, and there’s simply less incentive for parks to offer rides with seats they may not be able to fill every time the ride is operated.
Update 2/2/2023 at 11:00 AM ET:
Universal Studios reached out to Gizmodo to clarify that the 40-inch waist size guideline is not a hard limit and that some riders who exceed 40 inches might still be able to ride, depending on individual circumstances. In the company’s words, “This guideline is not a specific restriction, but is instead meant to encourage guests to try a test seat or to speak with one of our Team Members before riding so they may comfortably and safely board the ride.”
The company also told us that it is working to ensure test seats have a strong balance of privacy and ease-of-access, though did not provide specifics.
This is also not the first time the company has employed the 40 inch waist limit, with previous rides like Hippogriff flight Also a bigger warning Riders are required to use test seats before boarding. Universal Studios told us that they have a staff looking into ride design and test bench placement and that they’re remaking some of the existing rides, including Hagrid’s magical creatures on a motorcycle adventurewith an emphasis on accessibility.
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