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Are Universal Studios Orlando Rides Fat Friendly?

Universal Studios Orlando is home to many of the most exciting rides in Florida.

But while the thrill factor is unmistakable, plus-sized individuals may be unable to take full advantage due to some size limitations on specific rides.

Guests can get past some restrictions with little to no problem, but Universal could do more to accommodate diverse body sizes on its rides (like The Mouse next door).

It’s advisable to understand which rides are more widely accessible to larger-framed guests before arranging a trip to Universal Orlando.

I’ve compiled this list of some guidelines and the specifics for certain attractions to help with planning the best trip possible.

Ride Classification at Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Orlando takes the safety of its visitors very seriously, and all restraint systems (i.e., lap bars, shoulder harnesses, and seat belts) must be positioned and secured correctly to guarantee guest safety.

While there is no weight restriction for rides, Universal does have safety conditions specifically for larger passengers, stating that guests whose waistline is 40″ (102cm) or greater may not be accommodated on certain rides.

As such, Universal has a ‘view before you queue’ policy.  

They advise guests to evaluate the rides before getting in the line instead of risking disappointment after patiently waiting their turn.

To facilitate this, Universal provides test seats at specific attractions so potential riders can verify whether the safety restraints will secure them properly. 

These are extremely helpful as they allow guests to better assess the situation before deciding whether to join the queue.

For reference, the following rides at Universal Orlando have size limitations:

At Universal Studios Florida: 

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Revenge of the Mummy

At Islands of Adventure:

  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Specific rides on these lists are also notorious for giving larger-framed guests a hard time.

At Universal Studios, these are:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Revenge of the Mummy

At Islands of Adventure, they are:

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

The requirements I mentioned above are about as specific as Universal gets regarding the conditions for plus-sized guests.

Hopefully, the next sections will answer some additional questions future visitors may have.

Universal Orlando’s Test Seats

The test seats at each attraction are located at the entrance and feature a red light/green light system, indicating whether guests can be accommodated on the ride.

Some rides also have additional test seats inside for good measure.

It’s useful to come to the park with someone you know to assist with testing them out.

I wouldn’t rely on the theme park attendants to help as it’s possible they’ll just say no – and for some, it’s with good reason.

Universal is liable for any harm if their park attendants injure you during the testing process, so some attendants would rather err on the side of caution.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to all attendants, but to avoid an awkward exchange, it can be clutch to have a trusty sidekick there to assist.

Some attendants might still ask passengers to test the seats (again) while waiting in line.

It’s not ideal, but it’s something larger-frame guests have come to expect at the park.

Other times, attendants might just take a quick glance and decide a guest is too big for the ride – even if they’re likely to fit using some of the tips I’ll list below.

1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Of all the rides where guests have repeatedly identified size limitations, The Incredible Hulk is the most accommodating.

This attraction does have seats explicitly modified for individuals with height or weight constraints (tall people also have a hard time at theme parks).

There are two test seats outside the attraction, one with a single buckle and another with two.

The seat with one buckle is a prototype of the regular seat, while that with two buckles is specially modified.

The buckles on the latter are also red, making them easy to spot.

To test which seat is best, sit on the regular one and push down the restraint to lock it in.

Remember to ask your sidekick for help if you’re struggling a bit on your own.

Move on to the modified seat if the regular one is successfully locked in, but the setup feels too tight or uncomfortable.

Skip the coaster if the situation is the same regardless of which seat.

For guests who find the modified seats comfortable, they’re available in rows one, four, five, and eight on the ride.

2. Revenge of the Mummy

You need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to get the green light on Revenge of the Mummy.

The ride features a lap restraint, so locking it in shouldn’t be a hassle.

However, it needs to be pushed down enough so that the vehicle lights up on the side.

If it’s too tight, take a pass – there’s no point in being uncomfortable just to ride a theme park ride.

Taller guests also may feel cramped with the seat design that comes with leg protections.

Seats at the back row of the attraction offer more room to stretch your legs, so if you can successfully lock in the test seat, remember to ask for a spot at the back of the ride.

3. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Guests that weigh between 280 and 320 lbs (between 127 kgs and 145 kgs) should have zero problems riding Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls.

The log flume ride has passengers cruising through the waters, making some aggressive splashes along the way.

Just be mindful that the floor is likely to be slippery when it’s time to get off, so be careful when disembarking.

However, if your partner in crime is beside you, you’ll be out in no time.

4. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a tough call, as with most roller coasters.

Depending on weight and body dimensions, it’s possible to put on the restraint, but the ride proves difficult for most larger-framed individuals.

Even if visitors have some form of success at the test seats, a rollercoaster can get quite intense, creating a recipe for disaster if the seat or restraint is too tight.

That said, the ride does have some specially modified seats in the first and fourth rows.

5. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

The steel Harry Potter coaster poses similar hazards as the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

Guests who find it difficult to ride the Rip Ride Rockit have an even more challenging time at Gringotts. 

Featuring a design similar to Revenge of the Mummy, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts also has a shin guard that prevents taller and larger guests from fitting on.

If you’re able to lock it in, move to the back row for more legroom.

6. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

The Harry Potter rides are truly a challenge for plus-size individuals.

Forbidden Journey was once impossible to ride if you weighed anywhere around 220 lbs (100 kg) or more.

Universal lifted the restrictions by modifying the seats slightly, but the motion-based ride is still one of the most difficult to get on.

One tip to fit more comfortably is to ensure your backside is pushed to the very back of the seat, allowing you to lock it in with the extra space created at the front.

If it’s too tight, most guests just forfeit the ride and use the time to explore the wizardly landmarks all around.

7. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The test seats of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures feature a motorbike and sidecar.

Remember the shin guard from the Gringotts ride? You’ll see that again on the sidecar.

It makes the chances of fitting on the motorbike higher, but it depends on the positioning.

This is the kind of ride that guests with certain body types may find difficult to be comfortable in, but many passengers have made it work regardless. 

8. Jurassic World VelociCoaster

The VelociCoaster is yet another roller coaster that proves challenging to most larger-framed individuals.

The test seats are worth a try, but even if guests manage to fit via a few tricky maneuvers, the intensity of such rides can make the experience unpleasant.

This is one to skip if the test seats don’t accommodate your frame comfortably.

Weight Restrictions at Volcano Bay

Contrary to the two main theme parks, the weight restrictions at Volcano Bay are pretty straightforward:

Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides – 275 lbs (124 kgs)

Ko’okiri Body Plunge – 300 lbs (136 kgs)

Punga Racers –  300 lbs (136 kgs)

The water park also has a combined weight limit for the total number of people on specific rides:

Taniwha Tubes – Tonga & Raki – 450 lbs (204 kgs) combined for 2 riders. 300 lbs (136 kgs) for one rider.

Krakatau Aqua Coaster – 700 lbs (318 kgs) combined for up to 4 riders.

Honu of Honu ika Moana – 700 lbs (318 kgs) combined for up to 5 riders.

Ika Moana of Honu ika Moana – 800 lbs (363 kgs) combined for up to 5 riders.

Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides – 850 lbs (386 kgs) combined for up to 6 riders.

Maku of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides – 1050 lbs (476 kgs) combined for up to 6 riders.

I recommend that guests over 300 lbs (136 kgs) ask Universal about their chances of getting on the rides at Volcano Bay (the restrictions are regularly updated).

Finding out ahead of time saves visitors the unpleasantness of being turned away on-site.

Conclusion

Are Universal Studios Orlando Rides Fat-Friendly?

For some, the answer is no.

However, various attractions like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Doctor Doom’s Fearfall still allow larger-framed guests to make the most out of their experience.

No matter your body type, I always recommend doing a little research before visiting any theme park – you’ll be better prepared for your trip, and you’ll be able to take advantage of all the parks can offer you.

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