Universal Studios is located both in California and Florida, and provide guests with a variety of thrilling attractions at the theme parks! Since the opening of Happy Potter World in each location, the parks have become even more popular.
However, as a fat person, you might face some challenges at these parks. Are there any weight limits at Universal Studios? Do you need to worry when planning a trip to one of these parks?
Well, there is no set weight limit for any of the Universal Studios attractions. However, the rides at Universal Studios are not as fat-friendly as we hope. Because many of the rides at these parks are rollercoasters, the seat and restraints are not always accessible depending on your proportions.
This being said, every ride has different seats and restraints, so there is hope and we’ll cover everything you need to know.
How Do You Know Which Rides You Will Fit On?
Since there are no weight limits set, at Universal Studios, there are a couple of different ways to know ahead of time if you fit on a ride! By paying attention to these things, you could save yourself a lot of stress and time in the long run!
Universal Studios is known as more of an “adult” theme park, especially when compared with Disney parks. While Disney Parks may not be as thrilling, they are definitely more accessible for plus-sized people.
Luckily there are two very helpful things that Universal Studios does to show guests if they fit on a ride or not.
Indicator Lights On Seats.
Something special about most of the seats on rides at Universal Studios is that they have indicator lights. These are a set of two LED lights. One is red and one is green. Until you are locked securely in a ride, the red light will stay lit, once you are in safely, the green light will come on.
So, if you get the green light on a seat you can rest assured that you will be able to ride that ride!
Finding out at the last moment after waiting in line that you can’t get on a ride, however, sucks! It can feel embarrassing to have to get out of a seat in front of a line of strangers.
You won’t have to do this at Universal studios because they provide tester seats for guests at the front of every ride.
What Are Tester Seats?
Tester seats are exactly what they sound like! These are seats you can try out before waiting in line to get on a ride!
Tester seats are located at the front of each ride at Universal Studios. Sometimes, there are additional tester seats somewhere within the ride itself. These tester seats are so helpful because as I will discuss below, each ride is special.
Sometimes, these tester seats are used as a photo opportunity by other guests. Other times, a tired guest might just sit in them to rest their feet for a moment! But, rest assured, these spots are indeed a place for you to check whether you will fit on a ride.
These seats are a blessing. They take away a lot of the anxiety of trying to get into a seat for the first time in front of people. With these tester seats, you can evaluate if the ride is even accessible at all for you.
But, like I mentioned a few times, whether you fit on a ride really depends on your proportions and on each individual ride.
What Different Types of Seats and Restraints Will You See?
Because Universal Studios is more of an adult theme park, you can expect lots of rollercoasters here. These attractions are thrilling and fun, but can make seating even more of a challenge compared to a slower ride! As I mentioned above there aren’t any weight limits on these rides, but sadly, that doesn’t mean you will be able to fit on all of them.
Here are a few of the different seats and restraint combos you can find at Universal Studios so you can be prepared for what to look out for!
Single Seats With Shoulder Restraints.
These kinds of seats are exactly what makes Universal Studios more of a challenge for a big person.
These seats are meant to hold just one person in them, so there is literally no wiggle room here! In addition to not having room to move side to side, the shoulder bars also restrict you.
Shoulder bars are tricky because if you carry your weight in your upper half, like me, it might even be difficult for you to pull these types of bars down yourself.
Single Seats or Rows with Lap Bars.
Some of the rollercoaster attractions will have lap bars instead of shoulder bars. These bars come down and lie on your lap!
If you are in a single seat with a lap bar you still could face some issues. If the seat isn’t wide enough for you, you might not be able to get comfortable. If you are also tall, these lap bars can be frustrating. It can be a real challenge to get your knees under the bar. Some of these lap bars even have calf padding! While I appreciate the effort for comfort and safety here, it is just another thing that makes fitting into a seat more difficult.
Even if you are 400lb + at Universal Studios, you should still be able to enjoy rides with row seats and lap bars! These rides are still exciting and thrilling but will give you space to wiggle and adjust, especially if you request a row to yourself.
Something the Universal Studios is implementing on all of their rides is modified seats!
Modified seats are special seats on the rides that have been modified to be more accommodating to a fat person. These seats are modified to be a little deeper, a little wider, and to maybe have some sort of extenders for the restraints.
If a ride has modified seats, you will usually be able to try one out on the tester seats in front of that attraction.
Which Rides Are Less Fat-Friendly?
You can imagine how a different seat or restraint type could make a big impact on accessibility. I know that all of the rides at Universal Studios are unique. This is awesome from an entertainment perspective, but, it makes it hard to anticipate which rides to avoid.
Some of the most thrilling rides are also the rides with the more restrictive seats. Here are some quick reviews on accessibility for some of the more popular Universal Studios rides!
Incredible Hulk Coaster
Surprisingly, the Incredibly Hulk Coaster might be one of the easier rides for a plus-sized person to enjoy. The seats aren’t too restrictive on the sides, so there is room for some spillover.
Once you’re in the seat, you will still need to pull down the shoulder restraint into a green light position. Even if you are able to do this, you shouldn’t feel any pain.
In the video below, you can see what the tester seats look like on the Incredible Hulk Coaster and even see how a 297 pound man fits in them. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a tight squeeze. However, there is a modified seat on the left that could be better.
The modified seat has two buckles that buckle wide and give you more breathing room, literally! These seats can be found in a few rows on the coaster, but just make sure you communicate with the employees during seating!
Dudley’s Do-Right Ripsaw Falls
For the most part, Dudley’s Do-Right Ripsaw Falls is a comfy and enjoyable ride for fat guests.
This ride is a sort of log ride where people sit in a row, one behind the other. This makes seating easy because you will have front and back and side to side adjustment room. There is a lap bar but no other restrictions for the seating.
The only reason this ride makes the list is that is can be difficult to get out of. The floor on this ride can get slippery from the water splashes. If you feel like you can’t get the traction to get up, you can always ask an employee to help you. Or, a favorite tip on mine is to use your arm to prop yourself up against the back of your seat. This gives you the stability and strength to help you stand up!
Revenge of the Mummy
The Revenge of the Mummy ride is a car ride that has individual seats with lap bars. These seats are relatively deep but the problem bigger guests face here is that the employees aren’t able to assist in pushing the bar down.
Because of the shape of the seats, you will have to push the bar into place on your own. This can be a challenge if you’re already super squished.
One nice thing about this ride, and many of the Universal rides id that there is more legroom the further back you sit. So make sure to ask for a set in the back row, to give yourself more room!
You can also take a closer look at the seats here:
Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts
Even though Harry Potter World boasts some f the newest Universal Studio Features, they are disappointingly unaccommodating.
Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts is a ride that has similar seat to the Revenge of the mummy; single seats with a lap bar.
The problem with these seats is that they have shin guards. It can be hard for people to sit in these even when they’re just tall because they are so restrictive. Personally, I don’t love the sound of being so restricted, even if I could fit onto this ride.
As usual, the last row has the most legroom, so make sure to ask for it if you’re still worried once you get to the front of the line!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey –
One of the worst rides as a fat person in Universal studios is this one.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has single seat with shoulder bars. These shoulder bars are the newest model, which means that they don’t click into place over guests.
As a big person, you will really have to make use of the tester seats before waiting for this ride. Try to have someone help you push the shoulder restraints into place. While they won’t ratchet shut, you should see that little green indicator light on the side light up.
These seats have a reputation for being difficult for people over 220lbs, so if you’re 400lbs plus, this ride is probably not for you!
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
If all I could do was tell you that this ride has individual seats with lap bars, that just wouldn’t be enough.
Supposedly, these seats can even be difficult for skinny people to fit in because they are such a strange shape. The best way to show you if for you to check out the first few minutes of this video.
You can see how different these seats are! The tester seats show both versions of the modified seats on this ride. One side is modified for taller guests and the other is modified for larger guests. Unfortunately, this youtube who is only 297lbs could not fit in either seat.
Make sure if you do try this ride out to ask an employee to be sat in a modified seat, as they are only in a few rows on the ride!
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures
Another ride in Harry Potte World that is unaccomodating is Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures.
Part of the uniqueness of this ride, is that is has special seats! On this ride, one person sits in the motorbike and one the sidecar. Both seats are different, so depending on where you carry your weight once might be comfier than the other.
While you should try out both tester seats, the motorbike seat might be easier to get into. The sidecar seat has shin guards that act as an extra restriction especially for tall people.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Falon
Even though this ride is a virtual reality experience ride, it still is a pain as far as seating goes!
These individual seats are pretty narrow, with no room for your extra fat to spill over on the sides. However, if you can fit in them, they only have a set belt type restraint. Employees can get you a seat belt extender to make you feel comfortable on this ride!
Okay, so Volcano Bay isn’t a ride, it’s a whole water park. This park has slides, wavepools and rivers.
I wanted to mention Volcano Bay because there are some weight limits here. You can find each rides specific restrictions listed in detail online. But, for the most part, single person vertical slides have weight limits around 275lbs-300lbs max. Group rides have weight limits for the entire group as a whole.
It seems like these weight limits are constantly changing as Universal Studios tries to keep guests safe but happy at the same time.
What Can You Do If You Don’t Fit?
Okay so you’re at Universal Studios and you have been testing seats, and nothing seems to fit. Can you do anything?
If you really are missing out on the majority of rides at the park, I recommend talking to guest services. They are there to help you and they want you to enjoy your time. Maybe they can recommend a fun ride you haven’t seen yet, and in worst case you might be able to get a reimbursement on your entry fee.
If you’re testing seats out and you think you can get in a seat, but you need help, you have options. You can ask a friend to get you locked in before they sit down themselves. You can also as an employee to help you push down restraints. Unfortunately, the ride attendant may or may not help you get in, so I wouldn’t rely on it if you don;t have to.
If you don’t mind not going on the ride but want to spend time with your group, you are welcome to wait in line with them. This way you can chat and laugh together! Just let the ride attendant know you won;t be riding once you reach the front.
Should You Go To Universal Studios, Regardless of Your Weight?
Even though some of the most exciting rides will be a challenge to sit on, many of the rides are still accessible. Additionally, there are lots of entertaining things to do in the park besides the rides. Diagon Alley, for example, in Harry Potter World is a fun place to go and experience the magic, without worrying about your size. There are also plenty of other things to do around Orlando and parasailing is only around 60 miles away- and yes, bigger folks can parasail!
Universal Studios might not be the most fat-friendly amusement park, but there will still be plenty for you to enjoy!