“It seemed like the theme park ride vehicles were getting smaller, and I was getting bigger…..”
At Theme Parks, You Must Be This Tall—and This Thin—to Ride
A new Mario Kart attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood warns that visitors with large waistlines might not be allowed on board
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is slated to open next month at Universal Studios
By Jacob Passy
Jan. 28, 2023 8:00 am ET
The newest ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, takes visitors into the classic Nintendo game using augmented reality and animatronics. It also warns that they might not be allowed to ride if their waistline measures 40 inches or more.
The ride, one of several at the California park with that admonition, illustrates how navigating theme parks has grown tougher for plus-size visitors as parks balance accessibility with heightened safety requirements.
Universal Studios, SeaWorld and others are equipping rides with tighter restraints to ensure that small children and others can’t wriggle out from seats. The new seats can be a tight squeeze for some visitors, and riders have said that staff have declined to seat them on some rides because of their size.