Universal Studios’ new Mario Kart ride has been slammed shut due to restrictions, meaning thousands of theme park visitors won’t be able to enjoy it
A NEW ride at University Studios has been criticized for not serving visitors with an above-average waist.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge takes Nintendo lovers on a wild augmented reality experience with cutting-edge animatronics, but only if you meet the height requirements.
The ride, which opened at California Park, has sparked a huge conversation about how accessible theme parks are to plus-sized people.
It turns out that finding the right size is quite difficult, as designers try to cater to taller guests while making sure small children don’t fall out of roommates’ seats.
“Our first priority is always the safety of guests and employees,” said Jim Seay, president of ride manufacturer Premier Rides, which builds for companies like Six Flag and Universal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“We’re balancing this with a very focused effort to make the rides as accessible as possible.”
While sizing difficulties plague manufacturers, guests have pointed out how restrictive some of the regulations can be.
A guest’s waist must be 40 inches or less to board the new Mario ride.
However, the average waist measurement in America is 40.5 inches for men and 38.7 inches for women.
Universal managers say they try to warn about these rules on their website and provide trial slots for visitors to try before they queue.
“We want our guests to know what to expect and what to look for when coming to any of these attractions,” said Jeff Polk, senior vice president of resort operations at Universal Orlando Resort.
While that doesn’t seem to be enough, social media groups have been formed for people with larger physiques to discuss how to navigate different parks.
The Journal reports that a Facebook group focused on Disney’s theme park has amassed more than 84,000 members.
A moderator for the group said he prepares for trips by watching YouTube videos to see how people interact with rides.
“If it looks like it’s absolutely not going to work, I don’t waste my time,” Dean Paris said.
And while officials encourage people to use the test seats to see if they fit, not everyone feels they’re a fair indicator of the ride.
Visitors told the Journal that trying it out was an overall uncomfortable experience, saying the models were “less forgiving” than the actual ride.
Universal responded that it was looking into ways to find more accurate testers for guests to use privately.
More and more rides are being designed for “100 percent containment,” meaning there’s no risk of someone falling out mid-experience.
However, these rides still have regulations that may restrict who is allowed to board.
Even so, officials claim that not all can fit in the same seat and the largest bodies may not have exactly the design that suits small children.
“What may seem like a fairly harmless ride still has to take into account that a very young child may need to be contained,” Seay said.
The US Sun has reached out to Universal for comment on the matter.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7287006/universal-studios-ride-size-requirement-slammed/ Universal Studios’ new Mario Kart ride has been slammed shut due to restrictions, meaning thousands of theme park visitors won’t be able to enjoy it