Are you too big to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey?

by Ad Thrive

All thrill rides have a height limit – “You must be this tall to ride” – and the brand new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is no exception. You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. But it’s not the minimum height some guests are having trouble with, it’s their width.

Forbidden Journey is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It doesn’t have its grand opening until June 18, but they’ve been holding previews each morning. It seems many guests have been saying they can’t try the new ride because they can’t fit in the seat.

Banks Lee is one of those people. Banks is pictured above left, meeting Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. (Thanks to Banks for letting us post his picture.) Banks is 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs about 310 pounds. But it’s not his height that’s a problem with the seats.

Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons), the Incredible Hulk Coaster and other thrill rides use a similar over the head restraint that is used on Forbidden Journey, but Banks says this is the only ride in the Orlando area that he hasn’t been able to go on. (Although he does use special larger seats those coasters offer.)

Forbidden Journey isn’t a roller coaster, it’s a new type of ride in which the seats are on the end of a robotic arm, which moves along a track. (Learn more about the ride here.) Are the seats more snug to better hold the guests in, or is it used as a built-in weight limit? The ride doesn’t have any inversions like the roller coasters mentioned do, but it also doesn’t have the forward momentum to hold guests in their seats either. Maybe since the ride is still in technical rehearsals, the seats will be adjusted to allow larger guests, but there’s no indication that is the case.

If you’re worried you may not fit in the seats, there are special test seats outside Hogwarts and just before you get on the ride. The seats must click three times or you can’t ride. Banks was able to get two clicks with the help of a strong “wizard” working the attraction.

But Banks is the kind of guy who takes a negative and turns it into a positive. He’s made it his goal to lose enough weight to be able to ride Forbidden Journey. In fact, he’s just started a blog so everyone can follow along and track what he’s calling “Banks Lee and the Three Clicks”.

UPDATE: Some readers have been asking us if there is a tall height limit. In other words, can you be too tall to ride. As you can see in the ride seat photo above, a cover comes over your head when the restraint is brought down. I asked a couple of team members working the attraction and they didn’t know what the height limit would be, but I’m 6 foot 1 inches and after sitting down, I have about 6 inches of space above my head. So if you’re 6-foot 7-inches tall or shorter you should be OK.

But another limit I noticed was the width of the space you’re sitting in. If I sit back, my shoulders are barely able to squeeze in the space. But this isn’t a problem for me because I can roll my shoulders forward and grab the bar on the restraint and it feels comfortable. But those with very broad shoulders may have trouble.

I talked with a team member by the test seat outside the ride (pictured below) and she said they’re carefully monitoring how many people can and can’t make the green light come on. She didn’t know if they would be able make adjustments to better accommodate larger people in the future, but she had a clipboard and was taking notes. So there’s still hope for those who aren’t currently able to ride.

UPDATE: Universal has modified some of the seats to allow larger guests to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Read the story Here.


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MagicKimdom June 4, 2010 - 6:41 pm

Is it true that there is a maximum height as well? I read another review that seemed to indicate you must be below 6’3″ and under 250 pounds, which leaves my husband out regardless of his weight.

Bonnie Alicea May 8, 2017 - 9:35 pm

I am 5’5, 280, size 26 shirt, 22 pant. I fit on the end seat. I barely made it.

Caroline Hilldale July 11, 2020 - 3:34 pm

Thank you for posting your comment. It has helped this mother of a 12 year old self conscious pre teen make a decision on weather to try to ride. I appreciate you 🌞❣️✌️

Larry February 8, 2019 - 4:24 am

6’ tall and 280lbs I did fit (with help) on the normal restraints. 295 lbs I am now I didn’t fit. So there is your threshold.

KR January 27, 2020 - 6:25 pm

I was just there 1/24/20. The seat restraint must click three times as it is lowered or they will not permit you to ride. I am approximately 6′ and weigh in at 277 lbs with a 46″ chest and 48″ stomach 42″ waist. I was able to click the seat down 2 clicks and with light assistance the attendant clicked it down for the third click and I was able to ride. I think my size is close to the absolute limit as the seats are currently set up. If you notice in the images of the seats in this article, each seat has side walls that force anyone with a wider chest to collapse your shoulders in towards your chest which only exaggerates the issue. Hopefully this level of detail will help you decide if you will fit or not without having to go through the embarrassment of being removed from the ride because you don’t fit.

K May 13, 2019 - 9:13 pm

This would exclude my husband as well… He’s 6’7″+ and only 200lbs. We we’re thinking of going next year for our 10 yr anniversary but not sure if we are going to now.

Robert Forrest May 18, 2019 - 4:13 pm

5 ft 10, 275 lbs and did not struggle on any of the rides at Universal or Disney. I play rugby so I have quite broad and thick upper body, thick thighs. Comes down to body dimensions for sure but I got on Hulk, Rip ride rocket, both Harry P rides, revenge of the mummy… etc etc NO PROBLEMS. I tested all the seats I was unsure of beforehand, and was fine.

Tyler Williams October 3, 2019 - 6:57 am

I’m 5’10.5 and will be moving there from January-August 2020. I weighed 340lbs, but have been losing weight for this trip. I now weigh 295lbs and am also a Rugby player so this is the most helpful post yet lol. Gives me a goal. HAHA PROPS FOR THE WIN.

Nick Lepa June 4, 2010 - 7:42 pm

I think I’m going to loose the weight too. I’m 6’2 and weight 240 pounds. It’s the love handles that I think will keep me from riding.

Matt June 4, 2010 - 8:19 pm

MagicKimdom: I don’t know what the height limit is, but Banks is 6-foot-2 and had no problems in that way. So I think 6 foot 3 would be fine.

Nick: I don’t think love handles would be a problem. It’s more of the front that needs to not be too big.

Some Wizard June 5, 2010 - 3:56 pm

Will be following your quest and look forward to the ultimate adventure at the end!

Joe June 5, 2010 - 7:52 pm

The same restrictions are at The Sum of all Thrills at Epcot. I think it is a restriction put in place by the manufacturer of both attractions, which is KUKA. There is height, weight, body shape/size restriction for these rides due to the nature of the seat design.

Venus June 6, 2010 - 12:54 pm

Hmmm…..Wow, I was so psyched about this theme park and ride…now I am having second thoughts. Seems to be the designers of the rides are a bunch of fatists, and in America that means that don’t want most Americans to show up and ride…because that’s right America most of us wouldn’t fit. So those who self-loath can save their breath by not commenting, for all us realists this fat biast message don’t bother showing up….the designers and Universal are anti-American……….

Nick Lepa June 6, 2010 - 4:15 pm

Maybe it is because of a safety issue. If you haven’t forgotten rides have a minimum hight, that doesn’t mean they are shortist.

As time goes on, they will find a safe way to accommodate that size. Also, you have a lot of nerve picking on the designers and Universal considering I don’t see you make making a ride that will accommodate everyone.

lisa June 6, 2010 - 4:40 pm

I was so upset I didn’t fit in this seat I paid so much money to go to a morning preview I basicly cried it was very disappointing I never had an issue with any ride at any park before this one!!!!

Lola May 7, 2019 - 1:31 am

How heavy are you? I petty plus size and am so excited to go on the Harry Potter ride. I scared now that I will be turned away. I am 5” 2’ and 295lb

Kim June 14, 2019 - 1:39 pm

I rode this today. I was SO worried I wouldn’t fit. I am 5’8” 238 pounds. Size 18w pants. I fit just fine. In fact I wanted to set anyone else’s mind at ease…I fit just fine on every ride.

Cary Council July 26, 2019 - 4:50 pm

universal has a lap bar that will not close on a 42 inch or larger waist, i was there last week and could not fit on 8 rides after i paid 295 dollars for my ride pass, i will never go back, the disney rides all had adjustibel lap bars i fit on all rides there.and im no fan of disney, but i fit on every ride.

Cary Council July 26, 2019 - 4:53 pm

the 42 inch lap restriction should be upfront before you blow money on ride passes.

Justin August 6, 2019 - 3:59 pm

Lola did you fit ?

Heather August 9, 2019 - 4:21 pm

Do you mind me asking your size. I am planning on going in October and a little concerned.

Otto June 6, 2010 - 5:54 pm

I think Banks is a great person. Don´t blame anyone when you can take responability yourself and do something about your weight.
Matt, I have osteoporosis. Do you think this atraction is to bumpy or will I be ok?

Amanda June 6, 2010 - 8:49 pm

What about thighs? I’m 5’7” and weigh 225, but most of my weight is in my hips and thighs. I have ridden Hulk and Dueling Dragons without the modified seat.

bev June 6, 2010 - 9:17 pm


I am a female around 275lbs. I was wondering since u could not fit in the ride,what is your weight? I plan to go next year and need to know how much weight to lose. Would 60 lbs be enough? I am 5″8.

Matt June 6, 2010 - 10:13 pm

Otto: I think you should be OK, The ride is pretty smooth – not really jerky.

Amanda: I’m not sure. There are panels on either side of you that you need to squeeze into. But if you fit on the regular seats for the other rides, you may be OK.

Tim June 6, 2010 - 10:36 pm

I’m 5’9″ and 250 lbs. I can fit on every Orlando area attraction using the standard seats, but admittedly it is a tight fit on The Hulk and Dueling Dragons. I’ve also had no problems getting on The Sum of All Thrills. Should I anticipate any problems when I visit in August?

Roger June 7, 2010 - 9:35 am

Personally I dont think there should be a big boy, big girl, beer belly, wide, large, bigger, modified, heavy, double-wide, or however you want to candy coat, no pun intended, a big person seat. There is a 300 pound limit per seat. There are four seats. you get 1200 pounds of max weight that the robot arm can hold. The sign right outside, next to the test seats, says something to the effect that the ride may not accomidate all body sizes. if you think you are too “large” to ride, read the sign, use the test seat outside. The test seat is there to filter out bigger riders. Its kind of a convience so that you wont have to wait outside/inside in line for hours in the blazing Florida sun just to find out you can’t ride. This does not mean your football team squeezes you into the seat and pushes with all their might to get the green light to come on. Do that, and you wont make the cut, or “click”. Jusat for the record im 225 and 5’10 so im not the smallest thing in the world and I can ride comfortably. I only get three clicks. I can get four but i’ll be uncomfortable if i pull the harness down that far, I’ve done it.

Ken June 8, 2010 - 10:29 am

Maybe J.K. Rowling is making a statement on health with no sodas, small shops and regular size seats on rides in Wizarding World

Catie January 17, 2020 - 7:07 pm

Well the butter beer doesn’t exactly play into that theory….

Matt June 8, 2010 - 10:37 am

Ken: Good point!

Anna Bird June 8, 2010 - 12:03 pm

This is so funny! Last Saturday we went to Universal in hopes that Harry Potter Land would have a soft opening. It did! We scored. My grandkids were so excited. They were both 48 inches tall. The ride was a GO! OH no! My husband didn’t make it click 3 times. He decided he would just walk through the ride to see it all – the walk is worth it. He got to the boarding area and one hefty cast member pushed and pushed and he got 3 clicks – my grandkids and I were literally cracking up. GF (GrandFather) made it. The ride is incredible – feels like Soarin/Spider Man. I don’t usually think Universal rides are “Disney Quality” but the Potter ride is definitely top notch – every detail is unique! So glad we got the opportunity. Hey folks – you need to lose weight if you don’t get 3 clicks!! Hope Universal stands their ground. People are too heavy!!!! Yes, the shops are way too small – it is going to be bedlam in the shops when June 18 rolls around. We bought 2 golden snitches – neither of them work (plan to take them back next time we go). Loved Butterbeer – expensive though and GF also enjoyed Pumpkinjuice – expensive. Couldn’t get near the wands – save it for next time. Universal needed a winner – they got it!

Todd June 8, 2010 - 12:39 pm

At 6’5″ and 340, I was quite surprised a few years ago when I was able to fit on every ride I wanted at Disney… Tower of Terror, Rock N’ Rollercoaster, Peter Pan, Small World, Space Mountain, etc. It’s very disappointing to hear that I won’t be able to ride “Forbidden Journey” at Universal (during my upcoming trip there in October). I guess it really is “Forbidden”! I see that a poster above wrote about the possibility of her husband walking though the ride. Is that actually an option for those of us who are Hagrid-sized??

Nancy June 5, 2019 - 3:09 pm

Yes, it is! I walked through with my friends. Then, when they were ready to load, I just took the exit out.

Patrick McCarthy June 8, 2010 - 1:24 pm

I’m wondering how big “Grandpa” is in Anna Bird’s post??? I’m 6 foot 6 and about 280. I better get on this ride in August or there will be a new creature unleashed on Hogwarts!!! 🙂

Brandis June 8, 2010 - 1:39 pm

Todd: I don’t think there is a walk through the actual ride portion of the attraction. My understanding of Anna’s comment was that Grandpa planned on just doing the pretty elaborate queue with them and then bypass the ride.

Matt June 8, 2010 - 3:21 pm

Todd: Brandis is right. You can tour Hogwarts, which is the queue for the Forbidden Journey ride, then head out just before getting on the ride. You just need to let a team member know you don’t want to/can’t ride.

lisa June 9, 2010 - 12:41 am

Those saying there 200 something and fit really because I’m 5’3 and weigh 227 and got turned away. I did fit on disneys ride soarin so why not this one? I think it has to do with the fact both days I went the ride stopped working 20mins into the opening. Ialso believe this may have been done of purpose limiting sizes to lessen the lines for the ride. Since americans are overweight maybe they figured it shorten lines? I think it just causes a lot of angry upset people. Oh well just more discrimanation towards overweight people.

Tim June 9, 2010 - 8:04 am

Sorry Lisa,

But I don’t think this discrimination at all. It sounds petty when someone claims “discrimination” every time they’ve been wronged. It’s a bit of the boy who cried wolf, and it often should and will go ignored.

Less April 24, 2018 - 5:50 pm

You might be singing a different tune if the reverse were true. What if the seats and restraints accommodated only larger individuals and they couldn’t be made small enough for someone of “average” or slender build to ride safely? Then there would be an uproar from people saying they were being discriminated against because the ride wasn’t built with them in mind. Always easy to say people are being petty and crying wolf when you aren’t the one being left out.

Gordie June 10, 2010 - 5:08 am

They should put their test seats next to the ticket booths. If I don’t fit then I can get in my car and go to WDW without waisting any more money on Universal….booked my end of May vacation in January thinking surely “Opening Spring 2009” meant sometime in the spring not the last last three days of spring. They’ve sucked enough money out of me…the only reason I’d be going back to the park would be for the new ride…don’t want to pay just to find out I don’t ft

Will June 11, 2010 - 6:49 pm

It seems that Universal might have quite a problem on their hands come the grand opening. No matter how beautiful and film-accurate Hogsmeade is, you know you’ve got a problem when an entire area of the park has capacity issues. The size limit for the Forbidden Journey, of course, is another issue. Consider the average Potter fan… see the problem here?

One way they could get around it would be to add a few altered “magic benches” to the mix. Ones that only fit three people, but have larger seats. That said, there should always be a size/weight/height limit of some sort, but early reports seem to indicate that it’s a bit excessive in this case.

Darlyng June 12, 2010 - 12:27 am

Anna Bird – please don’t assume that just cause someone is overweight it means they are lazy. There are other things that can be a factor. There are people who work as hard as they can to lose weight and end up having to resort to surgery. Unless you have been in that position yourself do not point fingers. It really disgusts me when people (some not all) think it’s okay to treat people who are over weight like second class
citizens because of how they look Personally, I think that makes you ugly on the inside, and no amount of dieting or surgery in the world can change that. How do you know someone doesn’t have a condition that makes it hard for him or her to exercise daily? Someone who used to workout five days a week is suddenly stricken with rheumatoid arthritis and can only get up the stairs by crawling and has to wait for remission til he or she can finally be able to walk long distances let alone work out daily to lose weight.

So the next time you think about telling those who cannot fit on this ride to essentially “lose weight and get over it” consider my best friend who has been looking forward to riding this ride ever since it was announced. She is the one with rheumatoid arthritis and within the last six months has not only been able to start working out 5 days a week but walk up and down the stairs without crawling. Unfortunately, in a world of dietary plateaus and flare ups while she’s made great progress she will have to wait longer than some. She is heartbroken bur not blaming universal of the ride designers for this. I just wish people would be more sensitive about this subject because everything is more than meets the eye. You don’t always know why someone is the way they are by just looking at them. You wouldn’t want someone to judge and assume things about you based on looks so why is it okay for you to do it to other people?

kmcdsteel February 27, 2014 - 5:56 pm

Glad this was said because my husband and I feel exactly the same way. We will never go back to Universal even if we lose weight and weigh under 200. Never ever have had a problem at Disney and have spent way too much money on a park (Universal) that discriminates. Disney is more fun anyway!!

Scott June 12, 2010 - 6:56 am

I just hope I’ll be able to get my dad to go on a ride without me. He does not like to do that, in fact…I can’t say he ever has.

He’s been looking forward to this area for a year now, but even though I’ve been trying to lose weight…there is no chance I’ll be fitting on this ride any time soon.

It is disappointing that the ride isn’t more accommodating, but it is what it is now, and we’ll see what this restriction has on the area / park.

For what it is worth, I live in Ohio with Cedar Point and King’s Island…and I think there’s a total of 3 rides in both parks combined I can actually get on. So I at least appreciate the Orlando parks for making themselves 95% accessible. I’ve found 2 rides I don’t fit on, and a couple I choose not to ride at Disney parks.

aaaa June 13, 2010 - 10:21 am

I just went on one of the test runs at Islands of Adventure for Harry Potter ride, it is really the best ride there. ITs soo much fun, and the ride length is a decent amount also, so your not standing in line for a couple of hours for a one minute ride.

bb June 13, 2010 - 1:28 pm

Chest or stomach maximum size is roughly 48-49 inches. If your chest or stomach stick out then you may not fit even if you are under 48 inches around. This includes you ladies with big tops. Big thighs and big bottoms may also cause a problem as well as wide shoulders if you are tall. Anyone who says lose weight is simply ignorant. It is body type not even a weight issue in many cases.

Mike June 13, 2010 - 10:51 pm

I spoke with someone from universal about this, and they said that weight is not necessarily the factor…they have had guests who weighed 300+ pounds and ride the ride….it has to do with the torso….you can have long legs and a short torso and ride, or have a long torso and short legs and can’t ride…I’ve been to many amusement parks (Universal, Cedar Point, Disney World, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, HersheyPark) and never once have I been turned down or had to ride in the seats for larger people….and I am no little thing either…but it makes sense, cause 1) my torso is not that big and 2) I just suck it in…..so I don’t blame universal, or anyone for that matter…it is what it is.

I’m not in denial either, from what I have read this may be the first ride I may not be able to ride (although I am hoping I can), but she (Universal Guest Services Employee) assured me that I was more than welcome to wait on line to walk through the castle and just notify the ride attendants that I will not be riding and they will show me to the exit (Filtch’s Emporium).

Gary Tahmasbi June 14, 2010 - 6:58 pm

Seriously, I understand the disappointment out there from those of you that can’t ride this but at the end of the day you have no-one to blame but yourselves. Those who say “it is what it is” – Well done you. You’re not blaming Universal or the design and these people have my respect. Those who blame Universal or the design should really wake up as it wasn’t Universal who go you the size that you are. I also appreciate that there are those who have medical conditions which explain their size and those people should and probably do roll with the punches. The guy who said that his friend has crippling Arthritis and has to crawl up the stairs on her hands and knees etc SHOULD NOT be riding this anyway. If you have a medical condition which stops you from exercising then you should not be riding theme park rides. People need to take responsibility of their own lives and health and when they do, they will understand its importance. The guy in the picture at the top of the page is a great example to you larger people. He wants to ride this so bad that he is using it as a catalyst to lose weight. I give him my full support too.

Stephanie Williams June 19, 2019 - 9:16 pm

Agreed, I went a couple years ago and was too big. I have now lost a lot of weight which would make it seem as though I can ride, but I have a very big chest so I’m wondering if that will stop me. I guess I could do like I did in track and field in the 80s and bind my chest LOL

Patrick June 14, 2010 - 10:11 pm

Gary, I was wondering since I’m 6 foot 6 and totally blame myself for my height, torso length, muscle mass and broad shoulders, if you could help me somehow in taking responsibility for my condition. Do you have a program I can go on to shrink? I really don’t blame Universal for not designing seats that may accommodate me since this is total neglect on my part and my parents should be ashamed for breeding such a hideous aberration! Please help me Gary…….PLEASE!!!

Heather June 16, 2010 - 3:11 pm

Can anyone confirm if you can ride this if you fit in the regular seats on Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenger and Incredible Hulk? I’m a bigger girl but I can still fit in the regular seats, but this has me worried that I won’t fit on FJ.

Matt June 17, 2010 - 2:58 pm

You should be OK Heather, but the only way to be sure is to try the seats.

James June 17, 2010 - 5:07 pm

I am 5’11” 280 lbs. I usally sit in the modified seats at deuling dragons/dragon challenger and the hulk (albeit a very snug fit on both). i attended the grand opening of the hp ride wednesday night, and was not allowed to ride it. i have a big ol’ beer belly and readily admit that it’s my own dang fault that i don’t fit in the ride. i, like my hefty brother banks, am only going to use it as motivation to drop the extra lb’s. i will ride this ride by the end of the year. while i applaud universal for accomodating those of us carrying a little extra girth around the middle, by offering rides with modified seating, i don’t expect it every time. thanks for letting me vent…. now i gotta hit the gym.

FLD June 18, 2010 - 12:12 am

I had the same problem as others at the soft opening. I’m 6’2″ and 255 pounds (not really that big, but barrel chested) and wasn’t allowed to ride (one click short of getting through). I’m able to ride every other attraction in Orlando, but I made the same decision about losing weight. I waited a long time to see this attraction and to be turned away at the door was disappointing. I’ve been around the parks long enough to know this is an engineering/safety issue and won’t blame Universal for sticking to their limitations. If I need to drop 20 pounds to get in, so be it. I think there will be a lot of disappointed, maybe even a few angry, folks out there when the WWHP officially opens. I will say that waiting in the queue for 25 minutes was an experience by itself. I’d recommend going in and seeing the interior of the castle, even if you can’t ride the ride.

Lisa June 18, 2010 - 3:04 pm

If Universal Studios fails to clearly disclose size restrictions for its rides prior to selling tickets, then clearly it is to blame. I have long held that ticket prices should be based on access to the attractions, and not age. It’s only fair.

Scott June 18, 2010 - 9:21 pm

Universal does have a guide on their website that does tell you all warnings before going on their ride. Unfortunately, their warnings for “riders of size” are nebulous at best. Although, to be fair, there aren’t hard and fast rules (as we’ve seen) for most rides. I could either get on every other ride with little issue, or not be able to fit on any. I would like a little more specificity, but the fact that they do give a warning is useful. I also very much appreciate the test seats. There is no shame in testing them, often times there will be a ride op near to talk to you and / or answer questions or concerns you may have.

To be fair again, this situation isn’t really all Universal’s doing either, the ride vehicles are on Kuka arms, so Kuka would be the ones likely designing the harnesses to fit into their, and Florida’s safety standards.

I can’t ride the Kuka arms in Sum of All Thrills in Epcot, I don’t expect to ride them at Universal either.

For the record, 6’2″ 460 here. I’m 85 pounds down in less than a year, so maybe in a couple years I can get down to a more fitting size. Maybe by then the opening day line will have finally shuffled through 🙂

Renee June 19, 2010 - 12:34 am

So, I’m supposed to visit in a few days… I’m about 5’8″ and about 230 lbs.– most of it in the chest! I’m really worried… anyone of a similar size or body type that can offer experience of what happened for them? I guess I can still see the castle either way, but what a disappointment.
And to everyone with extreme views on either side: Yes, America overall is over-weight and much of it is our own fault, either through lack of nutritional education or apathy. However, some people are built a little differently or have other health-related challenges. EVERYONE, regardless of their size, should take personal responsibility for their physical well-being and do what it takes to put themselves on the road to better health (I have been doing WW for a year and lost about 40 lbs so far) but we should also remember compassion, and not make blanket statements condemning everyone who is overweight, for any reason. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

JB June 19, 2010 - 8:06 am

My husband and I went and were turned away. He could only get on click and I couldn’t get any. He is 5’10 and 240 with a very broad chest. I’m 5’4 and 244
Sigh, I was so disapponited and embarrassed. I had no clue it was going to be an issue until right before we were boarding. It really ruined the trip. I wasn’t going to be embarassed that way again so I wasn’t interested in trying other rides. No return to Universal for me. I’m so glad my daughter wasn’t with so I was embarrassed her. No person of size wants to be turned away without notice. We wouldn’t even start towards the ride if it was an issue. I agree, make some seats hold 4 and some hold 3 and some hold 2…sigh.

Matt June 19, 2010 - 7:26 pm

I’ve deleted a couple of comments on here that have resorted to name calling. Please keep the conversation civil and family friendly.

Sherri June 19, 2010 - 9:20 pm

I understand that some over weight people are to blame for their own demise. I also understand that there are some that cannot help how they are. I think that Universal or Kuka should both consider that people of all sizes will want to ride in their new thrills. If they can make accomidations for four riders couldnt it just as easily make one that can only hold two riders or even three with a little more room for those heavy weights. Even if there was only one car made for them. I dont think it would casue any world destruction to accomidate those guys. And more people would visit knowing that there are rides that they can fit in. I have a family of 5 going to orlando in Aug. We are skipping Universal due to one member is overweight. We would rather miss it then cause a family member to feel left out. Disney has many rides that can accomidate her. So here we come.

Kimberly June 21, 2010 - 9:43 am

I really don’t think the author of the article was really THAT out of the ballpark weight-wise. I really think they should have planned this ride to be comparable to the extended seats in the “Dueling Dragon” or “Hulk”. Anymore than that could have really affected a smaller person sitting there. Thus I can understand that limitation. It’s sad that I think they went a bit overboard in their limits. Not all people are overweight sitting here some are muscular, some are uhh…errr… breasted women…some are tall. I really don’t think those that are overweight expect to be on EVERY ride but…really the weight and height sizes are pretty limiting.

I don’t think the extended size seats on either the Dueling Dragon or the Hulk were “original” designs. I think they came later. Hopefully they’ll get on this one too. Not everybody’s PERFECT in this world.

Disney Fan June 21, 2010 - 11:30 am

While I agree that me being overweight is my fault and Universal has no duty to cater to me, Universal does want to make $. The stats show that America is growing bigger. Disney has been able to design thrill rides that fit the whole family, fat and thin. If Universal does not care to cater to bigger people, then my fat dollar will go to Disney. 🙂

Sue June 22, 2010 - 3:10 pm

Renee — I am about the same size as you — 5’9″, 230, big-chested. I rode on the Harry Potter ride once with no problems. The second time I attempted to ride, the attendant asked me to get off. He said I was too large to ride even though I fit comfortably on the ride. I told him I had already been on the ride with no problems. He let me back in line and I rode a second time with no problems. I was very embarrassed being led away from the ride with my children looking on wondering why they were making me get off the ride. I feel that the attendants are on a “fat hunt”. Until Universal can train their attendants adequately I would avoid the ride (and Universal altogether). My body didn’t get any bigger between the first and second times I rode the Harry Potter ride. The only variable was the attendant.

Curious June 23, 2010 - 1:57 pm

I know this is off topic but I’m curious and I haven’t been able to find the answer anywhere else. Are pregnant women restricted from going on this particular ride? Obviously if the belly is sticking way out it wouldn’t work, but I was wondering about the safety recommendations as they would apply to someone who is in an earlier stage of pregnancy. Thank you!

hotaunt2 June 24, 2010 - 12:22 am

Thanks for everyones imput. My boyfriend and I are planning our vacation now for Aug. and we have been to other theme parks in GA and could not find a single ride we could fit on. VERY Embressing. I am 5’6 and 280lbs (size 26/28) and he is about 6’2 and 250lbs.

Goin' all Disney June 24, 2010 - 8:42 pm

I am so disappointed that I am just now hearing about this. My kids and I have been looking forward to this for almost 2 years now, and now I find out that I may not be able to ride it? And to hear people actually back Universal for this is absurd!! I am extremely large chested. And to those who want to keep blaming the overweight people, I will not now, nor ever, take the blame for what genetics and God has given me. My chest size is well above 48″ around, and short of going through a breast reduction, it doesn’t look like I will be able to get the harness down without squeezing me to death. I never thought it would be a problem considering I’ve never in my life been turned away from a ride. Why Universal has not publicized this disgusts me. I’m sorry, but some of the people above that discribe their height and weight, they don’t sound like they are huge people!! I understand they are overweight, but 225 and being almost 6 foot tall? That’s not disgustingly huge for man!! Definately not a feather weight, but not hugely obese that they should be banned from an amusement park ride! And to those telling everyone to just lose the weight and get over it, that Universal doesn’t have to cater to “fat” people, you are the pigs here, not them. You’re words and behavior are disgusting. And yes this IS discrimination. These people have been designing rides for YEARS. Shapes and sizes of people are paramount in designing a ride. They intentionally desiged the ride to prohibit a certain “type” of person, when there were other options available to them. Their other rides have modifications, there is no reason they couldn’t have accomodated this ride. This really makes me mad. I think we’ll trade our tickets for Univeral in to Blizzard Beach. Some place I won’t be told that I need to exercise my breasts to loose inches to ride their rides…Universal, you’re pathetic.

HarryPotterFan June 25, 2010 - 4:23 pm

Gon’All Disney,

If you are over weight and do not have a medical condition, it is your fault. It is not discrimination, it’s a fact. If you have a medical condition, exercise is not totally out. Diet is never out. I once listened to a woman complain about a doctor visit because he told her that she has the medical issues she has because she’s overweight. She thought he was rude, as she was complaining she was eating a double whopper, large french fry, and drinking a large diet coke.

Would you rather they made the seats bigger and then small fall out and get injured or worse die? I wouldn’t. The people posting on this blog that are now motivated to lose weight to enjoy the ride, I applaude you and wish you all the best in your weight loss journey. You are true role models and I hope that you find that you enjoy life more with the exercise and open yourselves up to new experiences that you never thought you could do before. You guys and gals are awsome.

My friend and I completed the Bataan Memorial Death March this year, she’s overweight and this was a 26.2 mile road march though rough terrain. I am so proud of her for doing and completing it with me. She wants to continue her weight loss and fitness goals and run a half marathon with me next year. I will be proudly beside her the whole time enouraging her.

Dennis June 25, 2010 - 4:45 pm

Its pretty sad to know that you only decided to lose weight in order to ride this ride…. Maybe you should have put down those chips instead of steadly stuffing in em…

Dontask March 20, 2017 - 6:01 pm

Hey Dennis,

Why don’t you get your head out of your ass and start respecting people. You disgust me. I’m in decent shape now but I struggled for a long time with my weight. The last thing that people need are insufferable, insecure idiots like you trolling them. Get a life. SMH

Goin' all Disney June 25, 2010 - 6:18 pm

HarryPotter Fan,

Like I said before, comments like yours are PURE ignorance. I am NOT overweight, I am 5’3″ and 145lbs. I do NOT have any medical condition, other than God given large breasts. I wear a 38 F, and without going under the knife for a breast reduction, I will not be able to ride this ride. I did not ask for ALL the seats to be larger. I simply stated that Universal should have taken into consideration the different body types of their customers when designing this ride. I have a bust size of larger than 48″, and as stated above, that’s the maxium chest size the harnesses allow. This IS discrimination. When you purposely do no allow people with certain body types to participate, then yes you are discriminating against them. If it’s their sex, if it’s the color of their skin, whatever it may be. Due to the fact that both Universal AND Disney offer rides that function on the same principal as the Journey, they should offer seats to accomodate everyone.

MobileJoel June 25, 2010 - 8:43 pm

I really do think that all sides need to keep some perspective. Based on the feedback, it would be helpful if the theme park fully analyze and disclse the restrictions prior to getting in the park, especially since the costs of such parks are expensive. For those that think that it’s “unfair” for people to ride rides, you also need to take a deep breath. I’ve been a big person all my life. I will be running (not walking) a Half Marathon in Sept. & there is still be a good chance that I can’t fit this ride. I accept that. However the worst people on this thread are the ones who say it’s your fault. Fault implies two things; there’s a defect, and it was caused by you. Based on the stats here, Lou Ferrigno couldn’t fit on this ride. Does universal have to accommodate him on the ride? No, he’s not your average Joe. Is Lou going think it’s fair, yep. Is Lou going to laugh at you because you think he’s at “fault” because you determined he had a weight problem based on height, weight and chest size, and the fact that he can’t get three clicks on a kiddie ride seat? Probably. Everyone, please take a breath and accept who you are, make some life changes if they make you happy; and most important of all, don’t judge.

MW June 25, 2010 - 9:56 pm

.I am seeing so many limits to fitting in this ride, but there is one thing I am curious about I haven’t seen mentioned. Has anyone had an issue riding because of breast size? We have a trip planned in December solely because of this park, however, we have 3 in our group that are very busty. My mother is one of them ( she’s an E cup) and I wondered about the harness closing for her. As the main purpose of the trip is to celbrate her 60th birthday, we may have to change plans if she can’t fit on this ride.

Gabby June 26, 2010 - 12:31 am

I’m pretty worried… I am overweight and there’s a good chance that I may not be able to ride. I saw somewhere that Jeff Guillaume, one of the founders of HPANA is 5’8″ and 265 – which is basically identical to me in words – couldn’t ride because it wouldn’t go over his torso… now I’m not sure of how this would translate to me, but though I do weigh that, I’m more proportional than most. I don’t have a paunch at all, I guess since I’m taller the weight distributes differently. But oh well. I guess I’ll just have to wait until I go in July to get the moment of truth. Whether I do ride it or not, I’ll always have Dragon Challenge =) Chinese Fireball for the win!

Tourist Lush June 26, 2010 - 2:53 am

In this grotesque world of obesity, if you are too big to ride an amusement park ride due to girth, your priorities are totally out of line…instead of worrying about sitting in a ride, get up off your butt and lose some damn weight. And secondly, can someone please explain how much one must eat simply to maintain such enormous sizes?? As my better half always has said, if you can’t lose it, wire those jaws shut.

Beth October 26, 2019 - 4:08 pm

This post is extremely cruel! Don’t you understand that many people overeat due to emotional/anxiety concerns? It’s like being addicted to food- and it could be tougher to beat than drug/tobacco addiction, since you need food to survive. Shame on your lack of compassion.

MW June 26, 2010 - 7:17 am

Goin’ all Disney: Thanks for the info. It was late and I read about 20 comments but I couldn’t make it through ALL of them. It looks like Universal may be out for us. We will probably choose Disney instead since Mom fits in every ride there. That’s really sad because we were SO looking forward to the Wizarding World but I won’t pay all that money to NOT ride the major ride on the island.

And I see that you’re right. I guess my size 6 mother is at fault because she was a DD by age 14 and having two kids made her breasts even larger. Too bad she didn’t foresee this park opening, she could have chosen not to have us. People need to think before they speak.

bill martin June 26, 2010 - 1:12 pm

people dont get it its not the fat it the inches you can be built and weigh more fat per sqaure inch is lighter the goal is to lose the inches around your ass

Goin' all Disney June 26, 2010 - 1:31 pm


Exactly!! How silly of your mother not to anticipate such a ride! What’s pathetic is that Universal has other rides that accomodate larger people. And by larger it’s not meant to be read as fatter! There is a difference!!! Just like MW’s poor mother, and myself!! We are both well within healthy weight limits for our heights, and are healthy fit people, yet because of genetics, we can’t participate. And what is the point gained by not including seating that would be comfortable and fit larger chested people? It’s not a weight limit for the mechinism running the ride. We are both well below that! It can’t be that the seats wouldn’t be safe, they have such seats on other rides that run on the same principal. When the park employees load people into those rides, they know what “body type” NOT to load into the bigger seats. It’s as simple as that. Are they saying that the people they hired to run the Journey aren’t capable of figuring it out? They have no problem figuring it out on Spiderman, or The Hulk, or any of the rides that Disney does the same thing for. I just don’t understand and it makes me very angry!!! MW, I’m with you!! Maybe we’ll see each other at Disney!!! lol =)

PAUL June 26, 2010 - 3:33 pm

i think that this ride may not be safe since theres alot of restrictions you got height,weight etc.how about having some type of 3d film.where it fells like your moving but your actually still in one area.the film moves but the person doesnt.this ride makes me a little uneasy.

KCR June 26, 2010 - 5:50 pm

We should institute this everywhere. I hate it when the fatties melt over onto my seat on the airplane or in the theater.

InKI June 26, 2010 - 9:27 pm

I would like to comment on several of these postings. It is sad to see how there are several people on here whom want to comment for “fat” people to lose weight. Have they never had a weight problem, or have an inherited health problem? Thus, that may be the blame as to why they make the comments they do. Also they would feel horrible for perhaps if there children wanted to ride the ride but got pulled out of line to see if the seats will click three times to allow them to ride. With the devistation and sadness that the green light didn’t come one. I would have to say that Universal should have made sure to accomodate all sizes, shapes and heights. I was always taught not to judge others and treat people how you want to be treated…I believe there are some people that definitely need to take that advice. As for the lady whom was asking if someone with a cup size of E would fit on the ride. Please don’t waste your money I don’t think there is any way that would be possible. I fit barely because of my cup size and it is smaller than that, also I weight alittle over 200 pounds so inherited chest size creates another problem with this ride. Save your money and visit another park or avoid the embarassment of this ride, because I won’t go back I can’t afford to have a breast reduction done, due to the size restriction on this ride.

Tim June 26, 2010 - 9:58 pm

I just took a quick measurement, and it appears my chest is about 49 inches. As I said further up in the thread I’m 5’9″, 250 lbs. I can fit into the Sum of All Thrills as well as the Standard Seats in every Orlando Attraction. Are any of these comparisons? Sum of All Thrills is also a Kuka Arm. I know it only seats 2, but does that have comparable restrictions?

bb June 26, 2010 - 11:28 pm

There are alot of trolls on this site. To Tim, I can ride SOAT at Epcot but cannot ride FJ. Right now the team member can use 1 arm to push on the harness, no longer 2. This could change on a daily basis. I would say 48 inch chest is the maximum if you are lucky. I have read somewhere that someone had a 50 inch chest and rode but I don’t see how.

Outside Observer June 27, 2010 - 1:00 am

I’m sorry, but there are a lot of people out of line posting about this ride:
1. If you are a person that is overweight and not because of medical reasons, you have no gripe w/Universal.
2. If you have an extreme situation that is genetics/medical related and cannot be controlled by you, I can understand the frustration, but you are asking Universal to build a ride now that takes in account every single possible body/genetic/medical abnormality, which is very unreasonable.
For instance, Goin’ all Disney says she wears a 38F bra size. This may not be controlled by you, and it sucks you can’t ride a cool ride, but less than 1% of American women have a DD or larger cup size.

You think that when someone like Shaq goes to themeparks he doesn’t expect that he is not going to be able to ride certain rides because of his height/weight/body shape? Do you think he is complaining because the theme park didn’t take into account his specific, not so average situation? Hell no.

Bottom line, you don’t know the technology or science that goes behind building this particular ride. From everything that I have read, this combines several technologies used in other rides combined with new technologies that were very recently invented and thus never used before. Comparing this to other ‘similar’ rides is not a justification to be upset. I’m sure they either hit the limitations in weight/size of people on the ride or are playing it safe since it just opened. Why on God’s green Earth would they want to limit the amount of people that could ride their flagship ride for Harry Potter if it wasn’t for some good reason…everyone knows that big corporations like Universal don’t like to make as much money as they could (sarcasm!). Would you all really feel better if they pushed the limitations and someone was seriously injured/ killed because you wanted to be included in the fun?

filwitch June 27, 2010 - 7:30 am

hey, i’m 4’9 and 120 lbs. do you think i’m too small for the ride? i hope not 🙂

talfonso June 27, 2010 - 8:55 am

I’m not surprised – there are situations like that in numerous theme parks in the world! Many people want ride refurbishments just to fit in the seats, whereas many others take the positive step and use rides like this to motivate themselves in their weight loss goals!

bev June 27, 2010 - 9:05 am

What about hips? Is there a certain measurement for that?

Kimberly June 28, 2010 - 7:06 am

Granted yes perhaps it is our fault for being too big in many cases but really…the 48 inch round in the chest is just a little ridiculous. Yes there has to be some limitation because you don’t want the smaller people to fall out but really there could have been a bit of a modified to at least compare to Dueling Dragons and Hulk. I really don’t think that would have been unreasonable. Just a couple of seats like those two rides. Now can everyone fit into those. No they can’t could it support a few more heavier body types “yes”. Even IF a person were to diet they can’t exactly drop the weight overnight without surgical assistance.

Really? June 29, 2010 - 11:18 am

Look really people?? All rides have a height, weight and general size requirements. Even Mr. Toads Wild Ride.
I have personally been on the HP ride after a 2 1/2 HR wait, this last Friday.

At 6’2” 220lbs I had no issues “fitting” into the seat. Although I felt like a passenger in Coach seat on an airplane, the seat fit snugly around me. The restraint system locks to your chest and top of your thighs. I can tell you that you need the harness that is provided. Your feet dangle throughout the entire ride. In addition the ride tilts you past vertical (on your back) and horizontal (on your stomach) several times, quite “violently” in some parts. A simple lap bar would not even come close to securing you.

Think of it from the other side. Would Universal like to build a ride that EVERYONE could fit in? YES of course they would. It would mean more revenue for the park of course! However ire-regardless of personal weight preference, genetic dispositions, or oversized proportions; you simply can’t design a ride that can accommodate everyone. If rides were governed by an Equal Opportunity Law (which they are not) then your cost of your tickets would be even higher than they are today. Engineers and Park planners would have to take into account every body type and size and the design costs would skyrocket, and be passed along to you. The rides are built to fit the average person in height, weight and body type.

The ride is designed to be safe, period. Universal will not bend their rules or endanger the majority of their riders, by making special exceptions for those who complain.

common sense June 29, 2010 - 1:32 pm

Really, in case you didn’t know, Universal has altered other rides so they would allow larger riders. That is why people are wondering why they don’t consider that for this ride.

Kimberly June 29, 2010 - 1:39 pm

I agree with “Common Sense”. Hulk and Dueling Dragons (renamed for Harry Potter) both had some “moderately” alternative seating. This seemed to be a fair compromise. True you can’t take EVERY “body size” into consideration but this seemed to accomodate a higher percentage. It just seems like FJ is just a little “over” restrictive in comparison to the rest of their park.

red June 29, 2010 - 7:20 pm

Went on the ride recently and really it depends on how your body is porportioned… broad sholders, large thighs, or really long torsos might be problems. If you can fit on dragons you can fit here most likely. the ride does make you a little quezy the second time around, but its very smooth and things get really close. Many people who can fit on every other ride do sometimes have troble with the ride.

In the line a bit before loading they have a test bench and they pull people aside. It seems that they know who will have trouble with the ride so that loading (which is on a moving side walk) will not be slowed. My family never got pulled out and we are a little bigger. But its all how your weight is distributed.

bb June 29, 2010 - 10:42 pm

This ride NEVER tilts you on your stomach. Sorry but you have never been on this ride if you claim that. Really? should read a few ride reviews before saying they actually rode this ride.

Outside Observer June 29, 2010 - 11:33 pm

@bb The ride does tilt you forward quite a bit, though not completely on your stomach. I know, because this is where the ride stopped the 1 time that I rode it while I sat leaning pretty far forward.

The thing that I still don’t understand that people aren’t grasping is…why would Universal NOT take into account making a larger person seat on this ride? Every person is right in saying that they have made accommodations to have larger seats on the Hulk, Dueling Dragons, and other rides. These are all Universal rides, so do you really think they just completely forgot that America has a large number of obese people (or oddly shaped as some people like to put it) that would be pissed that they couldn’t ride this new one? Of course not, the only logical explanation is that it couldn’t be done safely at this point in time. Anyone want to try to come up with a logical reason why they wouldn’t have considered this?

Ken F. June 30, 2010 - 11:00 am

I think this is both an issue for bigger/ overweight people and Universal. Remember, B&M, made Hulk , and Dragon Challenge. They have different sizing. All coasters/ rides have different sizing. I have been on multiple coasters, whre I just make it, which is crazy. I am 6′, 1” and at 230, I know I will not have a problem with this ride. It’s the people who are shorter and more overweight that will have the problems. You can not blame Universal, you must blame the manufacturer, for sizing it differently, this ride ride may have been made in japan, or china where everyhing else is smaller.

just try July 1, 2010 - 12:42 am

i am 6″1 260 and was able to ride both times i tried, i also failed the test seats outside but not by much, the girl who was workin the seats the first time was cool enough to throw me hints by saying “the seats on the actually ride may be calibrated different” and “if your with a party just walk thru and try the other test seats” well thats what i did and they didnt pull me aside or anything in the line so there is still hope if you fail the seats outside. people use common sense though if you are under 6 feet and pushing 300 they will prob have you test again, alot of it has to do with how you carry your weight, also the second time i went thru i noticed alot of people who prob could have rode but got frustrated and walk away when they failed outside so just try and they may let you slide! hopefully this helps someone

chicagorob July 1, 2010 - 3:08 pm

I went with my family last week. We stood in line for 2 hours to get into the Harry Potter area, then waited another 90 minutes for Forbidden Journey after I successfully tested in the outside seat.

I wasn’t even stopped by the testers right before the ride. I asked them if I should try it and they told me I was fine. UNFORTUNATELY, I was pulled off the ride because the operator didn’t like the way my restraint fitted. It closed, but it wasn’t good enough for him.

I got kind of upset (but not loud or belligerent) with the employee after having waited for almost 4 hours. He immediately grabbed my arm and quickly “escorted” me to a back hallway and closed the door in my face. When I tried to wait at the exit for my family’s 3 minute ride I was yelled at for standing still and was told to “get out.”

The incredible part is I’m 6′ and weigh 270. I don’t have a super large gut or shoulders and people think I weight far less than I actually do. I was no where near the biggest person in line. I counted quite a few people who were kicked off the ride after successfully passing the seat tests!

I was also angry because they wouldn’t let me wife and son off of the ride after I was pulled away. My 7 year old was looking forward to riding it along with me and became very upset I wasn’t there. The entire experience was ruined for all of us.

The Harry Potter area looks really cool and true to the books, but the shop sizes and lines were completely unecessary if designed correctly. It’s as if they planned the park to host no more than a few dozen people at a time. The candy/joke shop was extremely small, with very narrow aisles and only one register. The wand shop “experience” was a 90 minute wait with no shade, a 3 minute presentation in a single, tiny room, then a claustrophobic attempt to see the wands for sale in a 10’ by 10’ room packed with several dozen people. We had a hard time getting a middle aged comicon “wizard” to move to one side so our 7 year old could see the wands. He was too busy trying to decide between several wands he kept “casting” with.

The biggest thing there were the lines. There was an hour wait just to buy Butter beer, there was a 1-2 hour wait for a restaurant table, there was even a line just to get into the candy/joke shop (why couldn’t they have done two different shops?).

Universal was so worried about the authenticity and the look, they totally forgot about the thousands of guest visiting this miniscule area tightly wedged into a corner of the park.

All I can say is I wished Disney had Harry Potter. They would have had plenty of room to build an entire theme park, would have made sure the rides were available for everyone, built the shops and attractions with more than enough space to handle crowds and would have hired more congenial employees to work with the guests.

Bev July 3, 2010 - 11:01 am

I m a female with large hips. I am trying to lose weight so I can fit into this ride. I’m planning on going next May. Does anyone have measurements for hips to be able to fit on this ride.

susan July 19, 2010 - 10:09 pm

My family and I went to Islands of Adventure yesterday and headed straight for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The line started in front on the Jurassic Park ride. A little more than an hour later we were in front of the castle near the 1st set of sample seats. Never having had a problem fitting on a ride before, I ignored them (5’2″ 225lbs…unfortunately mostly in the tummy and hip area). A sweltering (part of the line takes you through a poorly ventilated green house area) hour later, nearly to the loading area, we (ok, they were really only after me) were pulled aside by the “fat police”. On the first test, the little, skinny girl couldn’t get that 3rd click. After 2 hours in line, I wasn’t in the mood to take “no” for an answer and asked her to try again. After lifting and adjusting the “baby belly” (alright, my youngest is 12, but it just never went away) I was able to get the very tight 3rd click and on we went. After similar adjusting and squishing into the actual ride seat, the attendant asked if I “would be comfortable for a 5 minute ride?” “Sure” I said…thinking “I don’t actually need oxygen.” In truth, I was so uncomfortable I was about ready to scream before we left the loading zone. Luckily, with the 1st tilt or two, I was jiggled into a more comfortable position. The ride itself was good, although I thought it went a bit too fast through the story line…It would probably take me about 10 trips through to actually catch everything that was going on. (Plus I was a bit distracted thinking about the embarrassing “too fat to ride” issue.)
According to the LA Times “the average U.S. woman is 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14”. I wear an 18-20, which I really do not consider to be too far above that average. Frankly, I am pretty pissed that a brand new ride would not have been built to accomodate our “growing” population. Really, if it is a weight issue for the hydraulic arm, maybe they could have every 3 or 4th car with only 3 wider seats instead of the 4 skinny seats. I would rather have to tell the attendant that I need a “modified seat” than be put through the public “Are you too fat to ride?” show.
We were considering upgrading our passes to an annual due to the new attractions at Universal and Islands of Adventure….but I think we will stick to Disney since they appreciate my “fat girl” money enough to give me rides I can actually ride and don’t embarrass me with the “fat police”.

Outside Observer July 20, 2010 - 7:58 am

Once again, we have someone come in with incomplete facts. I’m sorry susan, but you are leaving out some crucial details for the average weight for a women stat. First off, the weight you have on there is correct for the average US female, but one thing you forget is the average height which is 5′ 3.8″. So you are almost 2 inches shorter and 62lbs heavier…which by the way is 38% heavier than the average weight in itself.

Another thing you are correct on, is that America is most definitely getting bigger. That average weight for women was about 11 lbs less 10 years ago, and roughly the same height. So even though that’s the average, there are tons of people that are overweight in the US, so it pulls that average up and doesn’t mean that’s the target or healthy weight. If you look at the Body Mass Index (BMI), which determines if you are Underweight, Normal, Overweight, Obese, or Extremely Obese (not my labels), you will see that your 5’2″ at 225 lbs comes in at a 41 BMI which is in the Extremely Obese section. As I have stated previously, I am a male at 6’3″ and 205 lbs which puts me at a 26 BMI and in the first block of Overweight section and I had absolutely no trouble riding the Harry Potter ride. I could have easily been another 20-30 lbs, which would put me in the top of Overweight, before the seat would have gotten a bit tight on me.

Sorry, but you have no right to
1. Ridicule Universal for not catering to Extremely Obese people (even though you WERE able to ride the ride)
2. Ridicule workers at Universal for simply doing their job
3. Put the term fat girl in parenthesis.

Check out the BMI:

Patrick McCarthy July 20, 2010 - 8:26 am

According to that BMI chart 6 foot 5 215 lbs. is “overweight” ! Yikes I’m 6 foot 6 275! Does that make me obese? I would challenge anyone to look at me and call me obese. It’s just not that way! These charts are a farce. Am I going to get challenged for my size when I try to get on the ride in August? Did they challenge Dwight Howard?

Mel July 20, 2010 - 5:02 pm

I am planning on visiting this park in two weeks and was so excited about going on this ride. Now I am so worried that I won’t fit. I’m 5’3 and weight 240, my chest is rather small and most of my weight is in the butt area. Will I fit??

Inside Observer July 20, 2010 - 5:53 pm

It seems that Outside Observer and a few others like Tourist Lush need to start treating the other writers with some respect.
We’re so happy that you’re able to contribute to the discussion, but could you do so without ripping into anyone who writes in and irks your proudly superior intelligence?
Yes, the rides can’t be modified to be “truly universal.” But they definately were not designed for a lot of the population and should be adjusted to allow for a few more sizes.
I rode FJ and the padding along the stomach was ridiculously thick, around 10 inches. They could easily shave off a few inches and give the harneses more leeway in adjusting according to the rider’s size.
The main problem was the outside test seats were unamnned, at least when I was there, and the inside tests seem random. People were being turned away after getting on the conveyor belt.
But, back to the point, so someone is in some denial, embarassed or has come to terms with being larger.
Outside Observer, you might be 6’3″ and 205, but your condescending attitude makes you sound like a 4′, 105lb runt with an inferiority complex. Try toning down your condescending diatribes, *you have no right* to treat susan or anyone else who has written in with your over the top responses and rants.

Disneyfanforlife July 20, 2010 - 9:11 pm

WELL SAID INSIDE OBSERVER!!!! You are so right on the money!!! The seats COULD be modified slightly to include abnormally porportioned people. Outside Observer, you’re a nut job plain and simple. Your scale is ridiculous. My brother is 5’11” and 219 lbs. According to your scale, he’s obese. The man is solid muscle, which anyone with half a brain know, weighs more than fat. That scale is beyond insane. He benches more than he weights, and watches his fat and caloric intake religiously, yet according your scale, he’s obese. He doesn’t know that he will make the chest restrictions for this ride either. He’s a bit on the barrell chested side, which is a trait that runs in the males in our family, and according to the restriction we’ve read about, he won’t be able to ride either. Yet I guess you think this is his fault also, not the fact that designers overlooked general body shapes, not just weights, in general. Susan, girl, you cracked me up with your post. I agree with ya 100% At least you were able to put a sarcastic spin to get some humor out of a ridiculous situation. Don’t listen to the insensitive, sometime down right ignorant, remarks on here!! Hope you and your family had a great time regardless of your experience in the FJ!!!!

Outside Observer July 20, 2010 - 9:45 pm

I would like either of the last two people to point out what I have said that is condescending, besides perhaps the line where I said “You have no right to put parenthesis around fat girl.” I can understand that sounding condescending, and I shouldn’t have even mentioned that.

Outside of that, I have tried to present facts that I have researched that simply play the devil’s advocate to what others are saying. Just because someone disagrees with what others are saying doesn’t mean that you are trying to be a jerk about it. If my posts come off as harsh (other than the one mentioned above), than that wasn’t my intention and I apologize.

Especially in my last post, I spent two full paragraphs with nothing but specific facts relevant to the argument, and personal experience with the ride. The last 3 points that I made were where I might have gotten a little out of hand, only due to the fact that no one is showing respect to the hundreds of hard working people who designed, built, and are running the ride. I am not talking about all of the big wigs who are getting paid tons and don’t care about the consumers, I am speaking about the people who got into the business of creating rides for the enjoyment of others or those that work at the park for near minimum wage and have to take people treating them like trash for doing what they have been told to the best of their ability.

@Disneyfanforlife – It is not MY scale that I made up on my own. That would be insane of me to do. It is a universal (not the park) scale used to try to put in perspective weight relative to height and the general healthiness of the individual in that range. You are absolutely correct that muscle weighs more than fat, and your brother is not considered to be overweight because of it. That fact about muscle has not been mentioned once in this entire posting, and I didn’t feel it would have been relevant to include in my last post. Everyone in this who is questioning the design of the ride is of the overweight or oddly proportioned minority. I say minority, because the amount of people that cannot ride due to both of those combined is I’m sure in the small minority. I don’t have any hard facts to support this, but I would be surprised if there were more than 10 people that cannot ride out of every hundred. Even saying that, if you read one of my earlier posts I did mention that it is unfortunate and that I sympathize with the oddly shaped/proportioned people or people that have a medical reason for being overweight, because that is not there fault and most likely cannot change that. If your brother was unable to ride, that would suck and I would feel much worse for him than others that are complaining because Universal did not accomodate their unhealthy lifestyle, but still 5’11” @ 215lbs is a pretty damn muscular build and again would make him fall into the minority or body shapes.

@Inside Observer – I guess it depends on exactly what you mean by “not designed for a lot of the population”, but I don’t see where that is logical. Of course, there could always be more adjustments, and things could have been done to account for a few more people. If they had shaved down the seats like you mention, how many people do you realistically think that would affect? Again no hard facts here, but I would think less than 5% of the people currently unable to ride, which would be much less than the total amount of people trying to ride it. I agree with you though that I was slightly condescending to susan, and I didn’t intend to do that when I first wrote that post, but here we are. At the same time, why is she able to be condescending to others without anyone saying something about that? Aren’t you doing the same to me that she did to others? Just because the people she was insulting didn’t read it, doesn’t mean that they weren’t insulted and make it right.

susan July 20, 2010 - 11:40 pm

Outside Observer – First of all, I do have the right to put “fat girl” in quotation marks as I was referring to myself. By the way, they are “quotation marks” not “parenthesis” which look like this : ( ) Wow! I just noticed that that looks like an emoticon of a guy with a big mouth…hmmm.

Secondly, I did not insult any Universal employees. The 1st ride attendant was both little and skinny. This was not an insult, it was an accurate description. I am very good with accurate descriptions, but I will refrain from describing you as that might get my post deleted.

Thirdly, I never said I wasn’t fat. I freely admit I am fat. I also freely admit that I am 100 pounds lighter than any of my female antecedents going back over a century…yes, I have the pictures, daguerreotypes, and even tintypes to prove it. I also freely admit that my weight is a constant battle. And I freely admit that someone who hasn’t had to deal with weight issues has no room to talk. Therefore, you should just shut up.

As far as your accusation that I was condescending in my first post, I don’t believe I was. I think it was more on the self-deprecating side. Now this post? Hmmm… Yes I think my tone might be just a smidge condescending.

Kimberly July 21, 2010 - 7:15 am

It seems pretty simple the designers flawed here. NO not ALL body types will ever be supported in all rides…BUT…from the sound of it…they went a “little over the top”…I believe the restraint system on some rides can get a little ridiculous such as the old “alien encounter” at Disney World. The ride didn’t even move but they had shoulder harneses that would keep down the “Hulk”. I think a person that could fit on the Hulk or Dragon should expect the same thing out of Journey. There are plenty of rides that use a similar arm and they can support a LOT of weight. One 300 lb rider per every other row shouldn’t make a big deal toward the 1200 lb weight limit.

Unfortunately it’s starting to sound like a lot of “fairly” average people are being outsted.

FatWithMoney July 23, 2010 - 6:52 pm

Until reading this post, I had planned on a 1st class trip to Universal Studios. Now, however, Universal will not get my business. I will take my very fat dollars, and my Rubenesque derriere elsewhere. (Maybe, I’ll go to a nice luxury beach resort where I can wear something skimpy just to annoy those obnoxious buffoons such as Outside Observer and his ilk.)

Angela July 26, 2010 - 7:17 pm

I’m wondering if they were to “shave off the padding” as one person suggested, or make the restraints more loose, if it would be unsafe for all the children and petite-average sized people? If the ride does indeed flip back a bit and then forwards then it really would need to be snug for everyone as it would be unsafe for kids to be flopping all over the place. That would be my guess as to the seating restrictions.

It would be horribly embarrassing to be kicked off a ride for your size, and it’s too bad that it needs to happen to anyone, but I think that if it is a case of safety for the smaller folks, than they really can’t create a ride to suit the minority (yes, it IS a minority) of people who are overweight/uniquely shaped enough to not fit it and then have all children not be able to ride (as well as all smaller adults). Now I will admit that I am Canadian, and that the percentage of the population that is obsese is only half of what it is in the United States (14% versus 30%) (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity), so maybe it just seems to me here that there are a lot more kids and petite-average sized people than there are obese, and maybe this is less the case for you guys? Either way, I’m going to assume that they will focus on making the kids safe over one group of adults….

I applaud Mr.Lee for using this opportunity to make a healthy life change and I hope he is able to ride the ride one day. And maybe Universal will make some changes to allow at least some more people to be able to ride the ride.

Kimberly July 27, 2010 - 7:13 am

I really think the thinner padding will be fine. Both the Dragon and Hulk have modified seating and I’ve seen smaller kids in both.

John July 30, 2010 - 3:58 pm

I went to Universal yestarday to ride this ride, Im also I big thrill seeker , Which I travel for a month out of the year to many theme Parks, It just confuses me that i have been too tons of smaller theme parks that dont have an issue with seats, But this place which has dump, over 200 million dollars into this theme can not accommodate every one that is a shame to Universal Studios, I watch many people that was in line with me not make it on the ride, I felt very bad for these people, But on the other hand the ride was GREAT!! I rode it three times, But I do think that they could have done such a better job on the whole area, It was very small, In lines to get in to an area is just way to much for me, Maybe you need to get some outside views for your next theme!!

BELLY BINDER July 31, 2010 - 10:11 am

I just finished up a 3 day visit to Harry Potter park. At 5ft 2 inches and weighing in between 210 and 215 I was concerned about being able to ride. The first day I stayed back with my 7 yr old while the rest of my party rode. Met a woman in the gift shop who appeared similar in size to me, who volunteered that she had been turned away after only getting two clicks. That really scared me and I took my dtg with me to the test seats to discover that sure enough, I could not even begin to get the green light on.

The next day while buying some vacation supplies at Walmart I remembered some of the comments about “adjusting the belly” and had an idea. I bought a firm support undergarment (what would be called a girdle in the old days). I bought it pretty small and admittedly it was uncomfortable, but I hoped it would do the trick.

The next day at the park I ducked into the bathroom right before getting in line and put it on. I ignored the test seats and went in line with my son. We rode single rider (faster and he was a bit ahead of me, which made me feel better in case I was declined…I would just meet up with him at the exit). Walked right onto the ride, past the fat police, who did not even request I test the seats. Sat down on the ride and was able to close the seat myself, didn’t even need help from the loaders.

The ride was excellent and worth the bit of discomfort from my girdle. I went a second time, than discarded my girdle happily into the trash.

I will say I believe that the test seats outside are smaller than the actual ride. I think they may well discourage riders who would indeed fit in the seats. But also hope that some may be encourage by my post to be creative. The belly binder gave me an easy 1 to 2 inches of extra belly space.

Have fun everyone, and be nice…

jboone August 1, 2010 - 12:42 pm

Just finished my trip to Harry Potter World and got kicked off Forbidden Journey after 90 min wait. They could only get two clicks on my belt. I’m 6 foot even and 260 lbs but don’t look or feel overweight. I have a lot of musclemass and look more 200 lbs to guessers. I ride hulk and dueling dragons (and all other coasters) fine. Have never used large seats on a ride either.

The problem for me is length of torso and shoulder width. If I lost 50 lbs I still could not ride this comfortably. Can get 3 clicks if I scrunch down my spine and get shorter. Not comfortable at all though.

Patrick McCarthy August 2, 2010 - 8:43 am

jboone, How did Dwight Howard get on this ride if you couldn’t? Star power???!!! What does this boad for me at 6 foot 6 270???

Karen August 2, 2010 - 4:23 pm

I too hate to ride an airplane because I may not fit in the seat and use the safety belt. Lucky so far I fit but I know how hard it is to lose weight. I been like a yoyo up and down with my weight.
I hope you and your husband have fun on your Harry Potter ride because I think he will lose his weight….I seen the tv special about him and it sounds like he is motivated to ride that ride. Good luck with everything and I hope you two do a follow up on the story when you both do ride that ride! Thanks for sharing and it gives me hope too that I can lose the weight walking like him. Thanks!

rob August 3, 2010 - 5:41 pm

The real point is that the company made the seats smaller to cram in more people, thus decreasing the line wait. Who cares if the guy is over weight? So what excuse would be given to a big person who works out? “Oh just stop lifting weights and come back next year and see if you fit then?”
Nope, I’m not buying that. It’s not a person’s weight; it’s the person’s frame that is causing the issue. I would really like to see what parameters the engineers used as a template for the seat design.

All in all, more power to the guy to us it as motivation.

Harriet August 3, 2010 - 7:40 pm

I was there with my family during soft open. While they did a lovely job visually, the planners should be embarrassed by their short-sightedness regarding the size of the shops and poor queue planning, as well as the ride size for FJ. Obviously they didn’t have enough room available to plan accordingly, and I don’t think Universal counted on the backlash from all of this. My family and I are avid HP fans – we’ve all read the books and seen the movies multiple times, but this entire area is such a fiasco that we have no intention of giving Universal or their theme parks any more of our hard earned discretionary income. Even the inside of the castle was disappointing, as much of it is too dark to appreciate the details. I got more out of the photos I took with a flash than I did from what we actually saw. What a disappointment after a couple of years of anticipation. I wish Disney had developed this instead – it would have been extraordinary.

Sam Bellingham August 8, 2010 - 5:40 pm

I am more than 265, and I got thrown off the ride in front of my family. If it had happened at the gate, that would would have been bad, but it happened after we waited in a Florida August sun, got rained on by a Florida storm, baked, and then find out at the last minute where you board that I can’t get on. Very humiliating and I was pretty hot. Should I lose weight? Sure, and I am enrolled in a program and making progress. But its not Universal’s job to make me lose weight, at $70 plus tax a ticket, is their job to entertain me. I was ripped off. Maybe by Christmas I could go on this ride, but, I am NOT coming back with the family, we will go to Disney first

Gary August 9, 2010 - 5:33 am

OUTSIDE OBSERVER: These fatties get really angry don’t they?! All you have done is present facts, its unreal. I used to get bullied for being fat as a kid and I did something about it. I am now lean, have muscle and weight 172 pounds. I’m proud of this as it takes 4 days a week at the gym and the ability to eat right to maintain it. Something a lot of you people should try and do. Those with above average definition (but not fat) sure I sypathise with but such is life. I see nobody is complaining that a baby can’t ride this? That’s because IT WOULD BE UNSAFE TO DO SO. As soon as the fatties get aroung this fact, the sooner you’ll stop moaning about it.

Experienced Rider August 24, 2010 - 12:25 pm

I just returned from Universal about a week ago. I was really nervous about not fitting on the ride because I am 225 lbs and only 5’2. All my worry was for nothing. The first time I rode, one of the workers had to push down once but it was not uncomfortable or tight at all. He was also nice about it, asking if I was comfortable. In fact, the second two times I was able to get three clicks all by myself with no help. You should know that I really don’t hold my weight anywhere. I mean I don’t have big hips or thighs. If you are like me and nervous about fitting on the ride, I would tell you that the ride was tightest on my stomach. Also, It wasn’t tight on my chest at all and I have a DD sized chest.

Patrick September 1, 2010 - 9:35 am


I am writing about a very positive experience at the park on Thursday, August 26th.

I had planned this trip for a year to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as my daughter and I are huge fans. I had heard that there had been some issues with getting on the Forbidden Journey ride if you were an above average size. I am 6′ 6″ and 275 lbs. I am not obese by any means but my height is an issue. At the test seats my daughter was able to get me a green light so I proceeded through the line. I did not get pulled out at the 2nd test seats and went right to the ride. Then there was the issue! The women who put me into the ride couldn’t get the 3rd click and kicked me off. She was older and the policy of only using one hand is ludicrous, especially in my case where a 15 yr. old could get the green light. I asked to be tested again and the women who checked me in the test seats couldn’t get it either. She was very petite and again the one hand rule came into effect. I was sent down the long hallway “walk of shame” and put in the gift shop while my daughter got to experience this great ride.

Well, knowing that Dwight Howard had gotten on this ride at 6′ 11″ I did not let sleeping dogs lie. I went to a fantastic gentleman named Cody who understood the issue with my height. He did not hesitate to coordinate a test where he to got a green light for me. He then called into the ride and contacted Ryan to accomodate me on the ride. Ryan came out and escorted my daughter and I to the ride where he easily was able to get the 3rd click. I was not uncomfortable at all and was able to enjoy this ride after my trek from Syracuse NY!!!

Both Cody and Ryan were compassionate, understanding and marvelously accommodating. If it wasn’t for them my whole trip could have been ruined! They are great and deserve immense accolades!

Thanks Cody and Ryan! I am also so happy Banks got to ride!
Fantastic ride!!!

Tim September 1, 2010 - 3:58 pm

Tim from wdwfanboys.com, I was able to ride today, I’m 5’9″ and around 250 lbs. I had no issues whatsoever.

Eileen Remor September 9, 2010 - 11:20 pm

Check out a clip from my talk show – “NO OFFENSE BUT…” with ANTHONY and EILEEN, when we discuss this issue.

Eileen Remor September 9, 2010 - 11:22 pm Reply
Matt September 11, 2010 - 8:16 pm

Universal has modified some of the seats to allow larger guests to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Read the story here: https://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2010/09/11/harry-potter-and-the-forbidden-journey-ride-seats-modified-to-fit-larger-guests/

NoGodForMe September 12, 2010 - 3:03 pm

You Acers are fat.

This is a coaster that will turn you upside down and get stuck. Be sure to bring your cell phones so you can call 911 when you can’t take it any more.

harry potter wands September 13, 2010 - 11:58 pm

Hahah this ride sounds like a nightmare

Andrew September 14, 2010 - 11:08 pm

Stop being an obese, ignorant person who only thinks about stuffing themselves full of food while the rest of the world is starving. AKA an ignorant American who blames the world for every problem they bring upon themselves. And get over the fact you can’t ride until you join a gym and work the Whoppers, Big Macs and Mayonnaise off your fat ass! Its your problem and your the only one who can fix it!

Sue September 15, 2010 - 10:33 pm

Andrew — sorry we are not all perfect like you are.

Mary September 19, 2010 - 10:54 pm

People were making such a big deal out of this weight limit that I thought I wouldn’t be able to ride it weighing less than 150 pounds and being 5’3 and yes I do have a larger chest. I’ve never had a problem with any ride and I don’t expect to have one for this ride.

I will tell you to be careful and not ride it if you don’t fit because that’s how accidents are caused. I once saw some fat kid ride the twister from the fair (twists you, upside down for a while and all) and at the end of the ride he was the only one to be able to take off his restraints because they weren’t locked in the whole time. Don’t play with your life.

I’m glad they got bigger seats for people because I wouldn’t want anyone to miss this ride although that makes the lines bigger. >_>

Jen September 21, 2010 - 7:14 pm

I’m 176 lbs, 5’7″.
I’m pretty sure I can fit in the chairs. What worries me is the humiliation of being pulled out of the line by the attendants.
It sounds terrible.
Do you think they pull out people who are as fat as me, too?
I’m scared 🙁

Tim September 21, 2010 - 11:29 pm

Jen (and others),

Don’t worry about it.

I’m 5’9″, 250 lbs. I went on last month without issue. Nobody pulled me aside, and if anyone was going to – it would have been one cast member in an area where it’s not in the face of a large viewing audience.

More importantly, they have recently added modified seating. If anything, they will direct us heavier guests to those seats without even testing us at the seats. Presumably it helps save people from certain levels of humiliation.

irene riley September 23, 2010 - 5:22 pm

Whatever is it is….it is degrading…if anyone told me I was too fat to ride I would die…I know I am …but to be told by an amusement park minion… that isn’t what I travelled from England to be told!!!!Universal are happy to take my hard earned cash!!! I wouldn’t even try the seats!!!!

How hurtful it would be to tell a child he or she was too fat…great one Universal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Renee September 23, 2010 - 9:09 pm

First of all, why do you refer to the park workers as “minions”. That seems degrading to a different group of people… how about we not insult anyone?

Also, it isn’t Universal’s fault if someone physically doesn’t fit on a ride. If a child was too large to fit in the seats, turning them away would not be an intentionally hurtful act. It’s simply the facts, no one is making a judgement call, either you fit or you don’t. We can argue about the DESIGNERS making the seats too small, but let’s not blame Universal for having to do their jobs to keep people safe and not allow them to ride if their restraints can’t close.

I understand that it can feel hurtful for someone to be turned away because of their size. I was at WWoHP three days after opening day this summer with my Aunt. She is on the larger side, and even though she’s lost over 50 lbs, her chest dimensions were too large and she wasn’t able to ride. She was disappointed, but she made the most of it, walked through the castle with me and saw all of that, and she’s more determined than ever to lose more weight so we can go back again someday.

I understand the disappointment of everyone who has found out they are (or might be) too large to ride HPFJ, but we’re adults and we need to handle our disappointment with dignity. Let’s all be sensitive and not use labels or insults for people of ANY group, and let’s not cast blame where it’s undeserved.

I know that probably sounds preachy, it’s hard to convey tone in writing, but I mean only the best.

Danielle October 2, 2010 - 2:18 pm

my little brother is too small to ride this ride Jo cant but
I can this will be alright for me but not for Joesph I cant
wait to see Harry Ron and Hermione comeing out from the
Invisibility cloak and adviceing me to watch a game of
Quidditch match and see the dementors flying at you Harry
save your life seeing aragog wow wee

Vanessa October 3, 2010 - 1:43 pm

My experience with the ride a week ago! I weigh 308 pounds and was very dissapointed when I read online that I probably wouldn’t be able to ride 🙁 So when we got there I immediately walked over to the seats where a lady helped me into the chairs outside of the ride to see if I would fit: “sorry, you will not be able to ride, bye”… The end…I then just waited outside while the rest of my party went inside and was sooooo sad 🙁

But…. then the lady that helped me first went away and this guy started helping people in the chairs and I noticed that he let people from around 300 pounds in!!! I just walked up to him and asked if I could try the chair again and…. he said… go inside, walk to the griffindor commonroom and tell my collegues that you need a “modified” seat! I did and –> I got to ride!!! 🙂 The seats on the sides are modified and it worked fine for me!! 🙂 jay!

Kimberly October 13, 2010 - 11:20 am

We went last weekend. I’m 5’5 and 200 (embarassing to say but hey…I’m working out now and I’ve lost)…I am also very large breasted. My hubby is a little over 300 and 6’1. It really depends on how you’re laid out. I got on with absolutely no problem. Didn’t even need the modified seat. My hubby didn’t make it but I really didn’t feel they tried very hard. He seemed to be really really close on the “modified”. Once we got in there I kinda believed he would have made it fine. But what do I know. The “regular” seats seemed to have a LOT more room than the “test seat” I tried. (I tried the “test seat” because I wasn’t sure I’d make it with all the negative “reports” I heard).

I really wish he came with us and tried inside. The que is interesting by itself. I think there would have been a decent chance that he would have made it into a modified seat (I reinterate…there was a LOT of room for “me” in the regular seat…the restraints were not even touching me…but then “my” weight is distributed throughout…I’m an all over big “squishy” girl).

They did NOT take any form of “Express Pass”…neither the ones you buy nor the Universal Hotel. The wait was about an 60 to 75 minutes. I truly believe hubby saw it as an “escape” to relax a bit (I tend to be quite a theme park “tyrant” wanting to do and see everything) he also totally hates waiting in line…especially one that’s over an hour…45 mins seems to be the breaking point. On our last day I suggested we go EARLY (hotel guests could get early park entry) and try it but he was pooped and we had the “fright night” that evening. He opted for a nice breakfast and a little more sleep. Hopefully in a couple of years we’ll try again and it will be on the “express pass” by then.

With the “modified” seat…if you can fit on the “hulk modified” “dragon/tri-wizard modified”…you will probably fit on the FJ.

Jen November 10, 2010 - 8:38 pm

How do I know if my seats were modified or not?
The staff members didn’t tell me where to sit. I chose to sit on the side of the bench. I just read two comments ago that the seats on the sides are modified. Is that true for all the benches?
If I sat on the side, does that neccessarily mean I was in a modified seat?

Jeremy November 11, 2010 - 6:10 pm

just wondering. Im 6 foot 375 lbs. Im not belly fat but broad sholdered and have a deep chest. Do you think Ill fit in the seats before I buy tickets to Florida?

Patrick McCarthy November 12, 2010 - 9:31 am


The seats are now modified. You can give it a shot.

I’m 6 foot 6, 270 and was able to get on with the help of a great guy, Ryan, who works at the ride. That was before the seats were modified too. I have very broad shoulders and a long torso.

Kimberly November 15, 2010 - 8:23 am

Jeremy… so much depends on how your distributed. Honestly chest AND belly can be quite restrictive since the harnesses go over the shoulders. My 6 ft 330 hubby was just a “little” off (actually I think he could have the CM really didn’t put effort to it at all) regardless it would have been very tight if he tried. If I were going to bet I would have to say that I don’t think you’d make it based on my experience a few weeks ago. While they are a LOT less restrictive than they were when it first opened…they are still somewhat limited.

Kimberly November 15, 2010 - 8:31 am

Oops and Jen…you ask when you get to the end of the que for the modified seat. Most of the CMs see people every day constantly and they’ll direct you IF they feel you need one. If you have problems with the restraints they’ll redirect you and your party.

Jen November 18, 2010 - 5:58 am

Hi Kimberly, thank you for your answer but that’s not what I asked.
I asked whether every seat on the side of each and every bench is modified, or is it just a few benches.

by the way – this was the best ride in the world.

HPFan November 28, 2010 - 8:57 pm

Just rode this past Nov. 24 and all the benches have the side seats modified. I tested the seats outside the attraction and got a yellow light. When I was going to enter the ride, I asked which seat I needed since I got a yellow light at the test seat area and they said I should just go to any corner of any bench and I would be fine. I did. It was awesome! I rode two times! Also, anyone that needs reference numbers, I am 5’5″ and weigh 263. Most of my weight is around my hips. I was very comfortable in the modified seats. No issue…

Adam December 17, 2010 - 3:05 pm

Definitely test yourself in the chair out front. The lines are really long and it would be bad to wait 45 minutes to get denied and experience the walk of shame. If you can ride the rollercosters with the modified seats you can ride forbidden journey. I am 6’3″, 290 pounds, 44″ waist and 52″ chest (beer belly). I was able to ride fine. However, if you have bigger than a 52″ chest you may need to worry a bit. It was pretty tight and up to 55″ chest and/or gut may be the maximum for most people. The bigger seats are the side seats. It is worth it people. The ride is awesome as well as the props and sets inside the castle. Also, if you go there you have to try butter beer. I was just there last Friday

Jen December 20, 2010 - 3:04 am

Thanks HPfan. I guess I was celebrating too early the fact that I got five clicks :-D.
I rode twice, and chose the side seats although nobody told me where to sit.
Now I wonder if I would have fitted in the normal seats. Oh well. Now I have to go back 😀

Jess January 2, 2011 - 3:36 am


Hopefully one of the friendly people here can offer some info that will calm me down and let me focus on how amazing my vacation later this week will be rather than getting sick to my stomach with worry about fitting on a ride.

I’m plus sized. I am 5’3″. I have a 48″ chest and 53″ hips. I carry my weight in hips and thighs. Will I get on?

And now please forgive me but I feel the need to stand on a soap box and rant for a moment…

I have to say that as I am reading this I have wanted to cry, throw up, punch some people, and applaud some people.
I am over weight. I love dessert. I love salad. I don’t eat fried, greasy food. I work out 6 days a week. I jog 3 miles a day. I am a Broadway actress. I am in perfect health, I just have some curves and extra meat on me. To tell an overweight person to “just lose weight” is disgusting. If only I could tell ignorant people to “just get educated” or perhaps “stop being so stupid”. I am a very intelligent and successful, and a happy person, and I LIKE myself. No I LOVE who I am. Not many people can say that with confidence, plus sized or not.

I understand that not everyone can be accommodated or get what they want in life. But there are people who love Harry Potter, and are thrilled at the chance to experience a thrill ride like this. If they are willing to pay the money why don’t they get the experience they paid for. I’m not blaming Universal, but aren’t kids offered a lower priced admission because they can’t ride some of the rides due to a physical trait, their height. People who can’t ride rides because of another physical trait, their girth, should be offered a lower price too then no? Do “skinny” people not like that? Well then, how about you “just get over it and not go”.

The only reason I am going to Universal is to see Harry Potter World, and this ride is the main feature I want to see. If the actual seat dimensions were disclosed BY UNIVERSAL, perhaps I wouldn’t be sitting here crying because I may have wasted $1000 on a vacation in which I won’t get to see what I most want to.

For me this is what it boils down to….

You pay your cable bill to watch the shows YOU want to see.
I pay for theme park admission to ride the rides I want to ride.
If I know my cable company stops carrying my favorite station, I will not buy cable from that company.
If I know I won’t be able to see the ride I want to see, I won’t buy a ticket to that park.

I work with some disabled groups, and so I understand that its just the plain truth that not everyone can be accommodated in certain aspects of life in our world. Still, people and COMPANIES WHO ARE TAKING PEOPLE”S MONEY need to try as hard as they can to accommodate all people.

If they post height minimums how about posting width maximums for their customers knowledge? At least it would save us from trolling the internet asking strangers what they know. Customers deserve to know details about the product they are buying BEFORE they pay for it right?

If Universal made it clear, who can and can’t fit in this ride, and they don’t lose any customers well then, sucks for us whinny fat people. If attendance slows, well then a smart business move would be to make accommodations for their customers.
Either way, Universal gets less complaints and I spend my money somewhere where I will get the product I paid for.
That’s all I think any of us are asking for here…getting the product we paid for by riding this ride.

Will there be people who even in the most ideal construction of a ride not be able to ride…yes. There will be people who are too short, tall, light, heavy. But please, let us know that BEFORE we buy your product and find it doesn’t “fit” us. And please, make your product as universal and accommodating as possible.

And for the record, turning away hundreds of people a day is not “limitations of the ride”, that’s poor planning and constructing.
When something is bad, fix it. I’m happy Universal made a quick effort to fix that, but I hope they make a better effort to fix it. So people aren’t in suspense wondering how to avoid personal embarrassment or disappointment on their very expensive vacations.

Wow that was long winded. Sorry for that self indulgent rant, but I really had to share my thoughts after reading all of this but now I feel better, and I hope someone can offer me a word of advice and sooth my nerves so I can enjoy my days of packing and get back my pre-vacation buzz!

susan January 2, 2011 - 1:25 pm

Hi Jess! We sound like we are in the same size range. I was able to ride (just barely) before they added the modified seats, so, I would think you should be OK to ride especially as they have the modified seats now.

Kimberly January 3, 2011 - 10:43 am

Based on the measurements you’ve described you should be fine. I think about the same as you in the chest and I fit fine in the non-modified seats (I barely touched the restraints) you should be fine…worse case scenerio you need a “modified”.

I’m glad Universal “Modified” this ride. It was bottom line TOO restrictive. Granted and I do understand they can’t make ALL the rides friendly to EVERY body type. Honestly I really don’t think this ride needs the type of restraint it has…but I’m not an engineer. I guess the restraints are there to protect smaller children that have height but are really thin from sliding around too much.

But in all fairness some modification was due.

ZomBEa January 18, 2011 - 10:18 pm

Alright, im not hear to rant and rave about how unfair it is to that chunky people cannot get on this ride…Im not going to argue semantics over how it’s not healthy to be fat, yada yada…I love the HP movies/books..ive wanted to visit since this attraction opened. Here’s the deal, ive been trying to lose weight for a few months now, so far so good, im not losing weight to get on some silly ride..im doing it to be healthy, however, i dont wish to do the fatgirl walk of shame if i cannot fit, not blaming anyone especially not the parks for making sure rides are safe. i’m 5’7 about a 44inc chest…hips are like 53in…like a size 18…if anyone has similar measurements and have fit pleas let me know, sure ill try the tester seats..but still it could be embarassing…from what ive read, im ok in the chest area, tho i do have larger breasts to worry about…
thank in advance.

Kimberly January 19, 2011 - 12:58 pm

You’re just a bit taller than me but I think you’ll be FINE. Worse case scenerio…modified seating.

harveybirdman January 28, 2011 - 4:21 am

How you doin?, I really love the way u made the subject… maybe you could join my page and give me a few tipps. thank you in advance

MissAymee February 12, 2011 - 4:43 pm

I went the weekend after it opened and was turned away in the Gryffindor Common Room. I was with my bf who is of “normal” dimensions. At the time I weighed 315… which was down from 340…. Im excited to test the modified seats and hopefully ride FJ. To this day only he and I knew I was turned away. I have never felt soooo publically embarrassed. I live in MIA and Im only shy of 4 hours away. I have dropped some more weight determined to ride but for my health as well.

They should have taken other dimensions into acct when designing as not everyone is AVERAGE. Disney does accomadate 99% of its guests whereas Universal doesnt. In my expirience, it solidified my dieting goals to get healthier. I am foturnate enought to not have any medical conditions that “make me” over weight. I do hope thought that these “modifications” are able to keep me safe when I ride.

Hoping for a Green or a Yellow light!!

Good luck to all you finger pointing Muggles and Mudbloods… Us Wizards will only take the experience, learn from it and make it happen <3

JCnTPA March 10, 2011 - 3:14 am

Four of us visited US IoA for the first time last Friday and this ride was the highlight of our visit. Being in a rush and trying to take in all of the details of the surroundings, I completely missed the test seats and the warnings of size/height requirements. I’m 6-2 and about 310 lbs and no one even took a second look at me. I took no special effort to request any sort of larger seat and although it was snug as many rides are for me, it didn’t keep me from enjoying a great experience. It’s a fantastic ride!

Petra April 21, 2011 - 12:13 pm

I returned from Universal 4/18/11. The 1st time I went on this ride I passed by 2 sets of 2 attendants each without being stopped. I was approached by one of the 2 attendants right before the ride and was asked if I had been on the ride before. She then asked me to try the seat. There was no problem whatsoever, and, quite frankly, no need to ask. I am short, round, and have heavy legs and had no problem whatsoever fitting into the seat. Plenty of room to spare. The second time I went, 2 days later, I was never stopped. That said. Good ride, not great, lot of hype. The walkway leading to the actual ride would be much better if statues, displays, etc were labeled and the story was outlined (much as it is in “Shrek”). Diagon Alley and the castle itself look tremendous. I waited 90 minutes for the 5 minute wand sorting “show” across the street from the castle. Do not waste your time. A 5-10 minute wait would be worth it, any more and it is ridiculous. As a long-time veteran of theme parks I can say one thing. Though nicely done and true to the book the area is in no way large enough to accomodate the crowd. The ride opened with a 45 minute wait when there were only hotel guests at 7 AM and Diagon Alley was completely shut down to anyone trying to enter shortly thereafter. HoneyDukes is adorable but tiny and only had one cash register open, finally opened a second one but there was approx a 1 hour wait to get through the line. Overall, great experience but if you are going during prime time PREPARE TO WAIT! I strongly encourage anyone to stay at the hotels or buy the Express pass to bypass most lines.

Hanna June 18, 2011 - 7:03 pm

Me and my family are planning to go to Universal in a few weeks. My dad is 6 ft 1 and weighs 197 lbs (mostly muscle though). Will he be able to ride?!? He and I are real Harry Potter nerds and we’ve been looking forward too this.

Matt Roseboom June 18, 2011 - 7:07 pm

Hanna, Your dad won’t have any problems.

T June 19, 2011 - 7:54 pm

I am worried about not fitting on the ride. I am going this upcoming Saturday. I am 5’5″ and about 235 pounds. Do you think I will fit?

Patrick June 19, 2011 - 8:53 pm

No problem T…They have bigger seats now. When I went I couldn’t get on, I’m 6 foot 6, 280 but asked a worker and I was brought in and put on by a guy who easily locked me in. Since then they installed seats for the slightly larger! Have fun, it’s fantastic!!!

Andy June 21, 2011 - 10:06 pm

Wow. I am 6’0 and 330 lbs and went to IOA today. When I went to ride the hulk and the dragon challenge and I didn’t fit in any of those tiny seats, but I could latch them normally… I went to the test seats on the new Forbiddem Journey ride and i was asked to sit down I’m then test seat. I fit normally and the harness came over me normally, but I couldn’t ride it because the light never changed from red to yellow or green. After this, the attendant said “Unfortunately, you are not nor qualified to ride this ride. Sorry, this is for your own safety.” and I walked off because the attendent was rather rude, too. I got to ride Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park, Spiderman, and the Popeye River Barge ride. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to ride the main attractions of the park, but I had fun regardless :/. I am inspired to Los more weight so that I’ll be able to ride those rides eventually! I’ve dropped 15 lbs so far since I started Weight Watchers 2 weeks ago.

Andy June 21, 2011 - 10:09 pm

Forbidden*, in*, lose*

Amanda O. June 29, 2011 - 10:54 pm

The ride is great! they have weight limits just because if they can’t close the seat….. then you will fall out of the ride! again with height! the seat will not close…. its because of the seat design! It’s not anyone’s fault. Most people should be fine! Larger people mostly fit on it.

Shelby July 9, 2011 - 8:03 pm

I just returned from spending 8 days in disney and 2 in universal (one in islands of adventure and one in universal) and I was not impressed. I am a huge harry potter fan, and I was not impressed with the theming or design of the harry potter area. I’m also fat. I’ve never had an issue getting on any other attraction before I walked into harry potter. I couldn’t fit in the seat (got a red light) and I turned around and left the park. I took my fat ass and my fat wallet back to my disney resort hotel and spent all the money I would have spent on harry potter merchandise and food at the three broomsticks with disney. If I can fit on Soarin at disney (which is the same ride style) then I can fit on this ride. There is no safety issue, and if there is, the ride should have been designed more safely. I wish disney had bought the rights to harry potter and made this theme park correctly.

Mary July 23, 2011 - 9:16 pm

Hello! im 5’2 and i weight about 225 pounds. Most of my weight is on my thighs and hips. Do you think im gonna have some kind of problem going on the ride? =S

RubyAnne August 26, 2011 - 11:38 am

MARY – sounds like you and I are around the same size, except I have a DD chest. That was my biggest worry, but I’m happy to report that on 7/14/11 I was able to ride Forbidden Journey four times (along with Dueling Dragons and Hulk) with no problems whatsoever. I used the modified seat on all 3 rides and was fine.

SHELBY: Soaring is not the same seat at Forbidden Journey. There is actually a shoulder harness that comes down over you AND the booty part of the seat is molded. I counted at least 4 times when I was upside down……….that does not happen on Soaring.

Matt Roseboom August 26, 2011 - 11:41 am

RubyAnne: Just a bit of a correction, the ride does not go upside down, although you do go on your back, looking up at the ceiling.

jack December 9, 2011 - 7:58 pm

there should be somekind of disclaimer before you shell out your hard earned $ its kind of bs iam a big guy not a fat guy and couldnt ride the ride it really upset my daughter we go to all the parks we live in fl and i def wont go back to that one

tv cover January 11, 2012 - 5:56 pm

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alan g January 17, 2012 - 12:38 pm

I did not know about the seat size problem , well i did after i queued for 1 1/2 hours . universal tell you about the hight , loose articles ect . Dont tell you if you are fatter than a chip you wont fit the ride . Payed loads of bucks out wasted the day and did not go on another ride just spent my time in customer relations trying to get my money back . But they do not refund you money thats there policy.

Sheryl January 28, 2012 - 9:49 pm

My two children love Harry Potter and we planned to visit. Only one child is over the 48inches. My 7 yr old is only 45-46 inches. Can they still walk thru the castle and just not ride or is the whole place off limits?

Kimberly February 2, 2012 - 8:48 am

Dear Sheryl…

YES you can walk thru. They have a “chicken exit” at the end where you can take leave the scene. And YES the que is very nice and quite enjoyable. Try to get there as early as possible because the line gets long quick.

Ann February 5, 2012 - 3:21 pm

I’m 5’6″ and 245 lbs women. I barely made the three clicks required with the help of a strong wizard. I carry most of my weight in my mid section and thighs.

Phil March 9, 2012 - 11:31 am

Folks. As an ex-front row forward in Rugby and been weight training since 15 I freely admit it started turning to fat once I stopped training when I met my wife. I have only been nearly 18 stone twice in my life (When I was last in Fla for the HP opening in 2010 (252lb at 5ft 8 – not excessive by US standards? but not healthy I know). We are massive HP fans in my family – I went to the same School as JKR. I was one of those guys turned away after doing child swap. I am just eternally grateful it wasn’t in front of my kids. It spoiled it for them as I was just so embarrassed and upset and they couldn’t celebrate in the way they wanted as they felt bad for me. The way they did it was appalling and I thought they were just putting me in a different chair and everyone was looking and it wasn’t until I was stood outside with the second attended I was passed onto she explained what had gone wrong. It wouldnt go down over my shoulders. I was in tears and mortally embarrassed when I told my family. It did 2 clicks not 3. I complained because of the way I was dealt with and the guys outside showed me the ride checker and same 2 clicks not 3 over my top half only. Some of the upper limits mentioned above are therefore incorrect (I notice they added some “outsized” seats since. I still not tell anyone why I didnt get on it back home – they just think I stayed off to look after our son. Universal phoned me in the UK and apologized and took a full statement and said it had been a bit of a nightmare. They have offered us some freebies when we next go (booked August 2012). On the positive side, I am currently part of a research trial on weight loss management c/o my GP and on Orlistat and also doing a lot of exercise and using a daily Calorie Ap. My “Universal experience” has come up a lot in my counselling. I’ve lost 23lb in 16 months and going to keep going until Aug and fingers crossed I will get on it this time. Will be DEVASTATING if I cant. BTW I NEVER had a prob.on ANY rollercoaster / adult ride ANYWHERE before the HP ride 🙁

fair shake July 2, 2012 - 4:11 pm

Under 48″ can’t ride some rides, but the ticket price is lower, so people feel they are still getting a good value.
Easy to put the test seats before the ticket booth, and offer a lower price for those who are too large to ride some rides.
At least they’d feel they were getting a fair deal, and they would have the choice not to enter if they so chose.

Darcey October 13, 2012 - 8:20 pm

So me and my family are planning on going to the Harry Potter themepark next summer. I’m about 5’9″ and around 235 lbs. Would I be able to go on the ride? Or will I be too big?

Elizabeth November 14, 2012 - 12:51 pm

There is no ride at Disney that someone can not ride. Regardless of whether or not this is discrimination, this should be advertised on the website.

We only paid the money to see Harry Potter World, and my mom could not ride. I had to watch my mom cry because of something we hoped to share together. I don’t care who you are, that is the worst feeling in the world.

If we had known, we never would have subjected ourselves to such a horrible experience.

Anne December 7, 2012 - 8:48 pm

I’m 5’2 and weigh 134. Last year I weighed 251. I’d been heavy then fat my whole 29 years. Obesity is the last form of racism. Sorry but it’s TRUE. I live two lives. My one now and still the fat girl in my head who I was for 28 years. People treat me different now, period. It angers me and hurts- I’m still the same girl, but today, people are generally much more friendly to me, hold more doors for me, serve me much quicker and are just much more kind. Now I’m “good” enough. Before I was fat and treated different. I don’t want to hear that people are lazy. No one WANTS to be fat. What joy is there in that? This proves it. Weight restrictions keep us safe on rides- they must. But this would be humiliating.

Jessica September 17, 2013 - 8:28 am

This makes me sad. I’ve always been a Harry Potter fan-since the begining….but I have to have breast reduction surgury before I will fit in these seats. I wear a 38 N. The last time I went on a ride at Busch Gardens that went upside down, I felt like I was being held by my boobs! Worst experience ever. True story.

kim January 29, 2014 - 10:07 am

My boobs are 38GG and luckily I got on the ride in Aug 2014.
I would just like to point out that I would have liked to try the tester seat but couldnt get near it for the army of parents letting their children using it as a chair to have a rest in/ or play on.
this would have made an already embarrasing minute seem even worse to ask to sit on in front of an audience.

Larry September 3, 2018 - 5:07 am

I am 285 lbs and 48-50 inch waist. I barely fit but was able to ride with the ride attendant pushing down the last click of the restraint.

Laura May 16, 2019 - 12:40 am

Well 5’10’ and 240
But sadly my 42G (42DDDD) chest was the issue.
I am very healthy and very active person
So even if I lose weight my chest area doesn’t shrinks that much (lets say breast reduction is a common surgery in my family)
So it is the forbidden ride for me (I do not plan on getting a breast reduction any time soon )

Deb D. July 28, 2019 - 9:38 pm

July 2019: Hi all! We just got back from Universal Hollywood and I was so stressed beforehand about being able to ride the two (2) Harry Potter rides. I seriously stressed over it. I was able to fit on every ride in the park without any problems. I did try the test seats outside the ride to make sure before I went on the rides and got the green light on both Harry Potter rides. I’m 5’7″ and weigh 235 lbs. I wear a size 18/20 through 22 size top and a size 18 pant. I am pretty busty and am thick in the middle. If you are around this size you WILL be able to get on all of the Universal rides~ I have to add that anyone larger than me, we have problems on the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride. I got the 3 clicks no problem, but it was pretty tight on my chest and I sort of felt claustrophobic. I didn’t go on it again because of that. Like I said I am chesty but got to 3 clicks easily.

Jay November 29, 2019 - 7:36 pm

5’8 but 304lbs, I was close but no dice. But, I’m using this as motivation to drop those pesky 90lbs next time I come, this is my goal!

shut up September 1, 2021 - 2:57 am

I was absolutely humiliated, couldn’t ride this attraction in Hollywood….. I’m 5’6”, around 280 or so. 2xl shirt, 16-18 pants. 42E bra… kiss my ass US. It’s really a shame all of these people here in the comments are wanting to lose weight just to be able to enjoy this attraction… don’t let this be your motivation people! Do it for YOU. Not a ride.


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