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The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure just became a lot more accommodating. As of Sept. 10, 2010, many of the seats on the ride have been modified to fit larger guests who had previously been turned away.
Since the feature ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Poter opened in May, many guests have been complaining that they can’t ride because they weren’t getting three clicks. As the safety restraint is locked down over the guest, it clicks three times. If a guest couldn’t get it the third click, they were told they couldn’t ride. For many guests, this was the only ride at Universal they couldn’t fit on.
The new test seats, which are outside the attraction and just before you get on the ride, feature three lights, a red one, yellow one and a green one. As the guest pulls the restraint down, the lights go from red to green. If a guest gets yellow, they’re asked to go in a special line with their riding party and are directed to the modified seats.
So far, some of the ride vehicles (or benches as they’re called in the ride) have the modified seats on the each end of the four seats per bench. The benches with the modified seats are spaced out along the track so there isn’t a long wait. A team member working at the attraction said they’d eventually add the modified seats to each bench. The modified seats aren’t any larger, but the locking mechanism has been modified to safely secure larger riders. Smaller riders can also safely ride in the modified seats.
Team members we talked to said the modified seats have helped tremendously. They said before they had to turn away hundreds of guests, but over the two days since the modified seats have been in place, they’ve only had to turn away one guest.
We previously wrote about the issue and featured Banks Lee (pictured above). Banks was one of the ones who couldn’t fit, so he made it his goal to lose enough weight so he could ride. We then wrote about Banks again recently when he made that goal.
Banks said he’s happy they didn’t modify the seats before he lost the weight or he might have lost his motivation, but he’s still glad to have the modified seats available. Banks posted on his blog, “Even though I have lost the weight to get the three clicks in a regular seat, I was still at a size where it depends on how hard the ride attendant pushed the restraint. There would be times where I could ride it, and then I’ll get back in line and not be able to ride.” Banks said he plans to continue his weight loss to get to a more healthy size.
So, if you’ve tried to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey before and were turned away, give it another try. Whether you lost weight or gained some, you still may not be too big to ride.