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Harry Potter themed amusement park ride confronts USA with reality

Could this be what it takes to wake people up? Let's hope so (or not, I'm actually still a little confused by this one)

Harry Potter Fans Deemed Too Heavy for 'Wizarding World' Ride

Most people remember the feeling of not being tall enough to ride an amusement park ride, but some would-be riders of the signature attraction at Universal Studios' new "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park in Orlando are being turned away because of their girth. The ride, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey," employs individual restraints to keep each guest tucked in to his or her seat, but the restraints aren't large enough to accommodate heavier riders.

Universal seems to have anticipated this issue, stationing staff "wizards" and test-seats along the line and at the entrance to Forbidden Journey. Riders test their ability to fit in the seats, as well as the restraint (which must click three times to be deemed safe and for the potential rider to be allowed into the attraction).

One Harry Potter fan, Jeff Guillaume of Lansing, Michigan, expressed disappointment on his "Harry Potter" fan site after he failed the test. Guillaume is 5'8" and weighs 265 pounds, and says the restraint wouldn't fit over his torso, though he reports that other rides at the park have special cars reserved for bigger riders.

Universal, which doesn't have "specific weight limits (just the test seats and a requirement that riders be at least 48 inches tall), says the "body dimension" restrictions are "to ensure the safety of our guests. It's #1."

That's all fine and good, but considering the average weight of an American man is 191 pounds (and rising: in 1960 it was 166 pounds), "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" could be turning away quite a few potential revelers.

Universal isn't the first theme-park operator to deal with issues raised by the growing rate of obesity in the United States. In 2007, Disney had to modify the "It's a Small World" ride  after weighted-down boats began regularly getting stuck in the plume.

One Harry Potter fan who was unable to ride "Forbidden Journey" when his seat test yielded only two clicks of the restraint, is turning the incident into a personal motivational challenge. Banks Lee, who says he's 6'2? and approximately 310 lbs, has decided to diet and exercise until he can get on the ride (and hopes to continue his quest even after meeting that goal.) He's even started a blog: Banks Lee and the Three Clicks: My Journey to Fit on an Enchanted Bench, where the Orlando resident is documenting the long walks and sensible diet that he hopes will lead to a ride on "The Forbidden Journey."


Everybody should change their bad lifestyle for the almighty Harry Potter ride. All hail the Harry Potter ride, our new spiritual leader!

Reminds me of the little shitstorm they had about fat fucks having to buy two seats when flying. They need to fucking die of high blood pressure already.

There's a difference between being overweight and being obese.

Being overweight can be a result of hereditary genes, a sickness, or what have you. I don't think someone who is 20 or so pounds overweight should be labeled as terrible.

Obesity, however, that's a different story. There is NO excuse for any human to be over 400 pounds, unless they have some gigantic tumor somewhere in their body. All those gross blobs of failure who ride those scooters even though they aren't disabled at all need to fry. They consume more resources than the average person while not contributing more. In some cases I wouldn't be surprised if they contribute less.

But lets not have a mass genocide of blubber, instead why not use them for compost, or animal food. We should make use of them; not like an 850 pound hambeast is going to do anything worthwhile.

It's pathetic beyond all words that the only motivation that man can find to not be a rancid lump of failure(or perhaps just a smaller lump of failure) is being able to ride at Disney.  I support the compost idea. 

Use them as fuel! Imagine how much energy all that burning fat could produce, enough to power a small town, surely.

I guess that's why they call it the "Forbidden Journey" - fat fucks are forbidden to enjoy the ride.

I don't understand how people can get so big, it would be work just to eat that much

What I find remarkable is that I can remember when the term "obesity" was one rarely heard at all, as it was reserved for those rather rare, truly enormous, corpulent types who had clearly lost all self-control(to say nothing of self-respect). That it is now in common usage and most frequently heard in front of the word "epidemic," is truly horrific, and would have been unfathomable just a generation ago. It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect example of decadence made flesh! 

I can't wait for amusement park rights lobbying groups to start popping up.

I'm convinced it is the high carb calories like the bags of surplus wheat and rice exported for food aid. Compounding the problem is the lack of anything else to do but gobble cheap/free food and copulate, the life of a farm animal.

“Over the past 20 years a dramatic transition has altered the diet and health of hundreds of millions of people across the Third World. For most developing nations, obesity has emerged as a more serious health threat than hunger. In countries such as Mexico, Egypt and South Africa, more than half the adults are either overweight (possessing a body mass index, or BMI, of 25 or higher) or obese (possessing a BMI of 30 or higher). In virtually all of Latin America and much of the Middle East and North Africa, at least one out of four adults is overweight.”



In virtually all of Latin America and much of the Middle East and North Africa, at least one out of four adults is overweight.

Wouldn't surprise me if this had more to do with genetics. Its amazing how many cute latina women end up turning into giant sacks of shit before they hit 30.

hottentot venus wave of the futaaeerrr!

The staple foodstock is quick production, high turnover, carby sugary crops designed exactly because there are far too many people. The consequence is lots of people, and lots of them sick in mind and body with an expanding chunk of their economy dedicated to sustaining this miserable lot (pharmaceuticals, doctors). If our numbers were kept far fewer, the biosphere could sustain more of a paleo diet as we have evolved for. Who knows? We might even end up with more off planet exploration and less hospitals, prisons, and drugs sucking our civilization dry.