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Some Muggles too Pudgy for Harry Potter

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http://www.aolnews.c...ey-ride-at-wiza

(June 23) -- When most people get in line at Orlando, Fla.'s new Harry Potter theme park, they're worried about the wait -- not their weight.

But according to some Harry Potter lovers, pudgy muggles -- those who weigh about 265 pounds or more -- are getting tossed from line at the most-hyped ride in Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park.

For them, the ride "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" is truly living up to its name -- and that's a big disappointment for fans who resemble Harry's rotund cousin Dudley.

Harry Potter fanatic Jeff Guillaume said he was "quite disappointed" after park officials turned him away from the Hogwarts-touring attraction because his 5-foot, 8-inch, 265-pound frame was deemed too large for the ride's safety harnesses.

"What it boils down to for me, and what surprised and disappointed me the most, was that many of Universal's other rides contain 'modified seating' rows for larger guests, and -- let's face it -- a good number of people in the Harry Potter fandom are a bit heavy, so why didn't Universal anticipate and accommodate us here?" he wrote on his website, the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator (HPANA to Potter maniacs).

Universal Studios representatives did not return calls in time for AOL News' deadline, but the Orlando Sentinel reports that park officials have "instituted a screening system" requiring random park-goers to sit in "test seats" installed in the line area of the "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" ride.

"I'm not sure what the system is, but team members take potential riders -- not all of them -- and test whether the safety harnass [sic] will latch," the paper's Theme Park Rangers blog notes.

Some park-goers are hexing Universal Studios officials over rumors that 6-foot-11, 265-pound Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was permitted on the ride while other heavyset Harry Potter fans were turned away.

But amusement park expert Dennis Speigel says the restrictions likely have as much to do with body type as they do with weight.

"Height can be a factor either way -- too short or too tall -- and girth could be a factor too," said Speigel, who is president of the amusement industry consulting firm International Theme Park Services.

While amusement park visitors are probably accustomed to signs informing them they "must be this tall to ride," Speigel says weight and body type restrictions are prevalent.

"It's not unusual," he says. "You have weight restrictions everywhere from Disney to the smallest mom-and-pop operators. It's for the safety of the guests. ... They aren't penalizing the person to be mean. They are exercising caution as it relates to safety -- and that's the prudent thing to do."

Even though more than one-third of American adults are obese, amusement park designers simply aren't creating rides for people who are very overweight, Speigel says.

"You can't design a ride for an excessively large person," he says. "You can't build for that narrow segment of the population. You try to hit average and little bit above."

Edited by Happy Bunny

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

"It's not unusual," he says. "You have weight restrictions everywhere from Disney to the smallest mom-and-pop operators. It's for the safety of the guests. ... They aren't penalizing the person to be mean. They are exercising caution as it relates to safety -- and that's the prudent thing to do."

Seems reasonable to me.

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There should be weight restriction on everything. Solely for the reason that 70% of Americans are fat. Screw safety.


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