Mickey Mouse size-friendly theme parks

Size-Friendly Theme Parks: How to Find Comfortable Parks

Not all theme parks are size-friendly theme parks. Until that happens, we need to rely on the comments of other park visitors to determine where we may, or may not, have problems fitting on the rides or in the entertainment areas. Depending on how your weight is distributed and how the ride is set up, you may fit on rides that people who weigh less than you don’t fit on.

Size-Friendly Walt Disney Parks

Walt Disney World in Florida

A size 28-30W woman fit on all the rides without any problem. One 28-30W person found the inner tube rides (other than Castaway Creek) a bit difficult — the inner tube kept sinking down into the water, and she found herself scraping the bottom a lot; but, she still found it fun. Star Tours and Body Wars were a little snug.

Clothes in gift shops usually go up to size 4X. Disney Marketplace offers 12 rooms of items; so, you might have a better selection of larger items. If you have enough time before you leave, consider shopping at Disneystore.com for some great deals on a wide range of sizes.

One poster reported that at 6’7″ and 400 lbs, height was more of a problem than weight and recommended the second row of most rides as having more leg room. “On the water rides be sure to seat in the middle (left and right), we had a boat full of couples all seating on one side, and started to take on water.”

The following description of Disney parks is a compilation of information from staff at the parks as well as visitors to each park. Remember, things change and different body shapes have different experiences.

Legend
ts = theatre seats
bs = bench seats
lb = low bars (lower deeply into lap)
hb = high bars (do not lower into lap, or lower slightly)
ss = small space
w = walking show, self-paced (wheelchairs allowed)
s = standing show (wheelchairs allowed)
nws = no wheelchair space, but handicapped accessible

All shows have handicapped access and all ts and bs locations (except those designated “nws”… no wheelchair spaces) have wheelchair spaces, never having to leave the wheelchair, and a place for a companion as well. More info on wheelchairs below.

Magic Kingdom

TOMORROWLAND
Ride
Astro Orbiter

Space Mountain

Wedway People Mover

Delta DreamFlight

Time Keeper

Carousel of Progress

Seat Type
lb/ts

lb/ss

hb/bs/nws

hb

s

ts

Description
jerky simulator ride

roller coaster

gentle sit down ride

gentle sit down ride

show/movie

show
FANTASYLAND
Ride
Grand Prix Raceway

Dumbo Flying Elephants

Carousel Horses

It's a Small World

Tea Cups

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Legend of Lion King

Skyway

Seat Type
bs/ss

lb/ss

bs/horses

bs/nws

bs (round)

bs/hb

ts

700 lb limit

Description
gentle ride

kid's ride

gentle ride

gentle ride

twirly ride

ride

show

sky ride
TOWN SQUARE
Ride
Hall of Presidents

Haunted Mansion

Mike Fink Keel Boats

Tom Sawyers Island

Seat Type
ts

bs/hb/nws

bs

w

Description
show (standing pre-show)

gentle ride (standing pre-show)

gentle ride

(short standing barge ride)
FRONTIERLAND
Ride
Splash Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain

Country Bear Jamboree

Railroad Ride

Jungle Cruise

Seat Type
lb/ss

lb/ss

bs

bs

bs

Description
roller coaster

roller coaster

show

gentle sit down ride

gently boat ride
ADVENTURELAND
Ride
Pirates of the Carribean

Swiss Family Treehouse

Enchanted Tiki Room

Seat Type
bs/nws

w

bs

Description
boat ride-8 foot "waterfall"

walking uphill/downhill

show (standing pre-show)
MAIN STREET
Main Street Cinema
Seat Type
ts
movie

For information on rides and attractions at other Walt Disney parks in Florida check out our information on Epcot and MGM.

Wheelchairs

There is ample wheelchair parking outside each park. A valid disability parking permit is required. Trams, monorails, and boats are completely accessible, they are being used to get you from the parking area to the parks.

Wheelchairs, both standard and electric, can be rented each day, but must stay in the park they were rented in, even with multi-park passes. The wheelchair rental areas are directly inside each parks’ gates (Magic Kingdom’s is towards the middle, EPCOT’s is to the far left, and MGM’s is also to the far left). Standard wheelchairs are $12 a day. A deposit is not required in the Walt Disney Theme Parks; but, a refundable deposit of $100 is required at Walt Disney World Water Park and Disney Springs.

Wheelchairs are *first come, first served”! They no longer take reservations.

Electric Conveyance Vehicles (ECVs) are available for rent at all Walt Disney World theme and water parks. The price is $50 a day with a refundable deposit of $20 at Walt Disney World Theme Parks and $100 at Walt Disney World Water Parks and Disney Springs.

We always rent a stroller as well for the walking person to push, allowing us to dump all the purses, bags, etc. in the stroller. First come, first served, they are $15 a day.

Access to Rides and Attractions

One never needs to go through turnstiles… from the front entrance to any ride. There are gates that swing open, simply ask the attendant (or make yourself at home and open it yourself!).

Food and Beverages

There are 364 restaurants in Walt Disney World, offering all types of modified diets… from Kosher, vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian, and low-fat to diabetic, gluten-free and kids’ meals. For ideas check out the details on all the available restaurants in the parks.

In the Magic Kingdom Park, there are several options for vegetarian food in Tomorrowland. The fast food places provide a set menu, but sit down places (with backstage chefs) can cook anything to match your dietary needs… simply ask your server.

In EPCOT, there are wonderful places to eat. Canada has a cafeteria. The Coral Reef Restaurant has a spectacular dining room with views of a living coral reef and the 4,000 sea creatures in the reef. Other EPCOT restaurants also offer choices of meals that fit in with varying diet plans. If not, ask your server for what you need.

In MGM, there are fast food and dining rooms, including a cafeteria. The dining rooms can cater to your needs.

Size-Friendly Seating

The majority of wheelchairs at the Disney parks are the regular sized, but they *do* have several of the larger-sized ones.

Also, the chairs in every restaurant that I can think of have no arms. I am sure if there are arms on chairs, there are also chairs without arms handy.

The restrooms all have handicapped stalls, of course… and I have been able to fit in most stalls at 330 pounds.

All of these parks want to be size-friendly theme parks. If you ever have a problem when gently asking for your needs, ask to speak to a supervisor, and they can help… either by getting you what you need, or directing you to a place where your needs can be met.

For further questions, you can call Walt Disney World at 407-824-4321.

Disneyland in California

Disneyland is one of the most accommodating, size-friendly theme parks. 300+, 410lb, 310lb, and 3X people fit through all the turnstiles and fit on every single ride without problems. One woman complained that the rocket jets were uncomfortable and some of the gates were “smallish”, and recommended not sitting in the front car of Space Mountain. Disney did not complain that she needed to take a whole seat meant for two.

Many of the older rides are accessible for much larger folks as well (i.e., Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Jungle Boat, and Matterhorn). Star Tours may not be entirely comfortable; it has theater-type seats. One person needed a seat belt extender for Star Tours and they provided it without a fuss.

On Main St., the Clothier store, the Disney Emporium, and Tomorrowland all have large-size clothing (some up to 8X).

Disneyland is very accommodating to people with physical limitations and will assist people in getting on and off the rides. They have wheelchairs available for a small deposit.

Other Size-Friendly Theme Parks

Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California

One person was asked to get off a roller coaster in front of everybody because the bar would not go down. Another person (5’3, and around 300 lbs) tried to ride the Big Dipper roller coaster, was asked to get off the ride, and was refused a refund.
Editor’s Note: The theme park suggests that guests check any ticket booth for information about ride accessibility.

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Of the three coasters, Big Bad Wolf is probably the roomiest, followed by the Loch Ness Monster, and then the Drachen Fire. The Drachen Fire is not very friendly to people over 5’6″ tall. The Alpengeist has a maximum girth of 48″, the Apollo’s Chariot has a maximum girth of 52″. They have a sample car sitting at the entrance of the Alpengeist so that you can see if you will fit before you get into line. The operators are helpful and do not rush you.
Editor’s Note: The theme park suggests that “Guests of Exceptional Size” may experience difficulty on Alpengeist, Apollo’s Chariot, Griffon and Verbolten.” Test seats are located at the ride entrance to test the seat size before entering the ride queue.

Cedar Point in Ohio

People over 6’5″ or with a 50-inch waist or a very large bust or chest may have problems with the Raptor. People with over a 50-inch waist may have problems with the Mean Streak, the Corkscrew, and the Magnum 200XL. People with over a 60-inch waist may have problems with the Iron Dragon, the Blue Streak, and the Gemini. All the water rides and standard rides should accommodate folks with less than a 60-inch waist.
Editor’s Note: The theme park provides total weight limits per ride unit with the total weight to be distributed between all riders in the ride unit.

Great America in Santa Clara, California

This park is not one of the most size-friendly theme parks. One woman didn’t fit on one of the rides, and they gave her and her partner passes to go to the head of the line on any other ride (to make up for the fact that she waited all that time for the first ride). A 5’4″ 220-lb size 18-24 woman fit on all the rides, but just barely on the wooden roller coaster. A 5’7″ 340 lb. person could not fit on anything, except one roller coaster (not the wooden one, presumably).
Editor’s Note: The theme park suggests that “Guests of Larger Size” may not be accommodated on some of the rides. Specifically, their website mentions that larger guests may experience difficulty on Delirium, Demon, Grizzly, H.M.B. Endeavor, Vortex, Flight Deck, Firefall & Drop Tower.

Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

One reader was humiliated by the ride staff.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County, California

A supersized woman had no problem on any of the rides she went on.

Another person warns that many of the rides, with the exception of the log flume and the California River Country Raft Ride, are not size-friendly, including the three major roller coasters. One of the roller coasters (Montezuma’s Revenge?) may be bad for people with back or neck problems. (“starts on a short section of track, catapults you forward, through a loop to a near vertical incline at which you fall and reverse the process passing through the start station and going to another near vertical incline and you then fall back forward and stop in the station”).

The fried chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is recommended.

Lagoon in Farmington, Utah

One person had a bad experience with a roller coaster — the bar went down but the person was pinned, very uncomfortable and had a hard time getting the bar to release.

Paramounts Carowinds

A size 28W-30W woman had problems fitting in the safety devices of some rides, but always fit and was able to ride without too much discomfort.

Six Flags America in Suburban Washington DC (Largo, MD)

A ride called the Rainbow featured slides of different colors and heights. “About 2/3 of the way up the narrow stair, a sign was posted with a weight limit. By the time one is in a position to see the sign, one has already climbed a large part of the way up, and the people in line behind one have also ascended, blocking the stairway. There is no escape stair. I didn’t want to inconvenience all the people in line behind me — and I wanted to ride the big slide. So I said to my husband “I’m sure it will be fine” and continued up. There had to be some leeway in the weight limit, right? I mean, lots of men don’t even know their weight.

Anyway, you’ll be happy to hear that the slide didn’t break under my weight – no one was injured or even embarrassed. BUT my weight meant that I got quite a great deal of MOMENTUM going on the way down the slide. It would have been much better, more responsible policy to post the weight restrictions at the entrance to the ride itself. The park has been renovated and expanded since our visit – the rainbow slide may not even be there anymore. But I did learn that weight limits are posted for a reason.”
Editor’s Note: The theme park provides a Guide to Rides & Attractions with information about ride access including height and weight restrictions.

Six Flags Over Georgia as Size-friendly Theme Parks

A size 28W-30W woman had problems fitting in the safety devices of some rides, but always fit and was able to ride without too much discomfort.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Two people reported bad experiences. One concerned the roller coaster. Nothing was posted about a size limit, but the safety bar would not lock and the person was asked to leave the ride. One person commented that the amusement park is very hilly. One 300 lb. person fit onto the Batman and Superman rides.

Six Flags Over Texas

Two mid-sized people had trouble getting into the Texas Giant ride. However, one person who is approximately 280 lbs and 58″ girth did not have a problem here except for “occasionally a tight fit.”

Wild Bills at Stateline, Nevada

Roller coaster is reported to be a very tight fit.

Copyright by Stef Jones ([email protected]).
Permission is granted to copy and redistribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial, educational use only, provided that this copyright notice is not removed or altered. No portion of this work may be sold, either by itself or as part of a larger work, without the express written permission of the author. This restriction covers all publication media, including electronic media.

Editor’s Notes on Size-friendly Theme Parks: 1. The information provided in this article was compiled by Stef Jones in her online FAQ about Physical Resources for Big Folks in answer to the question “What theme parks are comfortable for larger bodies?” Information was updated by GrandStyle editors in May 2017.
2. If you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World, we highly recommend two websites for great information:

One thought on “Size-Friendly Theme Parks: How to Find Comfortable Parks

  1. If you are a man with a 56″ chest you can not fit on the Batman ride or Superman ride at the Six Flags Over Georgia.

Comments are closed.