Wizarding World of Harry Potter not so Magical for the Overweight
Opened last June, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a new addition to the Islands of Adventure Theme Park in Universal Studios. The park’s main attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is a roller coaster that brings one through the entire park. The ride was not made to handle more than 265 pounds per chair, which has caused distress amongst many obese fans. They feel that it’s not fair to have to sit out of the ‘best part’ of the entire park just for their weight, and they’ve brought their concerns to Universal Studios. Currently, they are working on making special seats for the heftier passengers, due to being available sometime in the near future.
I think that this is preposterous. Other parks, such as Six Flags Great Adventure, have weight restrictions and there is not nearly as much distress and outrage. I understand that, as a world-wide phenomenon, Harry Potter World attracts many more guests from all walks of life, but there is something to be said for health here.
If there is a large enough outburst over not having big enough seats for those who weigh over 265 pounds, I feel the bigger issue is: Why are so many people overweight? 265 is generous, and if consumers feel that they really just need to take a ride on Harry’s forbidden journey roller coaster, why not lose a few pounds and take a ride just like everyone else? There shouldn’t be accommodations made for those who are overweight, it’s simply making obesity ok.
One avid fan, Banks Lee, decided to be proactive about his weight after learning that he was too heavy to ride. Mr. Lee decided to control his eating and start exercising, and after about 12 weeks he was given the green light to go ahead. Tracking his progress online, I feel he is an example of how people should be thinking about this issue. It shouldn’t be a matter of “What can Universal do so I can get on that ride?” It should be “What can I do to get on that ride?”
The answer? Be healthier. Exercise.