UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
graeme.mckenna
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Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:18 am

Larger, obese, chunky, cuddly, fat, big boy - call it what you will.

I've searched many a thread on various Alton Towers / Non-Alton Towers forums ahead of my visit to AT yesterday on the subject, being in the category myself :D

It was interesting and somewhat concerning reading different people's experiences, two people I'd find with seemingly very similar measurements had very differing experiences at AT with regards to what they were / weren't able to ride. I didn't find a shed load of recent threads / posts so thought I'd detail my experience for any other people searching for the same as me.

I'm about 5ft 10in tall and weigh approximately 18st 9lb. 2 weeks before the visit it was 6lb more than that but thought I'd better try and shift some weight off. My chest measurement is about 48.5" with a waist of 42" - 44".

I was nervous queuing for some of the rides I have to admit. The problem with me is I tend to bury my head in the sand a bit. Whilst there are test seats for some rides I feel squeezing into one whilst hoards of people walk past is a little embarrassing in itself, so I avoid them. For the same reason I also swerved asking the ride attendants to point me towards the 'big boy seats' if the ride had them because I was too embarrassed. Whilst neither of these are more embarrassing than a 'walk of shame' I did my usual burying of the head in the hope of avoiding all 3 potential blushes.

Anyway onto the rides themselves....

Spinball - I didn't even go there. It was a squeeze when I last went 3 years ago and I know I'm a stone or two heavier than back then so I was satisfied that even attempting this at my size was an absolute non-starter.

Oblivion - This was the first ride of the day for me. My previous research suggested that some (but not all) of the trains had a bigger seat on row 1, but not being sure and not wanting to ask I just had to hope for the best. I was seated on the front row in the nearest seat as you board. I pulled my restraint down as far as you can yourself but the seatbelt was comfortably short of reaching in. The ride attendant got the restraint down 2 more clicks but the belt was only half into the buckle. By placing her foot on the front bar and pushing down she was able to get it down *just* enough to click into place. Phew! If I was literally 1lb heavier I'm convinced I'd have had to get off.

Thirteen - Unfortunately didn't get to go on, I was on pram duty with our little one so sat this one out.

Rita - I have to admit I was a worried for this because having barely got on Oblivion my research had suggested Rita was less forgiving than Oblivion and there are no larger seats on Rita. So having not used the test seat, nor asked an attendant I hoped for the best but expected the worst. To my surprise however I the restraint came down OK and the belt clipped in with room to spare and all was good!

Air / Galactica - Wasn't aware of any larger seats on Air, but not wanting to ask anyway just hoped for the best. Was seated on the front row on one of the middle two seats and got on fine, needed a shove to get the required click on the restraint but was fine.

Nemesis - I'm aware that Nemesis does have some bigger seats but as per just kept my mouth shut and hoped for the best. Was seated on the 7th row, 2nd seat across as you board. This ended up being similar to Oblivion, in that I couldn't clip the belt in without some assistance from an attendant. She had to give it a real good push to get it down enough to clip it into the buckle although probably not as much as was required on Oblivion.

Smiler - All my previous research suggested that Smiler has the largest capacity restraints on the park which proved to be accurate as there was no shoving, shuffling or pushing required. Restraint down and on our way.

Despite it raining for most for the day on all of the rides that we went on I took my coat off so was only wearing a T-shirt. Not sure how much difference this makes but given how close Oblivion was I'd say it might have just made the difference!

Hope someone finds this post useful. Mixing my research and own expereince I'd say there's definitely no hard and fast rule when it comes to weight / chest size and success, I guess it varies on how and where different people carry the weight but having just squeezed on a couple of the rides, some people may be able to use me as a benchmark!

Cheers :)
 
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daveclarkedaveclarke
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:44 am

Thanks for this it has helped a massive deal! 

Is there any larger women with any tips?
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graeme.mckenna
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:17 pm

Quick update following another visit this month!

I'm a bit lighter than my visit last year, now exactly 18st, the only ride to update...

Wicker Man - It hadn't even crossed my mind to look into larger riders on this, so I just queued up and went on. Once we were sat down and the restraint locks activated, I pulled mine down and to my slight horror I couldn't get a click. Thought my first ever walk of shame was imminent, however the Ride Op came along and pushed it down without to much force and it clicked in. Phew! Whilst this was going on, there was a woman behind me having far worse problems. They seemed to be using some kind of metal bar to get leverage to push her restraint down? She was so embarrassed and I felt quite sorry for her because she was easily 4st lighter than me but had quite chunky legs.
 
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:31 pm

graeme.mckenna wrote:
They seemed to be using some kind of metal bar to get leverage to push her restraint down?


The metal bars you speak of are used to manually release the restraint on an individual seat in the case of a re-check being needed. This massively aids throughput as it eliminates the need for every restraint on the train to be released and then re-checked.
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graeme.mckenna
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:35 pm

Ah thanks for the heads up. I heard a clunk and turned round as they'd put the metal bar on the platform, I assumed it was being used to push the restraint and not release it. Cheers :)
 
TonyR
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:41 pm

I wanted to thank Graeme above for his post. I found his post very helpful. I am slightly taller then him (6ft) and bigger then him by a little. Currently weighing in at 19.5 stone. I wear size 42/44 waist but I wear them low, not around my belly button as you would measure the waist. So I’m likely officially larger, 50 I’d imagine. I was worried about the rides but was happy to skip some and let the kids enjoy them. I thought I’d update this with my experiences.

First up: Oblivion. The tester seat outside made me believe I’d fit comfortably. Wrong. I couldn’t get it down far enough to get the belt anywhere near the buckle! Fearing oncoming embarrassment I sat and waited. The ride attendant came over, pushed down and got the buckle in. Odd thing is it was tight around my shoulders, not my stomach! I have broad well developed shoulders. I feared the worst as we went off as I’d noticed the belt wasn’t in the best condition and was worried about the extra tension I was putting on it. I survived obviously lol. Least favourite ride as it’s so short.

Nemesis: aware they have ‘big boy’ seats. Was not put in it even when I asked. Ride attendant kinda chuckled as if to say you’ll be fine. Sat in a normal one and got clicked in with little effort.

Galactica: now the tester seat outside I could not get in at all. So I queued up with the kids, saw them on and waited for them by the steps to exit after they get off. Whilst waiting a guy larger in height and stomach then me was asked to get off as he was too big. (He was in the back row). He went up the stairs before coming back kicking up a stink and asking to speak to a supervisor as “the girl barely tried” and “a guy should try” as he big guy and would need “someone stronger”. The girl he spoke to said they could try again. And with no shame the guy got back in his seat and one, then two yes two guys put there all in to getting him clicked in! Now I know he cannot have enjoyed it as he would’ve been uncomfortable l! I speak from experience, let me explain. After he got on, I got talking to the ride attendant at the exit gate and she said they have bigger seats in row 4 for bigger people. She also said Bigger people would probably have a harder time on wicker man and the spinball ride due to the lap bars. So later, just before closing, we went on Galactica. I told the ride attendant putting us at the departure gates that I needed to go on the bigger seats. She just smiled and sent me to a normal seat! I did as a was told, climbed in and pulled the secure shoulder thing down. Clicked once but not in a hole for the bolt. Just past the start of the part it goes past to eventually get to the holes. Fearing the worst I sat and waited cursing the attendant that sent me to a normal seat, in my mind. An attendant came over and pushed down with all her might. Knee on it too. I told her I’d asked for the bigger seat in row 4 but was put here. She told me to pull down whilst she used her knee. Click! I was in. I was super uncomfortable but once we went into flying position I was ok. The other guy, no way did he enjoy that ride! I couldn’t take a full breath. This was just after a meal so that may have made a difference, who knows. Side note, kids say it’s better without the VR.

Wicker Man: after seeing large people in the queue I decided to try my luck. Told the ride attendant I was gonna try but may have to just walk off. She smiled and said she was sure I’d get on fine. Got on and got in. Couldn’t get the click myself. Ride attendant clicked me with little effort. What a ride!

Rita: No problems

Th13teen: No problems. What a ride!

Smiler: No problems. What a ride!

Didn’t try the Spinball ride. I’ve been on the similar one at Chessington when I was slimmer and it was super uncomfortable then. Was happy to skip it as the others were awesome.

I hope the additional info and my experiences helps others.

I'll be back soon enough. Slimmer of course but happy that I was able to go on all the rides I wanted to. Surprised I didn’t have to use a bigger seat on any of the rides!
 
Johnc82783
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:08 pm

Wanting to say thank you to the above reviews.

I was so worried about going as I am 6ft and 20st 5ibs. I wear 42 jeans but wear them low. So know my waist size is bigger.
I had read the online chest measurement restrictions and went and got a tape measure the night before to see if I would fit or not. It wasn't looking good let's just say that.

When we got their I was worrying the whole time about whether I would get on the rides or not. But here is a breakdown of how it went, and like the person above, I'm quiet and darent ask for help.

Wicker Man - first ride of the day. Sat in the seat and pulled the bar towards me and it didn't click (damn not a great start). The assistant came over tried pushing and it still wouldn't click. I asked her if I took my wallet and phone out of my pocket if that would help. (I was willing to try anything). To my surprise this actually worked and it clicked and away we went. FYI brilliant ride.

Smiler - next up was smiler and after reading other blogs I knew this had the biggest seats, so I wasn't as worried and yep straight on, problems. I was comfy and really enjoyed it.

Oblivion - I was nervous about this ride. But while waiting to get on a guy similar size to me(in my eyes looked a little smaller than I was) had do the walk of shame. Which did little to calm my nerves. I sat down pulled the harness down. But was struggling to get the seat belt in (I was worried at this point). The assistant came over and literally just clicked it in. She didn't need to push down or anything. (Don't know what I was doing wrong).

Nemesis - after reading reviews and with this being such an old ride I was worried about this one. But since I'd done good so far I wasn't as nervous. However I had no problems what so ever. Got the harness down and seat belt in. (4 from 4 so far)

Galactica - after doing so well I wasn't actually worried for this one. But I sat in the 3rd row on the right side and sat in. Pulled the harness down and it clicked once. I thought brilliant that was easy. But then the assistant came over and said it need to go down another notch. I tried pulling and it wouldn't budge. She asked if I was sat as far back as possible. I managed to move a tiny bit further back and she had to apply some pressure. She eventually got in down and in place. And in all fairness I wasn't uncomfy.
(We didn't do the VR because they said it was an extra hour que time for VR).

We didn't do Rita and Thirteen just because we basically ran out of time as it was school holls and other rides had quite long wait time.

As I am currently losing weight and had already lost 22ibs prior to going, I know next time I will be better position and probably won't need the assistants help.
But all in all if your similar sized to me don't worry too much. They will get you in one way or another.
 
Primus1507
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:18 pm

Hi just thought I would comment on here thanks for the original post it was helpful this weekend. I am 6ft 7inches and 22 Stone with about a 52-54 chest I was very nervous about trying any of the rides and have stayed away from Roller coasters for many years. I went to Euro Disney over the summer and had no issues with rides and after losing over two stone this year after reading this post I thought I would give some of the rides a go I didn’t do many in the end but thought others might find my post useful.

Nemesis: After Reading I went onto Row 4 tried a seat on the outer edge which I was to big for so the attendant moved me to the middle seat on row 4 which had two straps and with little trouble I was in and felt very secure and comfortable and loved the ride I have always wanted to go on it so was delighted.

Thirteen: Apparently there is a height limit at the ride entrance I was two inches over it so didn’t even try

Rita: tried the test seat about 1 inch from closing didn’t wish to try it for real.

Galactica: Tried the test seat with the wife’s help I managed to get it closed so felt confident ride would be ok. Unfortunately I tried one of the back rows with the VR the guy couldn’t get me in to be fair I kind of panicked a bit so perhaps wasn’t sitting as well as I could of done so I had to walk away from the ride. Which was disappointing but I am aiming to lose another stone or two in the next few months so hopefully I can try again next year. Where I aim to get on Rita, Smiler and Wicker Man and give Galactica another go!
 
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nicky.borrill
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Re: Alton Towers rides for the larger person

Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:38 am

I’m 18 1/2 stone and 6’3” tall, no problem getting on any rides in this country, including spinball. Don’t usually need any assistance either, except for on Collosus at Thorpe Park. And that’s more to do with my shoulders. After they force the restraint down on Collosus my shoulders are pinned tightly to the seat, and they hurt for ages after, won’t ride it any more. :( Also of my 34 rides in Wickerman this season, I’ve had 1 ride where the op made the host push my bar down further. Not sure why it was needed just on that occasion, but there you go. Maybe I ate too much that morning.  :lol
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