NEWS: Fat People Can Ride Roller Coasters Too!

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NEWS: Fat People Can Ride Roller Coasters Too!

Postby robbalvey » Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:21 am

I'm not sure how to take this article. On one hand it's really positive, on the other hand it just basically says "We now have to make seats bigger because people are fatter..." Hmmm....

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4618967

New Roller Coaster for Big Dippers

By Alex Thompson, PA


A new roller coaster will be fitted with outsized seats for the larger thrill-seeker, it emerged today.

The so-called “big boy seats” mean adrenalin junkies of all sizes will be able to sample the £3 million ride being built at Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, in Staffordshire.



The seats add to concerns about the rise in size of the average Briton.

According to promotional literature from the ride’s German manufacturer: “This seat has been developed to suit the needs of corpulent riders.”

The roller coaster – called G Force – does away with traditional shoulder restraints and pins punters in their seats at the hip, leaving the rest of their body dangling free.

The design has been hailed as revolutionary. It means thrill-seekers can experience g-forces of 4.3 while whizzing along at speeds of up to 70km per hour (more than 40mph).

The maximum weight of riders will not be determined until after tests.

The chairman of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain welcomed the new seats, which he said were a world first aside from a prototype in Germany.

Andy Hine said: “I have a lot of club members who are larger and get very upset when they get to a park and queue for two hours and are told they can’t get on a ride.

“I think the designers are doing the right thing. I have seen the embarrassment it causes when people who are not necessarily large, not obese, get to a ride and can’t do the seat belt up.

“The general size of people is getting bigger and at last someone is addressing that from a leisure point of view. These are the first specially designed big boy seats in the world.”

Mr Hine said that in American theme parks, where the problem of obesity was greater, riders were routinely invited to sit in a sample chair and try and lock the restraints before joining a queue.

Another enthusiast, Justin Garvanovic, founder of the European Coaster Club, said the ability to accommodate bigger passengers on G Force was a “really nice by-product” of the new type of restraint.

Colin Bryan, managing director at Drayton Manor, said he was excited about being the first theme park in the world to commission such a coaster.

He said: “We have built up an enviable reputation for innovation and this will add to our ride stable of the world’s first stand up tower drop, Europe’s only stand up roller coaster and the UK’s fastest wet-knuckle ride.

“Coaster fans from all over the world can’t wait for it to open.”

A Drayton Manor spokeswoman added: “We are having to design bigger seating arrangements for bigger people. We appear to be going the same way as America.”

She said: “If you get on a ride in America, the average setting on an over-the-shoulder restraint is bigger. If you’re a slim Brit on an American ride, you’re going to be swimming about in the harness, it’s set for ten-ton Tessies.”

The ride will feature one big boy seat – which has a wider locking mechanism and bigger surface area – in the back row of the two trains.

It will be officially launched at the 280-acre site on July 26.

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Postby coasters 4 me » Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:28 am

I wonder if they will add these to all coasters. Like MF at CP? And TTD?

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Postby Coaster Palooza » Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:41 am

I talked to one of the ride ops on TTD at Cedar Point while I waited in line. He told me that the seatbelts were reduced this year by Intamin again on both TTD and MF. They were reduced last year because of the SFNE death on Superman. I must say, being a person that isn't too fat, but definately overweight, these seatbelts were hard to clip this year. I clipped them fine last year, but good luck on TTD and MF this year. You might not be able to ride them.

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Postby Twister II » Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:14 am

Has anyone ever thought about what these companies are thinking?

They know American is very and way to much overweight. Maybe by making seats and belts smaller, maybe people will shread pounds.

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Postby Sir Clinksalot » Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:17 am

^^^nah. We're Americans! We'll just find a way to bend the ADA to our whims and sue the pants off 'em!

I can tag it onto the lawsuit I'm slapping on Paramount because my legs are too long to ride Flight of Fear in anything resembling comfort.

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Postby FlyingScooter » Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:33 am

We are getting fatter as a Country. It's a bummer. The largest, pardon the pun, increase in obesity is with younger teens.

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Postby BelizeIt » Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:07 pm

You know we all make choices in life.

Some people drink alcohol, others smoke cigarettes, and some eat large quantities of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. These are individual choices and I'm fine with that.

But if you choose to drink alcohol, you risk developing cirrhosis of the liver, smoke some cigarettes maybe develop emphysema, and if you Plow Down to many Krispy Kremes then you may not get to ride some great rollercoasters!!!

It's ridiculous that a person gets angry at an amusement park for not designing a ride large enough to accommodate someone who (often through their own personal choices) is obese.

So get a Life!!! Shed a few pounds, and have a great time riding ALL the rides at your local theme park.

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Postby jarmor » Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:15 pm

^^I understand where you commin from a little but its ways to do things. Not everyone is short and parks try to design coasters w/ enough heigh clearence so taller than normal people can ride. The people who are slighty overweight may have a problem fitting into a coaster w/ a seat designed for someone that weighs 150 pounds. I think its a great move for the parks to add slightly larger seats so EVERYONE to enjoy.

Its easy to point the finger at someone until you know exactly what got them to that point. Everyone isnt obesed because if eating doughnuts. Some people have thyroid problems and things like that, where they cant fully control their weight.

Im not saying this because im overweight, because im not, im saying this because its kinda saddens me to hear people talk like you.

And you wonder why suicide rates are climbing the charts...

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"B&M will NEVER build a coaster over 300 ft..." until 2012
"Cedar Fair will NEVER build a coaster taller than MF..." until 2015

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Postby BelizeIt » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:22 pm

^ Granted you may have someone with a thyroid problem or other medical condition, but this is the minority, the vast majority of people who are obese are that way due to their own personal eating habits.

Just compare the United States to other parts of the world. When people visit from countries in Asia they can't often believe how large the portion sizes are here in the USA. A small drink at Burger King is something like 24 ounces + free refills, in other parts of the world that would be a jumbo size.

I love it how people never want to take personal responsibility for their own actions, or inactions, and instead they look for someone other than themselves to blame. I myself weigh about 195lb, at 21% bodyfat, and I'm 6'2. I have never had any problems fitting onto a ride.

This isn't meant to be a bash against people who are overweight, it's just a reminder that in most cases we live our lives based on our own personal decisions, and we ultimately have to accept the consequences of those decisions.

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Postby FlyingScooter » Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:45 pm

^Agreed. I hate the cups at the movie theatres. BIG IS MORE.
BIGGER IS A LOT MORE!!!
This country has made it easier to get overweight in the last 30 years.
Of course, I'm waiting to see undersized seats for anorexics. That, too, has grown the last two decades.
I come from a family of overweight people. I'm average weight. My sister says they should have larger seats at theatres. I don't agree with her.

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