In Super Nintendo World, the new Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride warns riders with waistlines over 40 inches that they may not be permitted to ride.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Super Nintendo attraction is being criticized as “blatantly fatphobic” because of its size restriction that will exclude many Americans with larger waistlines.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, which debuts in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood on Friday, Feb. 17, warns riders with waistlines of 40 inches or more that they may not be allowed to ride.
Universal officials told Gizmodo that this guideline is not a restriction, but instead intended to encourage guests to try a test seat before riding so they can board comfortably and safely.
A number of Universal Studios Hollywood attractions carry waistline advisories that make them harder for plus-sized visitors to ride.
Fat-positive Twitter user David wrote, “I’m still mad about the 40-inch waistline requirement for the Mario Kart ride. It’s just blatantly fatphobic.”
According to industry experts, theme parks and ride-makers have to maintain a balance between accessibility and safety. As a theme park consultant and former Walt Disney Imagineer, Jim Shull told the Wall Street Journal that if each seat is sized for the largest possible person, a smaller child won’t be able to ride.
During the ride, tighter restraints are designed to prevent small children from slipping out of the seat and prevent anyone from exiting the ride at any time, either intentionally or unintentionally. Several attractions at Disney’s Epcot in Florida are designed to accommodate larger riders, including the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster. NBCUniversal told the Wall Street Journal Universal Studios is considering updating rides to accommodate more guests.
During the new attraction, riders wear augmented reality visors that allow them to see digital race cars and video game bounty on the track. Tossing shells at AR targets is the goal of the game.