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INTERCOT - Walt Disney World Inside & Out - Info Central

INTERCOT > Info Central > Large and In Charge 

Large & In Charge at Walt Disney World

Guests of all shapes and sizes can be found vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort. We often get questions on the discussion boards from concerned "larger" visitors in reference to having enough leg room, fitting comfortably in the various seats and/or restraints, riding on rides, and the roominess of the many turnstiles they’ll encounter, to name a few.

Rest assured Disney has done a great job in making their theme parks user friendly for all. It doesn't matter if you are as tall as Chewbacca or have a rounder shape like the beloved Winnie the Pooh. However, these concerns can still cause angst among travelers. In order to ease those fears we have compiled tips, tidbits and advice from our INTERCOT Community. Here is what they had to say on the subject;

INTERCOT Feedback:

I was six foot tall and 350 weight when I went to Disney last year (I say was 350 as I've managed to shed a bit of the Pooh-ness.) I noticed two issues. One is the back seat of Test Track didn't give much leg room so my knees were pressed pretty hard against the seat in front of me, and on Space Mountain I had some leg room issues (don't remember where I sat) but I was able to ride every ride with no problem." - Schda

"Though I am only 140 lbs and 5'7", I have very long legs for my height and I have found that the front seat of the cars on Space Mountain provide very little leg room. I am not that tall, yet I always seem to have to sit crossed legged in the front seat." - April Showers

"My Dear Husband (DH) and I are shorter, but definitely "pooh-sized". We find that most rides are rather comfortable, which is one of the reasons that we like to go to Walt Disney World over other theme parks.

When DH and I ride together (we are both each over 230 pounds) we have no problem with both of us fitting in most rides that are meant for two (bench rides). The only ride that we each took one bench to ourselves was the Aladdin carpet ride. On rides where a lap bar comes down, we find that the bars usually come down to a comfortable level.  Most theater seats are wide enough, although a little tight with my wider hips, but not impossible to sit through the show, get in or out of. The only "uncomfortable" time I had was in "Honey I Shrunk The Audience" when I sat between my husband and a man who was a large man himself, I was a little squished.

The only ride that I find hard to do is Space Mountain. I find that the seats are big enough, but the restraint digs into my stomach when we go around those tight turns and sudden, quick drops. The biggest complaint I have is those awful turnstiles - - they really are a pain!! I go in sidewise, or just ask/go through the accessible entrance/swing gate (like Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean). Many times, a Cast Member will open it up as we approach and we thank them and have a quick chat!

We go at very un-crowded times, and I find it much easier to handle. More personal space, less people on rides and usually you can by-pass those turnstiles and no one is even looking at you...." - Candi

"I'm a very tall person. I'm 6'9'' and I weigh about 265 pounds, which really isn't super heavy for my height. The front half of the cars on both Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and Test Track have much more leg room than the back half of the cars. Tall and/or pooh-sized folks should not ride in the middle seat of a rocket on Space Mountain. While the front seat on the rocket doesn't have much leg room, I can sit in it because there is no seat in front of it blocking my knees.

However, people that are more pooh-sized than me should probably avoid the front seat of a rocket on Space Mountain. For both tall and pooh-sized riders, the back seat of a rocket on Space Mountain is the best choice due to its extra leg room and larger seat.

The vehicles for the Backstage Studio Tour at MGM are a nightmare for tall people because they provide very little legroom. From experience, I find that the best way for tall people to fit into certain attractions is to utilize what I call the "pretzel technique" by crossing your legs at the ankles and spreading your knees as much as possible while still remaining comfortable. On flat-bottom boat attractions (Small World, Pirates, El Rio del Tiempo, Maelstrom), the front row has more legroom than all of the other rows. I can fit in the other rows as long as there aren't as many people in that row with me so that I can spread my legs out more. I don't say anything to a Cast Member (CM) about my height unless it becomes necessary, such as when a CM tries to put too many people in the same row with me on the rows of benches rides (Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pirates, Small World, etc.)." - Joe

"I'm a large gal, and I didn't have any problems with any of the rides that I went on. I was nervous about Tower of Terror. When I went, they were phasing out the lap bar, so I rode both with the bar and with the seat belt, and I didn't have any problems with either one.

The only problems I did run into were the turnstiles on Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) & Haunted Mansion. There was never an attendant around on POTC, so I was able to unhook the chain to the left of the rightmost turnstile and go in that way, hooking the chain back as I went. It's hard to describe unless you've seen it (and it's been almost two years since I was there, so it's even harder for me to remember).

At the Haunted Mansion, I just had to hold in my stomach, go in sideways and squeeze through. It wasn't too bad, unless someone was behind me, and then I was a wee bit embarrassed." - Serena

"The only ride I find uncomfortable in Walt Disney World is the TriceraTop Spin. The bar pushes down along way and the seats are very small!  Its strange I’ve been on three versions of this ride and Disney has the worst cars by far!" - Kevin

"I am 6'3" and weigh 270. I can only remember being uncomfortable on the Teacups (but I do them anyway because my kids love them). Also, my legs are always tight when riding the Walt Disney World Railroad. I have never tried Goofy's Barnstormer or the Indy Speedway, but I hear that they can be done by Pooh-sized guests. I can't think of any at the other parks. Go and have a great time! I doubt you'll run into anything too embarrassing or uncomfortable." - David

"The Teacups might be a little uncomfortable and some of the smaller turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom might be kind of tight. Avoid CyberSpace Mountain at Disney Quest though since it may be a problem." - Liz

"I don't know if this helps but my issue has been a height one and that's been with Space Mountain. I'm 5'10 and its the most uncomfortable in the 'World'. Imagine hurtling through space with your knees in your chest." - TinkerbelleRoo

"Don't worry. My husband is well over 300 and 6" tall. I am large too and we had no trouble on any rides. Never felt too large or anything. The seatbelt on Kali River Rapids is too short for both of us so we just sat in separate seats. Not a big deal at all." - catkrazy

"Some of the turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom are a bit tight (the one at Pirates of the Caribbean is notorious!) but if you run in to an issue there, feel free to use the gates. You don't need permission or assistance, just walk on through. Have a great time! Walt Disney World is one of the most size-friendly places I've ever been."
- pearlieq

"I can say the following are the only rides you may have an issue with:

Magic Kingdom:
Indy speedway, cars maybe a bit small
Space Mountain, ask for a front car (more room)
Mad Tea Party, wheel might hit your middle
Dumbo, teeny seats
Astro Orbitor, Teeny seats

Add to these the VERY small, old turnstiles at Haunted Mansion and Pirates. In both cases, just let the greeter know the turnstiles are uncomfortable and they will back door you into the ride.  Also, when riding the Railroad, the turnstiles in Frontierland and on Main Street are also the old small ones. My advice is to get on in Toontown where the turnstiles are much wider/larger. Outside of these areas, everywhere else on property either has a larger, adjustable turnstile or the magic bars which is a counter with no turn thing at all, just counts people as they go by. 

Other Parks:

Star tours, may be uncomfortable and you may have an issue with the seatbelts.
Muppet Vision 3-D, small seats.

Dinosaur, possible issue with seatbelt
Kali River Rapids, seatbelts may be tight, but they have extenders or you can sit alone.

Test Track, may be tight, but not bad.
Honey I Shrunk the Audience, tiny seats.
Body Wars, tiny seats, small seatbelts 
Mission Space, tight space.

I hope this helps reduce some of the worry. I can understand how much it stinks to not be able to fully enjoy your vacation because you are worried about the rides." - Brother Bear

"The height thing can be a problem. I'm 6'4" and I have to squeeze into a few of the coasters, but there's not anything I can't get into. I would imagine someone a few inches taller than me would have problems fitting on some of the coasters." LarryBoy

"I am 6'3" and was pushing nearly 300 last December and I had no problem on anything except the Space Mountain attraction at Disney Quest. It wasn't the weight but the height. I couldn't get the harness to compress my shoulders enough to close. There is not an attraction at Walt Disney World I haven't been on. I've even been on Mission: Space and it rocked!" - Disdude

"I am quite big (height and weight) and have been to Walt Disney World many times. I am over 6' 5" and over 300 lbs and ride just about everything I want." - HMFan

"Each car at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster has 4 seats, 2 rows of 2 seats each. The design of each car mimics a limo. The front row of each car has legroom that extends into the front end of the limo. The back row has minimal legroom. You shouldn't have a problem with the restraints at all, but the leg room in the back may be a problem. Ask for the front row and you should have no problem at all. " - BSMickey

"Don't be worried. The last time I went I was 290 at 5'4" and got on all the rides. I never felt uncomfortable or out of place. I even rode the carousel, on a horse!!! Have a blast." - betsy82

"My husband is 6'4" and weighs anywhere between 270 and 300 (depending on the season, his mood, what sport season it is, what he ate for dessert). As he says, he isn't fat - just big all over! He has a tough time in some rides but he isn't excluded from any of them - he just finds things a little tight - he finds Space Mountain to be among the tightest. The problem is not really his girth, but because of his long legs. But, he is at Disney so he grins and bears it!" - Eva

"From personal experience, I can tell you that I have never had a major problem in this area. Space Mountain is a little tight, as is Thunder Mountain, but nothing that prevented me from riding."
- Karen

"I have never had a problem at Disney - I am not very tall, but I do have a large tummy (at least Pooh sized). I even did tube slides at Typhoon Lagoon (sorry-I can't remember which one specifically) the wonderful Cast Members took one look at me and very quietly said "just one minute, ma'am" - they slid the tube under me and WHOOSH!- I was away just like many of my thinner counterparts! I have never seen anyone turned away because of size at any of the rides." - Deb

"I have to tell you, I am 6'4" and 330 lbs and I have ridden every ride in all four parks except Dumbo and the Speedway. I and my partner, who is 5'6" and 340lbs. have not found any problem being able to ride ANY ride. Nor have we ever had a bad experience from either guests or cast members regarding our weight or the extra 5 second or so it occasionally take us to "un-wedge" ourselves. A very few are somewhat uncomfortable and we are a tight squeeze in some of the rides that are 2 across.

The tightest, I think is Splash mountain. Remember, I say it is tight not that it is impossible to ride. Overall I am VERY impressed with Disney and how they accommodate all types of people. Also, remember that you can request to ride solo if you feel the ride will be too tight. We have never been denied this in the handful of times we have requested it for comfort. My advise to you is GO FOR IT. Have fun. Ride every ride you want to. Live the magic." - Chad

"Neither my husband nor I are small and we've never had any problems except on one ride. I don't know what the Cast Member was thinking but she put 2 of us in one ship on Astro Orbiter. It was so uncomfortable and we could hardly get out. We laughed the whole time though because our ship wouldn't go very high with both of us in it. It's a memory that still makes us laugh but besides that we've never had any problems at all. Have a great time and take everything in stride." - Niamh

"I learned last trip to ask for a seat in the front half of the cars on Rock 'n' Rollercoaster. There's lots more legroom for tall folks!"
- CaptSmee

*Special thanks to everyone that contributed content for this page. If you have a story to share or a tip to pass along, please send it to [email protected] and we'll add it to this page.

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