Overweight at Disney? Everything You Need to Know

Overweight at Disney? Everything You Need to Know nicholas-fuentes-sed6OhckctA-unsplash  Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@nickfuentes_?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Nicholas Fuentes</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/a-crowd-of-people-walking-down-a-street-next-to-a-carnival-sed6OhckctA?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>

Whether you are a larger person in general or simply punishing yourself with worry about not being in your best shape, I wanted to take some time to address a concern that many people have when it comes to traveling: will my size be a problem? It can be a valid concern and a scary part of visiting theme parks, but most people don’t want to talk about it because the topic feels embarrassing. Well, let’s do away with that stigma right here and now. The beauty of having online communities with like-minded interests is the ability to share knowledge and experiences in a setting where no one should feel ashamed or worried. As someone who has visited the parks in both the best and worst shape of my life (vastly different numbers on a scale), I’ve faced this very concern myself. I remember googling search terms like “Am I too fat for Disney” and “Overweight at Disney,” scared that my post-babies body that was 100 pounds heavier would no longer fit on some of the attractions. If you are here looking for similar reassurance to what I was, welcome; it will be okay.



There is no shame in being here; no one will even know you are concerned about this. However, hopefully, by the end of this article, you might feel some sense of relief. It’s a mix of general information, my own personal experiences, and those of others I know who have faced the same fears. Whether you consider yourself Pooh-sized, Baloo-sized, overweight, or just paranoid, we’ve got everything you need to know.

Overweight at Disney? Everything You Need to Know nicholas-fuentes-AQ__5nhEwBA-unsplash  Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@nickfuentes_?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Nicholas Fuentes</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/a-crowd-of-people-standing-around-a-star-wars-vehicle-AQ__5nhEwBA?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>

Photo by Nicholas Fuentes on Unsplash



Am I Too Big for Disney?

The bottom line is, most probably not. While no one can give you a definitive answer on exactly where the line is for all shapes and sizes, the truth is, there is so much to do at Walt Disney World and Disneyland that it is highly unlikely you won’t be able to enjoy some or many of the attractions. Most of Disney’s attractions are more about mobility than size. While some rides have more restrictive safety restraints that could be problematic or uncomfortable, many don’t have any barrier or restraint system at all, which means that if you can physically climb on and sit down, you will be fine. Even in my largest form, there has never been a ride at Disney that I wasn’t able to ride.

Is There a Weight Limit for Disney Attractions?

Rest assured that attractions have no weight restrictions, though some signpost height requirements. There is a minimum height requirement for the majority of attractions where guests need to be settled in their own seats. There won’t be any embarrassing weighing moments like you might have seen at a local water park. Disney is much more respectful of their guests than that. For some of the attractions that might be of concern, you will find that your shape is more important than your weight when it comes to fitting in comfortably.

What Rides Could Be Uncomfortable?

Magic Kingdom:



  • Space Mountain: This attraction can be difficult for people with mobility issues, leg/knee pain, and taller guests who might have difficulty getting their legs into the footwell.
  • Astro Orbiter: Even in my best shape, there is no good-looking way to get in and out of this attraction. Somehow, I always manage to look like I am rolling out of it in the style of some large water mammal.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: This attraction has narrow seating and an even narrower lap bar. While I’ve never had any preventative issues riding it, I was traveling with a friend once who struggled to bend his knees (longer legs) to keep them within the narrow bar.
  • TRON Lightcycle Run: The motorcycle style of this attraction requires your legs to be held into place with restraints that some guests with larger legs might find challenging. Try the test module that is outside the ride, and if it feels too uncomfortable, ask to be seated in one of the regular carriages that have a lap bar instead.
  • Mad Tea Party: Even without a restraint system, if you carry your weight in your torso, this one might be a tighter fit as you need space to allow the middle wheel to turn your teacup.

EPCOT:

  • Test Track The confined space of this attraction can make it awkward to get the seatbelt into place, especially if you aren’t seated next to members of your traveling family. As you get in, reach down and grab that seatbelt, pulling it up as you sit. This trick works well with most rides with a seatbelt restraint system.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:



  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: The confined rider space and restraint can be too restrictive for some guests to feel comfortable in. Even for larger guests, it does seem to be able to accommodate a wide variety of sizes and shapes; this one is more of a question of your own comfort.
  • Tower of Terror: You’ll find a similar challenge here as above with Test Track, where the seating can be narrow and the seatbelt difficult to adjust after you’ve sat down. Use the same trick to grab the belt before you sit to make things easier.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • Flight of Passage: The ride vehicle for this attraction can be restrictive through the stomach area and the calves, and it would be the ride I most commonly hear that guests can find challenging for a multitude of reasons. There is a test vehicle that you can try out in advance so you don’t have that last-minute disappointment.

Disneyland:



  • Mad Tea Party: Just like in Magic Kingdom, even without a restraint system, if you carry your weight in your torso, this ride might be uncomfortable to sit in and also have the space to spin the middle wheel that turns your teacup.
  • Astro Orbiter: Again, in a similar style to Magic Kingdom, this ride can be troublesome to get in and out of. There is no good way to do it, so I like to choose one on the other side of the ride, away from the queue of on-looking guests waiting to see me struggle regardless of my size.

Disney’s California Adventure:

  • Incredicoaster: This ride has a fitted seat that can feel restrictive for some guests, along with a pull-down bar that secures over your shoulders and chest. I find that with a larger chest (even as a smaller guest), it can feel unnerving that my restraint doesn’t come down as far as I would like it to meet my stomach and stops at an angle over my chest. It might feel a bit off-putting, but the ride is worth it.
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout: This attraction has a retractable and adjustable seatbelt, allowing it to accommodate a wide variety of sizes; however, the seats themselves are more restricted and can be less comfortable for some.
  • Goofy’s Sky School: This might be my least favorite attraction, though for completely unrelated reasons. The ride carriage for this one is small, and the lap bar is much more restrictive than on other rides with a similar restraint.
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What Happens if I Don’t Fit?

Usually, if a guest isn’t comfortable in a ride vehicle, or in the worst cases, the restraints can’t be secured in a safe position, a cast member will (normally discreetly) speak with you and show you the nearest exit where you can wait for the rest of your party. This might sound like the worst thing that could happen, but really, guests depart rides at the last minute for all sorts of reasons: nerves, motion sickness, anxiety. If you’ve given it a try and it doesn’t work out, brush it off and enjoy the rest of your day. Two attractions that some guests find challenging are Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and TRON in Magic Kingdom.

Can I Still Enjoy It?

Absolutely. Not only are there so many attractions that don’t have any restraints at all, but there are several that don’t have individual seating as well. Rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, and “it’s a small world” have bench seating where you can have more room. Others, like Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan’s Flight, you can ask to ride solo to have more room. For attractions like the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you can request to sit in the front, where there is more legroom to make getting in and out a little easier. If you come up against an attraction that isn’t for you, move on to the next one. There are so many wonderful aspects of Disney to enjoy; don’t let the little disappointment nullify everything else.

What Can I Do Before I Go?

Start walking. I’m not throwing that out as an absolutely useless comment encouraging you to lose weight immediately; that isn’t my place. I say start walking because the amount of walking and standing that is involved in a visit to Disney can be substantial. For people of all shapes, sizes, and weights, we don’t spend as much time in a stopped standing position as we used to, and it can be hard on your feet and legs to maintain. This is my best tip for anyone looking to prepare themselves for the Disney Parks experience.

Another thing you can do is know which rides might be problematic for you. That way, you can mentally prepare yourself and your family for anything that you might need to duck away from at the last minute, reassuring any children who would be with you that you are okay and not concerned if this happens.


I know the anxiety of worrying that your body won’t be good enough for something, even if it’s an entire vacation. I hope some of this information helps you feel more comfortable and reassured about your trip. If you have an experience or tip of your own to share, please add it to the comments below and help the next person know they aren’t alone.

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.













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