Universal Studios Hollywood opened its Super Nintendo World on February 17 but members of the media and social media influencers were able to explore it ahead of time. While it's been getting mostly stellar reviews, the Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge ride has come under fire for its unusual size restrictions that would limit most men in America from being allowed on.
The Drive has reached out to Universal and will update this story if we receive a statement.
The Mario Kart ride restricts anyone with a 40 inch waist or larger from riding. According to the CDC, the average American man's waist is 40.5 inches, which means most American men would be excluded from the ride. The average American woman's waist is 38.7 inches.
One of the first media members to point this out was Rocco Botte, who tweeted about the ride's unusual size limitations. Apparently, Botte had trouble fitting in the ride's seats, despite never having struggled with ride seats before.
What's also quite peculiar is the fact that Mario Kart is a virtual reality ride and isn't particularly fast. Commenters to Botte's tweet even pointed out that other rides in the park are faster and lack Mario Kart's odd waist size requirement. Twitter is also filling up with people arguing over whether the ride is fatphobic. Many are saying it is, while others are mocking people that can't fit.
Gizmodo also received a statement from Universal, saying “This guideline is not a specific restriction, but is instead meant to encourage guests to try a test seat or to speak with one of our Team Members before riding so they may comfortably and safely board the ride.”
According to the Ocean County Register, a 52-inch waisted man was able to fit on the ride using four tips provided by Universal, for anyone who is worried they won't fit. As the Universal statement said, there is indeed a test seat near the entrance to the ride, which features a light on the pull down bar that tells potential riders if they'll fit. It's also suggested that taller guests sit in the back row, as the seats there have more legroom. If you can, Universal also suggest stretching out your legs, to flatten your thighs, so the pull down lap bar fits better. Lastly, guests are told to try using their momentum and pull the lap bar down as they sit, so their weight can help force it down into position, allowing them to fit.
Or, I don't know, maybe Universal could fit slightly larger seat so most guests won't have to jump through four different hoops to fit on a slow VR ride?
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