Super Nintendo World Mario Kart waist restrictions leave guests angry

By Olivia Richman


Feb 1, 2023

Reading time: 4 min

Universal Hollywood is under fire after guests with early access to Super Nintendo World reported that there is a very shocking size limit to ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

Super Nintendo World is opening on February 17, 2023, but some Universal Hollywood pass holders have been granted early access to the park’s exciting new edition. Fans with early access to Super Nintendo World have largely responded with excitement, showing off the stunning and immersive park design and cute food items all over social media. But one thing has been a huge buzzkill for the amusement park community.

Why are people mad about Mario Kart: Bowser’s Revenge ride?

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is a 4D ride that’s bringing “cutting-edge technology” to the United States, inspired by the same ride in Japan’s Super Nintendo World. On the ride, guests will try to foil Team Bowser’s plans of winning the race by racing through a course and fighting enemy racers. The ride has been highly anticipated by Nintendo fans but it looks like many Americans won’t be allowed to experience it after all.

To ride on Bowser’s Challenge, guests can’t have a waistline bigger than 40 inches.

According to the 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average waist size for men is 40.2 inches (102.1 cm) and 38.6 inches for women. For this reason, amusement park enthusiasts are worried that many people will be excluded. A lot of people with early access to Super Nintendo World noted that they could barely fit into the ride despite having no previous issues with other amusement park attractions.

It should be noted, however, that this isn’t the first time that a ride has implemented this restriction. Many rides right within Universal Studios have the same 40-inch-waist cutoff, including both Harry Potter rides and Revenge of the Mummy.

Theme parks have been more strict with safety in recent years, which is why even dark rides have started to have size guidelines. Bowser’s Challenge uses many groundbreaking techniques and isn’t an average dark ride that slowly meanders along a track. It’s possible that the park is trying to be as safe as possible, but the waistline cutoff has still rubbed many people the wrong way.

Despite the criticism over the size limitations, the new ride has been met with praise from Nintendo fans. Many have called it the best dark rides they have ever experienced thanks to the blend of real-life movement and AR visuals. It’s an innovative ride that’s the first of its kind in the United States.

Many also commended Universal on the attention to detail in the line areas. With an expectedly long wait time, guests will luckily have a lot to look at and experience as they make their way to the front.

For now, Nintendo fans that aren’t sure they can fit on the ride can try a test seat once they get to the front of the line. Some fans have said that this is an awkward experience, however, especially if they end up not fitting. It’s also upsetting to wait in a very long line just to find out you can’t get on the ride with the rest of your family or friends.

However, Universal Parks & Resorts isn’t just letting these complaints go by. The organization claims it’s already making enhancements to improve the accessibility of the rides. “We are always listening to our guests and seek to balance their needs against our strong focus on the safety of our attractions. We have a company-wide task force actively working with this community to make changes that can help them safely increase access to our experiences,” Universal shared. Universal Parks & Resorts has also noted that the sizing isn’t a restriction, but rather a guideline meant to encourage guests to test seats before riding so they may comfortably and safely board the ride.

Super Nintendo World officially opens on February 17, 2023.


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