Update [Fri 3rd Feb, 2023 06:30 GMT]: A Universal Parks & Resorts spokesperson has reached out with a statement regarding their guidelines on guest and park safety:
"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."
We are working with members of this community and the industry.
- We have a company-wide task force that is working with members of this community to collaborate on everything from test-seat placement to ride design to sharing the right information with our guests so they can better plan their visit.
- We are actively working with others in the theme park industry and ride manufacturers who build our attractions toward implementing new ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and EuroNorm standards for future rides to improve their accessibility for a broader range of riders.
We are already making enhancements to improve the accessibility of our rides.
- We are reconfiguring some of our existing rides, beginning with Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Orlando.
- We are making sure our test seats are located in a way that balances privacy and an ability to easily find them. We are also reviewing how we communicate information about test seats and accessibility with our guests prior and during their visit.
- We are enhancing our design standards for future attractions while still maintaining our high safety standards.
Our size guidelines are not new and are meant to encourage guests to test a seat before they ride.
- Guests of many different waist sizes are able to safely experience our attractions.
- We’ve long used a 40-inch waist size as a general guideline to help our guests plan their visit. This is not a new standard specific to Super Nintendo World.
- 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.
Original article [Wed 1st Feb, 2023 02:00 GMT]: If you love Mario Kart as much as we do here at Nintendo Life, one of the first things you're probably going want to do when you make a trip to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is try out the themed ride.
Well, something to note - you're going to need to pass a certain requirement first. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Hollywood park is apparently informing visitors with "large waistlines" of 40 inches or more that they may not be able to ride Mario Kart: Bower's Challenge. Note: This is a general guideline, not a new standard specific to Super Nintendo World.
It's all tied to the overall safety of rides - with parks having to balance "accessibility with heightened safety requirements". Rides are also equipped with tighter restraints now to ensure children are safely secured.
The Wall Street Journal was able to get a comment about this from Premier Rides president Jim Seay - who reiterated how the "safety of the guests" is always the "first priority":
“Our first priority is always the safety of the guests and the employees. We balance that with a very focused effort to make the rides as accessible as possible.”