Universal Studios Japan plus size ride limits

Universal Studios Japan Hollywood Dreams roller coaster
Universal Studios Japan Hollywood Dreams roller coaster

A common question you’ll find in the Universal Studios Japan holiday planning group is:

Will being a larger body size affect what rides I can go on?

Universal Studios Japan, like many theme parks have some size limitations on their rides, including the rider’s body width and height.

Japanese theme parks in particular often have smaller than usual ride seating and restraints. This is probably due to the smaller national average body dimensions in Japan than perhaps may be found in some other parts of the world.

With the number of locals frequenting Japanese theme parks vastly outstripping the number of visiting tourists it makes perfect sense that they design their rides to fit the smaller size average of Japanese people. However this ride seat size difference at Universal Studios Japan when compared to other theme parks around the world can sometimes catch us larger-framed tourists by surprise!

What if I’m too tall for a Universal Studios Japan ride?

If you are of larger or taller dimensions, it’s possible that you may be excluded from some Universal Studios Japan rides. It’s a common problem that tourists purchase Express tickets for rides they are unable to safely fit on.

For example, it can be frustrating if you have paid for an Express Ticket for the Flight of the Hippogriph in Harry Potter World, only to find out that in Japan Universal it is actually considered a Junior or Youth Ride.

Being classified as a Youth ride means that the Flight of the Hippogriff has a smaller seat size, and so is more size-limited than some of the other Universal Studios Japan Express Pass rides. Yet this fact is something not widely publicised until you are actually at the park. The minimum heights for all attractions are listed on the official website, however the maximum dimensions are not.

Individual attraction website pages only carry general references to what the ride seat limitations actually are. For example, on the Flight of the Hippogriff Harry Potter ride website page there is no mention of it being of a smaller classification than the other thrill rides, even though this ride is known for being small. The only reference to guests not fitting into the seats are referred to as:

Harry Potter Flight of the Hippogriff ride restrictions
Section from the Flight of the Hippogriff Ride page on the official USJ website

Guests who should not use the attraction including the options “a physical build not compatible with the seats” and of course “unable to secure the body by the safety bar” and include the notice that “You may be asked to refrain from experiencing the attraction for safety concerns due to your physical build”

Here are some of our group member experiences:

My partner is extremely tall – 6’4” – and was able to fit on both rides in Super Nintendo – the staff didn’t seem like they were being strict on letting him on either.

My partner is super tall and was not allowed on any rides in Wizarding World as he was too tall – his knees were the problem he was so tall that his legs wouldn’t fit into the rides in wizarding world 

I am top heavy and had no issues with any rides – Chloe

Hubby is 6ft 8 and they made him sit in the demo chair to test for Mario cart ride – he fit! – Amanda

What are the minimum ride heights allowed?

If you think you may be too short or your child is too young to ride because they may not have reached the minimum height requirement, you can check the official USJ ride list here for the minimum height requirements for each attraction.

What happens if I can’t fit in the ride seat?

If you encounter this issue with Flight of the Hippogriff, group members report that they were compensated with a replacement Express ride ticket for another attraction.

What rides can I go on if i’m pregnant?

This question gets asked by a lot of expectant mothers – are there any rides that are safe for pregnant women? Luckily the official USJ website carries a list of attractions with several being marked with an icon to show they are considered safe for pregnant park guests.

Will I fit into a Universal Studios Japan ride seat?

Each ride of concern usually has a test seat that you can try before queueing for the ride, so that if the ride seat isn’t safe for your size, then you don’t have to waste time queueing for a ride you can’t experience. The test seat is identical to the actual ride seat and includes any restraints or locking bars.

This is a photo of the Mario Kart test seat inside Super Nintendo World. The sign above it reads (in English and Japanese):

“Test this seat before riding. This ride employs safety restraints which may restrict certain guests from experiencing this attraction. Guests with certain body dimensions may not be accommodated on the ride and are strongly encouraged to try this test seat. Please see a crew member for further questions.”

Test Seat at Universal Studios Japan
Mario Kart Test Seat at Universal Studios Japan

Plus size group member experiences

The following comments regarding rider size screening and fitting into USJ ride seats are from the Universal Studios Japan holiday planning group .

When reading these comments, it’s important to remember that the following experiences and opinions may vary from person to person and sizes can also vary from country to country.

Others may not necessarily have the same experiences as each other, but these first-hand experiences are great for an overview on what to possibly expect on your day at Universal Japan.

Group member says:

I was 100kg/ 152cm tall when I went to universal last year. In the park I was pulled aside to be tested in the Hollywood dreams ride (which I passed). I rode the Harry Potter and Mario rides without any problems or requests for seat tests. I know we may not be the same ‘size’ but that’s an authentic experience from someone my size.

Group member says:

I think saying 50% of the rides is a lot and honestly it varies per person, it’s not just all plus size people. I have a large chest and wide hips (size 22) and I only missed one ride in the whole park. The disability pass will already get you into rides faster so why spend more on express that you might not need?

I am a US size 20/22 and fit on everything except Hollywood Dream. I struggled on Flying Dinosaur, but the staff was so patient, and they got me in it all nice and snug, I knew I wasn’t gonna fall out 😂 the only other place I struggled was in one of the theaters, the one for the Beetlejuice show, the seats were tiny, and I was basically sitting sideways. I have a large chest and wide hips if that helps at all.

Group member says:

You’ll be able to get on a handful of rides. Be prepared to be asked to try a test seat at some rides. Bonus if you have someone in your party that can squish the bar down on you.

I’m a size 18. I went on Minion Mayhem, Spiderman 4D, Harry Potter world of Wizarding (had to use a special entry for extra loading time), Mario Cart (my butt literally got sectioned to the seat & I couldn’t get out). We also went on the Carousel and Hello Kitty cupcake ride in the Sesame/Hello Kitty kiddie area.

Getting “fat checked” made USJ not enjoyable for me. If I could have a redo, I’d do another day at Tokyo Disney instead. Was denied at HP Hippogriff ride, Yoshi ride. So I gave up and called it a day. The queues were incredibly long for everything. Just trying to get food or drinks was a minimum 30 minutes in line. Went on a Thursday.

Group member says:

My boyfriend & i could not fit on the Flight of the Hippogriff ride 😰 but we were able to trade that ride for another express ride instead! 😊

i just wanted to make an informative post about the Flight of the Hippogriff ride & if by chance you have an Express Pass (we had #7) for a ride that you do not fit on, the staff will offer you another free paper Express Pass with the same list of rides for you instead (only good for one ride use). We chose to ride the Flying Dinosaur again (which was our favorite ride so we were happy to get to ride it again!) 🦖

size information – i’m 5’7” & about 220 lbs. normally a size US XL, 12/14 in women’s clothing. the lap bar could not go tight enough on my stomach for me to ride. my boyfriend is 5’11” & 160 lbs. the lap bar couldn’t fit over his legs in the normal seat only. he could fit in the bigger seat up front, but i couldn’t so he chose not to ride without me. 💛

just wanted to give out that information in case anyone is feeling unsure about fitting into the rides & getting their Express Pass worth. Not sure they offer to non-Express Pass holders but i don’t see why not. the staff were also super apologetic & of course i didn’t mind not riding, safety first! 😊

i also don’t believe there was a ride testing seat at the line entrance, that could be why they offer the free extra Express Pass paper ticket. we also fit all other rides on our Express Pass. 😬

The Flying Dinosaur ride at Universal Studios Japan
The Flying Dinosaur ride requires special checking to make sure you are safe and secure

Annoying though it may be, the main thing is that the guidelines are there to keep everyone safe. Even if you think you may not fit on all or some of the rides, don’t despair! There’s plenty to see and do at Universal Studios Japan without riding at all. Universal Studios Japan has a huge range of attractions including Super Nintendo World, a plethora of restaurants, exciting merchandise stores, fun snack and popcorn stands plus shows and parades. Theme parks are most definitely not just all about the rides – wander around, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy yourself!

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