Mario Kart is beloved by ’90s kids, and now gamers worldwide can see the worlds of Rainbow Road and beyond come to life when Universal Studios Hollywood debuts its highly anticipated Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride to the public this month.
But not everyone may get to ride. Parkgoers who got an early sneak peek are criticizing the ride’s height and waist dimensions.
The safety information for the attraction states that riders with waistlines that are 40 inches or larger “may not be accommodated on the ride.” People are encouraged to sit in the tester seat at the ride’s entrance to see whether or not they will fit.
As far as height goes, riders must be over 40 inches tall to ride and those under 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.
“This ride moves along a track and includes sudden accelerations, turning and spinning as well as augmented reality simulations of a high-speed race,” Universal Studios’ safety guidelines state. “This ride employs restraints which may restrict certain guests from riding due to body shape and size.”
The attraction is meant to be a simulation of the popular video game, giving riders VR headsets as they cruise through the track in Mario’s classic kart in a race against the infamous villain, Bowser.
“As part of Team Mario, guests will steer through courses underwater and in the clouds to compete for the Golden Cup while collecting coins to defeat Team Bowser and win,” Universal said in the original press release about the ride.
Fans were immediately up in arms about the waist restrictions for the ride, calling the limits “fatphobic” and “ridiculous.”
Nothing but wonderful things to say about Super Nintendo World except this: the body size limitations on the Mario Kart ride are absolutely ridiculous. I’ve never had any issue fitting into any ride in my entire life, and I can BARELY fit into this one. Completely absurd.
— Rocco Botte (@rocco_botte) January 31, 2023
Still mad about that 40-inch waistline requirement for the Mario Kart ride.
It’s just blatantly fatphobic, there’s nothing about it that can’t accommodate a bigger human. Let alone an average-sized one, as 40 inches is hardly monumental. I’m a few pounds from there myself!
— David (@DavidtheBookwrm) February 1, 2023
guess i’m not going to bother going to universal, if you’re over a 40″ waist you can’t go on the mario kart ride
— nyx (@coffinslime) February 4, 2023
Me going to work out with my primary motivation being able to ride the Mario kart attraction
— Dorf (@KevinGingerColo) January 31, 2023
It’s noted that the same waist restrictions apply for several other interactive rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, including Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey and Challenge Of The Mummy: The Ride.
“We are always listening to our guests and seek to balance their needs against our strong focus on the safety of our attractions,” Universal Studios Hollywood told outlet KTLA in a statement about the backlash. “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.”
According to Healthline, the average size waist for a man living in the U.S. is 40.2 inches, just 0.2 inches larger than the waist limit for the Mario Kart ride. Per the same data, the average size waist for a woman living in the US is 38.7 inches.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge formally opens to the public as a part of Super Nintendo World inside Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17.