Pooh sized people, seating issues

smallworldnh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
We will be arriving on Sunday with another couple who have never been to WDW. My friend is rather large and concerned about being able to fit into some of the ride vehicles. I know that a few have sample seating you can try but don't recall seeing them everywhere. Are most of the rides, specifically Test Track and Soarin, size friendly? He is about 6'3" and weighs around 250-300 lbs. thanks!
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
There are a couple of good resources on YouTube, specifically a YouTuber named Pammie Plus Parks and BigFatPanda.
Pammy is a plus sized woman and does show all the accessibility features and also shows whether there is a test vehicle.
BigFatPanda doesn’t really do that, but is a big and tall guy and seeing him on attractions should help.

One thing I’d suggest him asking about is whether there is a Transfer Assist Vehicle (TAV) for attractions with small or narrow doors. The TAVs usually have a part that opens wider to assist with transfers. Pammie Plus Parks does mention and sometimes show them
 

Groot

I am Groot
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
They should be.

Things I’ve noticed on Soarin’:

1. The armrests are snug but can be grabbed on to make you feel more secure.

2. The seat belt is extremely long. It’s best to pull it ALL THE WAY OUT and BUCKLE IT BEFORE you sit down so that you’re not hunting for the buckle that is flush with the seat.

3. The SEAT DEPTH is DECEPTIVE because of that red bumper thing in the back of the seat. There is a ride SIMILAR TO Soarin’ in Canada (it’s made by the same people iirc) and they DON’T HAVE that annoying red seat bumper in the back.

On Test Track:

1. There is a TEST SEAT outside that you can use to see what the best way is for you getting in/out of the ride car as well as testing the seat width.

2. The boarding for the ride vehicle is similar to getting in/out of most of the boat rides. The best way is to first step onto the seat before stepping down onto the bottom of the car.

3. I prefer the seat in the middle as it’s only a lap belt you have to deal with instead of a shoulder belt on the other two seats that just LOVES TO be on your neck. Also when sitting down, it’s best to pull the belt ALL THE WAY OUT and BUCKLE IT before you sit down (the buckle is also flush with the seat).
 

smallworldnh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
There are a couple of good resources on YouTube, specifically a YouTuber named Pammie Plus Parks and BigFatPanda.
Pammy is a plus sized woman and does show all the accessibility features and also shows whether there is a test vehicle.
BigFatPanda doesn’t really do that, but is a big and tall guy and seeing him on attractions should help.

One thing I’d suggest him asking about is whether there is a Transfer Assist Vehicle (TAV) for attractions with small or narrow doors. The TAVs usually have a part that opens wider to assist with transfers. Pammie Plus Parks does mention and sometimes show them
thank you so much for the excellent information! I'll check out both! :)
 

smallworldnh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
They should be.

Things I’ve noticed on Soarin’:

1. The armrests are snug but can be grabbed on to make you feel more secure.

2. The seat belt is extremely long. It’s best to pull it ALL THE WAY OUT and BUCKLE IT BEFORE you sit down so that you’re not hunting for the buckle that is flush with the seat.

3. The SEAT DEPTH is DECEPTIVE because of that red bumper thing in the back of the seat. There is a ride SIMILAR TO Soarin’ in Canada (it’s made by the same people iirc) and they DON’T HAVE that annoying red seat bumper in the back.

On Test Track:

1. There is a TEST SEAT outside that you can use to see what the best way is for you getting in/out of the ride car as well as testing the seat width.

2. The boarding for the ride vehicle is similar to getting in/out of most of the boat rides. The best way is to first step onto the seat before stepping down onto the bottom of the car.

3. I prefer the seat in the middle as it’s only a lap belt you have to deal with instead of a shoulder belt on the other two seats that just LOVES TO be on your neck. Also when sitting down, it’s best to pull the belt ALL THE WAY OUT and BUCKLE IT before you sit down (the buckle is also flush with the seat).
Also great tips! Thank you!
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
A few tips that make life easier:
Winnie the Pooh: The doors is slightly larger in the back row as I recall.

7DMT is difficult for many "skinny" people and impossible for many larger sized people.

tower of terror ask for the transfer seats in the front. Bonus you get more air time.

Star Tours ask for the transfer seat to be opened for you. It makes it easier.

Rise of the Resistance, again ask for the door to be opened.

Expedition Everest, the back row, seat closest to the loading station is slightly larger than the rest.

Flights of Passage has a test seat, but is definitely hard to impossible for larger guests due to them not thinking and deciding not to provide alternative seating for larger guests and guests with disabilities. Given when the attraction was built and the theme, I consider this a major design flaw.

Soarin' the seats on the ends closest to the edges of the theater are the widest. Unfortunately with around the World this isn't a great view.


For all attractions with seatbelts, it is best to pull the seatbelt all the way out before sitting down.

Also, never be afraid to ask for extra space, such as asking for an empty seat next to you or for your own row, etc. We need our own rows on Splash Mountain for example and it is never an issue.
 

smallworldnh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
A few tips that make life easier:
Winnie the Pooh: The doors is slightly larger in the back row as I recall.

7DMT is difficult for many "skinny" people and impossible for many larger sized people.

tower of terror ask for the transfer seats in the front. Bonus you get more air time.

Star Tours ask for the transfer seat to be opened for you. It makes it easier.

Rise of the Resistance, again ask for the door to be opened.

Expedition Everest, the back row, seat closest to the loading station is slightly larger than the rest.

Flights of Passage has a test seat, but is definitely hard to impossible for larger guests due to them not thinking and deciding not to provide alternative seating for larger guests and guests with disabilities. Given when the attraction was built and the theme, I consider this a major design flaw.

Soarin' the seats on the ends closest to the edges of the theater are the widest. Unfortunately with around the World this isn't a great view.


For all attractions with seatbelts, it is best to pull the seatbelt all the way out before sitting down.

Also, never be afraid to ask for extra space, such as asking for an empty seat next to you or for your own row, etc. We need our own rows on Splash Mountain for example and it is never an issue.
I'll never understand why they didn't add seats to all attractions that could accommodate people with handicaps as well as people of size! my mom had such a hard time getting out of Frozen last October. I am bringing a small stool for her this time!! Thank you so much for the excellent information!
 

Selket

Been there - done that
Joined
Feb 28, 2000
We will be arriving on Sunday with another couple who have never been to WDW. My friend is rather large and concerned about being able to fit into some of the ride vehicles. I know that a few have sample seating you can try but don't recall seeing them everywhere. Are most of the rides, specifically Test Track and Soarin, size friendly? He is about 6'3" and weighs around 250-300 lbs. thanks!

One thing I've noticed is that depending on how a person is built (long legs vs. their height in the upper body), ability to bend their knees, etc. really affects comfort in rides. I'm not tiny and somewhat tall for a woman (5'9") and have terrible knees (I rent an ECV - my knees both need replacing). No problems with 7DMT for me at all but Small World or Splash Mountain just about kills me (for my knees). Otherwise I fit and there's nothing I cannot ride although Astro Orbiter just about kills me getting in or out (haven't done it in awhile). I've ridden Disney rides with shorter people who were around 250lbs and they rode everything at Disney. I'd think he is likely to fit into most if not all rides especially if he doesn't have any knee or back issues.

I like the suggestion of finding the seat belt before you get fully seated - I do that whenever I can!
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
I'll never understand why they didn't add seats to all attractions that could accommodate people with handicaps as well as people of size! my mom had such a hard time getting out of Frozen last October. I am bringing a small stool for her this time!! Thank you so much for the excellent information!
Frozen was built a long time ago as Maelstrom, the amount it would cost to retrofit a boat would be astronomical, I do get that one.

But anything built in say the last 30 years definitely should be fully accessible.
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
I'll never understand why they didn't add seats to all attractions that could accommodate people with handicaps as well as people of size! my mom had such a hard time getting out of Frozen last October. I am bringing a small stool for her this time!! Thank you so much for the excellent information!
Star Tours transfer seat doesn‘t have anything to open; it is the seat closest to the entrance door on the front row with an aisle next to it. The armrest on the aisle side can be folded up, which can make it easier to board. If you want to use that seat and the armrest feature, tell the CM. This website has details.

You wont be able to use a stool for boarding attractions.
If she needs help getting over the side, you can ask to use the Transfer Assist Device (also called Transfer Tier). They are available on request for many of the hard-to-get-over-side attractions. It looks like a small set of steps or bench that hooks over the side of the ride vehicle. It’s not a set up steps to walk up - it’s meant for wheelchair users who can’t stand/can’t stand securely to sit on.
The first step is about wheelchair seat height and the next steps go over the side of the ride car, then down to the seat. Wheelchair users park their wheelchair next to the first step, then transfer over to it and ‘bump’ up and down the steps into the ride vehicle. Getting out is done the opposite way.
Someone not using a wheelchair can do the same thing - they would just sit on the first step instead of transferring from a wheelchair.
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Star Tours transfer seat doesn‘t have anything to open; it is the seat closest to the entrance door on the front row with an aisle next to it. The armrest on the aisle side can be folded up, which can make it easier to board. If you want to use that seat and the armrest feature, tell the CM. This website has details.

You wont be able to use a stool for boarding attractions.
If she needs help getting over the side, you can ask to use the Transfer Assist Device (also called Transfer Tier). They are available on request for many of the hard-to-get-over-side attractions. It looks like a small set of steps or bench that hooks over the side of the ride vehicle. It’s not a set up steps to walk up - it’s meant for wheelchair users who can’t stand/can’t stand securely to sit on.
The first step is about wheelchair seat height and the next steps go over the side of the ride car, then down to the seat. Wheelchair users park their wheelchair next to the first step, then transfer over to it and ‘bump’ up and down the steps into the ride vehicle. Getting out is done the opposite way.
Someone not using a wheelchair can do the same thing - they would just sit on the first step instead of transferring from a wheelchair.
Interesting, at Disneyland, the arm side rest opens out and makes it far easier to board for larger guests. I figured it would be the same at Disney World as I would have expected them to be identical. We don't usually do Star Tours at Disney World, so didn't know it was different there.

And interesting about the transfer device, for Frozen, that doesn't sound like it would help DH much, getting in isn't the hard part, it is stepping up to get out. Stepping down when getting out isn't an issue either, again, it is getting up and over the inside. It is a bit easier now that the plexiglass has been removed, but still hard.
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
Interesting, at Disneyland, the arm side rest opens out and makes it far easier to board for larger guests. I figured it would be the same at Disney World as I would have expected them to be identical. We don't usually do Star Tours at Disney World, so didn't know it was different there.

And interesting about the transfer device, for Frozen, that doesn't sound like it would help DH much, getting in isn't the hard part, it is stepping up to get out. Stepping down when getting out isn't an issue either, again, it is getting up and over the inside. It is a bit easier now that the plexiglass has been removed, but still hard.
We didn’t ride it this trip, but I‘d describe the armrest at Star Tours to be similar to the fold back armrests on some rows on an airplane, but more substantial.
I thought I had a picture of the Frozen transfer device. It can be used for getting in and out, but the guest still needs to swing their legs over the side. It can be easier when seated than standing and stepping over the side. Still, not something everyone can do.
It works best if the guest is strong enough to lift themself to ‘bump’ their butt up or down to the next step. My DD is not able to do that, so the transfer tiers are more in our way than any help. When she was little, we could lift her into rides like that with one of us inside and one outside. At 5 feet tall, around 85-90 pounds with a lot of spasticity in her legs and trunk, we can’t really do that anymore
 




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