Universal Studios Under Fire for ‘Fatphobic’ Mario Kart Ride

Mario Kart is beloved by ’90s kids, and now gamers around the world can see the worlds of Rainbow Road and more come to life when Universal Studios Hollywood debuts Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge for the public this month.

But not everyone can drive. Park visitors who got a sneak peek early criticized the height and dimensions of the mid-ride.

Safety information for the attraction states that riders with a waist circumference of 40 inches or larger “may not be accommodated on the ride.” People are encouraged to sit in the tester seat at the entrance of the ride to see if they will fit or not.

In terms of height, riders must be over 40 inches tall to ride and those under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

“This ride moves along a track and includes sudden accelerations, turns and spins, as well as augmented reality simulations of a high-speed race,” Universal Studios’ safety guidelines state. “This ride uses restrictions that may limit some guests from riding due to body shape and size.”

The attraction is set to be a simulation of the popular video game, giving riders VR headsets as they race across the track in Mario’s classic go-kart in a race against the infamous villain, Bowser.

“As part of Team Mario, guests will go through underwater and cloud courses to compete for the Golden Cup while collecting coins to defeat Team Bowser and win,” Universal said in the original press release about the route.

Fans were immediately up in arms about the waist restrictions for the ride, calling the limits “lipophobic” and “ridiculous”.

Note that the same waist restrictions apply to several other interactive rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, including Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey and Challenge Of The Mummy: The Ride.

“We always listen to our guests and seek to balance their needs with our intense focus on the safety of our attractions,” he told the Universal Studios Hollywood news agency. KTLA in a statement about the reactions. “We have a team across the company that is actively working with this community to make changes that can help them safely increase access to our experiences.”

According Healthline, the average waist size for a man living in the US is 40.2 inches, just 0.2 inches larger than the waist limit for a Mario Kart ride. According to the same data, the average waist size for a woman living in the US is 38.7 inches.

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge officially opens to the public as part of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17th.

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