Being plus size at a theme park can be… a lot of things. When I was younger, I loved riding rollercoasters until I had issues fitting in them. That’s when the embarrassment started, and I avoided going all together. I know I’m not alone, and so many of us plus size people have similar theme park experience! I find sharing my experience + knowing others have struggled as well helps eliminate the shame for me, and I hope for my other fun lovers out there. Let’s get into it!
Is Disneyland plus size friendly?!
Growing up in California, I have been to every theme park… Disneyland, Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farm, Seaworld, Legoland, Universal Studios and beyond. Some would say I’m an expert!
Disneyland is by far the most size inclusive and accessible theme park I’ve experienced as a plus size person. I recently asked The B Word Instagram community (are you hanging out with us on IG?!) their experiences and SO many of you had things to share. Let me answer all your questions here!
I am a size 22 and 6’0 tall..this is my guide to Disneyland!
- Are Disneyland rides plus size friendly?
In my experience, YES! Unlike Universal Studios, I find Disneyland to have the most spacious ride seats, without limiting restrictions.
There are a few ride seat styles at Disney: (in order from easiest fit to might be a tight squeeze)
- Bench Seat (no restrictions, think Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean)
- Lap Bar (these are the pull down lap bar rides, I find that I dont have an issue fitting this seat but something to note is, if you’re a larger person sitting next to a smaller person the bar will not adjust smaller for the other rider. This is a single lap bar for two guests on a bench seat. Think Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion!)
- Across Lap Seatbelt (from left to right..these can be more limiting harder to fit in for hippier guests, rides like Indiana Jones and Radiator Spring Racers)
- Single Seats + Special Ride Car (These can be tough squeezes as a tall and plus size person, sometimes I avoid these rides all together because it’s uncomfortable. Matterhorn is a bobsled with single drop seats, so it’s a crunch. Also Space Mountain is a tight squeeze for myself and anyone taller.)
Being tall and plus size, I find I have more issues being tall at Disneyland.
- Test Seats?
Disneyland does not have test seats in front of rides unfortunately. I also have never experienced not fitting in a ride at Disney. Some can be uncomfortable (Space Mountain + Matterhorn are the hardest for me) but I’m still able to ride, buckled in.
- Connecting with other Plus Disney Traveler
I am incredibly late to the Facebook group world to be honest. I had NO idea how incredible of a resource a facebook group can be, especially connecting with other plus size people. As a lover of travel, who can get intimidated by potentially having an issue with my size while traveling these Facebook groups have been such an incredible find.
For Disney specific advice, join Disney Parks for Plus Sized Guests: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wdwplussize/
For Plus Size Travel, join Fat Girls Traveling:
- Walking LOTS of walking
Never been to a Disney park? Expect lots and lots of walking. Wear your most comfortable shoes, if you need an electric scooter, they have them for rent. My partner and I just went for about 10 hours, one park last week and did about 7 miles that day. If you’re park hopping be prepped to get some serious steps in and lots of standing in line. There is a train to get you from one part of the park to the next, but it can also present accessibility issues.
- Wheelchair + Scooter Info
I can’t speak from personal experience here but I wanted to make sure I included this information because at Disneyland they have wheelchairs and electric scooters for rental.
Link for more official Disney info:
- International Disney Experience
Did I mention I was a Disney expert?! I’ve been super fortunate to experience multiple Disney locations around the world. From Disney Paris, to Hong Kong Disney… not all Disney parks are as size inclusive as the American parks.
I had issues with fit on certain rides in Hong Kong Disney, newer rides like RC Racers in Toy Story land (not sure if this would be the same in Florida). Paris Disney, I can’t recall any issues as a size 18 when I went. The rides were different then what I was used to, Indiana Jones was a rollercoaster that went upside down… very different than in both American Disney parks. The ride was different, so the ride vehicle + safety straps were different, but I had no issue at the time.
As someone who loves thrill rides, would love to fit comfortably on all amusement rides, that just isn’t the case. I have found that my time at Disney parks has been my most enjoyable. Nothing ruins a day like waiting for a ride and being the only one in your group that cant fit. This won’t be your case at Disneyland. There is something for everyone and all sizes.
I would love to see Disney create an even more inclusive experience in the future! Tell us, have you been to Disneyland? What was your experience like?