Harry Potter ride seats modified for larger riders

Universal Orlando has modified some seats on ride cars for the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and many people who couldn’t ride the centerpiece attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter should be able to now.

When I saw the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during an early preview in May, the ride was not in operation, but the “test seats” outside the ride were working. Would-be riders can sit in the seat to check it out before entering the ride queue. The seats have an over-the-shoulder harness that has to be pulled down and “click” three times. You get a green light if it does, and a red light if it doesn’t.

After watching folks check out that seat, it was evident that the Harry Potter ride would not accommodate riders of size.

But new seats were introduced over the weekend. Now there is also a yellow light on the test seats. If you get yellow, as some rounder or taller guests will, you will be asked to wait until a ride car with modified seats comes around.

Theme park employees told Orlando Attractions Magazine the seats are allowing more people to ride the marquee ride:

Team members we talked to said the modified seats have helped tremendously. They said before they had to turn away hundreds of guests, but over the two days since the modified seats have been in place, they’ve only had to turn away one guest.

The modified seats are on the inside and outside positions on a handful of the ride cars. The seat itself is not any larger; it’s the locking mechanism on the harness that has been changed. Universal says it is safe for both larger and smaller riders to sit in the modified seats.

[Image credit: Flickr user calleecakes]