I’ve been obsessed with roller coasters since I was a kid. Being a tall child, I met the height requirements by the time I was 4 years old. I was that fearless kid who wanted to ride over and over again. I love the rush and thrill of rides and growing up in Orlando around theme parks was amazing. I remember at one point in life wanting to design roller coasters for a career. Good thing I let that go because there’s no way I would have made it through an engineering program in college. In high school, I got a part-time job at Universal Studios so I was ALWAYS around rides. It’s crazy to think about it now but I haven’t been on a roller coaster in nearly 10 years. One day after work at Universal, I met up with a friend at Islands of Adventure (where the big rides are) to hang out. We went to ride on the Hulk coaster and when I sat in the seat it seemed noticeably smaller. My fat ass couldn’t get low enough in the seat so the over-shoulder restraint wasn’t close enough for the seat belt to reach. I PANICKED. It was probably one of my top 5 most embarrassing moments of life. I had to GET OFF the ride and wait for the next car to come forward and they put me in a bigger seat. It makes me sick to even think about that moment now. The next week, a bunch of us from my department took the day off to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa. Having the experience I just did, I was so nervous about getting in line for coasters. I faked a stomachache for the first few but knew I’d eventually have to brave a ride and stop sitting out. Luckily, on the next coaster, they put up a diagram of what seats on the car were bigger. I asked a friend to switch seats so that I could sit next to another friend but really it was so that my big butt could actually ride the ride. I proceeded to go on this coaster about 4 times in a row because I knew I could. It’s so sad and embarrassing to admit this to you all. That was probably in 2005 and I believe was the last time I rode a roller coaster. Until yesterday.
On Wednesday, my friend and I decided we needed to get out of Gainesville and go on an adventure. We decided to choose happy and settled on a day trip to visit the new Harry Potter attractions at Universal and Islands of Adventure. I had a freakin’ blast! I geeked out on all things HP, drank my first frozen butterbeer (calories don’t count when you’re on Diagon Alley) and rode zillions of rides. I had forgotten how much fun roller coasters are! I was screaming and laughing all day.
I had a slight nervousness upon riding the Hulk and waiting in line I was reminded of that extremely embarrassing moment years ago. All the coasters now have signs throughout the line area directing guests as to what rows are “modified seating,” which they describe as being able to fit other body types. Where were these signs years ago? Regardless, I comfortably fit and have a photo to prove it! The sign above my head tells you that certain upper body types might not fit in the seat I’m sitting and the seat next to me is one of those modified seats. I’m so happy that I was able to fit in all regular seats and my weight didn’t hold me back from anything on this day. I was running through the lines out of excitement and had no issues walking the entirety of BOTH parks. I treated myself to an annual pass and I can’t wait to go back!