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Going to Disney World over it the happiest place on earth for everyone??

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Hi I am going to Disney World this summer, and I am very nervous about the restrictions I will face because of my weight.  So I thought it might be helpful if I journalled my trials and triumphs, as we plan our trip.

We are going on a family trip: Myself, my 'previously estranged, but we are getting along' husband, my daughter, Nic (20) and her boyfriend, Hoagie (24), my daughter, Jen (18) and my son, Chris (17).  That's 6 of us. 

We are leaving for Florida from Massachusetts on May 30th to return June 12th.

I am sooo excited, we just put our deposit down.  I haven't been to Disney World in over 15 yrs.  ..and it's MY kind of place!  

However, I was not so thrilled to find out that SouthWest Airlines charges you for 2 tickets if you are overweight.  It seems the standard for what is "too fat" is arbitrary.  When you check in to board, if the airline agent thinks you are too fat, they have someone take you out of line and advise you to buy another ticket.  If you refuse, they will not allow you to board.  I told them that one of my children is 88lbs and she will be happy to sit next to me...and my hubby will sit on the other side.  I was told , no..sorry.  Policy is policy. That they have to consider the comfort of my husband and daughter, even if I don't...or they agree.  The agent advised me to book two seats for myself in advance because as she told me.. one airline agent can allow me to buy one ticket to fly, buy when I need to reboard after a stopover 'that' agent might deem me too fat and refuse to allow me to fly.  and by the way 2 fat people in one family cannot book three seats and sit next to each other.. you have to book 4 seats. Their response, they cannot guarantee that the 2 fat people will be able to sit together on the plane.

Since the skies seem downright unfriendly...we have decided to ROAD TRIP!! from Brockton to Orlando...  but as excited as I am, I am very nervous.  Last time I was in FLA I was smaller by over 100lbs and not in a wheelchair.   We are leaving home on May 30th and checking into to Caribbean Beach Resort on June 2..spending 8 days in Disney World and heading for home on June 10th.

We are renting a minivan for 2 weeks!

More adventures of the FFC (Fabulous Fat Chick) to follow!



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that's so crazy that they'd make you buy two tickets!! but hey, a road trip will probably be way more fun anyway =]

i live in florida and have been to disney world a million times.   thunder mountain, splash mountain, and space mountain might cause you some trouble (they are the roller coasters at the magic kingdom).  then again, i have been to disney world when i was 252 lbs (size 20) and still fit into all of them.   the rest of the rides in the magic kingdom shouldnt be a problem.

epcot shouldnt be a problem at all considering they dont have any real rides except for a boat ride in mexico and norway (maybe one more ride i cant think of).  im not sure about mgm either.  mgm has the tower of terror, fast track, and rockin rollercoaster.  im not sure about size limits though.

the only thing at animal kindgom that i can think of that might have a weight restriction would be the himalaya rollercoaster, but everything else should be fine too.

i think disney also has free wheelchairs if you need one and i think you can cut in line if you are in a wheelchair which is a nice bonus considering the circumstances

i hope you have a good time.  disney is always fun.

A couple of years ago I was coming back from Europe and on my last connecting flight home I sat with a family coming back from Dinsey World. A really nice, very large lady sat beside me on the plane. She clearly felt bad that she was invading my space so much and I felt bad for her because she was so uncomfortable. At the same time, I had been travelling for more than 17 hours at that point, was exhausted and being so crowded really made the last 5 hours of my trip home very difficult to endure. I wish the airlines would be more accomodating and not charge for 2 seats, but just give them when needed. Or charge a nominal fee, not an entire extra ticket fare.

so the ada (american's with disabilities act) apparently doesn't cover obesity? because it sounds like discrimination!

of course you can buy three seats in a row for two people! if there is a row of seats available, and you buy the tickets, how could that not be ok? thats where i go to "isn't that discrimination?" but then, corporations have had free reign to do what they please for a while now, (oops, too political, i know Sealed). 

i guess your post just got me a little pissy with how this world has a hard time understanding the experiences of larger people. i had a job last year where i started complaining at a staff meeting about how the chairs in my office were too small for my large/obese clients and one of my supervisors had an epiphany, like she'd never worked with a big person! its so strange to me. there is so much training in cultural sensitivity, and yet . . . . . and yet administrators don't consider wether or not the people they serve will fit in the friggen chairs! 

anyway, im sorry to hear about your challenges with the air lines, and i'm glad you found other options and are looking forward to the trip. i hope you have a great time and look forward to hearing about your fabulous adventures! 

If its any help I recently went to Disneyland Paris at 268lbs and fit it all of the rides fine, including the ones like space mountain.  The only thing I found a bit of a tight squeeze was the teacups!I still fit, but it was more a case that there wasnt any legroom (though i guess thats coz its mostly for kids!).

I also think it depends on where you carry your weight. I am very much a pear, so have a reasonably small top half, and carry all my weight in my butt/hips. If you carry all your weight in your top half (apple shape) you might have more of an issue with the rides that have the bar that come down over your shoulders. 

I also think its really rude of the airlines to suggest that you might need to buy 2 seats.  I do a lot of long distance flying and I have never once been told I needed to buy another seat.  I would be so outraged if it was suggested I'd want to refuse to fly. 

Anyway, have a fab trip! Am looking forward to hearing about your adventures :)


I am in school for x-ray technology and that is a big issue with us.  Its occuring more and more that some patients are too large and either exceed the weight limits of the tables are too big to penetrate with the x-rays.  Our instructor told us of a couple of occasions where people had to be taken to the vet's office to be x-rayed.  I really hope I don't come across that once I get done with school.  It would be to horrible to tell someone we have to take them to the vets.  I am sure eventually the machines that are currently out there will be replaced some day with more "big person friendly" ones but they are so expensive it will take time.


Let us know how your trip goes.  I have never been to Disney Land but I always wanted to go!!!

Original Post by jessicasbc:

im not sure about mgm either.  mgm has the tower of terror, fast track, and rockin rollercoaster.  im not sure about size limits though.

i think disney also has free wheelchairs if you need one and i think you can cut in line if you are in a wheelchair which is a nice bonus considering the circumstances

i hope you have a good time.  disney is always fun.

 I recently visited disney and the worst part for me was to go through the turnstiles (especially because I'm short) at some of the attractions and even at the gate.  At MGM the Rocking Rollingcoaster didn't have a size limit so that was nice. Some of the rides may allow you to ride single so that will help also. I still enjoyed the trip. Hope you have fun.

I went to Disneyland (Anaheim) at 283 pounds - the toughest part was all the walking around - I was way too big and out of shape for all that exercise and heat at once - of course you will have the benefit of a wheelchair, wytchymama.

I was worried about fitting into the rides (I carry a lot of weight on my belly) but that was not an issue.  I had a great time on every ride I wanted to ride.  The turnstiles, yeah...

The airplane was a bigger struggle.  I was just able to put the belt on without having to ask one of the slender flight attendants for an extension.  My husband at the time was also very overweight - no one suggested that we buy more seats, thank goodness!  His son was very slender so perhaps that's the reason. We shared a row of three.

More recently, I flew when I weighed about 235.  I fit into my seat, but the woman who sat next to me had a fit, claiming that I was crowding her.  I moved my hand between our legs to demonstrate that I was in my own seat and that there was space between us, but she continued to wiggle and complain to her companion for the entire flight.  I was too shame-based to ask the flight attendant to move her, but now I wish I had.

I agree with you, bubbles, about guest chairs that are uncomfortable for large clients.  Many people who have never been large themselves do not realize how much public seating is designed for a certain range called "normal".  I know when I was very large I felt outside of mainstream society - it was miserable to go to the baseball field and squeeze into their seats.  I didn't want to ever sit in the bleachers because I knew I would take up more than my allotted share of space.  *sigh*

Mad4moon i just read your reply and boy i want to hunt that woman down so bad and tell her off lol. That is just awful. How can people be so rude! That must of been an awful flight for you :-(

I haven't been to Disney World in forever.  Don't stress too much over the little stuff.  Your going to be with your family, having fun, laughing and making tons of memories. Have fun!!!


I agree it is frustrating, as someone who works in the airline industry, it is a sensitive subject.  While I don't work for Southwest, I do know why they have their policy.  The airline I work for is, our policy is, if you still don't fit in the seat WITH the seatbelt extension, then you have to buy another seat.  But the MAIN reason why they do charge for an additional seat, is because of safety.  It's weight and balance.  Each person is accounted for 195 lbs.  And the FAA has gradually increased that over the years.  In the winter, they add an extra 5 lbs for additional clothing.  Each person has to have a number attached to them, to know what is safe for that airplane to take off.  Each person, plus 30lbs of carry-ons, plus cargo, and most importantly, the fuel.  They take these numbers, plus the runway, weather, and take-off conditions to make sure it is safe to fly.  There have been several times, we have to bump people off due to being "weight critical"  Sometimes it's because we require more fuel to get to our destination because of bad weather, and we need additional fuel to divert to an alternate.  But like I said, it's due to weight and balance.  Safety.  I don't know if that's not what you want to hear, but it's true.

i'm sorry - i'm still trying to absorb the fact that your daughter's boyfriend is called "Hoagie" Laughing

i'm sure you'll have a great time at disney, even if you can't go on all the rides.  it's wicked fun!

Sigh......  The 'seat dilemma.'  It was one of several issues that finally made me start my weight loss journey; I missed out on an Alaskan cruise because I couldn't fit comfortably in an airplane seat, and because I didn't feel capable of doing all those side trips that cruise passengers take.  Why spend $6,000 to be miserable!

I found this article to be interesting: NV.pdf

One of the things I have come to realize is that it is not politically correct to ridicule someone because of their race or religion or skin color or sexual preferences ..however fat people are the free game...

everyone can make fun of the fat girl  and if you don't laugh along... you are oversensitive..or take yourself too seriously! 

 I do not laugh at my weight or my body... The psychologist, author and lector, John Bradshaw said, whenever he sees an overweight person, he sees a person in pain.  I can see where he is coming from.  I am a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect.. In the past, I used my weight to keep everyone away from me... to isolate. ( I have been fat since I was 8) And it served me well, what is hard is convincing my body I no longer need the weight to be "safe".  It's not a laughing matter... Hugs all.. Cinn

PS.. I, myself prefer to use the word "fat" instead of overweight. 

Why use the word "fat"?.... I use the word "fat" rather than "overweight" or "obese" because we view the "O" words as part of the medicalization of fatness, and fatness is just part of the normal spectrum of body size.

Once you call yourself fat.. the word has no sting. People can't hurt you by calling you fat.  It's just a orange. 

 Because I AM fat and that is okay because fat does not mean anything bad in and of itself. Because "fat" Does mean Juicy, Rich, Robust, Full, Lovely, Luscious, Opulent.


Size wise, you should fit into nearly everything...

However, keep in mind that June in Florida is not June in Massachusetts.  It will be hot all day, with a brief thunderstorm between 2 and 7, after which it will cool off just a bit and then get super humid again.  Be prepared for a lot of moving around in really hot sun.

I have been to florida in august in past years... don't think it could be hotter.. Wink

You should have a blast in Disneyworld. Especially since your children are old enough to take care of themselves. 

lol yes August is oppressive, except when we get a nice hurricane and the wind cools things down a bit :)


Remember to stay hydrated though... Nothing worse than forgetting to drink water when you're out in the sun all day and waking up the next day with dehydration.

The last time I went to Disney World was in 92 with my Big kids (30,28. 26 now)...we had a great time.  I was about 100 lbs lighter and could walk.  The biggest mistake I made was taking a break from the park, returning to our room and swimmng.. I was oblivious to the sun and I ended up with 2nd degree burns on my shoulders.  not fun..

What is your favorite part of Disney World?  I love Epcot- World Showcase!  Later gater... Hugs..CinnInnocent

Beyond E, I found the afternoon rain showers such a relief... look forward to them every day!  HAHA

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I too am going to Disney World in a few weeks.  I am flying Continental.  I am really afraid of what might happen at the airport.  I am about 225 and five feet tall so I am pretty wide.  I think I will die of embarrassment if they make me get off the plane.  I have never had any problem in movie theaters etc with the seats but it is a tight squeeze.  I am halfway tempted to just go ahead and purchase another seat but I am even embarassed to do so in front of my dad and daughter who I will be traveling with.  Then there's the turnstiles and rides that I am worried about.  Anybody have any suggestions?  Should I look into purchasing another seat?


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