Amusement park accused of 'fat-shaming' with scales around park

·4-min read

An amusement park in Perth has been met with criticism and backlash over scales being used throughout the park.

As the season opened for Perth's Adventure World, visitors were horrified to see the addition of scales, which featured a light to indicate whether a person could go on a ride.

Images of the signs have been shared to social media. They explain a green light means a person is "approved" for the ride, while a red light means a patron is too heavy for the ride and therefore not "permitted".

"Please check to avoid disaapointment (sic)," the signs read, along with the safety requirements, including weight and height.

One woman told the West Australian newspaper her teenage daughter had to do a "walk of shame" after she stepped on the scale and was told she could not go on the ride.

Perth's Adventure World came under fire for introducing weight scales at the park. Source: Adventure World
Perth's Adventure World came under fire for introducing weight scales at the park. Source: Adventure World

"I was angry and disappointed in Adventure World. We’ve enjoyed these rides for years and now all of a sudden we weren’t able to," the mother said.

The West Australian reported the family received a refund for their season pass.

The park reopened for the season on September 25 and people were quick to notice the signs and scales and share their thoughts to social media.

"Are you weighing people?! If so, this is absolutely disgusting!" one person said on Adventure World's Facebook page.

One ride has a maximum weight limit of 600kg for eight people, meaning eight people can ride, so long as they are 75kg or under.

"What the actual hell?! This is absolutely disgusting," another person said. 

"I understand that there is a weight limit for safety reasons but a maximum of 75kgs?! It used to be 90kgs, what’s the difference between this year and last year?"

However, Adventure World said there had been no weight changes to any of the rides or slides with weight safety requirements.

Adventure World clears confusion around 75kg weight limit

The park said there was confusion around the weight limit of one ride, Abyss, with some people believing they had to weigh under 75kg to ride.

"In relation to the 75kgs, unfortunately confusion has crept in regarding the way we have quoted the weight safety requirement for Abyss online as an average," Adventure World said.

"This has been interpreted (understandably) as the maximum rider weight for that ride and then also for all other rides, which it is not the case in both instances.

"In relation to Abyss, the manufacturer’s specified safety requirement is based on the combined weight of all 8 riders being no more than 600kgs. We have updated the website to reflect this more clearly.

"As long a rider’s safety restraint harness achieves the fully closed position and they meet the other safety requirements, then riders above 75kgs can ride."

There was a lot of confusion with the weight requirement for the Abyss ride. Source: Adventure World/ Facebook
There was a lot of confusion with the weight requirement for the Abyss ride. Source: Adventure World/ Facebook

Adventure World reiterated the safety requirements were not new, though to be consistent with national industry standards, the park has "enhanced" how it maintains the safety of guests.

"Each of the 4 slides that now include a rider weight safety assessment, also have a self-serve test station located away from the queue entry so that riders are able to self-assess before entering the queue," Adventure World said.

Speaking to the West Australian, Adventure World CEO Andrew Sharry said the park takes direction from various ride manufacturer's safety specifications.

“There have been no changes to, nor introduction this season of a new rider weight safety requirements for any of our rides, slides or attractions,” he said.

Mr Sharry also said the weight scales were for the patron's comfort and they are not the only amusement park in Australia implementing this system.

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