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Adventure World under fire for ‘fat shaming’

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Adventure World is facing “fat shaming” allegations after implementing controversial new rules that resulted in a 13-year-old girl weighed and then barred from a water slide because she was “too heavy”.

The amusement park posted weight limits for their rides — implemented since re-opening for the summer season on Saturday.

Some attractions, including the Abyss rollercoaster, have a 600kg weight limit spanning across eight people — meaning the average weight of the patron needs to be 75kg.

The popular park took it a step further by placing a set of scales outside some of their rides. Patrons unsure if they meet the weight limit are asked to step on the scales and “avoid disappointment”.

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The scales then flash with a non-discreet green or red light letting patrons know whether they meet Adventure World standards.

One patron’s teenage daughter fell victim to the “humiliating and embarrassing” weight check at the Bibra Lake park on Saturday. Jess was there with her two daughters when her eldest daughter, just 13-years-old, was asked to check her weight before going down the Rocky Rapid waterslide.

Camera IconViki Jerkovich (back right) with her children and niece at Adventure World. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

“My eldest daughter took my youngest daughter, who has special needs up the slides. She noticed the weight machine but just lined up with her sister and her friends,” Jess said.

“Once at the top she was stopped and asked to stand on a weigh machine. The lights flickered green and then red and then green again.

“The operator then walked over to an electrical box and looked inside it, and then came back to her and said sorry, you weigh this amount and you can’t go down,” she said.

Her teenage daughter, then had to walk back down the stairs in a “walk of shame”.

“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,” Jess said.

She said other patrons who witnessed the humiliation of her daughter, came up to her and spoke about similar situations on other rides.

Perth's amusement park Adventure World has come under fire about their weight limits for rides.
Camera IconPerth’s amusement park Adventure World has come under fire about their weight limits for rides. Credit: Facebook/Facebook

The family demanded a refund on their season pass following Saturday’s incident, which Adventure World granted.

Adventure World Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharry said safety at the amusement park was their priority, and that no changes had been made to ride weight limits.

“We take our direction from our various ride manufacturer’s safety specifications,” Mr Sharry said.

“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.

The CEO said the newly implemented weight scales, however, were for the comfort of patrons, as well as a “rider weight safety assessment scale for the operator”.

“(This) brings us in line with almost all other water parks in the country. We are not alone in implementing such a system,” he said.

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