According to Banks Lee’s blog, he’s 6ft 2in and weighs 310 lbs. Why do we care you ask? Because Banks Lee is one of a large (no pun intended) group of people who are being refused a seat on the new Universal Studios ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”. While other riders are climbing on the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” ride and being whisked away to a magical world, Banks Lee and those like him are experiencing an all too real “Forbidden Journey” of their own. Universal Studios requires the restraint in the seat to click down three times and, if it doesn’t because it doesn’t fit around the rider’s girth correctly, the ride simply isn’t safe for them.
So, Banks Lee is large and can’t fit into a Harry Potter ride seat, so what, you ask again? The ‘so what’ about this story is what’s so interesting. Because, instead of complaining about Universal Studios, asking why they didn’t make the seats bigger or, god forbid, threatening to sue, Banks Lee is fighting back. But….. he’s not fighting Universal Studios. Instead, he’s fighting his body, the body which won’t allow him to go on a Harry Potter ride.
Banks Lee is on a diet so, when he does lose the weight he needs to, he can ride the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride. And, he’s blogging about it.
In his blog “Banks Lee and the Three Clicks” (sounds just like a Harry Potter story, right?), Lee starts off by talking about his size and how, even though the Harry Potter “Forbidden Journey” ride is a no-go, he also finds it difficult fitting into seats on other amusement park rides. Sure, he can get into them, at a squeeze, but it’s hardly comfortable and there’s no way he can ride in the front seats as park officials won’t let him. He then explains how he’s going to write a daily post (he hasn’t managed that yet, but he is still writing) about his diet and exercise program.
Already on Day 21, and Banks Lee is still dieting and exercising. He’s given up soda and started on the Slim Fast plan (personally I don’t think that’s the healthiest way to go, but at least he’s trying). He’s also spending time each day walking around his neighborhood parks (he lives in Orlando, Florida, near Universal Studios), making sure he’s burning those calories.
Banks is even receiving attention from the national news media and, with a popular story published on Yahoo Movies, his blog is getting more hits and Banks more support.
Like many others leaving comments on Banks’ blog, reading the story of Banks Lee and the Three Clicks made me feel so happy for him. Instead of complaining that Universal Studios should accommodate big people, Banks Lee took the positive road and decided to do something about it. In the three weeks since he started, he’s well on the way to losing the weight and, not only getting on the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride, but also towards a healthier and happier life.
Seems to me, Universal Studios could use Banks Lee to help them start a new diet and exercise program for overweight Americans. “Lose 50 lbs and you get to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden City once a week for a year – free.” Now that might help America get back into shape!
Meanwhile, good luck on your healthy lifestyle journey, Banks Lee. This writer will be watching closely and supporting you from afar. If you too are interested in Banks Lee and The Three Clicks – check out his blog here.
Banks Lee and the Three Clicks – Bank’s blog on Blogger
Harry Potter Fans Deemed Too Heavy For ‘Wizarding World’ Ride – Yahoo Movies