Jurassic World is arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood
When it came time to develop a theme-park counterpart to Universal Pictures’s yet-to-be-released-but-already-clearly-successful Jurassic Park, designer Gary Goddard – who had played a role in many a major Universal attraction – decided to eschew the obvious path and brave the road less travelled: rather than doing a recreation of the movie’s famed car tour through Isla Nublar’s various dinosaur paddocks, he went back to Michael Crichton’s originating novel and pulled the river scene out. Adding to the cinematic mythos rather than just aping it appealed to both Universal and director/consultant Steven Spielberg, and, thus, Jurassic Park: The Ride was born.
It’s an attraction that has, sadly, remained mostly the same for the past 22 years, despite some aquatic tinkering in 2007 that upped the saturation level tenfold (during certain times of the year, at least). Now, however, that stuck-in-time streak has ended – Universal will be breaking Jurassic Park free from its amber encasing and rejuvenating it as Jurassic World: The Ride.
We don’t have very many specifics on what, precisely, the transformation will entail, but the company does have this to say on the matter:
On this river-raft adventure, get doused as a colossal Mosasaursus dives for its great white shark snack. But the real danger lies ahead when the brutal Indominus rex escapes its enclosure. Be prepared when a 50-foot Tyrannosaurs rex comes to your rescue… right before your final plunge down a treacherous 84-foot waterfall.
There are also promises of “enhanced storytelling and scenic design” and “state-of-the-art technology that will include elements never previously experienced within a theme park.”
Let’s make some guesses of our own about what all this means, shall we? First, since the setting of the 2015 Jurassic World is still Isla Nublar, we don’t expect that to change – but we do expect the fictitious zoological park that our tour boats will be visiting will get updated to Jurassic World, since this is what we see in the recent Jurassic film. (Just a fun bit of trivia here: in the movie series’s timeline, the titular Jurassic World went operational in 2005, 12 years after the disastrous events of the original installment.)
The second item on our hypothetical list is, of course, a brand-new queue video – the element of Jurassic Park: The Ride that, arguably, is the most desperately in need of some refreshing. While it’ll be sad to lose John Hammond, it’ll be great to get Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady (and, we’re assuming, his attendant raptor pack). Also receiving a whole host of new visuals, props, and music certainly won’t hurt, either, though we all but demand at least one quick appearance by Dr. Henry Wu – just for tradition’s sake, if nothing else.
Why go about renovating the aging water ride now, three years after the record-breaking success of Jurassic World? That’s actually an easy question to answer – the sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, will be landing in theaters on June 22, providing that most magical of corporate elixirs, synchronicity (something which still-new NBCUniversal owner Comcast has been keen to push more and more in its theme parks). When we include the fact that, given the new film’s pre-release box-office tracking, Jurassic World 3 is all but a given for June 2021, this newly-rebranded attraction will be able to benefit from all the multimedia hoopla for the foreseeable future – adding yet another franchise feather in Universal Studios Hollywood’s cap, alongside the likes of Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and DreamWorks Animation.
Now, since we also just recently received Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville over in CityWalk, might we also have a Jurassic World tie-in there, too, please? We wouldn’t mind seeing the Indominus Rex Burger or Mesozoic Margarita that were served up in the Orlando location a few years back…
Jurassic Park: The Ride closes on September 3, 2018. Jurassic World opens in 2019.