After 22 years of bringing riders face-to-face with a T-Rex, Universal Studios Hollywood is closing down “Jurassic Park: The Ride” in September. But the theme park is teasing that the dinosaurs will return, as the ride will be transformed into an updated version based on the new “Jurassic World” films.
Opening in 1996, “Jurassic Park: The Ride” became one of the must-ride attractions at Universal Studios. In fact, according to a “making of” featurette made by Universal, “Jurassic Park” director Steven Spielberg suggested the ride be made before he even began production on the movie. The decision to make it a raft flume ride wasn’t inspired by the film, but by a scene from Michael Crichton’s novel in which the story’s characters are attacked by dinosaurs while riding through a river in the park.
The result was a ride overseen in part by Spielberg in which riders get invited to ride through a beautiful lagoon filled with peaceful dinosaurs, only to have their raft knocked off course into a containment area filled with velociraptors and other carnivores. At the ride’s climax, a T-Rex emerges and threatens to devour the riders, and the only means of escape is an 85-foot plunge so terrifying Spielberg said he didn’t want to go down it.
Now the ride will close at the end of this summer to make way for an updated version based on “Jurassic World” and its sequel, “Fallen Kingdom,” which will hit theaters next month. Universal Studios promises that the new version will feature new dinosaurs, “enhanced storytelling” and “state-of-the-art” technology when it arrives next year.
Watch the video announcing the upcoming “Jurassic World” ride in the clip above.