Considered one of Universal’s largest endeavors, Jurassic Park…The Ride represents one of the largest attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Combining the best of Universal Creative (the folks in charge of the park’s creative direction) and Universal Pictures, Jurassic Park is the very essence of the slogan “bringing movies to life.” Read on to find out why.
If you’ve read the book or even seen the movie, you probably already know where this is going. So picture this: you’ve just ventured in John Hammond’s theme park and you’re boarding a relatively calm and peaceful boat to tour Jurassic Park. Every assurance has been made to ensure your safety, so you’re all well and good. Think of Disney’s Jungle Cruise – but for dinosaurs, and you’re all set. But of course, this being Jurassic Park, things go horribly wrong.
Duration: 5 minutes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes, ask for assistance. Be aware that you will need to get out of your wheelchair to experience this ride.
Flash Photography and Video Taping Policy: Not permitted.
Height Restriction: 42″.
Child Switch: Yes. Child Switch allows your party to experience Jurassic Park while you wait behind with your child. When your party is finished, you’ll reverse roles – you ride, your party waits.
Child Friendliness: Parents should exercise strong caution. See the intensity meter below for more information.
First thing’s first, Jurassic Park is not a roller coaster. It does, however, feature a 50-foot plunge that may be too intense for some guests.
But the ride itself is relatively tame. Jurassic Park is more of a buildup to the final finale than it is a traditional thrill ride. The buildup portion of the ride does feature loud noises, frightening mechanical figures and water effects, so do keep that in mind. If you’re a fan of coasters, this ride really shouldn’t be that much of a problem for you, but if King Kong 360: 3D was edging on your limits, I’d think hard before boarding.
In essence, Jurassic Park…The Ride is a perfect 8 on the intensity meter.
Scheduling: We always recommend hitting the Lower Lot in one shot. It’s absolutely hellish to go up and down the StarWay (the escalator bank that separates the Upper Lot from the Lower Lot) multiple times per day.
Scheduling: If you’re going to the park on a crowded day, we’d recommend hitting the Lower Lot rides (including Jurassic Park) either early in the morning or late in the evening. Be aware that the Lower Lot does open 30 minutes after park opening and closes 30 minutes early before the park shuts down.
Personal Belongings: Belongings should be held tightly in your lap or between your feet. Lockers are provided for your convenience. Hats and other loose articles need to be stored away safely.
Getting Wet: On a normal day (when the extra water effects are turned off), you probably won’t get too wet unless you sit on the sides of the boat or in the front. However, you will get soaked when the extra water effects turned on, which is typically during the summer or on especially hot days.
Queue: In the final portion of the queue, there are two lines: Line A and Line B. The lines are exactly the same. Jurassic Park simply loads two boats at once, hence two lines.
Single Rider: During crowded days, Universal will open up a single rider line. If you’re willing to part with your party, Single Rider will shave minutes off your wait time.
Each boat has 5 rows, with 5 seats per row. Seating is assigned, so be prepared to tell the park employee how many people are in your group.
Jurassic Park…The Ride is one of my personal favorites at the park. Introducing and cementing what many consider to be the “golden age” of Universal Studios Hollywood, Jurassic Park broke new ground in so many regards. Attendance levels reached their peak and the ride represented the successful technological breakthrough of bringing the book and movie to life. And of course, this is after a string of successful rides and attractions (WaterWorld and Back to the Future) that would make their impact in the park known for many years.
So after a little more than a decade long, how has the ride held up? And more importantly, is it worth trying out? Well, after sending thousands of guests down that 50-foot water drop and a gaining few notches up its belt, Jurassic Park has held up moderately well. Through years of refinements and shortcuts for the sake of efficiency, the ride has tamed down, and many argue (including myself) that the ride has lost some of its intensity over the years. For one (and perhaps the most dramatic), the introduction of a new braking system at the bottom of the splashdown has neutered the then infamous splashdown, turning a dramatic soaking into a moderate drizzle for guests. And of course, some of the dinosaurs have lost their natural movement after years of being in the elements – loosening the effect of being immersed in the fictional Jurassic Park theme park.
But even then, Universal has tried to compensate. To offset the disappointing splashdown, the park has now implemented water canons and other water effects during the summer (though again, this effect is only on during the summer) among other details. And by far, it’s still one of the most elaborate rides Universal has to offer, spawning carbon copies in Florida and Japan – none of which, by the way, overtake the original.
In the end, Jurassic Park is simply the best combination of live-scale mechanical effects and theming Universal has to offer, and for that it still remains a flagship attraction. I highly recommend you check this ride out.
“One of the best rides at Universal.”