Jurassic Park The Ride was a Vekoma Shoot the Chute that operated at Universal Studios Hollywood from 1996 to 2018. Located in the Lower Lot area of the park it was arguably one of Universal’s most iconic attractions.
Development of the Jurassic Park Ride actually began before production of the first film had even started.
In fact, way back in 1996 Steven Spielberg told CCN “I had the idea to do a ride even before we shot the movie… Universal trusted us and they said OK. And 18 months before the film was in release, the ride was already on the drawing board.”
And to date (accounting for inflation) Jurassic Park the Ride was still more expensive to create ($110 million) than any of the films in the franchise, including Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.
Riders boarded bright Yellow rafts, ready to embark on an aquatic tour like no other. After climbing a short lift hill the boat is confronted by the iconic Jurassic Park gates…
“Time, the ever-flowing river. Come with us now to a time before man. When the river flowed through a new born era. Welcome to Jurassic Park…”
The gates swing open to reveal several humongous animatronic dinosaurs (that the ride had become famous for). The tour raft gets up close and personal with several different species before making its way behind a waterfall and re-emerging into Stegosaur Spring. The spring features a mother and her baby stegosaurus relaxing by the water as well as a pair of Compsognathus fighting over an empty popcorn box.
Just as the boats begins to head around the corner into Hadrosaur Cove a rogue dinosaur jumps up in front of the raft knocking it off course and into a “behind the scenes” area of the park. It’s here that you come face to face with the first of the parks more deadly inhabitants. A Dilophosaurus can be seen chewing on the remains of a poncho near to an abandoned raft.
The roars and grunts of a Tyrannosaurs can be heard in the background as a Jurassic Park Tour Vehicle comes crashing from the road above narrowly missing guests in the boat below.
The boat then enters the Environmental Systems Building and slowly begins to climb the rides main lift hill. A voice on a loudspeaker in the building alerts everyone inside that an emergency evacuation is going to be attempted. As the raft makes its way up the lift hill, numerous alarms are heard as escaped Velociraptors lunge out at guests for the sides and above. Once the raft reaches the top of the lift hill, it drops down a small waterfall, where it narrowly misses being devoured by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. A claw falls from the ceiling followed by its head and a set of collapsing pipes above riders’ heads.
The raft then climbs a second smaller lift hill that brings it closer to the emergency evacuation drop. A technician begins to scream over the loudspeaker “If you can hear my voice, get out of there! It’s in the building! IT’S IN THE BUILDING!”.
Just at that very moment the upper body of The Tyrannosaurus rex emerges from behind a waterfall right in front of the guest before lunging down about to grab the raft. At the very last second the raft plummets down 85 feet into the tropical lagoon below. As one final nod to the iconic franchise a can of Barbasol can be seen in the planter as the ride ends. The raft finally makes its way to the unloading dock where guests disembark and exit through the Jurassic Outfitters gift shop.
On the 3rd of September 2018 Jurassic Park The Ride sent off it’s final tour around the Isla Nublar. After a 9 month re-fit the ride it set to re-open with a new Jurassic World theme.