The Jurassic World Ride at Universal Studios Is Scarier Than Ever

A thrilling adventure at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Jurassic World
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

In 2019, the famous Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios Hollywood became "Jurassic World: The Ride," and with the revamp it became more frightening than ever before.

It's still the water-drenched ride it always was, but the redesign features even more dinosaurs, including the velociraptor Blue, not to mention a Chris Pratt cameo. Even if you've never watched "Jurassic World" or any of the original "Jurassic Park" installments (first of all, you should), then you'll still get a thrill from being on a dinghy surrounded by eerily lifelike oversized reptiles.

SPOILER ALERT: If you want to be completely surprised on the Jurassic World ride, turn back now.

The biggest fright on Hollywood's "Jurassic World"-themed attraction isn't the 84-foot drop but, rather, an unexpected moment at the beginning of the ride. An aquarium observatory with semi-realistic screen "portals" lets guests see the crocodilelike Mosasaurus whip by them on both sides of the would-be tank. What happens once the massive apex predator smashes into and cracks the window is better — i.e., scarier — as water blasts down upon the 25-passenger boat. It is a brilliant trick that leaves you shivering and wondering what's around each bend, even as you pass docile stegosauruses, the only scene from the original ride that remains intact.

There's no derailed vehicle to let you know something has gone awry in the reimagined dinosaur enclave — instead, it's the familiar voice of Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Claire Dearing in the film series. "Please remain calm," she says from a monitor, assuring passengers that help is on the way despite the Indominus Rex escaping containment. It's at this point in Jurassic World: The Ride that things get real.

The ride no longer serves the cartoonish theme park doomsday trope but instead explores a real-world scenario. Passengers are meant to feel as though they're in a dinosaur park, and things have gone awry. Gone are the derailed rafts, the falling Jeep, and the gimmicky effects of yesteryear. In their place are realistic, modern security warnings helmed by Chris Pratt as Owen Grady.

Screens cut to static as the star of the "Jurassic World" trilogy, commands you to keep your hands inside the boat. Containment alerts flash warnings signs of danger. You know it's all part of the ride — dinosaurs are extinct, remember? — but between seeing bloody scratch marks surrounding a clawed-open Indominus Rex cage and hearing panic-stricken announcements about containment failures, a small part of you might even believe it.

Once you're fully enveloped in darkness, the dinosaurs start to appear. Some are from the previous iteration, but others, like the film's Blue, pop against the pitch-black interior before you plunge back into the park by way of an eight-story drop.

Jurassic World: The Ride is scarier and more waterlogged than the original, and the design itself is more modern: '90s-era yellow boats were replaced by grey vehicles, steel gates stand in place of old wooden ones, and sleek on-screen diagrams make it feel less like a boat ride through a nature preserve and more like a tech-science start-up with unlimited funding.

One of the coolest features of the ride is that it could be different each time you ride it. The aquarium portion responds to real-world weather, all the more incentive to test it out again at a different time of the day.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles