Hold on to your butts, because Universal Studios Hollywood’s scariest ride is about to undergo one hell of a change. Come next year, Jurassic Park — The Ride will be reborn as Jurassic World Ride, themed to the newest iteration of the film series.
Fans of the current ride will have to get to Universal Studios Hollywood this summer before it closes — or as the park puts it, “goes extinct” — on September 3, proving that even within the life cycle of theme parks, life will find a way.
The sequel overtaking the original attraction may be newsworthy, but it doesn’t come without reason. “Jurassic World” ranks fourth among top-grossing films of all time, and has spawned a trilogy whose second feature, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” hits theaters this June. The original attraction still provides some roar despite opening nearly 22 years ago, and even if the ride’s audio-animatronics will greatly benefit from its “Jurassic World” upgrade, that 85-foot drop will remain the park’s most frightening moment.
No specifics of the new attraction have yet been announced, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed that the Jurassic World ride news brings one thing: a sort of legendary status for Chris Pratt. The actor reprised his role as Peter Quill within Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!, the frenetic Marvel-themed drop ride that opened at Disney California Adventure last year, and is likely to do the same when the ragtag group of space aggressors land at Walt Disney World with an indoor roller coaster in 2021. Upon the addition of Jurassic World at Universal Studios Hollywood, which is bound to utilize his likeness, the comedian-turned-leading man will soon be seen in three theme park attractions across both coasts, solidifying his place among theme park giants like Johnny Depp and Harrison Ford, whose likeness appears in multiple attractions worldwide.
The cinematic theme park is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original “Jurassic Park” in a big way this weekend as well, hosting three days of panels, events and festivities in conjunction with the classic film. Originally announced as a fan event with a private screening of the movie, themed food and merchandise and in-park entertainment, the party now serves as a kind of unofficial kickoff for the attraction’s goodbye tour.
Still, the news is just the start of fresh movie experiences that will be coming to the Hollywood theme park and beyond. DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda will bring a high-stakes adventure alongside the lovable Po to the West Coast in a new tech-savvy attraction this June, and Fast & Furious — Supercharged, featuring the impossible stunts and souped-up muscle behind the blockbuster franchise, just opened at Universal Studios Florida.
There are more movie-inspired attractions on the way, including a top-level Harry Potter attraction for Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida, but some large-scale projects with other brands appear to be in the works as well. Details of the long-awaited Nintendo Land remain under wraps, but with Universal Orlando Resort buying up land as recently as last month for what’s assumed to be an additional theme park, the gossip that’s been swirling for the past two years seems more than likely than not to be true.