Jaws Ride: The Movie – An ultimate tribute as Universal Studios Orlando closes its iconic attraction

in Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

Since Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, guests have been thrilled by close encounters with the shark that made it unsafe to go in the water: Jaws. Now, 22 years later, Universal Orlando is closing that iconic ride and its surrounding Amity area, paving the way for yet-to-be-announced attractions. Today is the final day of operation of the Jaws ride and here we pay tribute to this classic, inspired by the Steven Spielberg film it’s based on.

The video below takes a cinematic approach to the attraction, showing off its talented skippers, surprising special effects, and exciting shark attacks. Featuring clips from John Williams’ famous score, multiple camera angles, and a few added sound effects, this video not only captures the action of the attraction but does so as if it were a movie – a Jaws sequel of sorts.

Two female boat captains / skippers were filmed on three separate trips around the Jaws lagoon to create this ride-turned-film, all edited together to offer one seamless tribute to the ride. The video also features binaural audio, so wear headphones while watching for the most enjoyment! And it’s all offered in full 1080p HD, so be sure to enlarge the video to full screen to get the best cinematic experience.

Video – Jaws Ride: The Movie

The Jaws ride had its share of technical difficulties during its first two years of operation, essentially closing for two years after its debut due to severe challenges with the shark animatronics and show scenes – not unlike the technical issues that plagued the actual production of “Jaws” in the ’70s, when “Bruce” the shark often failed to work properly. But ultimately the ride reopened in 1992, producing 20 years of daily entertainment and memories for the millions of guests who hopped aboard Captain Jake’s Amity Boat Tours.

And throughout those two decades, countless Jaws skippers recited the same spiel, over and over, day after day, but each putting their own unique spin on the character. In the video above, Kylee played her role rather realistically, showing believable excitement and fear on her face throughout the thrilling experience. But other skippers, such as Michael in the photos below, decided to play the role in a much more comedic manner. Another trip around the Jaws lagoon afforded me the chance to capture the ride’s highlights in still photos as well:


Jaws photo op

Jaws photo op

Jaws photo op

Jaws - Captain Jakes' Amity Boat Tours

Jaws entrance

Jaws boat

Jaws skipper



Jaws lighthouse

Jaws skipper

Jaws boat sinking

Jaws shark attack

Jaws shark attack

Jaws shark attack

Jaws shark attack

Jaws boat house

Jaws boat house

Jaws skipper

Jaws gas station

Jaws shark attack

Jaws shark attack

Jaws fire explosion

Jaws fire explosion

Jaws skipper

Jaws attack

Jaws attack

Jaws attack

Jaws attack

Jaws burnt shark

Jaws burnt shark

Jaws skipper

Jaws boat and skipper

Now Universal Orlando turns their attention to the future of the park, moving past Jaws and toward a rumored Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion that may even include a fully-functional Hogwarts Express train. But for fans of the Jaws ride, not even Harry Potter’s magic can ever fully replace the thrills of “calling off the marines” after besting that famous shark time after time.

More photos from the Jaws ride and Amity area at Universal Studios Orlando:


  1. Peter

    Great video!

  2. EricJ

    Now what will happen to the Amity area inside the park? ūüôĀ
    Will New York just be extended to the MIB/World’s Fair area (which has already lost some of its theme to the Simpsons), or will theming just disappear, like it did at the Hollywood park?

  3. Roxas

    According to rumors and sources,this area will become Diagon Alley from Harry Potter with a Gringotts Bank ride also its Heavily rumored that there will be a “Hogwarts Express” that will connect the 2 lands and that a new pass that will allow guests to go from one land to the other will be made,also that The Woody Woodpecker kidzone is approaching its final days and that it will be turned into a Dreamworks themed area and that both Universal and IOA wil be Refurbishing All their rides ala spiderman……and a supposed show based on Fast and Furious will replace Fear Factor

  4. wildolddan

    Howdy Pards,

    This is a wonderful tribute to a huge, man eating fish…and to Kylee who, quite obviously put her heart and soul into her job and, in so doing, made it truly special for everyone.

    There is no denying that this ride could be memorable if you were lucky enough to get a guide like Kylee…and, I have to say that in all the times I rode that boat I was never lucky enough to get a guide like Kylee‚Ķ

    And, be that as it may, there is no question that this experience was, for more than 20 years, among Universal’s absolute best. It is sad to see it disappear…very sad indeed…but…

    Soon tall, mysterious walls will surround this place and real magic will transform the cheap carnival like games and food booths, the dead fish hanging from scaffolding, into something that will thrill guests, especially muggles, as never before…time marches on…

    Let us hope that Kylee, and more like her, will continue to work for Universal…continue to help folks believe
    in the magic…continue to put their heart and soul into their job.

    Anyway…mark my words…the area formerly known as Amity will soon see far larger crowds than Amity ever did. Soon…muggles will once again be completely immersed in J.K. Rowling’s amazing imagination…soon muggles will visit a Wizard Bank run by Goblins, including the vaults in caverns far, far below, they will not just see but RIDE on the Hogwarts Express, and shop in Diagon Alley…complete with Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes…they will eat at the Leaky Cauldron…and, just like Hogsmeade, they will experience the magical world of Wizardry as never before… All this…butter beer and pumpkin juice and chocolate frogs too!

    Oh…they will remember the dead fish that used to hang over there I suppose…and the cheap shark souvenirs…and game booths…and maybe even Kylee who made the experience of that short boat ride out in that pond so very special…but, all that was long, long ago. Time marches on…things change…

    The good news is‚Ķthe Ministry of Magic has approved what will soon be going on behind those walls…and, as Universal already knows, when it comes to Harry Potter fans throughout the world‚Ķ ‚ÄúIf you build it, they will come.‚ÄĚ The dead fish out in that pond didn‚Äôt stand a chance‚ĶKylee will soon be seen in wizard robes‚Ķwandering up and down Diagon Alley‚Ķwith a few million Harry Potter fans‚Ķall searching for new
    adventures…new memories…in a place that, up till now, only existed in their minds and hearts…

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol’ Dan

    1. EricJ

      (Unless it’s the Transformers ride, of course.) ūüėČ

    2. william fontane


      1. SimpsonsFan5

        Okay, that’s just immature. I love Jaws, but is the yelling REALLY necessary? I’m outraged Universal is closing down the Jaws Ride too, especially since I never was able to ride it, but do you see me making death threats? Hopefully, the Harry Potter area will be just as memorable, timeless and fascinating as Jaws (from what I’ve heard), if not better.

  5. Kathryn

    The one ride I didn’t go on because we ran out of time.
    “Oh, it’s okay, I’ll go on it next time.”
    Great video!!

  6. David Helgesen

    That was awesome! Thank you for a great video that took me and my kids (now grown up) down memory lane. As a graduate of with a degree in radio and television.. that was a great edit too! Truly keep up the good work and thank you again.

  7. Angie

    Well done, Ricky! As usual, you have done an excellent job with the Jaws video. I appreciate the hours you spent putting it together. I have never gotten to ride Jaws, so I was thrilled to ride it virtually. And if Kylee ever sees this: great job skipper!

  8. Really sad to see Jaws go. It was the first ride I ever loved back when I first visited florida back in ’98 and has over the years brought me many happy memories. I know it was a little old school, but it’s charm was what made it great. I’m saddened that most rides these days now just rely on its audience sitting watching a screen rather than practical effects such as on the ol’ Amity boat tours.

    Rest in peace Bruce, you have scared your last tourists!

  9. PhilippeP

    Thumbs up for Kaylee !!!

  10. Adam J. Bezark

    Thanks for doing this, Ricky & Co. – really fun to have a high-quality record of the ride.

    I had the incredible honor of serving as Show Director for the ride (the 1993 rehab that ran until this week). It was an amazing experience. I was responsible for polishing the script, overseeing the soundtrack, programming all the sharks, boats and effects, and training the skippers. A three-month project turned into six, and we sweated our butts off in that lagoon, but I’ve always remembered it as one of my all-time favorite show experiences. I still have great friends and colleagues who I worked with on that attraction, way back when.

    One comment: while the movie film score is beautiful, it kind of clashes with the ride score in the main section of the video. Would you consider re-editing the video using the actual music from the ride instead during the ride sections? (I’m sure it’s findable online…)

    Anyway, thanks to everyone for posting this. A wonderful piece to remember the old girl by.

  11. little leota

    I have never visited Universal but just by looking at this makes me sad for it to go. It seems like a classic attraction and would have been tons of fun to visit. Im sure it will be sorely missed.

  12. Keystone

    I never got to go there in person so it was great being able to see it in your well made video. You guys did a great job with it, and I have only one complaint. Would it be possible to make a closed caption version of it for those of us that are hearing impaired? I’m sure you have a marvelous sound track for it, but I couldn’t hear any portion of the audio of what was going on. My headphones are now useless to me to use, as both of my hearing aids have stopped working.

  13. David

    I as lucky enough to ride Jaws before it fully opened back in about ’90. They were allowing a few people to take a test-ride and give feedback so we hoped on. At the time I remember there seemed to be way more fire involved and we were so close that it felt like our skin was burning (more so than Disney’s Backlot Studio tour) and our boat seemed to come to a halt for a long period while we waited for the shark to make an appearance. Glad they ironed it all out though and it ran for 20+ years ūüėÄ

  14. Harry Potter and it’s lame obsessive fans will never replace the amazing JAWS attraction. JAWS even 20 years later still pulled in crowds, Potter will not.

    The huge lines to see Potter’s current attraction are exactly what JAWS had when it opened too. Only difference is, Harry’s area is strictly built to sell expensive junk to gullible kids and beat down parents.

    1. SimpsonsFan5

      Not all of us are obsessive. You must be referring to the stereotypical freaks you see waiting two whole days for the final movie to premiere. One comparison to make: isn’t it true that only the first Jaws was phenomenal, while the rest were like the critical flop Shark Night? Whilst Harry Potter produced hit after hit not only commercially, but critically? Not trying to be an obsessive fan here,I like Jaws too, but it’s just barebone fact.

  15. Riley Logan

    What about a Transformers Ride, Now I would ride that
    Do you agree with that instead of Harry Potter

    1. SimpsonsFan5

      Wait, you think Shia LaBeouf fighting evil giant vehicle bots with more of them and a hot chick is better? Wow, I whole-heartedly disagree, HP fan or not.

  16. OperativeD

    Does anyone have any idea if the props and decor from Amity survived? Like the giant shark hanging in the center of Amity or the 40 mm grenade launcher props?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      The hanging shark is still in the area, moved a bit down the path, available as a photo op. But the rest… not sure where it ended up.

  17. JohnnyD

    Was a spectacular ride, rode it twice, 1998 and 2000, gutted to hear its all gone, would love to know as OperativeD stated, what came of the props?
    I can say i am not a fan of Harry Potter, and i feel that rides that rely on screens and 3d really do loose their magic, with T2-3D being an exception as terminators on the side of the theater just blew my mind. Seeing something tangible and outside in the open “waters” was something that was great.
    I have plans of going back over the coming years….but i fear to see what i might find.

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