Fan-Favorite Universal Attraction Mysteriously Shuttered

in Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

The logo of Universal's Islands of Adventure, the compass displayed on the lighthouse.

Credit: Discover Universal

Theme Park fans visiting Universal Orlando were left disappointed when the gates to a popular Jurassic Park attraction remained shuttered yesterday, with no reopening date in sight.

Universal Studios Orlando is well known for its “ride the movies” concept. Guests can jump into the middle of the action of their favorite films, television shows, and franchises like the Harry Potter series, Despicable Me, and Marvel comic books. Even during the slower theme park seasons, guests still flock to their world-class thrill rides like Revenge of the Mummy, Velocicoaster, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Standard maintenance during these off-seasons is routine, and Guests can always check the park’s app and website for updates on their favorite attractions and plan their trips accordingly. However, as we approach the very busy Presidents’ Week, when parks become packed with families off of school and on vacation, one popular ride may remain mysteriously closed.

A picture of a raft completing the drop on Jurassic Park Diver Adventure.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

The Jurassic Park area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure was revitalized with the opening of Velocicoaster in 2021, and ever since, rumors have swirled of significant updates to the land to match the Jurassic World theming of the coaster. Universal Studios Hollywood’s land got Jurassic World: The Ride in 2019.

Jurassic Park River Adventure is the other classic attraction to this land, having opened with the park in 1999. The ride takes you on a boat tour of Jurassic Park – that is until things go awry and you must plunge down an 85-foot drop to avoid the jaws of a T-Rex. The ride, though outdated, has been a beloved staple of the Park since its opening.

However, the ride sustained some damage from Hurricane Ian in September 2022. The wind seemed to have ripped a large hole in the side of the attraction’s main building. It remained open until early 2023, when it went down for scheduled refurbishment.

The ride was initially slated to reopen on February 4, 2023. However, it appeared as if work was continuing throughout the day before and the day of, and Jurassic Park River Adventure quietly missed that reopening date. Universal then announced on Twitter that the ride would instead reopen on February 12. The Universal Orlando app and reports from the Park stated, though, that the ride remained closed and construction walls were still up around the entrance.

The red and yellow signage outside of Jurassic Park River Adventure.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Many took to Twitter to express their dismay, and when asked, Universal Orlando only reported that the ride was closed and Guests should check the mobile app for future updates.

It looks like the refurbishment could be taking longer than anticipated, which means that the attraction could have sustained more damage than initially thought. However, Jurassic Park River Adventure could also get some much-needed TLC, with early 2023 reports referencing broken-down effects and animatronics. Only time, the ever-flowing river, will tell when this beloved attraction will reopen and guests can take the plunge again.

in Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

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