‘Jurassic Park’ Ride Closing for Two Years Next Week

in Universal Studios Japan

Guests splash down on Jurassic Park: The Ride at Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Dean Lin via Flickr

The countdown to extinction is on for Jurassic Park: The Ride.

Upon its release, Jurassic Park (1993) swiftly established itself as one of the most successful and popular franchises of all time. Focused on a fictional theme park packed with newly reincarnated dinosaurs, it seemed inevitable that it would eventually spawn its own theme park attractions.

Alan Grant with the T-Rex in 'Jurassic Park'
Credit: Universal Pictures

Fortunately, Universal Studios was ahead of the curve. Universal Studios Hollywood started researching and building its iconic Jurassic Park: The Ride attraction during the film’s production, convinced (and rightfully so) that Steven Spielberg would lead the dinosaur thriller to huge commercial and critical success.

The result was Jurassic Park: The Ride. First opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 1996, additional versions of the water ride were later built at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort (where it’s known as Jurassic Park River Adventure) and Universal Studios Japan.

A dinosaur boat tour is threatened by a containment breach! Plunge down a 25.9 meter drop to escape certain death at the jaws of a raging T-Rex!

Guests ride Jurassic Park River Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Related: Child Escapes Their Seat on Universal Orlando Ride

In 2018, 22 years later, Jurassic Park: The Ride closed at Universal Studios Hollywood for a lengthy renovation that would retheme it to the sequel series kickstarted by Jurassic World (2015). The sequel’s stars, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, made cameos in the attraction, which reopened as Jurassic World: The Ride in July 2019.

Now, it seems like another Universal Park’s version may be meeting the same fate. As was previously announced in June, Jurassic Park: The Ride is set to close at Universal Studios Japan for “a major refurbishment.”

Screenshot of Universal Studios Japan's announcement of the Jurassic Park: The Ride closure
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

The attraction will be closed for two years from September 4 (AKA this coming Monday). The Universal Studios Japan website lists this closure as indefinite, but an addendum has been added stating that the renovation is “expected to be completed around early 2025.”

This will leave The Flying Dinosaur – a roller coaster themed after Pteranodons – as the only operating attraction in the Jurassic Park area for this time.

Guests ride Jurassic Park: The Ride at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: Iconic Universal Studios Ride Closed, Left in Depressing State

While Universal Studios Japan hasn’t confirmed whether it’s switching Jurassic Park for Jurassic World, a closure of this length does seem to suggest an extensive renovation of this level. Jurassic World: The Ride has received positive reviews from critics, who praised the increased thrill factor.

However, there are also those who remain nostalgic for the original version of the attraction. “Trust me, you don’t want a Jurassic World retheme for River Adventure,” said one disappointed fan on Reddit.

“Instead of all the animatronics being older like they are now, they’ve kept some of the ancient animatronics and added some new ones. This feels incredibly jarring. The storyline is far worse. Instead of being knocked off course, you just go where you’re supposed to. That plot point being gone severely hurts the storytelling of the ride IMO.”

Do you prefer Jurassic Park: The Ride or Jurassic World: The Ride? Let us know in the comments!

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