Universal Studios Closing Yet Another Classic Attraction

in Universal Studios Japan

Crowds at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

No need for a bigger boat because one Universal Studios theme park is saying goodbye to its Jaws (1975) ride – at least for now.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Jaws hit theaters, but the film is still synonymous with classic horror. Focused on a great white shark terrorizing beachgoers, Steven Spielberg is credited with conceiving the concept of a blockbuster with its release, which is probably why it still has such a prominent presence at theme parks today.

Jaws featuring a shark
Credit: Universal Pictures

The first attraction inspired by Jaws debuted at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. Inspired by a short segment from the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour – which still exists today – this saw guests embark upon a guided scenic cruise before being attacked by the iconic shark.

While the ride’s realistic animatronic was widely regarded as one of the most iconic in the industry, it was removed from the Universal Orlando Resort park in 2012 to make space for the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Today, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts sits in its place – although you can still see the hanging shark statue in the park’s Fisherman’s Wharf area as a tribute to the ride.

Jaws ride at Universal Studios
Credit: Universal

Today, the only remaining Universal Studios ride entirely based on Jaws resides in Osaka, Japan. The attraction opened with the rest of Universal Studios Japan in 2001, serving as the flagship of its Amity Island area. It remains popular to this day but will soon be off-limits to guests, bringing the grand total of operating Jaws attractions worldwide to zero.

According to USJ 1, Jaws will close on January 9, 2024, with no confirmed reopening date. The closure is currently listed on the Japanese sales page for Express Pass (AKA Universal’s equivalent to FastPass or Genie+) but has not yet been added to the park’s temporary closure schedule.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios

Universal Studios Japan is facing a number of attraction closures over the next few months. Its own version of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – replicated from Islands of Adventure – is set to close for good in January 2024. Meanwhile, Jurassic Park – The Ride (which is similar to Jurassic Park River Adventure) is currently in the middle of an extensive closure, thought to wrap up at some point in 2025, which will see the entire attraction undergo a thorough refurbishment.

Space Fantasy – The Ride is also closed, as are Shrek’s 4-D Adventure, Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, and Sesame’s Big Drive. The latter three attractions have all remained closed since 2020. Snoopy’s Sound Stage Adventure is also currently closed for renovation.

Jaws at the entrance to the ride at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Fortunately, there are still plenty of attractions to enjoy at the park in the meantime. Guests can ride the likes of Hollywood Dream – The Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Flying Dinosaur roller coaster, The Flying Snoopy, Hello Kitty’s Cupcake Dream, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and the park’s newest attractions, Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure. They will soon also be able to ride new attractions in the upcoming expansion of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, which will be themed to Donkey Kong Country.

Which ride do you hope Universal Studios never closes? Let us know in the comments!

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