Universal Studios Florida's Jaws closing for good on January 2

Posted Friday, December 2, 2011 4:31 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Studios Florida announced Friday it would close its Jaws ride on January 2. Jaws has been in operation since 1990, and was one of the first attractions unveiled when Universal Studios opened its doors. The ride is based on the 1975, Steven Spielberg-directed hit movie with the same name.

Read more from Today via MSNBC.

Friday, December 2, 2011 4:32 PM

It probably is time to retire the ride, but this makes USF essentially half of a park. There's essentially nothing left over there after this closes.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 4:41 PM

While it takes up a huge chunk of real estate, I loved that whole Amity area and Jaws itself. Though not in the cards now, adding a new building with Transformers and extending the 'World's Fair' (ie. everything else themed area) would be a nice fit, and then filling in the 'next big' attraction between that and Disaster would have the needed space.

However, with Twister and Terminator on the quarterly evaluation block, other projects are in the pipe. Amity was the true 'park experience' area at Universal with games, retail, hot dogs, and other park type food. I didn't notice last week when I was there, but I think the old Wild Wild West stunt theatre is still closed. Major real estate is available.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 4:44 PM

I'm surprised that Jaws went before E.T. Adventure (which I love dearly and it will be a sad day when it finally does go) but apparently Universal feels that for something new to go in something else has to be removed. We'll see what happens.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 7:55 PM

Jaws and the Amity area is a nice chunk of real estate and leaves lots of possibilities open for a huge new attraction or multiple new attractions. I could personally see T2 and Twister being replaced over the next decade too.

Last edited by Greg P, Friday, December 2, 2011 7:56 PM
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Friday, December 2, 2011 10:07 PM

I'm not sure that Twister would go just yet, with so many opening attractions still running, but I suppose it depends on how "timeless" any particular attraction is. I love E.T. as well, because it was one of the first rides I did in 1990 when it opened. I thought it was pretty magical, even as a senior in high school.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 10:37 PM

You liked the ET ride? I thought it was the stupidest thing when I rode it in '05 (then again I was in the midst of my age 15 too-cool-for-school phase). Jaws was cool though, I definitely agree that the Amityville area is one of the more pleasant themed areas in the park. Hopefully whatever replaces it isn't too gimmicky. And not vampire-themed. They've been pretty hit-or-miss with these rethemes haven't they? Revenge of the Mummy is one of the most fun coasters I've been on, but the Simpsons ride is pretty "meh" as the Simpsons would say.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 10:49 PM

bjames said:Revenge of the Mummy is one of the most fun coasters I've been on, but the Simpsons ride is pretty "meh" as the Simpsons would say.

I think the humor and overall theme of the Simpsons attraction is more easily appreciated and enjoyed by current and former ride ops, so I might be slightly biased ( ;) ), but content-wise, it is one of my favorites. All it's missing is an "Employee Polyester Costumes of Torture" reference, then it would be complete. :)

But yes, I am disappointed to see Jaws and Amity leaving, as I was also a fan of the area in general. The ride is cool in that nostalgic, corny way. If it didn't get you wet, I'd go on it every time I'm at Universal. Looks like I'll be getting wet next weekend for the last time.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011 9:15 AM

Where will the Kevin Smith fans propose now?

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Saturday, December 3, 2011 2:43 PM

They'll still have the Jaws segment on the Universal Backlot Tour in Hollywood, for now at least.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 12:09 AM

Not to leak out anything or cause rampant speculation, but with the additional land being cleared behind the area also, it would be great to bring back a new backlot tour that would be comparable to Universal Hollywood.

With a Jaws appearing, and some sort of King Kong 3D would be huge, as in my opinion its a great deal in Cali, but a pure stinker in Disney's Studios, as is the Great Movie Ride as well. I know they had one when they opened, and it wasn't so hot. If they could get it half as good as Cali, it would be a 20-25 min tour, and could be a hot addition.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 12:13 AM

I've been on Jaws twice and the first time I thought it was pretty good, full of surprises, and maybe even a little bit scary. The second time was a few years later, and I thought it was a real eye-roller. Not sure what the difference was, except maybe by comparison better and more effective attractions had come along in the meantime. I thought the Amity area was cute, but the last time I was there it seemed a little worn out. Or perhaps a little less relevant is a better way to put it. Bye, bye, Jaws - I'm glad I got to see you, but I won't pine for you.

Maybe I've missed something along the way, but why are we so sure that Transformers is a no-go here? It's the perfect spot, there's enough room to accomodate the show building, and it would be a great draw.

ET is a good family ride, and is fun if for no other reason than the unique conveyor system. I'm also surprised it hasn't been pulled by now, but I'd look for it to go someday soon. Isn't the old (now demolished?) Hard Rock building behind the fence somewhere near there? That would make for a nice large space, but they'd have to be careful about the replacement - that corner of the park is definitely more family/kid oriented.

After 23 seasons on the air The Simpsons certainly has demonstrated staying power, and I think will be relevant much longer, not to mention laugh-your-ass-off funny every time no matter what. Kinda like Lucy. I thought the ride was brilliant, and much better than Back to the Future ever was (RCMAC ducks flying objects) It kept me entertained starting from outside the building, through the queue, and through the ride as well. I loved it.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 1:31 AM

From what I've heard, Transformers is almost exactly like Spiderman at IOA, down to the sequence of events and special effects.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 10:47 AM

You have heard incorrectly.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 11:15 AM

Agent Johnson said:
Not to leak out anything or cause rampant speculation, but with the additional land being cleared behind the area also, it would be great to bring back a new backlot tour that would be comparable to Universal Hollywood.

I am trying to figure out what land being cleared that your talking about?

The satellite view which is on Google maps right now is over a year old. That clearing behind MIB, Jaws, etc was sold to a developer and they built apartments on it.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 2:43 PM

Yep. I just watched a video of the new ride, and it's a lot like Spiderman, but not exactly.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 2:47 PM

I watched a video of the Singapore version and it is exactly the same. Looks cool though.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 4:14 PM

DOH! Which is it. The same or different? I watched that video too, and now I am doubting what I saw. Maybe I should just spring for a plane ticket and go? lol :D

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 8:55 PM

Trying to do a Hollywood style backlot tour a USF makes no sense at all. You must remember that USH is the biggest working studio in the motion picture and television industries, and USF is...not.

That said, figuring out some way for King Kong to make a big return to USF as he did to USH would not be a bad idea for a new attraction. Trouble is, how do you take an attraction designed to work with the backlot tour tram and adapt it for a totally different environment? That was one of the biggest problems with Earthquake/Disaster! - the attraction is designed to be seen from a USH tram. But I could see them doing a Disaster! style "get on this train...see the monkey" kind of attraction just to avoid having to re-do the film. King Kong is most certainly a huge hit at USH, even though managing the 3D glasses on the tram is a bit of a hassle. Now I'm wondering when they're going to convert the rest of the tram tour to 3D...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 10:04 PM

I loved Kong at USH. I was one of many riders with a camera, and a video recorder doing the whole ride (Flip). And managing the glasses. My bust on the cleared land. I am in Orlando often, and saw the land, and saw it again on google. Never thought to see it 2 weeks ago when I was there.

Here is one. Maybe Disaster is gutted, and the Kong 3D is the insert where the subway gig is. Not sure where the shark makes an appearance, though the new night time show in the lagoon they are planning is a thought.

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