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.

Sunday, December 4, 2011 10:11 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Jeff said:
You have heard incorrectly.

I dunno it looked just like Spidey and DarKastle to me too...


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Sunday, December 4, 2011 10:42 PM

DarKastle looks like Spiderman without the bells and whistles. Transformers:The Ride at USH will look and ride like Harry Potter. However, its going to have half the budget. So, there where be a few less things. Same vehicles, little smaller show building.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 11:50 PM

Yeah, Agent, I think pretty much everybody loves Kong at USH which is why I'm wondering if they are looking for a way to leverage that movie in Florida. :)

Is the Disaster show building big enough for a projection system like that? But if that is the plan, that doesn't explain what is happening in Amity. In case you haven't noticed, I am HIGHLY skeptical of anything Potter related at USH. At least anything on the scale of what is already at IOA. USF isn't about creating worlds, it is about creating movies.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Monday, December 5, 2011 1:33 AM

I was lucky enough to have a few deep insiders at Universal, and the thought process is that (at the time), there was little or no synergy between the parks. BUT.....Potter was Florida. it would drive people back to Uni-Orlando, which it is doing quite well.

Fast forward to a short time ago. If Potter is in USH, will it dimish the staying power of IOA. Another scenario, much land at USF was earmarked for condos and stuff. Where will Potter be built. For the short term, since they got the bugs out of Potter, Transformers was a go. Its sort of when DCA built the Tower of Terror, they sorted out all the cost over runs, over expenditures, etc. You got a slightly scaled down ride, and no one really notices much difference. Muchos savings.

Another scenario, Uni-Singapore is now on a roll with stock rides, minus the Battlestar mishap. Which of course the park President who resigned before the place opened went to work a cushy job for Vekoma's owners. They could have replicated Dualing Dragons without a hitch.

Its gonna be tough to do Potter in USH. Its a great place, with light theming on the buildings. Shrek, for example, looks cheesy outside, but is the same inside. Ditto with the Mummy, the Haunted walk thru, etc. All are bangin' inside, but outside is 'meh'. How will the apply the Potter castle with CSI actors on a smoke break around the corner? At IOA, the theming is the star, but in Cali, the park IS the star.

If they do this massive capital project at USH, then it should be a totally differnt 'non broommstick' flying ride. I know zero about Potter, but there has to be another type of thrill in one of those books. Castle = IOA, and new attraction = USH.

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Monday, December 5, 2011 7:37 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Oh so transformers at ush will have the Kuka arms? Y'all should have said so. That should be fun as I hear Potter Is a great dark ride (though not a potter fan here).


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Monday, December 5, 2011 9:10 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

LostKause said:
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

Maybe we watched different rides. The timing was the same, the scenes were the same, the effects were the same.


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Monday, December 5, 2011 9:34 AM
Jeff's avatar

Agent Johnson said:
If Potter is in USH, will it dimish the staying power of IOA.

That's like saying no one will go to Disney World because of Disneyland.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, December 5, 2011 12:44 PM

From what I know of Agent Johnson's writings here, I suspect that could be a typo...did he perhaps mean "If Potter is in USF..."?

And for the record, I have long wondered (am still wondering) what the dark ride system in Transformers is going to be: whether it is based on the Spiderman ride system or on the Potter ride system. Either one would make a heck of a ride for that park.

Oh, and as for doing an immersive themed space at USH...that's part of the reason I am thinking the upper lot is almost a given. Over by T2 is a space that is nicely isolated from the rest of the studio, although it's inconveniently located on top of a parking garage and features one hell of a view of the surrounding valley. And again, that space behind Shrek and the current Waterworld location are nicely isolated from the production areas. I'm inclined to think, though, that Waterworld won't go away unless it is replaced with a comparable live show. It's the one place in the park, y'see, where you can reliably watch a performance by someone you might have seen in a movie or TV show...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
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Monday, December 5, 2011 1:49 PM
rollergator's avatar

RideMan said:
From what I know of Agent Johnson's writings here, I suspect that could be a typo...did he perhaps mean "If Potter is in USF..."?

That was my first thought upon reading what AJ has said as well...

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Monday, December 5, 2011 1:54 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

For some reason I thought the E.T. ride left a long time ago. I was wrong! I am also one of the rare people who liked it. :)

Jaws had a good run. What was new and exciting 20 years ago can get pretty underwhelming today. For example, I used to think the "Back To The Future" ride at Universal Florida was one of the most cutting-edge attractions out there.The last time I rode it was in 1994. Fast forward to 2005 and I am at Universal Hollywood.

We rode it twice (there was no line and the ride op asked if we wanted to ride again) and I thought it was pretty lame. I still like the ride but it's amazing how 11 years can change your perspective on some attractions. ;)

-Tina

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Monday, December 5, 2011 4:16 PM

Transformers:The Ride at USH will look and ride like Harry Potter...Same vehicles, little smaller show building.

Not true. Transformers uses the same ride system as Spiderman (plus a couple of elevators).

-Nate

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Monday, December 5, 2011 4:46 PM

I've also heard USH Transformers is using the Spiderman ride system.

As for putting more Potter-world into USF, I think that is a genius idea. It would force all of the Harry Potter fans to buy a two park ticket in order to see everything. In other words, all of the folks who are staying at Disney but going to IOA for one day to see the Wizarding World now have to visit both parks for the full experience.


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Monday, December 5, 2011 5:08 PM

Yes, a typo. It was supposed to be a '?', for discussion. of course. The new news release just posted doesn't seem concerned about attendance drops. It also speculates about different attractions, as we discussed. I just have never saw a Potter movie an and don't have the 'must see now' attitude. But, I would hit USH next time I am in SoCal.

I was told the Potter vehicles were going to USH. I never saw them however. I did see the video of the Spiderman style vehicles at Transformers on 'another site' in Singapore. Looks like a good ride. I would rather see the Potter vehicles, in my opinion. I have ridden Potter with some Disney senior engineers, and they were impressed. No surprise there.

I have yet to find anyone in the industry who isn't impressed with Spiderman vehicles. I do think when the ride is upgraded to digital whatever, it will be a new and improved experience. I have to finish my IAAPA trip reports, but it seems that there were a few new things in Spiderman.

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Monday, December 5, 2011 6:47 PM
rollergator's avatar

coasterqueenTRN said:
For some reason I thought the E.T. ride left a long time ago. I was wrong! I am also one of the rare people who liked it. :)

You are likely confusing the two Universal parks - we gave up Kong and got a *really good* coaster, USH gave up ET and got a decent shuttle.

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Monday, December 5, 2011 7:25 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Um. I'm confused. Is the USH version of Transformers going to be using the same ride vehicles and tech as Spiderman and Transformers SIngapore and DarKastle? Or is it going to be like Harry Potter?


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 1:04 PM

Same vehicles and technology as Spiderman Tekwardo. The Universal Hollywood version is supposed to be a clone of the Universal Singapore version, except for probably the huge waiting line of the Universal Singapore version.

As for the "stock rides" at Singapore, what do you make of their Jurassic Park ride? Its a whole different idea than the 3 other ones, using a Hafema water rapids ride system (everywhere in Europe and the funky rapids ride with a whirlpool at Wild Adventures), elevator and drop at the end.


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:38 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

It's official, Potter is expanding in Orlando. Presumably replacing Jaws.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:40 PM

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 2:59 PM

I am sad to see Jaws go. They should re-theme it to Jaws 3D...lots of possibilities with the added bonus of getting a dig at Sea World...a close competitor.

On the Simpsons...I've never made it through an entire episode. That said, it is my favorite attraction in Florida and Cali. I laugh my ass off every time I ride it. I really don't need the ride itself. I just like the line. Funny stuff...

On the Cali Back-lot tour/King Kong...I honestly thought this was horrible. We hyped King Kong to the kids as we had seen the billboards everywhere. We watched the movie the night before. We had them all pumped up. Bought the line skip passes. Stayed on site...etc.

We went with another family/kids. We rode the tour first thing in the morning. It was so bad (to us) that for the rest of the day we would threaten the kids that if they did not behave, they would have to ride the back lot tour again. To this day it is a running joke among the families. "That was ALMOST as bad as the back-lot tour."

King Kong was nothing but a one minute 3D film on a tunnel screen. If I want to watch a movie, I go to the movie. I'll never forget our friend's 8 year old saying "Dad...that's it?" I guess when you are expecting Mummy, or Jurassic Park...a 3D movie does not "do it."

The first 10-20 minutes of the tour was the tram driving by the OUTSIDE of buildings while they told us what was happening INSIDE. Even Pee Wee in Porky's got to see something...? My son kept asking us when we could get off.

No lie...the first thing we saw after 10-20 minutes of beige sound-stage buildings was a 6 foot STATIC Mr. Potato Head. He just stood like a statue in front of some single story home. The grand finale was the travel past the Desperate Housewives home facades. It was like a bad joke .

I have never thought Hollywood was close to the Orlando version. I guess I don't have enough imagination to understand a shark attacking a tram out of water? Or to care what happens INSIDE buildings...?

Potter would be a wonderful addition. That park needs something. Currently it is a visit once every 5 years type place. And once you do Orlando (IOA plus the original) it might be once a decade.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 3:03 PM

So it appears that the two-park Harry Potter idea might actually have some base, although they have only said it will expand "significantly" in Orlando at this point. If so, is this one of the most brilliant moves in theme park history (essentially guarantees two-park passes for anyone wanting Harry Potter) or one of the most greedy? Are there any other attractions that have done something similiar?


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