Before Jurassic Park Roars Out Of Universal Studios, This Superfan Takes One Last Ride

The entrance to the Jurassic Park attraction at Universal Studios. (Courtesy Universal Studios)

After more than two decades as one of the signature attractions at Universal Studios, the Jurassic Park ride is going extinct on Labor Day. But life finds a way. The ride will close so it can evolve into the bigger, better Jurassic World attraction.

"My favorite part was just entering through the gates," superfan Matt Dorado told us. "It was one of the first rides where I actually felt like I was in the movie. I was actually experiencing what everyone was supposed to experience when they went to Jurassic Park."

Steven Spielberg writing his name in cement as the Jurassic Park ride opened. (Courtesy Universal Studios)

It was a momentous event when the $110 million Jurassic Park ride opened at the theme park in 1996. Even filmmaker Steven Spielberg was impressed. He'd had the idea to do the ride before he directed the movie — and it cost twice as much to build the ride as it did to make the film.

The Jurassic Park ride still delivers most of the bang it once did but parts of it, like the SUV that used to crash into the water, have fallen into disrepair.

"Now, close to the end, they don't even bother to have it fall anymore," Dorado said. "It's just a floating Jeep."

Dorado also said that some dinosaurs are missing and of the ones that remain, some have a limited range of motion.

"It just seemed like everything was getting a little bit rusty, a little bit old," Dorado said. "It has been pretty noticeable over the last couple of years. It doesn't make it any less of a classic, though."

The dinosaur attack from the climax to the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios. (Courtesy Universal Studios)

Dorado loves the drop at the end, where riders are confronted by a T. rex flying toward them before splashing down below.

All this splashing doesn't show up in the movie — although there's a water scene in the book that was storyboarded for the film, which you can see here:

Dorado has mixed feelings about the Jurassic World ride that will, in 2019, replace it.

He called Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom "perhaps one of the worst things I've ever seen."

Will he still go? "Of course. Will I still enjoy it? Probably. But it doesn't mean that I'm not a little bummed about it. It's like a piece of my childhood going away."

Details about the Jurassic World ride are still under wraps. Sharing some DNA with its ancestor, its expected to follow the same path. Universal said the new ride will be "drawing from the favorite elements of the original." Aside from new dinosaurs and improved effects, we don't know much.

"I just hope that they retain the spirit of adventure that the first one had," Dorado said. "Are we getting a dinosaur battle? I hope! That would be great."

If you don't get a chance to check out Jurassic Ride this weekend, you can still experience it via YouTube.


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