Friday, December 2, 2011

Jaws Headed For Peaceful Retirement

Universal Studios Florida will no longer have a need for a bigger boat after January 2nd, 2012 when the park retires the classic Jaws attraction.  The ride has been a staple of the movie themed park since its opening in 1990, but the park has announced via Facebook that the ride will be removed for an "exciting, new experience" that is being planned.

What will replace the attraction in the coming years is a complete mystery, for now at least.  Speculation is running rampant about replacements, which could be quite large due to the fact that Jaws used up a large chunk of real estate in the park.

Jaws actually underwent a large refurbishment not too long after Universal Studios opened.  The ride had a significant amount of mechanical problems that led to an extended closure and retooling.  While the gist of the ride remains the same, several scenes were changed or replaced.  For those of you familiar with the ride now, check out this video of the original and see if you can spot the differences - one hint, look for the bloody explosion!

While many fans of the attraction are quite disappointed, it's exciting to see what the park has planned for the future.  I took a spin on the ride this past summer and have to agree that it was showing its age - what was intended to be a thrilling attraction (see original promo art above) had become more humorous than anything else.

Die hard fans can still head to Universal Studios Japan to experience Jaws - they have a nearly identical version of the ride there.