Orlando/SoCal Theme Park Showdown: Jurassic Park vs. Jurassic Park
Written by Robert Niles
Published: October 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Let's switch back to Universal for the next round of the Theme Park Insider Orlando/Southern California Showdown. This time, we'll match up Universal Studios Hollywood's Jurassic Park - The Ride versus Universal Islands of Adventure's Jurassic Park River Adventure. Which is your favorite between the two versions? Consider whatever details you'd like - setting, decor, ride, narrative, or whatever petty individual bias you'd like to throw into the mix. The vote will be open for 24 hours.
Universal Studios Hollywood's Jurassic Park - The Ride: Lower Lot
Universal Islands of Adventure's Jurassic Park River Adventure: Jurassic Park
The differences? Jurassic Park - The Ride debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood in June 1996, the new flagship attraction for the park's Lower Lot. This Vekoma flume ride offered a five-minute riff on a dinosaur-themed "Jungle Cruise," where something, of course, goes terribly, terribly wrong. The Orlando version opened in May 1999 with the rest of Islands of Adventure.
The theme and basic structure of the two rides are similar, with one exception. At certain times of the year, Universal Studios Hollywood flips a switch (actually, I don't know exactly what they do) and turns on new programming for the ride which makes it much, much wetter. Here's what I wrote about the enhanced Hollywood version, after riding for the first time in 2007:
I have never gotten wetter on any theme or amusement park ride than I did today on Jurassic Park. The ride takes no mercy on its guests, with water streams, waterfalls and geysers soaking everyone on board before your boat ever gets to the final drop.
It's really become a theme park convention that animals spitting water on boat rides always miss the boat. The boat always turns at the last moment to avoid the water.... These were the conventions established by the Jungle Cruise, Jurassic Park's obvious inspiration, but JP willfully violates them all.
Frankly, I was a little perturbed at the beginning of the ride: 'What? Don't they realize that they're breaking the rules here?" But after a very short while, I gave in and enjoyed the absurdity. As well as the cooling soak.
Is that a good thing, or bad? That's up for you to debate. Feel free to further break down the match-up in the comments.
Other Showdown winners:
- Disneyland's Fantasmic! defeats Walt Disney World's Fantasmic!, 51% - 49%
- SeaWorld Orlando's Journey to Atlantis defeats SeaWorld San Diego's Journey to Atlantis, 84% - 16%
- Disneyland's It's a Small World defeats Walt Disney World's It's a Small World, 70% - 30%
- Walt Disney World's Tower of Terror defeats Disney California Adventure's Tower of Terror, 91% - 9%
- Walt Disney World's Splash Mountain defeats Disneyland's Splash Mountain, 76% - 24%
- Walt Disney World's Tom Sawyer's Island defeats Disneyland's Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer's Island, 59% - 41%
- Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean defeats Walt Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean, 75% - 25%
- Walt Disney World's Space Mountain defeats Disneyland's Space Mountain, 52% - 48%
- Universal Studios Florida's Revenge of the Mummy defeats Universal Studios Hollywood's Revenge of the Mummy, 87% - 13%
- Walt Disney World's Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin defeats Disneyland's Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, 56% - 44%
- Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion defeats Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, 58% - 42%
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