Jurassic Park River Adventure reviews
Theme Park Insider readers offer their ratings and reviews for Jurassic Park River Adventure, a flume ride in Jurassic Park at Universal's Islands of Adventure. (The minimum height to ride is 42 inches.)
Written by Edward Morgan
At first you hear the Jurassic Park theme song. then the gates open to Jurassic Park where you tour dinosaurs. Then you take a wrong turn. The sirens go off, and they are trying to call you out because the raptors have escaped. It's too late you turn and see a box with live raptors which almost fals on you but doesn't. You go through a long lift seeing many raptors. Then a raptor spits on you. After that, you see a T-Rex which tries to eat you, but you drop a 85 foot plunge and survive.
Jurassic Park River Adventure is one of the better attractions at Islands of Adventure. It's not a thrill ride, but it does offer a thrilling conclusion. Most of the dinosaur animatronics still look good after all these years (especially the T-Rex), but some do look very dated. This attraction is a boat ride that is very pleasant and relaxing in the early minutes of the ride. While it never gets uncomfortable, the relaxing part is lost (which is a good thing) as it shifts into the "thrill" portion of the ride. You will get wet, but most likely not very much. Before the Wizarding World of Harry Potter came along, I felt this and The Lost Continent were the attractions that definitely epitomized what the Islands of Adventure theme park is meant to be. 8 out of 10. - Joshua Bixler
The actual river component of the ride is pretty lame because it relies too heavily on kind of bad animatronics. Once the boat gets inside the building it gets better because the lighting makes the dinosaurs look better. That final drop is great, it makes up for the lesser river part. - Jeff Moon
This ride is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you are in Universal and want to do a water ride that you don't get very wet on, then this is your pick. You still get wet, but no where near as wet as Dudley Do-Rights or Popeye's. The animatronics are a little old, but still plausible and entertaining. And this is the only water ride at Universal that tells a story in a way. Lastly, the drop at the end is always very enjoyable and exciting, although no where near as good as Dudley Do-Rights - Tyler Colan
To begin, I want to clarify that I absolutely love this attraction as it does manage to capture the tone of the first movie quite well. It begins with a very awe inspiring appearance of Jurassic Park, and ending in a terrifying white knuckle escape scene that fits the movie extremely well. That being said I do have my gripes about the attraction in Orlando, and the current state in which it stands. This top attraction is nearly an exact clone to its Hollywood counterpart, though there are differences in theming along the major scenes. Unfortunately the scenes don't seem to rival it's Hollywood counter part in anyway what so ever. It loses on the comedic scene of the two composognathus fighting over the popcorn while the narration explains their well maintained diet. Instead on the Orlando ride we are left with them fighting over a cast member shirt that could only fit a small child given the size of it. The Mickey Mouse ear hat or the Barbasol can in the river is no where to be found. It loses out in the pure scare factor, as every dinosaur scene in the show building is far inferior to the Hollywood version. The velociraptors while loud and lunging at you, they aren't quite up to par with the Hollywood ceiling raptor. They never make it past the electrical fence and thus never are a true threat. The dilophosaurus are far less intimidating in Orlando as they follow up the velociraptor scene (the raptors are far louder and more in your face), which leaves this reviewer feeling like the story of the attraction messed up its own pacing. The Hollywood version plays the story well as the creatures become larger and far more menacing as the ride proceeds. It also utilizes the dinosaurs in far scarier methods with them attacking from above your water craft as well as from the sides. Orlando's version of course has most the dinosaurs attacking only from the left side of the water craft for some reason, which leaves something to be desired for those on the right hand side of the vehicle. Even if there were some constraints to place audio animatronics on the right side of the building, why could dinosaurs not be lunging at the boat from above. There is no excuse to be had here as the ride has a much higher ceiling than the Hollywood counterpart. This is pure budget cutting that has hurt the overall ride experience. Finally the last scene we have our T-Rex. The Hollywood version makes an appearance earlier in the attraction from the ceiling, and finishes up plunging through a water fall in almost pure darkness to try and devour the riders. The Orlando version is again less intimidating, being very visible from just paste turn, and boy oh boy is he fake looking. When the ride is lit up enough that i can see the rivets connecting the neck fabric to the body of the animatronic, thats a very bad sign. Even riding the attraction at night this glaring show breaker is present even while riding at night. Silver rivets or screws just shouldn't be on a visible part of the dinosaur, and the pathetic lunge compared to the hollywood version leaves for a very non-climatic ending to a ride that truly could be great. This is sadly a ride that clearly had budget cuts cast upon it when the park was constructed. The fact it is missing so many of the scenes compared to it's sister ride on the west coast is just a shame, and clear evidence of Universal Creatives lack of finances to truly upgrade the attraction. With all of it's flaws, it's still a very enjoyable ride at it's core, it just misses the mark when it comes to the overall rider experience. It's a 6/10. - Court Ebertowski
The star attraction of Jurassic Park. The animatronics at the beginning aren't the best and seem dated but overall it's a great ride and even a little scary. Love the T-Rex and the end and that drop! - Bryce McGibeny
If you like Splash Mountain in WDW. This drop is much steeper and longer! - B Higgins
One of my favorites rides ever, Awesome boat ride, beautifully themed, felt like part of the movie. and what a drop! again 10/10 for IOA. - David Shaul
I'll never understand why this ride gets a bum rep. It's a terrific ride, lots of fun and detail, and makes me feel like I'm in JP. - Sean Huckel
ehhh it's fun, but the animatronics just don't seem as realistic as they used to and that's half the ride - Randolph Wright
We rode it this year with all the features fixed & working. Now I have a new found appreciation for the attraction. Universal does a good job of immersing you in the Jurassic world. Moved it up to outstanding status. - Rob Pastor
This is one of my top three favorite rides at IoA. Its always worth the wait in line! - Michelle Kowalski
A great ride. The dinosaurs are great and the drop is thrilling. This water ride is one of the best rides in the park. - David L.
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