Hold on to your butts, big changes are coming.
Jurassic Park is a staple of blockbuster filmmaking, awing and inspiring audiences of all ages across the world to this day – not to mention its huge impact in 1993, redefining what can be achieved with visual effects and paving the way for CG to become commonplace in today’s movies. Jurassic Park’s impact is long lasting, and wide reaching – but its name is soon to just be a distant memory, as Jurassic World roars in as the new permanent franchise moniker.
While it’s yet to be officially confirmed, the rumor mill has long pointed to Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure for an upcoming Jurassic World retheme. Reportedly, Universal Parks teetered back and forth on the idea, considering Jurassic World for their upcoming ‘fourth gate’ in Orlando and saving Jurassic Park at IOA. However, Universal has apparently opted NOT to include Jurassic in any capacity within the upcoming new park (barring major last minute changes) and will put their focus on Islands of Adventure for everyone’s dinosaur needs.
Objectively, a ‘Jurassic World’ rebrand isn’t a bad thing (although I find the more adventure infused safari resort look of Park to be more unique, compared to World which reflects Universal’s City Walk) – it makes sense, as it’s the name the current film saga and merchandising all share. While Jurassic Park certainly isn’t unfamiliar to younger fans, World is the more relevant brand identifier at this time. In fact, Universal Studios Beijing is doing some incredible things with the Jurassic World branding – building a replica of Main Street, the Innovation Center, Aviary, and heavily themed innovative roller coaster that will cut through Jurassic themed mountainsides – check out the artwork below!
However, the plans for Islands of Adventure are far more limited – primarily due to the Jurassic Park land being blocked in by the new Harry Potter and Kong sections, both of which took expansion plots originally planned for Jurassic. This limited space has created the inability to create all new Jurassic attractions at the scale of other headlining properties, like those seen within the Wizarding World rides. As such, the roller coaster coming to Islands of Adventure (which has yet to be officially announced) is reportedly not a heavily themed coaster, simply putting the focus on thrills over an authentic dinosaur filled movie based experience.
In fact, you can learn a lot more about the upcoming coaster from theme park enthusiast Alicia Stella within this video!
While that video is a few months old, the information is believed to be accurate – and now work within the park corroborates it, albeit circumstantially.
Construction walls are up around the Jurassic Park/Discovery Center waterfront. Guests can not access the area from any point. The Discovery Center is still open and can be entered thru the top level. pic.twitter.com/rdQULcZepQ
— Inside Universal (@insideuniversal) January 15, 2019
Essentially, we’re looking at a steel coaster with numerous tight twists and turns to make use of the smaller area it can expand across. Its starting location will see the coaster launching and intersecting itself numerous times before it shoots out in front of the Discover Center, over the lagoon and then eventually loops back again. While the track layout is far more complex, the rough surface area can be observed here:
As stated earlier, the upcoming coasters theming is rumored to be minimal to nonexistent – which is too bad, as it was originally concepted as a coaster that would traverse through mountainsides, with the insides themed to amber mines. That idea could easily be applied to Fallen Kingdom’s volcanic disaster theme, taking inspiration from Disney’s Expedition Everest ride, all while using the current track layout as we’ve roughed together in this mock-up down below:
While these new changes coming to Jurassic Park are exciting as the area itself is in desperate need of a modern makeover and new attractions, it’s hard not to be a little bit disappointed by what’s been reported. I can travel to any park and experience a great roller coaster – but the Universal Parks are the only place that can truly offer a chance to step inside the diverse an exciting Jurassic World, and bring dinosaur thrills to life within state of the art rides, making us believe those animals are alive once again – and ready to eat us if we’re not careful.
If there was room for further expansion, I’d more accepting of a thrill coaster with minimal theming coming to Jurassic – but fans of all ages who love the films, or simply want a authentic adventure alongside prehistoric flora and fauna are sure to be left wanting more if the plans carry forward as is. Fingers crossed this coaster surprises, and infuses itself the state of the art dark ride elements for the ultimate Jurassic experience.
Be sure to stay tuned for all the latest Jurassic news, and as always, sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think about the changes coming to Islands of Adventure!