Disclaimer: I have not had the pleasure of visiting any of the Jurassic Park rides at Universal's theme parks, and this is based purely on what I've seen and read online with a little imagination inspired by events and scenes in the movies or books. Generally speaking I'm not a theme park afficionado, but I do like seeing how they interpret movies and make them interactive for the audience. This is all just a bit of conjecture on my part.
How would you guys feel about an entire theme park dedicated to the Jurassic Park series as a branch of Universal Studios' theme parks?
I know that sounds like a bit of a strange question to posit since there have been new Jurassic Park themed rides pop up in theme parks across the world, and we still have the classic 1996 ride, so it's not like there's a lack of awareness for the franchise in theme parks.
But at the same time, imagine the potential for this concept.
These movies are chock-full of scenes and encounters that offer potential for a full amusement park experience. If the next two films do well with audiences and film buffs, like really well, then the appeal of the movies will duly increase. I can see Jurassic Park lasting beyond it's current stage in the 2010s. The main source of inspiration would be Universal Studios in Orlando as it was back in the 90s, with a high emphasis on immersive rides that make the audiences feel like they're in the world of the movies. - T. Rex Encounter
Drawing inspiration from Universal Studios' long running King Kong Encounter, this ride is based on the famous T.rex breakout centerpiece from the first film. Audiences ride in enlarged versions of the JP Ford Explorers past some small theropod paddocks, they see some onlooking Dilophosaurus and Ceratosaurus before coming to a halt in a darkened interior hall, designed to emulate the T. rex paddock. The T. rex breaks through the wire fences and toys with the car, shaking the audience up. The T.rex is naturally based on Rexy, and the attention to detail would be so good that you get T.rex spittle and bad breath as she attacks the car. But a flare lights up from behind the T.rex, distracting her long enough for the car to escape down a tunnel. But before the Explorer leaves the complex, he get an overhanging animatronic T. rex head looming down, pursuing the Explorer escapes, emulating the T. rex chase in the first film: "You think they'll have THAT on the tour?" - InGen Ruins
A dark and spooky ride through a dilapidated InGen compound, as audiences explore the darker side of Jurassic Park as they're treated to dead dinosaurs and failed experiments inside embryonic tubes, rows of hatcheries crawling with vicious compies. Things take a darker turn as Velociraptors and Troodons leap out from the darkness, surround the tour cars, culminating in the Raptors and Carnotaurus fighting over a carcass. The best frame of refernce I can offer is the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, with an atmospheric indoor experience.- Cretaceous Cruise
Similar to the Jurassic Park River Adventure, but with a blend of Disney's Jungle Cruise attraction with a cruise boat instead of the "rafts" on the Orlando attraction. The boat has a few herbivore encounters like Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, Triceratops and Ankylosaurus, grazing and drinking on the river bank. The tranquility is superseded by a pair of Baryonyx gorging on freshly caught fish, to busy to attack the boat. But this thrilling experience takes a dark turn as we enter a tunnel; rain splatters down on the guests as the Spinosaurus emerges from the water, thunder and lightning flashing all around them. Once more, when it seems like they're trapped, with a flash of pyrotechnics the Spinosaurus retreats, frightened by the fire, allowing the tour group to exit.- Brachiosaurus Treetops
Audience members get onto a ski lift and glide through an authentic, foggy jungle canopy as highly realistic Brachiosaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Apatosaurus loom out from their feeding, close enough for the audience to touch them. This as admittedly more of a gentle ride than the others, and is generally meant to be more peaceful than the thrill rides of the InGen Ruins and T. rex Encounter.- Pterosaur Aviary
Based on the best scene in Jurassic Park 3, tourists are strapped to an automated zipline that allows them to fly through the foggy passageways of the JP3 Aviary, as Pteranodons and Dimorphodons hiss, squawk and lunge at them. Soon, the zipline takes them out into the open where flying Pteranodons veer in close to the folks on the line, emulating that sense of fear Billy and Eric must have felt as they braved the Pteranodons in their lair.- Petting Zoo
While I was looking at the special features for Jurassic World and how the Petting Zoo area used mo-cap actors as the stand-ins for the baby dinosaurs, I asked myself what if those had real costumes on them? Borrowing from Disneyland's tradition of people in heavy costumes, in the Petting Zoo children get to interact with convincing mobile dinosaurs performed by people who are trained to act and move like miniature versions of their respective species. Baby Apatosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus would be the most appealing, and there would be smaller dinosaurs Dryosaurus, Microceratus and Gallimimus as a side attraction brought to life through animatronics.- Mosasaurus Marine Attack
Taking inspiration from the old Jaws ride at Universal Stdios, and some cues from JP3, the guests enter a boat that takes them out to the coastal regions of Isla Sorna, tall mountains surrounding the boat. They are greeted by a Plesiosaurus lifting it's neck from the water. Suddenly the boat starts to shake about, as the audience sees some boats have been capsized on the rocks, as the Mosasaurus leaps from the water and snaps at the tourists, water splashing about. After a few twists and turns, the boat eventually evades the Mosasaurus.- Battle of Isla Nublar 3D
This is one I'm on the fence about since I know these kinds of rides aren't loved by oldschool theme park fans.
Taking cues from Kong Reign of Skull Island attraction, you enter a tour vehicle that drives into a patch of forest leading into a series of three darkened soundstages. The first soundstage has fog, mud, stones and artificial plants that blend with the images on the screen, to feel more authentic. Putting the 3D glasses on, you find yourself in the jungles of isla nublar escorted by some gyrospheres. The vehicle gets up in a herbivore stampede across the Isla Nublar plains, when the Indominous Rex leaps out of the forest, kills a Triceratops and destroys a gyrosphere and threatens to eat the frightened guests. The vehicle retreats to another virtual screen of the Raptors running throuhg the jungle. The third and last encounter is on Jurassic World Main Street; the I. rex has caught up to the car and is fighting off the Raptor squad, and Rexy shows up in the nick of time - the two giants fight all around the tour vehicle as it tries to escape, all the while Main Street is destroyed, and pyrotechnics explode on automation. Before the I.rex can kill the guests on the vehicle, Rexy gains the upper hand and kills the I.rex, letting out a triumphant roar. The advantage of this ride is the ability to see giant theropod dinosaurs in all out battle in a way that animatronic models could not achieve.- Live Arena Show
This is essentially the Walking With Dinosaurs live areana show, with dinosaur designs being more based on the ones from the movies. The dinosaurs include Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Gallimimus and Parasaurolophus roaming about, feeding and taking care of their young. The arena itself is styled after the amphitheatre seen in concept art from The Lost World.- Siberian Tundra
This is the one ride I came up with that's not based on any scene from the books or movies, but instead from supplemental material on the Masrani Global website indicating the plans to clone Woolly Mamoths. In this vein, I took the idea of ice aga mammals run amok and ran with it. It's a tram ride like the previous attractions, through a cold, snow-ridden valley where Megaloceros and Woolly Rhinos roar and shake their horns/antlers at the vehicles from a distance. Further into the valley a pack of Smilodons and Cave Lions are rested on the sides of the valley. The ride accumulates in a full sized Woolly Mammoth showing off his tusks and blowing snow towards the guests with his trunk, while the Smilodons keep their distance.- Giant Apes of the Jungle
Admittedly, this is a more tongue in cheek suggestion and a homage to Michael Crichton's Congo
: the implication being that in trying to save gorillas from extinction, InGen overreached themselves and bred some hyper-aggressive apes that were let loose as "failed experiments". The raft that takes us past some ordinary gorillas in the jungle, then we enter "King Solomon's Temple" and drive past some ferocious white guardian apes that holler at the guests, before coming face to face with a Gigantopithecus, with massive arms outstretched that threaten to grab an unsuspecting victim. But the temple starts to flood with lava and the raft escapse before the temple caves in.- Main Street
- Jurassic Outfitters
; costumes modelled after characters fromt the series
- Winston's Steakhouse
; self explanatory
; here you get to see exhibitions and scientific facts about the real dinosaurs that the JP bestiary is based on.
- Traders Bazaar
; gift shop- Hammond Visitor Center
- Main Foyer Hall
; designed to emulate the classic visitor center with the T.rex fighting the Alamosaurus in JP.
- Creation Lab
; an interactive attraction that goes into the (fictional) science of Jurassic Park
- Mesozoic Cafe
; self explanatory
- Gyrosphere Bumper Cars
- Spinning Dinosaur Eggs
- Jungle Slopes
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Swimming Pool
So now, I ask all of you: if Universal did decide to pursue with an entirely JP based theme park would you be enticed by this? Or does this aspect of expanding the franchise's commercial appeal strike you as crass and unwarranted? Do you like the sound of the rides I suggested or does your theme park experience weigh in and say otherwise?
Either way, I look forward to hearing from you.