Since Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, guests have been thrilled by close encounters with the shark that made it unsafe to go in the water: Jaws. Now, 22 years later, Universal Orlando is closing that iconic ride and its surrounding Amity area, paving the way for yet-to-be-announced attractions. Today is the final day of operation of the Jaws ride and here we pay tribute to this classic, inspired by the Steven Spielberg film it’s based on.
The video below takes a cinematic approach to the attraction, showing off its talented skippers, surprising special effects, and exciting shark attacks. Featuring clips from John Williams’ famous score, multiple camera angles, and a few added sound effects, this video not only captures the action of the attraction but does so as if it were a movie - a Jaws sequel of sorts.
Two female boat captains / skippers were filmed on three separate trips around the Jaws lagoon to create this ride-turned-film, all edited together to offer one seamless tribute to the ride. The video also features binaural audio, so wear headphones while watching for the most enjoyment! And it’s all offered in full 1080p HD, so be sure to enlarge the video to full screen to get the best cinematic experience.
Video - Jaws Ride: The Movie
The Jaws ride had its share of technical difficulties during its first two years of operation, essentially closing for two years after its debut due to severe challenges with the shark animatronics and show scenes - not unlike the technical issues that plagued the actual production of “Jaws” in the ’70s, when “Bruce” the shark often failed to work properly. But ultimately the ride reopened in 1992, producing 20 years of daily entertainment and memories for the millions of guests who hopped aboard Captain Jake’s Amity Boat Tours.
And throughout those two decades, countless Jaws skippers recited the same spiel, over and over, day after day, but each putting their own unique spin on the character. In the video above, Kylee played her role rather realistically, showing believable excitement and fear on her face throughout the thrilling experience. But other skippers, such as Michael in the photos below, decided to play the role in a much more comedic manner. Another trip around the Jaws lagoon afforded me the chance to capture the ride’s highlights in still photos as well:
Now Universal Orlando turns their attention to the future of the park, moving past Jaws and toward a rumored Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion that may even include a fully-functional Hogwarts Express train. But for fans of the Jaws ride, not even Harry Potter’s magic can ever fully replace the thrills of “calling off the marines” after besting that famous shark time after time.
More photos from the Jaws ride and Amity area at Universal Studios Orlando: