Jurassic Park River Adventure is a Shoot-the-Chutes water ride manufactured by Vekoma and is located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan. There was a version at Universal Studios Hollywood but it is currently going under a retheming to turn it into Jurassic World: The Ride. For this review, we will be looking at the Islands of Adventure version as that is currently the only version I have ridden as of right now. The attraction opened on May 28, 1999 along with the rest of the park and is located in the Jurassic Park area of the park. Today I will be looking at the ride experience so you know what to expect when you go to ride as well as my thoughts on it!
You will start your experience by waiting in the queue. This queue is one of the most underwhelming at the park. In a park full of great and immersive queues, this one is just a couple sets of switchbacks with really no theming around you to immerse you in the world of Jurassic Park. You will then get to the loading station where a safety video plays on repeat while you wait to board your boat. You will then board your boat and the adventure begins!
Once the lap bar is pulled down, your boat climbs a very small lift hill before making a very small drop to build momentum for the dark ride portion. Your boat then makes a left turn through the gates of JP. An overhead narrator voice welcomes you as the iconic score by John Williams plays. The boat then travels slowly through a long straight section as it over looks a large and tall animatronic of a Ultrasaurus leaning towards the water as the boat goes further into the park. You will then pass under a cave and after the cave, an animatronic dinosaur named Parasaurolophus pokes his head out of the water and shoots water at the guests in the boat. The boat will then appear to look like it’s heading towards an area in the park called Hadrosaur Cove, but the boat takes a sudden left turn into the Raptor Containment Area. You will then hear the sound of velociraptors creeping their way through the foliage. As your boat approaches the containment center, a raptor cage overhead falls before stopping quickly right above your head. Your boat then ascends the lift hill as alarms are going off and telling you to get out as quickly as possible. At the top of the lift hill, as the boat makes it’s turn-around, a dilophosaurus appears and spits water at the riders. The boat then appears to drop, but a giant T-Rex animatronic appears before the boat plunges down the 85-foot drop. After the drop the ride ends and you will unload from the boat.
After unloading, you will exit out to the Jurassic Outfitters gift shop, where ride and other Jurassic Park/World merchandise are sold.
My Thoughts: For those of you who don’t know, I am a big movie fan, and Jurassic Park is my favorite film of all time. Though this is not my favorite ride in the park, I really like this ride and is one of my favorite water rides of all time. It captures the awe and wonder as well as the intense suspense the same way the movie does but is still all around fun where everyone can enjoy it. The drop didn’t get me too wet at all, it got me the perfect amount. I was at the point where I was wet enough but didn’t feel uncomfortable or anything. I think the dark ride portions are cool as well. Some of the animatronics need some TLC, especially in that first half of the ride, otherwise as a fan of the movie it was really cool to see the Dilophosaurus and T-Rex in animatronic form! I think this is a really solid attraction that lives up to the spirit of the film series that inspired it!
Tips: The wait times for this attraction are extremely spotty. If the park is not busy and the weather is cool, this will be a walk-on. If it’s an average day and it’s warm, I would expect a 40-60 minute wait. If the park is busy I would expect an hour or more. Try to do this within the first or last two hours of the operating day. There is a single rider line that is extremely hidden. When I was at the park, the wait for this attraction was 55 minutes, but me and my Dad went through the single rider line and only waited a couple of boats before boarding. To find the single rider line, look to the left of the entrance and there is a sign that points to it, you then walk down a path to the station where you board. Single riders will almost always walk on because of the large capacity of the boats. Keep in mind that the single rider line isn’t always open, but if it is and the wait is long, use it! As for where to sit, the front row will get you the most wet, but will have the better view. If the view doesn’t matter to you or you don’t want to get that wet, sit in any other row and you won’t get that wet.
Final Thoughts: Jurassic Park River Adventure is an extremely solid water ride that well deserves to be in the world class lineup of water rides at Islands of Adventure. It captures the spirit of the film while also being fun and different in it’s own right. If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park film series or are looking to get wet on a hot day, take a ride on Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure.