Review: New Jurassic World Ride Makes a Splash

Emma Truchan, Features Editor

   At Universal Studios Hollywood, visitors are now able to journey from modern Hollywood to the depths of Costa Rica, into the world of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and velociraptors. In this place, creatures from a time before man are put on display for guests to see, interact with, and enjoy.

   On July 12, 2019, Universal Studios Hollywood opened their updated Jurassic section of the part, making the transition from the Jurassic Park franchise to Jurassic World. These refurbishments have completely transformed this section of the park, giving the area a distinctly Jurassic World feel, with clean, modern (yet simultaneously prehistoric) features, that hold true to the franchise and are sure to captivate fans of the movie and amusement-park aficionados alike.

   The ride itself is incredibly impressive. It features a standard boat-ride with water surrounding the cart and eventually leads to a long, steep drop, soaking passengers. Guests begin their journey in typical Jurassic World fashion, simply witnessing dinosaurs as they weave through the path. The first prehistoric passengers meet is the aquatic Mosasaurus, manifested using breathtaking virtual effects. After some time cruising along the path, riders are put into a sticky situation when it is revealed that, much like in the movie, a highly dangerous creature has broken out from its habitat. As explained by Dr. Grant in the original Jurassic Park film, “The T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt.” After this is uncovered, visitors must complete the journey facing threatening primordial creatures before they plummet down a slope toward the water below. The classic water-ride aspect and suspenseful plot integrated into the attraction are sure to please any thrill-seeker.

   But the novelty of the ride is shown in the design features. As guests move along the dinosaur-surrounded river, riders are able to appreciate the exceptional work of both the computer-generated images and physical props. The ride synthesizes the two to create an immersive experience where the science-fiction of the movie meets reality. This combination makes visitors forget the fact that they’re in Hollywood, rather than the fictional  Jurassic World. The excitement of a classic water ride, with the captivating set design, and the nods to the Jurassic franchise make this attraction a must-see for all park visitors. But guests beware, this is a water ride, so visitors should expect to get soaked!

   The Jurassic World ride is surrounded by accompanying attractions that pay homage to the film franchise, with surrounding gift shops, Jurassic World-themed food stands, and, most notable of all, dinosaur exhibits. At these prehistoric showcases, park guests are able to view all of their favorite dinosaur characters, including everyone’s favorite velociraptor, Blue. Visitors are able to interact with these dinosaurs — both larger and smaller raptors and a triceratops — in incredibly life-like ways. The dinosaurs are so realistic that they seem to act like living animals. Employees surrounding the area are adorned in “keeper” uniforms, and provide insightful commentary on the species, making the illusion seem all the more realistic.

   “The park did an amazing job with the automated dinosaurs. Logically, you know that dinosaurs aren’t real, but the park rangers are well trained in making us forget that. They’re very lifelike in their appearance and their actions,” said Park Guest Senior Mina Orlic. 

   In addition to the captivating Raptor Encounter, Jurassic World-The Ride is also surrounded by other Jurassic-themed features. These include the Isla-Nu Bar, which is where, according to Universal Studio Hollywood’s website, guests can “enjoy a selection of tropical-inspired refreshments,”  and the Jurassic Cafe, where fans can sink their teeth into a “tasty bite of Costa Rican-inspired cuisine,” and the Jurassic Outfitters gift shop. Whether you’re looking for a simple souvenir, such as a Jurassic World-themed key chain, or for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, like a Jeff Goldblum-signed Jurassic Park poster, the gift shop has something for every fan (

   Whether you’re a Jurassic mega-fan or a general movie lover, an adrenaline junkie or more risk-averse, Jurassic World at Universal Studios Hollywood is sure to captivate every visitor.