Theme park fans are very excited for the recently-announced opening date for Jurassic World VelociCoaster in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and rightfully so. Universal Orlando Resort proved less than two years ago with Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure that they know how to create and build an epic roller coaster. I don’t really consider myself to be much of a coaster fan, but Hagrid’s is definitely my personal favorite. So, I’m not concerned about Velocicoaster being a thrilling attraction; what I do wonder is what this means for the future of the Jurassic Park (is)land in Islands of Adventure.
As an opening day area in the park, Jurassic Park’s story has always been related to the mythology of the original 1993 film of the same name. The land did create its own storyline where fictional Jurassic Park creator John Hammond was now working with Universal Studios to exhibit his dinosaurs instead of using an island off the coast of Costa Rica. It was a fitting story that explained why we could enjoy Hammond’s creation in the middle of a Universal theme park.
As of right now, you still walk beneath the iconic Jurassic Park archway to enter the land, but you may have noticed that the full name of the latest attraction is “Jurassic World VelociCoaster,” tying it into the film franchise’s reboots instead of the original trilogy. This isn’t the first time Jurassic World has been introduced in Islands of Adventure, as guests have been able to meet the raptor named Blue from the franchise for a while now. But if every new piece of entertainment added into Jurassic Park is related to the reboot, how long will it be before the rustic Jurassic Park gate is changed over to the more modern-looking Jurassic World gate — therefore, renaming the land?
I was hoping it wouldn’t be heading in this direction, but it certainly seems to be a possibility. For a long time, there have been rumors that one of the lands in the upcoming Epic Universe park would be themed to Jurassic World. My personal feeling is that if there will be a Jurassic World (which I repeat, is just a rumor) in Epic Universe, I was hoping that Jurassic Park could remain in Islands of Adventure, giving us the best of both worlds (and parks). Even if the rumors do end up being true, it still doesn’t mean that Jurassic Park is safe. Universal has already shown that they’re plenty happy to have Harry Potter spread across numerous parks. The same could eventually become true for Jurassic World.
Of course, the Jurassic Park River Adventure is still a large attraction in Islands of Adventure. But in July of 2019, we saw Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic Park — The Ride become Jurassic World — The Ride, with a whole new overlay, story, characters and dinosaurs from the reboot. I’m a big fan of the Jurassic World ride in Hollywood, but I was really hoping that I’d still be able to experience the original version of the attraction on the East coast for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell whether or not that will be the case.
I do feel like we’re heading toward a day when there will be no Jurassic Park representation in the Universal parks and that everything will fully transition over to Jurassic World. As much as I enjoy the newer franchise, I still believe the original “Jurassic Park” movie deserves its own representation. Perhaps I’m wrong and that iconic yellow and red lettering won’t be replaced by the sleek blue and silver, but if I were to bet money on it, I’d lean more toward Jurassic World’s Indominus rex slaying for the win.
How do you feel about this? Do you think the transition will eventually happen, and how does it make you feel? If not, does it bother you to have Jurassic World content in the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure? Let me know what you think in the comments.
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Jeff DePaoli is a producer and voiceover artist living in Los Angeles. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of “Dizney Coast to Coast,” the ultimate, unofficial Disney fan podcast. Get your FREE gifts of “America’s Hidden Mickeys,” “On the Rohde Again,” “Theme Park Comfort Kit” and more at DizneyCoastToCoast.com.