We’re gonna need a bigger box of tissues.
Having experienced its awesomeness firsthand on a trip to Universal Studios with my dad over a decade ago, I was incredibly saddened by the 2011 news that Universal Orlando would be dismantling the iconic Jaws ride to make room for a new attraction. The ride’s final voyage took place on January 2nd, 2012, and now five years later, the park is paying tribute to the coolest ride ever with an “in memoriam” video that may make you cry. No really. You might.
The Jaws ride was launched on June 7th, 1990, and for over twenty years it terrified park-goers by literally putting them inside the 1975 classic. The boat tour took you through Amity Harbor, where a hungry shark was of course waiting. At several points during the ride, the mechanical shark would leap out of the water and attack the boat, making for a wet and terrifying experience.
Today, the Harry Potter-themed Diagon Alley occupies the space that was once Amity Island. But though the ride may be gone, Universal certainly hasn’t forgotten it. If you prowl around Diagon Alley you will spot many tributes to the Jaws ride, including shrunken heads that sing “Show Me the Way to Go Home” and a record on display in a shop window from the faux band ‘The Quint Trio.’ Coolest of all, an open-mouthed shark that used to be at the entrance of the Jaws ride can still be found hanging around in the park, now located in the San Francisco-inspired area.
Grab a tissue and watch Universal Orlando’s touching tribute below.