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It’s Been 5 Years Since the ‘Jaws’ Ride Shut Down; Universal Orlando Pays Tribute

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.



  • dmarins

    I’m glad I got to go again before it closed, still better than these 3d simulators

  • Aaron Braun

    Hey Where’s the Sarah McLachlan music?

  • G.A. McGillivray

    I have photos of me on the Jaws ride at Universal Studios in the 70’s… Wondering why it says it opened 1990?

    Oh, I was at the one on California… And it was the Backlot Tour – oops… memory a bit fuzzy 🙂

  • Gavin Davies

    Why would they replace a ride from an all time classic with a damn Harry Potter ride? Really? A kids book takes out the 1st ever summer blockbuster? Stop the world, I want to get off.

    • Zachary Peters

      Because Jaws is not as recognizable in the current generation. It makes a lot of sense, if you actually think about it.

  • tjodalv

    It was NOT 1990 when this opened. We went there as kids back around 92 or 93 and they were still building the ride!!!

  • It was such an awesome ride, and one of Universal’s all-time biggest blockbusters, so it’s a shame they couldn’t keep it and find a place for Potter elsewhere in the park. I remember a little girl excited at the start of the ride, but crying that she wanted off near the end-it was great! Nice, though, that they have various homages to Jaws throughout Daigon Alley and in the SF area (though Jaws took place on the other coast.)

  • Daniel Anderson

    My bucket list will never be complete.

  • Colin Christian

    That was a fun ride,I did it 3 times on one day,I love the big photo op outside.

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