Universal Studios Florida's Beloved Jaws Attraction May Be Gone, But There Are Still Fun Nods To It In The Theme Park (Including One I Didn’t Know!)
Love this so much.
Jaws is a classic film and Universal Orlando once sported its own ride harkening back to the studio and Steven Spielberg's cinematic epic. Those who grew up with Universal Studios Florida in the 1990s definitely remember the park’s beloved Jaws ride, which was more recently taken over by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The original ride was removed in 2012 to make room for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and its fire-breathing dragon, but in the time since, the theme park has kept some nods to the classic property.
One nod, Bruce the Shark, was recently refurbed in the park and others appear in the Harry Potter section, but there’s another nod I’d never even known existed until now!
Chrissie’s Bathroom (AKA One Fun Fact I Didn’t Know!)
Many of you may remember the sequence at the beginning of Jaws in which Chrissie jumps into the ocean for an evening swim, only to find herself being attacked by a shark in the water. The shark wins that battle and later the only thing that is left of Chrissie that can be found is a limb.
If you’ve been to the bathroom right outside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s actually a little sign located on the bathroom that tips you off it used to be the Jaws bathroom, and still is. If you look carefully at the signage, a one-legged woman will welcome you into the restroom. I’d been in this bathroom before and I had no idea this was here, but see if you can spot it yourself next time you’re in sunny Florida.
Bruce The Shark
Bruce the Shark used to be a mainstay fixture at the entrance to the Jaws ride and is named after what the Jaws crew called the prop sharks during production on the Steven Spielberg film. Then, in 2012, the Jaws ride was no more, making way for the Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios Florida in Universal Orlando. But Bruce found a new home in the San Francisco area of the park. Plenty of signage related to Amity still exists there as well.
He briefly seemed to be one of the casualties of the pandemic, disappearing in January of 2021, apparently for repairs. He thankfully reappeared in April of that year and has continued to be one of many great photo opps in the Universal Parks (See: the Back to the Future car, Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ or any number of Jurassic Park options as well.)
THAT Jaws Drink
By now you may have heard of Ocean Attack, the perfectly-named drink located at Chez Alcatraz’s walk-up bar. Though not the only drink at Universal that comes with a “show” (see: Bigfire’s Smoked, Smoked Maple cocktail, which literally employs the use of a blow torch), the effect of throwing a little “blood” into the “blue waters” of the cocktail is delightful and one of the best references to Jaws in the park. While more well-known than the bathroom nod, it’s certainly a must-try in the parks.
The ride may be gone, but the movie’s legacy lives on. In fact, in CityWalk, the Legacy Store has some great shark-themed merch harkening back to the 1975 flick, including but not limited to one very fine Jaws-themed fanny pack.
Just like “If you give a mouse a cookie” - if you buy a shark fanny pack at Universal, you’re going to watch Jaws on Peacock when you get home 🦈 pic.twitter.com/WNyWBrkTRWJuly 26, 2021
So, stay stylish and never forget Universal’s Jaws legacy -- particularly when you are enjoying the Orlando theme parks. (Universal Studios Hollywood has its own Jaws thing going on.) And of course, keep an eye out, as Universal Orlando has plenty of nods to other now-closed attractions in the parks.
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