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  1. #1

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    Universal Hauls Jaws Back From the Deep

    Universal hauls Jaws back from the deep
    --------------------

    After nearly shutting down last year, the ride has been fixed up and reopened
    full time.

    Scott Powers
    Sentinel Staff Writer

    February 16, 2006

    Jaws, an expensive adventure ride at Universal Studios that has bounced from blockbuster attraction to part-time work, is making another comeback.

    Universal finished refurbishing the ride and put it back on full-time operation this month, after all but shutting it down last year. In September, park officials reduced Jaws' operation to occasional after-hours events and holiday crowds.

    Demand has brought it back, and visitors may cruise the perilous waters of Amity at least through the end of the summer, said Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder.

    "We made the decision to reopen Jaws because our guests told us, rather
    passionately, that they wanted us to," Schroder said.

    Based on the best-selling 1974 novel Jaws, by Peter Benchley -- who died last weekend -- and the 1975 blockbuster movie by Steven Spielberg, the ride opened with Universal in 1990.

    Jaws had a bad start. After a few months, Universal closed it, blaming
    mechanical difficulties. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1993. Between the
    original construction and that overhaul, Universal may have spent $70 million, outside industry sources estimated.

    The ride provides a boat trip around Amity lagoon, terrorized by seven robotic great white sharks that lurk and attack.

    Schroder said workers replaced one shark's attack motor, modified the flame effects and did touch-up work throughout.

    The ride was once a marquee attraction, but some have wondered if -- 30 years removed from the book and movie -- it has lost relevance, especially among younger visitors.

    However, Steven Smith, a former Universal employee and now operations manager at Baker Leisure Group, an Orlando-based theme park consulting firm, said the ride is unlikely to lose much relevance because the Jaws brand is an "evergreen" known worldwide.

    He also said the ride is valuable to Universal because its capacity -- reported at 2,500 people an hour -- is phenomenal by thrill-ride standards. A typical major ride at most theme parks would do well to handle 1,800 people an hour, Smith said.

    Scott Powers can be reached at [email protected] or 407-420-5441.

    Copyright (c) 2006, Orlando Sentinel | Get home delivery - up to 50% off

    Visit OrlandoSentinel.com
    Yeah, the parts about "Schroder said workers replaced one shark's attack motor, modified the flame effects and did touch-up work throughout."... closed that long they changed fire...fixed an A/A and touched up?? Thats it?!?! This combined with the statement "visitors may cruise the perilous waters of Amity at least through the end of the summer," and that they say the reopened it because guests wanted it reopened (not because they did) makes me wonder if Jaws is going the way of 20,000 Leagues..."a seasonal attraction in rehab" for 6 years.

  2. #2

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    Re: Universal Hauls Jaws Back From the Deep

    Don't these people realize sometimes it's just about tradition?! Jaws is one of my favorite rides at Universal -- It's a "must see" ride for us - I'll be very sad if they decide to revamp it into something new (and maybe not any better!)

  3. #3

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    Re: Universal Hauls Jaws Back From the Deep

    I love to go on that. I hope that it remains there. I don't get what they are talking about though when it comes to being open only thru the summer. If the guest want it back wouldn't be smarter to have it open all year around? You know I sometimes honestly believe that the people who run amusement parks really could care less what the park goers really want.

    God knows the morons who run the local amusement park near me (Hersheypark if anyone knows of it) have blown it for years the people have wanted a water park but all they have been is rollercoaster after rollercoaster (and while I like a good coaster now and then but I would love a water park more). Oh well now another company is building a water park about 3 miles away. thier loss guess they should have listned more to what the parks guest wanted.
    Last edited by Jessicalover; 02-17-2006 at 02:56 PM.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Universal Hauls Jaws Back From the Deep

    Jaws is certainly a tradition. I'm wondering. What would we like returned to Disneyland. Are we writing "passionate" letters?
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  5. #5

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    Re: Universal Hauls Jaws Back From the Deep

    I've visited Universal twice in my life, but that was long before IOA came around. The big rides were King Konb, Jaws, Earthquake, and ET. Both times that I went Jaws never worked. I'm hoping to go again this summer so it'll be nice to see it work once in my life. Hopefully I'll make it before they remove it for good.

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