JAWS the Ride Remembered


Goodbyes are never easy.

When I learned that Universal Studios Florida would be closing both the JAWS attraction and the entire Amity Island in January of 2012, I was stunned, saddened, and a little mad. Why the short notice? Why destroy a legend? Why not rip out some other part of the park that is far more inferior to JAWS? All these questions ended up having good answers (such as the super cool sounding addition to the WWOHP complex) and yet my heart did not receive much comfort.

JAWS transcended the theme park attraction title and was for many of us a good friend. There has always been something comforting just knowing that JAWS was over there in the corner of the park, doing what it had always done, giving theme park guests a great laugh and a little scare. Even when we didn’t jump in the queue line to take Captain Jake’s tour as we passed by the classic attraction entrance, we would always give a little nod to Bruce and thank him for still being there. We wouldn’t get in the way of course, he would be busy with long lines of kids and tourists pretending to be eaten by his enormous mouth while parents were busy snapping pictures.

On the occasions when we did make our way to the boats for a quick tour, the mechanical wonder never let us down. Sometimes the skipper did. Sometimes the technology did. But never the attraction; it had a life all to its own that most theme park rides can only dream of. I will miss peering over to see Sheriff Brody’s home. I will miss hearing the distress call from Gordon on Amity 3. I will miss taking cover in the dreaded boathouse. I will miss being amazed at how hot those flames were. I will miss the stench of the electrified shark. I will miss waving at those in line in triumph. After all, Captain Jake’s is THE BEST and only scenic cruise on the island.

So, this is The Beast saying goodbye to another beast who lived in the water. You will be missed my friend. You will not be forgotten. Thanks for the great memories.

The Beast

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