Jaws is Just Chum in the Water

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Universal Studios will shut down one of its original attractions, Jaws, in January 2012. The shark-attack experience has been in service since the park first opened in 1990. Representatives for Universal Studios delivered a statement via Facebook, informing fans that the ride will be closed in order to revamp the area and replace it with a new attraction.

In an effort to soothe fans, Universal Studios representative, Tom Shroder, stated,  “Jaws has been an amazing attraction and an important part of our history. We know that Jaws holds a special place in the hearts of our guests…But we always have to look to the future and dedicate ourselves to providing new, innovative entertainment experiences for our guests.”

Along with the ride itself, the entire Amity-themed space, developed to mimic the fictional town in the Steven Spielberg film, will be torn down as well. Shroder reassures that all of the employees working at the particular attraction will be given jobs in other areas within the theme park. Other attractions in the area, Disaster!, and Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue, will remain intact.

Come January there will only be three remaining attractions from the park’s original opening. They include: E.T. Adventure, Universal’s Horror Make-up Show, and Lucy: A Tribute. Fans are obviously upset about the decision because it is not the first time the theme park has made drastic changes to its lineup. In 1996, the Ghostbusters Stage Show was replaced with a “Twister”-themed experience and in 2002, the King Kong-themed ride, Kongfrontation, was also closed in order to make room for a Mummy indoor roller coaster.

Although the decision is sad, there still may be some good news for fans. Shroder went on to tease, “We’ve got a couple of things planned to ensure we always remember and honor” Jaws.” The representative did not go into much detail.

The theme park attraction, based on the 1975 movie of the same name, takes tourists on a boat ride through a small harbor. Along their ride, trouble ensues, and the sightseers come face to face with the great white shark himself: Jaws!

The move to tear down the ride is Universal’s effort to boost life at it’s park, which has been overshadowed by it’s second park, Islands of Adventure. Since the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride in 2010 at the Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios has been suffering in sales. So, why do they have to remove one of the most recognizable rides at the park? Can’t they get rid of the horrible Men in Black ride instead?

I’ve never been on the Jaws ride, I’m not sure why, and now I’m really bummed that I will never have the chance. Who would want to pass up the opportunity to sit in a boat and have a ginormous shark pretend to attack you? Um, this guy.

I can thank Jaws for giving me a fear of the ocean, as well as swimming pools. The ride would most likely have scarred me even more if I had ridden it while I visited, which was back when I was a youngin’. Now, the ride doesn’t look as scary as it did to me when I was little, and I regret not ever riding it.

Oh, well, I won’t lose sleep over it. Will you?