As Junior Jamie Cox sips her soda and waits in the hour-long line for the “Jaws” ride at Universal Studios, she prepares to say goodbye to a part of her childhood.
“I have always been kind of a Universal person, even when I was little,” Cox said. “I have been going on ‘Jaws’ since I was pretty small, so seeing the end of the ride is like seeing the end to an era of my life. I think it is a pretty large bummer.”
“Jaws,” one of the original rides when Universal Studios and Resort opened in 1990, features the famous great white shark from the blockbuster series and centers itself around the fictional town of Amity about 10 years after the first attack. The boat ride starts out as a tour of the now pleasant shark-free town but soon turns into an escape from what seems to be “Jaws” brought back to life.
“I have been working on the Jaws ride for about a year and a half now,” Universal employee Edwin Rivera said. “It is so much fun to interact with the people and see the look of shock on their faces when the shark pops out. A lot of people ask me if it gets boring to say the same lines and push the same buttons over and over, but it is so much fun to mess with each crowd and tease them about what is to come. I will be sorry when the ride closes down in Janurary.”
While the ride officially closed Monday due to declining interest, Universal has yet to announce what new attraction will replace “Jaws.”
“Someone told me they might expand Harry Potter World into that area,” Cox said. “I don’t know if it is true, but I hope they replace something as iconic as ‘Jaws’ with something equally as cool. I would hate for something great to be torn down for something stupid — like Justin Beiber World.”