I’m going to be honest; this was my most anticipated water ride of my entire Orlando trip. Not Splash Mountain or Ripsaw Falls, but instead this one. Well Jurassic Park certainly is certainly an excellent all-around ride experience; just the other two were slightly better rides. Anyway, the majority of Jurassic Park’s layout is very well concealed from view prior to riding, excluding the gigantic splashdown following its climatic drop. While at Islands of Adventure I got two rides on this prehistoric adventure and enjoyed every moment of both. Both times I ended up waiting about 20 minutes and I commend Universal on how rapidly they moved the line along. I was assigned the back row for both of my rides, which generally is my favorite row so I was absolutely stoked.
Upon boarding the ultra comfortable boats, the ride begin with a small climb followed by a long, tranquil narrated tour through a jungle filled with many gentle giants who interact with the boat. Some just moved flawlessly with motions that were incredibly lifelike, while others had better interactions such as splashing a few lucky riders in the boat (I was in the back so it unfortunately missed me). Also, addressing one complaint many have had regarding this attraction is not all of the effects properly working. Unfortunately one of the dinosaurs didn’t appear, contrary to the recording which stated it would be flying overhead, but other than that all of the dinosaurs appeared and were very well implemented.
But the second half absolutely trumps the relaxing first half. While the first half is very reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise, the best way to describe the second half is a shoot the chute on steroids. After accidentally straying into a raptor containment facility, the entire tone of the ride shifts from calm and tranquil to “life-threatening”. Honestly I find the raptor containment facility’s building to be an eyesore from the exterior, but the interior is very well executed. Inside are many loud scenes depicting the more carnivorous dinosaurs out their and their persistent escape attempts. At one point riders even come face to face with “acid-spraying” dinosaurs. They generally nailed every single rider with some deadly H2O. Eventually I came face to face with the very impressive T-rex animatronic looming overhead. With no other means of escape, the boat flies down a massive and steep 85ft drop in total darkness. I wasn’t expecting the drop to be nearly as excellent as it was, but it really blew me away with how swift it was and the fact that I lost my stomach on it. Following the drop is the splashdown. Honestly though, the ride looks far wetter than it actually is since I only came off pretty wet as opposed to the soaked I had anticipated from the ride.
Well the ride didn’t live up to my expectations prior to riding as the best water ride of the trip, but it certainly was an incredible experience combining a great thrill in that spectacular final plunge and very good theming. As stated in my review, I am a huge fan of all of the dinosaur effects Universal implemented on this attraction in both the river section and the containment facility. This is an attraction certainly not worth missing at Islands of Adventure under any condition since it’s just one of those rides that excels in pretty much any category.