Entertainment Generational Change: Universal Studios Orlando Florida to Close Jaws Attraction
Add Universal Studio Florida’s Bruce the shark to the ranks of the unemployed. In a sign of the passing of a generation of entertainment, Universal Studios Orlando will close the famous Jaws attraction as new blockbusters, news films with lots of buzz supplant a past blockbuster.
Bruce will soon sleep with the fishes:
Jaws, the classic Universal Studios Florida ride in which tour boats full of guests are attacked by a robotic great white shark, will close permanently on Jan. 2 to make way for a new attraction, Universal Orlando announced Friday.
The ride, based on the 1975 movie directed by famed director and Universal theme-park consultant Steven Spielberg, was one of the original attractions in Universal Studios when the park opened in 1990.
The Amity-themed area surrounding the attraction, named after the fictional resort island in the movie, will also be closed “to make room for what will be an exciting new attraction experience,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said.
“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,” Schroder said. “But we always have to look to the future and dedicate ourselves to providing new, innovative entertainment experiences for our guests.”
That’s corporate spin for “the ride has been great but it’s getting kinda old..”
Universal said employees who work on the attraction or in the surrounding environment will be moved into other areas of the resort. Two other attractions in the area — Disaster! and Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue — will not be affected.
People often forget how quickly the past stars, past legends and past hit entertainment properties — on the stage, film and television — pass into…the past. To be sure, little is thrown away anymore because it can surface as an attraction, a DVD, a video game or a You Tube embed.
Jaws is still a classic film, a blockbuster but it’s seldom shown on network TV in prime time anymore, is seldom shown in theaters in revivals, and is not a best selling DVD title. It isn’t mega-buzz like it was when it first came out, or even 10 years after it came out. Retiring the ride involves show biz logic: its all about the business of extracting money from properties and offering customers — especially young customers — thrills they can quickly relate too. Jaws is becoming to the 2010s what Davey Crockett was to the 1990s.
There’s a point where everything (except me) gets old.
Here’s a You Tube embed of the Jaws ride in Florida (complete with parent who brings on the ride a baby who may need therapy in future years..)