Ride / JAWS

Brody: Amity 6, this is Chief Brody, I'm on my way, I'll be there in ten minutes.
Skipper: Ten minutes? We'll be shark bait in ten minutes!

The JAWS ride is a boat-based attraction currently at Universal Studios Japan, and formerly, at Universal Studios Florida. The premise of the attraction revolves around you boarding "Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tours" to be given a ride through the island during its Fourth of July celebration. However, things go horribly wrong when one of the tour boats is destroyed and its passengers killed, the culprit being none other than the shark itself. The riders and the boat's skipper are then forced to face off against the ravenous shark; the confrontation taking them into an eerie boathouse, a very-combustible gas dock, and an electrical power barge. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

The ride first opened with Universal Studios Florida on June 7th, 1990...sort of. It experienced massive technical issues that at times left the ride completely unoperational. A mere few months after it opened it was shut down indefinitely, with Universal suing the manufacturers of the ride; as the malfunctionings of the ride were so bad that it would have to be rebuilt from scratch. As a result, the ride remained closed for three years until Spring 1993 when the ride system was completely reworked and some of the show scenes were changed in order to make it less technically complex.

Despite being a very beloved fan-favorite throughout the years, the ride was closed yet again, but this time permanently, on January 2nd, 2012, to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. The decision attracted a heavy amount of outrage that lasted for quite a while; since then it has subsided a bit, due in part to how successful the Diagon Alley replacement turned out to be.

As a form of remembrance, Diagon Alley has a few Easter Eggs in its scenery shouting out the original JAWS movie.

The ride also opened with Universal Studios Japan on March 31st, 2001, and continues to remain open to this day.

The JAWS ride provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Attack of the Town Festival: The ride is set during a Fourth of July Festival that Amity is holding.
  • BFG: The grenade launcher that the skipper has.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Unlike the film, there is virtually no blood anywhere in the ride.
    • Averted, however, with the original version of the ride in how the shark explodes underwater, leaving behind a pool of blood.
    • Also averted during Halloween Horror Nights X (2000), when the ride was given a temporary makeover and renamed Bloody Waters, which involved adding extra blood and gore to the attraction, as the title would imply.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Again, the grenade launcher.
  • Continuity Snarl: The "Orca" boat appears in the attraction, despite having been sunk in the first film.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Amity Island itself, at least according to the cheap local TV channel that's played in the queue. It's a fun summer resort town... where everybody's just a bit TOO obsessed with the shark attacks that occurred in 1974 and inordinately cheerful when mentioning that people, you know, DIED. Brutally, that is. Also, if the interviews with them from that queue video are to be believed, the "real" Brody is an incompetent egomaniac and the "real" Hooper had his career ruined by the events of the movie.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The shark bites down on an electrical cord in the water and is subsequently fried to a crisp. It somehow manages to survive this, as it emerges and makes one final lunge towards the boat before being killed by the skipper's grenade launcher.
  • Delayed Explosion: In the original version of the ride, the shark is killed when the skipper shoots a grenade into its mouth. After swallowing the grenade, it goes back underwater and it then takes several seconds for the shark to blow up.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: As previously mentioned, the way the shark dies in both versions. In the first, it's blown up with a grenade, leaving nothing but blood and pieces of skin and flesh behind. In the second, it's electrocuted when it bites an electrical cord and becomes nothing but a charred mess.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The boat's skipper tends to be very interactive with the riders, doing things like sometimes letting a little kid hold onto the grenade launcher while they're driving, or making humorous remarks about the guests.
  • High Voltage Death: The shark is fried to bits when it accidentally bites an electrical cord, though survives for a few seconds afterwards.
  • Hope Spot: The boathouse the skipper takes the boat into in an attempt to hide. This backfires almost instantly as it's revealed that the shark is able to get in.
  • Jump Scare: The shark suddenly blasting out of the water in the gas dock scene can be very startling for first-time riders.
  • Mood Whiplash: The ride goes back in forth between some rather frightening sequences and the humor of the boat's skipper.
  • Musical Spoiler: The film's legendary theme is in some scenes played before the shark even emerges from the water.
  • Not Quite Dead: The shark returns after being electrocuted to lunge at the boat one more time before finally dying.
  • Oh Crap!: The reveal of the wreckage of the boat that was in front of you, coupled with the emergence of a shark fin from the water.
  • Premise Ville: Amity Village, just as it was in the film.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Subverted, the skipper says one before firing their grenade launcher at the shark as it's getting electrocuted, but it's soon after revealed that this did not completely kill the shark.
    Skipper: Eat THIS! (fires grenade launcher)
  • Reckless Gun Usage: The skipper is not exactly good with the grenade launcher, completely missing the shark every time until the ride's finale. Then there's also the fact that the skipper at one point accidentally shoots a gas dock, creating a wall of fire. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the skipper will sometimes let a kid hold the launcher.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The shark continues to follow and attack the riders over and over and over again throughout the whole ride.
  • Threatening Shark: Duh.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Skipper. At first he/she is terrified of the shark and shows much inexperience when it comes to dealing with it, until the finale when he/she decides they've had enough of the shark and bravely opens fire at it and later succeeds in finishing it off.