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Ride / Jaws

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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 7, 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 2, 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 31, 2001, and continues to remain open to this day.

Amity 6 to base, come in base...
This is base, you are cleared for departure, Amity 6. Have a good trip!

The JAWS ride provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The idea behind the attraction was taking the brief JAWS scene on the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, and making it into its own ride.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The set-up of the ride, featuring guests packed into a boat hosted by a skipper played by a park employee, can be seen as the equivalent to the Jungle Cruise as the Disney Theme Parks. However, where Jungle Cruise is breezy and pun-laden, JAWS is much more tense, though with some Black Comedy to balance things out.
  • Alternate Continuity: The attraction is not set in the continuity of the movies, rather being set in a continuity where the movies were based off of a true story.
  • ...And 99ยข: The price of Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tours is shown as being $39.95 per person.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The ride is set during a Fourth of July Festival that Amity is holding.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The interactions between Jake and Chompy in the commercials are noticeably phony.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: The shark is able to smash its way into the boathouse, and then makes another lunge for the boat.
  • Blatant Lies: Captain Jake mentions that his Champagne Cruise is available for the "laughably low price of just $75 per person".
  • 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.
  • But Wait, There's More!: The Captain Jake's commercial states that if you mention the commercial, you'll get an actual life jacket (but not without noting that the offer is subject to avaliability).
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Brody and the marines aren't able to make it in to deal with the situation in time, and at the end get called off by the skipper.
  • Canon Foreigner: Captain Jake, the owner of the boat tours, doesn't appear in any of the movies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the grenade launcher. It's introduced at the start of the attraction, making it seemingly clear that it will play importance in the story, but the skipper is incredibly incompetent with aiming it and it doesn't do much good for the situation. Played straight in the original version of the ride, however, as the grenade launcher proves instrumental in the finale when the skipper shoots a grenade into the shark's mouth.
  • 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, the "real" Hooper had his career ruined by the events of the movie, and the "real" Quint is ticked that the movie killed him off instead of showing his incredible survival story.
  • 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.
  • Distress Call: It's not long into the ride before Amity 6 gets a distress call from another boat, stating that it's under attack. The transmission cuts out with a scream.
  • Dramatic Pause: Right after seeing the sinking remains of Amity 3, the skipper ends up doing this.
    Skipper: I don't know what could have done this out here, except....except a shark.
  • Dramatization: In-Universe, the ride is set in universe where the shark attacks on Amity Island really did occur and the film was a dramatization.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The queue video has a fitness segment with former Marine Dirk Kincaid, who tries to whip random Islanders into shape with some good ol' Marine Corps discipline, minus the profanity, since there are families with kids in the line, of course.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Although he's not actually a pirate, Captain Jake is shown to be dressed like one, having an eyepatch and a fake parrot on his shoulder.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: Normally, as the ride was ending, the skipper would tell the riders not to tell anyone about the little "fish episode" they'd just witnessed, because if word got out it would ruin Captain Jake and all the other Amity businesses. Once the ride's fate was sealed in late 2011, many skippers would ad-lib a line referencing the imminent closing, usually saying something along the lines of "With how fast word travels in this town, we'd be gone by January 2!"
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The way the shark dies in both versions is surprisingly graphic for a ride in a park filled with many family attractions. 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.
  • Girly Scream: Was occasionally done by some of the male skippers, as shown in this video.
  • Grenade Launcher: What all the skippers are equipped with; to be used in the event of a shark attack.
  • Goofy Suit: In Captain Jake's commercial, we see someone wearing a "Chompy the Shark" costume, who during the commercial complains to Jake about how much he hates wearing this suit in the sun.
  • Halloween Episode: As mentioned above, the ride was given some alterations and temporarily renamed Bloody Waters for Halloween Horror Nights in 2000.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Several tacky-looking tourists are shown in the background of the Captain Jake commercial.
  • 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.
    • Just before the finale, the skipper tries to park and unload the boat at a fishing dock that's next to an electrical barge, only for the shark to come in once more.
  • If You Call Before Midnight Tonight: Captain Jake mentions that for a limited time his Champagne Cruise is available at a reduced price of $71.50 (under the condition that you bring your own champagne).
  • Improv: Skippers would often deviate from the script to bring a new experience. Seen here!
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: In-Universe, the boating company the guests embark with is called "Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tours".
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The ride and its surrounding area is always set during Amity's Fourth of July festival.
  • Jump Scare: The shark suddenly blasting out of the water in the gas dock scene can be very startling for first-time riders.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: The commercials shown for Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tours reeks of low-budget, and if you haven't already noticed, they hit a huge amount of tropes regarding cheesy, deceptive commercials.
  • Mascot: Captain Jake's has the cutesy "Chompy the Shark", who they use as a way of making people not worry about the threat of a shark attack.
  • Mood Whiplash: The ride goes back in forth between some rather frightening sequences and the humor of the boat's skipper.
  • The Musical: "JAWS: The Musical - How to Tune a Fish", a musical short film made in 2006 by the ride's team members, about the ride being closed and the people working there having to be moved to different attractions (which ended up becoming prophetic when the ride closed for real six years later).
  • Musical Spoiler: The film's legendary theme is in some scenes played before the shark even emerges from the water.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While attempting to put the shark down, the skipper accidentally shoots a gas dock, causing it to explode and create a trail of fire.
  • Not Quite Dead: The shark returns after being electrocuted to lunge at the boat one more time before finally dying.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: In one of the commercials, Chompy mentions that his mother-in-law is coming to town and he desperately needs something to entertain her with.
  • Ominous Fog: The boathouse is filled with thick fog, giving a hint that it's not safe and that something bad's about to happen.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: Numerous disclaimers are included in the commercials for Captain Jake's, including: "Seats not available on all boats", "Some boats may be guest-operated", "Shade available at additional cost", "Insurance waiver required", and so on.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: In the boathouse, the skipper is briefly unable to start up the boat, only to get it working again just when the shark attacks.
  • 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.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: When the ride first opened, it originally had a soundtrack that was entirely made up of re-used music from the films. However, when the attraction was entirely overhauled and re-opened in 1993, it was given a completely custom soundtrack.
  • Say My Name: Upon first seeing the shark, the skipper usually screams, "SHHHHHHHAAAAARRRRRRKKKKKKKK!!!!"
  • Self-Disposing Villain: As said earlier, the shark kills itself by accident when it bites onto an electrical cord.
  • Slogans: The slogan of Captain Jake's is, "It's more fun than a barrel of sea monkeys!"
  • Sound-Only Death: The death of a fellow skipper and his passengers can only be heard when he screams over a radio transmissions.
  • Stepford Consumer: The commercials include an interview with a very touristy-looking customer that seems to be a bit overly ecstatic about the boat tours.
  • Stock Animal Name: The shark in Captain Jake's commercials gets the name, "Chompy".
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The shark continues to follow and attack the riders over and over and over again throughout the whole ride.
  • Tempting Fate: Multiple times before the ride it's mentioned that there hasn't been a shark attack in Amity in over 35 years and that they'll never have use the grenade launchers.
  • 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.
  • Updated Re Release: The initial version of the attraction closed in summer 1990 due to technical malfunctions and re-opened in 1993, with several altered story elements.
  • Vapor Trail: Played with. When the skipper attempts to fire at the shark but misses and hits a gas dock, it causes an explosion that also leaks a trail of gasoline onto the water, creating a wall of fire.
  • [Verb] This!: The skipper says, "Eat this!" before firing their grenade launcher at the shark while it's being electrocuted.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: In-universe, the explanation for any discrepancies between the ride and the movie is that the film was a dramatized version of what happened at the "real" Amity Island.

This is Amity 6, call off those marines, we are coming home!