The newest theme park thrill ride, “Jurassic World – The Ride,” is an epic adventure that expands upon the previous Jurassic Park ride, in a way that’s more real and more intense than ever. While the new adventure, which still utilizes the ride’s previous track, features Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong reprising their film roles, the real stars of the attraction are the dinosaurs, which now include the Indominus Rex and the aquatic Mosasaurus. With the assistance of filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow and Frank Marshall, the ride captures the essence of the blockbuster franchise and blends that with a bit of movie magic.
Collider was recently invited to preview this exciting new offering, and check out the new food and beverages, as well as the merchandise and collectible offerings. And while we were at Universal Studios Hollywood, we also took a few minutes to chat with Sr. Director & Executive Producer at Universal Creative Jon Corfino about how it all came about.
JON CORFINO: I can’t say a specific day when we decided to. Normally, it takes about three and a half years, and we actually did this in a little bit less time than that. We saw the opportunity to take the best of what was Jurassic Park and meld it with the future of the franchise, and who could pass that up?
How long did it take, as far as trying to work out ideas? What is that process, for figuring out what you want to add, change and incorporate?
CORFINO: Well, it’s important with every franchise that’s based on a very successful film to start with the filmmakers, so we worked very closely with Colin Trevorrow and Frank Marshall, and we presented to Steven Spielberg. It’s important to make sure that you’re actually being true to the brand, so that can take a little time, or a lot of time. We were fortunate that we came up with a pretty good idea. People liked it, but we worked very collaboratively. Colin made fantastic contributions to this. It wouldn’t be this without him.
What ideas did he have and what, specifically, did he want included?
CORFINO: It wasn’t so much any singular idea. It was about keeping the context firm. He is a fan and he’s the guardian of the brand now, so it was really about sticking with the essential DNA of awe and wonder, and what I call the ethos of what this brand is really all about.
Was there anything that was most challenging, technically?
CORFINO: There’s a certain amount of technology, but it’s really about, how do you really do it a certain time frame? The time frame was a little compressed on this, and we were dealing with an existing ride, so it’s not like we were building a new ride. There were such great elements and iconic moments, from the old ride, to keep, and it was the blending of those stories that ultimately culminated in the success that it is.
CORFINO: The initial scene, where the gates open and you saw the mama Ultrasaurus was such an iconic moment. So, what we tried to do was match it with an equally iconic moment of having the gates open and seeing the Mosasaurus. So, there’s a little bit of that, while also shifting it forward.
This is a ride that’s also scary. How do you weigh that with knowing that you have people of all ages at the theme park?
CORFINO: That comes back to what Colin was really all about, which is that there are scary moments, but it’s really about awe and wonder. So long as you stay centrally focused on that, or based in that, you’ll be okay. It wasn’t about trying to go to a super scary place. That’s going to be there. It was really about sticking with that essential identity.
Do you also have to think about the people who may never have seen the films, so that they still have a fun experience on the ride?
CORFINO: Absolutely! At the end of the day, this is different than seeing a film. It’s about having the experience. We have to keep things like the 84-foot drop at the end, which is iconic, and the mama and baby Stegosaurus. It’s about melding the new with the old. That’s the task.
To learn more about visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, go to www.universalstudioshollywood.com