Monday, February 20, 2006

Jaws Back in Action at Universal Orlando

ORLANDO (AP) – Universal Orlando has reopened its Jaws adventure ride, after using it only occasion-ally since last year. The theme park refurbished the ride before reopening it this month. Since September, park officials had only opened the ride for after-hours events and holiday crowds. The boat ride, which tours visitors through a lagoon infested with seven robotic great white sharks, was popular with guests, said Tom Schroder, a Universal spokesman. The ride is based on the best-selling 1974 novel "Jaws," by Peter Benchley – who died Saturday – and the 1975 blockbuster movie by Steven Spielberg. Universal closed the ride shortly after opening it in 1990 because of mechanical difficulties. It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1993. Outside industry sources estimate Universal may have spent $70 million on original con-struction and overhauling the ride. The Jaws ride will remain open at least through the end of summer, Schroder said.

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