Something has survived. Well, not really, but after several years of being closed, Jurassic Park Triceratops Discovery Trail has once again opened the paddocks and is welcoming guests. The attraction, part of the Jurassic Park area of the park, opened it’s doors this morning after months of speculation. It’s one of the original attractions that made Islands of Adventure “The world’s most technologically advanced theme park”.
Discovery Trail, also known as Trike Encounter, allows guests to get up close and personal with creatures that have been extinct for 65 million years. The experiences vary from allowing the guests to get sneezed on, to watching the creature pee, to even petting the dinosaurs. It’s a welcome sight as Universal gears up for what is sure to be it’s busiest Holiday Season ever, due to the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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While the attraction was one of the original to open with the park, it’s also one that has had some of the most problems. From the rather tame nature of the attraction, to the animatronics not working properly to even a lot of the queue line being weathered and unmaintained. The attraction closed in 2003 when it was used for a Halloween Horror Nights maze, and reopened only briefly sometime later in a very diminished fashion.
Originally the attraction had several stops in the queue line where various cameras were setup in Jurassic Park. It was themed to a veterinary outpost for the dinos and included stops to look at various monitors and screens including one where a camera was “strapped onto a raptor” that moved quickly through the brush. It was also full of little details, including a missing rifle and pair of night vision goggles that can later be seen in the Jurassic Park River Adventure laying on the ground in the raptor containment area. Great missed little details that would soon be forgotten.
You then entered one of three paddocks that gave you very close attention to an exam in progress of a Triceratops. It was one of the most endearing memories of childhood brought to life and thrown right in front of your hands.
After using the area for Halloween Horror Nights, it was never the same attraction. It opened briefly a few years later, but only to be a very quick walkthrough attraction. Shortly around 2007 the attraction closed for good, and seemed to be a thing of the past. The rumors swirled that the animatronic Trikes would be used in the River Adventure attraction, but that never came to be.
Here is a video from the Soft Opening courtesy of Seth Kubersky:
Now with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the attraction has seen a new life, albeit that of a walkthrough to help alleviate some of the huge crushing crowds that will surely encase the park over the Christmas Holiday. The original queue line is not open with all the great videos and monitors, and again it is a stripped down version of it’s former self. With any luck the park decides to keep this attraction open and eventually return it to it’s former glory, because who doesn’t want to touch a Dinosaur?
Though it’s not listed on the official website, visit Universal’s Website for more information!