Complete Guide to Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal Islands of Adventure

September 17, 2021
River Adventure

There are some theme park rides that are simply legendary and Jurassic Park River Adventure is right up there at the top of that list. Not only do you get to travel into the Jurassic story and experience what started it all, the ride is absolutely thrilling. And, as a mom of the biggest 8-year-old dinosaur lover ever (seriously, he knows it all), Jurassic Park River Adventure is the one ride we never miss on a trip to Universal Islands of Adventure. 

Jurassic Park River Adventure marquee


Jurassic Park River Adventure starts as a relaxing river tour through Jurassic Park’s herbivore containment area. Here you have a chance to come face-to-face with John Hammond’s (the original creator of Jurassic Park) prized creations.

You end up having some very close encounters with some pretty dangerous dinosaurs before a pretty big plunge.


A model of Jurassic Park in the Jurassic Park River Adventure queue

Jurassic Park River Adventure is in the heart of Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure. The queue serves as a welcome center to Jurassic Park, with a tropical landscaped and covered walkway leading you to your river tour boat. Make sure to take in the Jurassic Park miniature when you enter the queue.

After boarding your boat, the first part of the tour is a relaxing and smooth ride where you have the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal moment with several of the most grand herbivore dinosaurs — the Ultrasaurus, Psittacosaurus and Stegosaurus. (And yes, when riding recently I quizzed my son and resident dinosaur expert, and he named every single one correctly by sight and sound only).

Jurassic Park River Adventure dinosaur

But just as you meet up with a very shy and territorial Parasaurolophus, you are bumped off course into the Raptor containment where you meet some destructive Compys and small Velociraptors.

To get you to safety, you are rerouted into the enormous Environmental Systems building where you’ll meet some fierce Raptors before coming face-to-face with the enormous Tyrannosaurus rex and — my absolute favorite part of the ride — plunging down the 85-foot reservoir release system.

T. rex in Jurassic Park River Adventure

When boarding the ride, we always debate on where to sit in order to mitigate the amount of water that will wash over our heads. But, I can report that every single seat on the boat will get wet! You can also purchase an amazing photo out of the process that will bring laughs for years to come… and you will be cooled off from the Florida sun.

A woman and child soaked after riding Jurassic Park River Adventure


  • Minimum height requirement of 42″ (107 centimeters) to ride
  • You will need, and want, a locker for this ride 
  • Children under 48” (122”) will need to have a supervising companion to ride
  • Child Swap is available and definitely very easy to use and a great option for families with little ones
  • This is a water ride and you will get wet – but that is part of the fun


Once off the ride, make sure to first stop at the photo services booth inside Jurassic Outfitters to view and purchase your plunge photo. DO NOT MISS THIS! I promise it is one of the most hysterical photos you will ever purchase of your family and friends.

Then take a moment to meander through the most amazing Jurassic Park store. You will find Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Camp Cretaceous merchandise that can not easily be found elsewhere (believe me, I know — we have every Jurassic dinosaur toy created throughout our home).


  • The T. rex is 36 ft. tall
  • The final drop is 85 ft. tall at a 55 degree angle
  • The boats are free floating
  • 1.5 million gallons of water are used throughout the ride
  • When the ride opened in 1999, it featured the largest theme park water descent ever constructed


In addition to the plunge photo inside the ride, there are photo opportunities in and around Jurassic Park River Adventure.

A Velociraptor in Raptor Encounter

First, make sure to visit Raptor Encounter just down from the ride entrance, as well as these famous photo opportunities with the Jurassic Park vehicle, Spinosauraus and T. rex, and outside the ride in the splashdown area. 

And while in Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure do not forget to check out the newest Jurassic addition to Universal Orlando Resort — Jurassic World Velocicoaster.

Come visit us in Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure soon and check out this complete Jurassic guide to plan all of your dinosaur encounters.

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1 Comment

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