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New Jurassic Park Water Ride Has Gargantuan Budget

Billed as the most expensive attraction ever built, Universal Studios Hollywood will introduce its new $110 million Jurassic Park water-based thrill ride in June.

A June 1 fund-raiser featuring Jurassic Park - The Ride, will benefit the Starbright Foundation, for which “Jurassic Park” director Steven Spielberg is the chairman. The foundation combines expertise from the worlds of entertainment, new technology and pediatric health care to create products and programs that address the significant needs of seriously ill children.

The Jurassic ride will be introduced just prior to Universal Studios Florida’s official unveiling of its $60 million-plus attraction, Terminator 2: 3-D.

However, T2: 3-D, featuring a 12-minute film with newly produced footage featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and shot at a cost of $23 million, will be open to the public during May as part of the “technical rehearsal phase,” according to a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Time Warner’s Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., will introduce a new movie-related ride of its own following a May 30 press event and VIP party. Superman: The Escape, which will be a 900-foot long, 45-second ride to reach a speed of 100 mph and drop riders 41 stories, will reportedly cost about $10 million. It will be the park’s costliest attraction ever.

These extravagant new attractions will leave Disneyland with only its final summer of the Main Street Electrical Parade to promote this year. Much of the park’s Tomorrowland area will also be under construction until spring 1998 as it undergoes a major revamping.

But a Disneyland spokesman said all parks benefit from the introduction of new attractions.

Jurassic Park - The Ride is more costly than Disneyland’s enormously popular Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, introduced last year at a cost reportedly close to $100 million.

The new Jurassic ride is being built on a six-acre site on the lower lot of the park near Stage 25, which formerly was used for maintenance and operation. Riders in 25-seat free-floating rafts will be taken on a 5-1/2-minute ride through a 13-story building past animatronic dinosaurs before being dropped 84 feet - the longest, fastest, steepest water descent ever built - to an outdoor portion of the ride.

At least one of the animatronic dinosaurs stands five stories high and measures 40 feet from nose to tail.