One of the most beloved Universal attractions, JAWS shuttered its doors for good in 2012 to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. While some remnants of the past attraction remain in plain view—and you can even purchase Jaws related merchandise in some of the gift shops—there are also hidden references and leftover remains from this classic ride sprinkled throughout the area where it once stood. Here are 7 hidden references to JAWS at Universal Studios Florida.
Bruce the Shark
The most obvious leftover remnant from the original attraction is the photo op that used to be located in front of the ride’s entrance. Bruce, as many call him, after the mechanical shark from the film, still delights guests who want a photograph with him, but is now located in the San Francisco section of the park. You can also find some of the original pressed penny designs across from him. And the bar, Chez Alcatraz even offers a couple drinks that honor the former attraction, including the Ocean Attack (formerly known as Shark Attack). It’s fun to watch it be made, especially when the red grenadine is added at the end.
Signs of Amity Island
Even though all of Amity Island was removed to make way for the new Wizarding World land, the neighboring San Francisco area wasn’t changed at all. As a result, the walls facing the area were allowed to keep their Amity-related theming. With these walls facing another land, they were themed in a way that would work as seen from both areas, which is an old Hollywood backlot trick. Many folks are aware of the “Amity Island Lobster Co.” signs on the tower at the edge of the land, but across the street, on the side of the San Fransisco Pastry Company is a window for “Amity Shipfitters and Riggers” that most guests never notice.
Man at the Wheel
Perpetually locked in a 4th of July celebration, Amity Island was filled with carnival games and red, white and blue decorations. One piece of theming was a fisherman statue. Based on a real statue named “Man at the Wheel” in Massachusetts, it could originally be found on the main pathway of Amity Island. When the land closed the statue was moved to San Francisco, to the back patio of Lombard’s Landing overlooking the lagoon. If you angle your camera just right, you can get a photo with both the statue and the shark from Amity Island at the same time.
The Quint Trio
In addition to the leftover remains of the JAWS ride, you can also find some tributes to the former attraction hidden throughout the Wizarding World land. The record shop facade in the London area features a record in the window called “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow Legged Women,” an allusion to a line from Quint in the original JAWS film. If you look closely, you can see that the band is named, “The Quint Trio,” after Quint, Hooper, and Chief Brody in the film.
Shrunken Heads Serenade
Another nod to the original film can be found tucked away in Knockturn Alley, inside of Diagon Alley. The shrunken heads in one of the windows near the entrance to Borgin and Burkes will sing various songs and tell jokes when you use your interactive wand nearby. One of the songs they randomly sing may sound familiar to fans of the original film. “Show Me the Way to Go Home” was sung by the main characters, just before their final encounter with the shark.
Finding Real Jaws
The windows throughout Diagon Alley offer all sorts of interesting eye candy, but look hard enough and you might find some actual jaws. In one of the windows for Mr. Mullpepper’s Apothecary near the ice cream parlor, you can spot a large set of shark jaws hiding behind some of the pots of herbs and spices. A couple more sets of shark teeth can be spotted inside of Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley, hiding among the trinkets on the bottom row of the center glass case. These sets of jaws are said to have been recycled props from the old attraction, given a second life here in the Wizarding World.
Speaking of recycled, inside of Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, the shop you exit through after riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, you might spot some unusual telescopes. Located around the upper part of the store, these strange contraptions are said to contain parts from boats on the old JAWS ride. One of the larger telescopes feature parts from a brass ship compass that was located in the old ride’s queue. Other props from the JAWS attraction were used around the land as well, including a rope ladder and chains in the blacksmith shop, and an old crate on the right side of the preshow area for Escape from Gringotts.
The original Amity Island bathrooms survived demolition, and were just painted brown to better match the new area. There’s an urban legend that Universal buried one of the animatronic sharks under the fountain in London, that way he’ll always be lurking just below the water. And the next time you see the dragon breathing fire in Diagon Alley, remember it’s taking place in nearly the same spot as the gas dock explosion on the JAWS ride. In many ways, JAWS will always be right here, and in our hearts.
That’s all for now, but click here to see more hidden things around the parks. And don’t miss the video version of this article for additional visuals. For help booking your next trip to Universal Orlando request your free quote from Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida today! She’ll help you plan the perfect vacation with the best rates on ticket packages and on-site hotels, and her services are totally FREE to you.