Jurassic Park Roller Coaster Construction Update – Pilings and More Land Clearing

Alicia Stella Construction Updates / Theme Park Rumors This article contains affiliate links. Learn More

We saw the first movement on the still unannounced Jurassic Park roller coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure back in January when work walls started going up and land clearing began in front of the Discovery Center. Since then we’ve seen the bypass bridge come down, the Raptor Encounter move to a temporary location, and a lot more land clearing going on.

Now, they’ve brought in some large equipment to dig very deep holes for foundations for the new coaster. Pile driving has been going on along the waterfront and more recently in the old Triceratops Encounter area. And speaking of the old Triceratops area, they have finally started demolition of this now defunct attraction. Let’s take a look around the entire area to see these changes, along with other small updates for Jurassic Park.

The new roller coaster is expected to be a multi-launch steel coaster. It is rumored to be located in both the former Triceratops Encounter plot, as well as in front of the Discovery Center and over sections of the park’s lagoon. See the track layout image below for details on how the entire area may appear when the project is complete. And see our original article from January for more ride details and speculation.

We’re starting our construction photo update in front of the entrance to the Jurassic Park River Adventure. Across from the ride entrance we can see the pile driver machinery sitting in the old Triceratops Encounter plot. Work walls are up on both sides of the pathway, but with so many trees removed we can see more sky in this area than we ever have before.

Without all the foliage in place, we can see structures from the old Triceratops Encounter that used to be blocked from the pathway. We expect all of the old structures in this area to be demolished eventually.

We should expect the hot dog stand and travel kiosk to move away from this area and the work walls extended out even further after construction kicks into high gear later.

Next door to the River Adventure, work walls cover the former location of the carnival skill games. This area is rumored to become an entrance to a new, permanent home to Raptor Encounter eventually.

Work walls on both sides of the pathway here. One side blocks the future coaster site, the other blocks the rumored future Raptor Encounter site.

Work walls blocking former games location, rumored future home of Raptor Encounter. This is between the River Adventure ride entrance and Pizza Predattoria restaurant.

Additional tables have been added to the left side of Pizza Predattoria for guests, since the other side is now being utilized as a temporary home for the Raptor Encounter.

The Raptor Encounter had to be moved from its former location to make way for coaster construction. While a new, more permanent home for the Raptor Encounter is rumored to be built to the left of Pizza Predattoria, for now it appears Blue will be meeting guests in a small encounter area created on the right of the pizza restaurant.

The original location for the Raptor Encounter is now behind walls, along with the triceratops fossil rock, and T-Rex photo op. These are expected to be removed from the area, and hopefully be relocated to another area of the land.

The new(ish) backstage entrance for team members is also behind work walls. No one is allowed to enter this area except construction workers now.

Nearby, no movement yet on the seating area across from Burger Digs. Permits show one of the ponds here being filled in to make room for additional outdoor seating. The old carnival skill games were also expected to be moved to this area in the future, but we have not yet seen any progress on that as well.

The screen-used Jurassic Park jeep from the T-Rex photo op has been relocated to the Spinosaurus photo op. The Mercedes from The Lost World has reportedly been moved backstage.

Across from the Spinosaurus photo op, the smoking area is now behind blue work walls. The smoking area remains open, but the front entrance has been blocked from the main path. You can still access it from behind.

Inside the designated smoking area, behind the wall, we can see a large section of plants have been marked by bright ribbon. No word yet on why, but it’s possible the plants may need to be removed. Maybe they need to dig here for pipes or other utilities. This may be related to the relocation of the vacation planning booth that’s currently across from River Adventure.

Nothing has really changed on the path to the left of the smoking area, between The Watering Hole and Discovery Center. The screen-used Explorer is still in place, and guest access to the waterfront area is still closed.

Now let’s take a look around the front of the Discovery Center’s waterfront. All (but one) of the trees have been removed, and the land has been cleared down to the dirt. One tree has been saved, because it is very special. It’s actually two different trees that have grown up intertwined. Word is the coaster plans have been adjusted so this special plant can remain in place.

From the Three Broomsticks back patio area we can get a great look at some of the construction happening at the waterfront area. The roller coaster is expected to reach all the way to this area.

The small spots surrounded by orange fences are where the pile driving deep foundations are. There are many of these scattered throughout the area and will be the precursor to the coaster’s footers, which will be installed at a later time.

The original bypass bridge that connected Lost Continent to Jurassic Park is now completely gone. A new, more permanent bridge is expected to be built in the same place. Work doesn’t seem to have started on the new bridge yet, (even though Team Members were told that it would be ready by this summer).

Taking a last look from the opposite side of the lagoon, from behind the Popeye ride. Now that so many trees have been cleared, we can see walls and fences that were normally blocked from view. This left-side corner of the lagoon will look very different once the coaster is built, with its tallest section located here.

One more look at the special intertwined tree before we go.

Thanks for taking this journey with us today. We’ll take one last look at the unblocked Discovery Center. One day in the next year or so, this view will be very, very different.

That’s all for this update! Rumors for the opening of the new coaster range from as early as next year, to the summer of 2021 at the latest. See our previous articles or the video below for more details, and stay tuned for our continuing coverage of this new attraction.

If you’re thinking about booking your next trip to Universal Orlando, request your free vacation quote from our good friend Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida. She can help you get the best deals on tickets, your on-site hotel room, and more — and her services are completely free!

Stay tuned for more updates on this massive new project as they happen! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Photos by Alicia Stella

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  • John Gosbee


    Since I cannot walk or stand as much due to med issue, I have spent lots of time in IOA and USO looking for great places to people watch, or with cool views – but not too crowded or hectic. Near the lagoon I kept finding really cool areas, but almost NO people. Realized they were all at “cul du sacs”. I think the new Jurassic coaster is a great chance to showcase and redesign these cool areas – and add restaurants and bars, and maybe an “inner loop” to reduce congestion on other paths.

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