Welcome Back Aboard!

Welcome to the AmityBoatTours.com Finale Edition. In this brand-new expansion to our website we celebrate the life, and journey of the JAWS Attraction at Universal Studios Florida and beyond. We gather together as JAWS Finatics and build an all-new never before created JAWS Community!


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Backstage

Take a peek behind the scenes with AmityBoatTours' exclusive, never-before-seen content - in this 'Backstage' glimpse, you'll be able to check out and learn how the attraction runs, and some behind the scenes photos, videos, and more! To begin, select a chapter from the menu below:


Ride Vehicles (Boats)

Starting off at the most commonly overlooked element of the attraction is the ride vehicle boats. These plain looking boats have plenty of hidden secrets under its hull, many never explained - until now. Each of Amity Boat Tour’s eight “pleasure cruisers” are exactly structurally identical, however as many Skippers learn, each boat has it’s own personality and strengths/weaknesses.

To review the anatomy of the boats, let's begin at the front (or aft) of the Boat. This is the Skipper's performance area. At the front there are two lights at either side of the boat (one red, one green) to distinguish port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the boat at night. Although these pose no real purpose on the ride, they are a real boat decorative touch and neat theming element. Next up is the OCC panel, which is short for Operator Control Console this allows the Skipper to navigate the attraction with little to no issue. The schematics of the boat, specifically it's buttons, are a trade-secret, and were trade-marked (and marked confidential) per the boat manufacturer and Universal - however, Skippers have the ability to emergency stop the entire attraction, manually power the boat forwards and backwards, send an SOS alert to the Ride Control (Tower), turn their mic on/off, disable show music and effect audio, and also receive a "stall" light in the event of ride backups. The floor of the performance area is lined with a rubber non-slip mat (which is split into two pieces). There are two cords which are connected to the back of the Skipper by a clip. The first cord is the mic cord which is connected directly into the boat audio, the other cord is the feared 'kill cord'. For the safety of the Skipper, should the fall overboard, the cord will cause an emergency stop for the entire attraction.

Next up in the anatomy of the boat is the eight rows of "Amity Blue" seats. Each row can hold up to eight (8) passengers, and are equipped with small holes in the row as well as at the end of each row to get rid of any water (the sides of the rows are called "gunnels"). Now to the complicated part, at row eight begins the machinery and engine for the boat. Each boat is equipped with a state-of-the-art fire suppression system for safety which can be triggered automatically or by the Skipper manually. The back two compartments of the boat control the ride communication (right), as well as the audio compartment (left). Ride Technicians can control boat audio levels (separated into: Skipper Mic Audio, Ride Score Audio, Sound Overlay [gunshot audio, all "Base and Chief Brody" calls]) as well as an additional audio speaker located in the aft of the boat that gives foax engine noise - which is primarily used in the Boathouse Scene to give the appearance the engine is flooded and won't drop into gear.

In June 2009, the JAWS boats were equipped with 'lift-lock' sensors that inform Skippers that the boat has fully extended and locked into position at Unload and Load positions. Adhered to the back right corner (behind row eight) of the boat, the lift-lock indicator turns red when in "show mode" or actively lifting into position. The indicator turns green when the boat has fully lifted and locked into the home (or what's called "extended lift" position) and is clear for guests to step off the boat.


The underbelly of the boat is where the magic is. Think of a large scissor lift, the structure of the underwater mechanism allows the boat to raise up at Load and Unload as well as tilt (called "rolls") left and right for dramatic effect. The "roll" effect can be felt (most significantly) with every shark attack. The boat will rock to whatever side the shark is attacking on to illustrate the large wave. The "rolls" also help keep guests dry by tilting the opposite way when waves crash towards the boat (most illustrated in the final finale scene when the shark attacks the electrical wire). At the base of the scissor lift, is the ride vehicle itself which looks similar to a rollercoaster vehicle. This connects with the ride track itself, and keeps the boat moving in a fluid fashion.

The entire fleet of JAWS boats are now equipped with a brand-new revolutionary fire suppression system triggered both automatically and manually by the Skipper in the event of onboard fire. The new system, called 'FM-100' (chemical name: bromodifluoromethane) once triggered immediately stops all boats, show effects, and extinguishes flames immediately.







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