by Spencer Bollettieri
For a single night, while the rest of Universal Studios Hollywood was closed, Jurassic World opened wide its iconic gates for Generation Jurassic, a glimpse at the franchise’s future. Erupting as swiftly and silently as a velociraptor from the underbrush, the event, organized by Target and the website Jurassic Outpost for its podcast Beyond the Gates, was a mysterious one that promised to take over Universal Studios Hollywood. However, Generation Jurassic was more than just another after-hours event on April 28, 2022; it was an entire experience featuring exhibits, panels, giveaways, rides, and a celebrity guest to make it all complete.
Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Vehicles
Outside Universal Studios Hollywood, a motorcade of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World vehicles rolled into the parking lot. Filled with jeeps, pickups, and neon green tour cars, Universal Studios seemed ready for a prehistoric safari as guests took selfies beside them. From the fan group Jurassic Edition, guests saw replicas of props displayed on their dashboards and heard the sounds of Isla Nublar through their radios.
As impressive as the motorcade was, the main event was inside Universal Studios Hollywood’s theme park, where countless fans and members of the press were delighted with a party celebrating everything Jurassic Park-related.
Generation Jurassic Event
Guests interacted with Universal Studios’ dinosaur encounters, enjoyed the amenities such as the popular Isla Nu-Bar, and experienced Jurassic World – The Ride at its most terrifying … in the dark. Target and Universal provided glimpses at upcoming products and actual props from the movies meant to represent some of the series’ best moments and characters. But nobody could have predicted what came next, what would happen on the center stage at the beginning of a panel, or the very special presentation of Beyond the Gates.
People were delighted to see DeWanda Wise (She’s Gotta Have It, Someone Great, Fatherhood) attend the celebration. Wise plays Kayla Watts, a former Air Force pilot turned cargo pilot in Jurassic World: Dominion. Talking about her co-star Chris Pratt, working on the movie, and everything in between, the highlight of her panel came when Target revealed to her the latest action figure based on her Jurassic World: Dominion character. After noting how impressed she was with how they sculpted her in plastic, she took a few selfies with an inflatable T-Rex.
Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Toys
The main panel with Beyond the Gates showed future merchandise coming to Target. Featuring representatives from Funko and Mattel, Beyond the Gates talked about the challenges of modeling the new animals featured in Jurassic World: Dominion. Specifically, the Pyroraptors’ feathers made them look like a “porcupine” initially. They revealed new and exotic species coming to the Jurassic World toy line, such as the long-necked Ampelosaurus, the crocodilian Siamosaurus, and one of their biggest T-Rex figures to date.
Funko also announced the release of a diamond Mr. DNA figure, sculpted after Jurassic Park’s animated mascot, and a new set based on the “Clever Girl” scene from the original film, warranting a smirk from eager collectors. After Jurassic Outpost discussed the moments that defined the Jurassic Park films and how much they inspired their work, they ended on a high note as fans shouted out characters, creatures, and locations they wanted to see in the future.
Generation Jurassic was an experience that could only happen in the towering shadow of Jurassic World – The Ride. Jurassic Outpost hosted a one-of-a-kind night that seemingly came together so swiftly and unexpectedly that normally it would be hard to believe it could happen at all. With guests and staff alike mingling beneath the iconic King Kong gates, it seemed as if one of the best ways to experience Universal Studios Hollywood was after hours and surrounded by the celebrated legacy of Jurassic Park.
Jurassic World: Dominion
Jurassic World: Dominion is the sixth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise. It is the sequel to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The movie brings back fan favorites from the Jurassic Park movies, including Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant), Laura Dern (Dr. Ellie Sattler), and Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm). Jurassic World: Dominion is being released on June 10, 2022.
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(feature image by Theme Park Magazine. Generation Jurassic banner from promo poster for event)
About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.