by Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine
April 1, 2023
Hold onto your hats, dino lovers! Universal Studios Resort – Island of Adventures is preparing to unveil its biggest attraction in years: The Jurassic World Petting Zoo.
“For years, our Creative team has been working on creating real dinosaurs based on a mix of organic material, genetic engineering, and AI technology,” said Brian Robinson, Executive Vice President, Chief Creative Officer of Universal Creative. “We had a major breakthrough in 2022 and were able to create an organic living creature through genetic engineering, complete with an Artificial Intelligence brain. It’s the biggest advancement in this area ever.”
That breakthrough is leading to a number of upcoming Universal Studios theme park attractions, starting with the Jurassic World Petting Zoo, which will be built on the waterway by the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Guests can expect to encounter a delightful array of herbivorous dinos, including the gentle Triceratops, the lovable Stegosaurus, and the ever-popular, leaf-munching Brachiosaurus.
Dinosaurs Genetically Engineered for “Cuteness”
The dinosaurs, affectionately dubbed “Jurassic Pets,” are designed to be gentle, affectionate, and unquestionably cute. Each species has been carefully selected for its potential to elicit heart-melting coos and “awws” from visitors.
“We did make them cuter than they were in reality,” said Robinson. “We got the idea from The Mandalorian when they introduced Baby Yoda. That’s the ultimate in cuteness, and we want to compete with that. Everyone will want to own our Jurassic Pets.”
Universal Creative Leaders Leave Over Jurassic World Petting Zoo
The creation of organic dinosaurs based on AI technology isn’t without controversy. In 2022, the President of Universal Creative and several Senior Vice Presidents left the company to protest the development of organic dinosaurs with AI brains.
“Did no one see the movie Jurassic Park?” asked Thierry Coup, former Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer of Universal Creative. “Now imagine taking those dinosaurs but giving them AI brains. It’s only a matter of time before they eat the tourists.”
Universal Studios is assuring fans that the lifelike dinosaurs are not dangerous.
“They are vegetarians,” Robinson told Theme Park Magazine. “Vegetarians have never hurt anyone.”
According to Robinson, the Jurassic Pets are programmed with strict behavioral limits, ensuring that they will never threaten visitors. A highly trained staff is always on hand to monitor the animals and provide emergency belly rubs as needed.
The Jurassic World Petting Zoo will also feature a special “Dino Daycare” area, where guests can assist park staff in caring for baby dinosaurs. Visitors can bottle-feed a hungry Apatosaurus, help a Pachycephalosaurus learn to head-butt, or even teach a baby Parasaurolophus how to play fetch.
Jurassic Pets for Home Use
Universal Creative is looking to make empathetic dinosaurs that may one day become human pets.
“Our AI-brained dinosaurs are not only kind and gentle, but they’re also programmed to understand and interpret human emotions,” says Mark Woodbury, Chairman and CEO of Universal Destinations & Experiences. “If little Timmy starts to cry, the nearest Stegosaurus will promptly offer him a comforting pat on the head with its soft tail spikes.”
A trademark search shows that Universal Studios trademarked “Jurassic Pets” three years ago. That’s about the same time Universal Creative created a division to develop dinosaur pets for domestic living.
“Imagine coming to Universal Studios, and instead of walking out of the park with a plushy Stegosaurus, you walk out with a real one,” commented Woodbury.
Last week, Universal Studios invited over a dozen families to a secret outdoor facility where they set up a display similar to the one that will be used in the park and filmed guest interactions. See Explore More (Videos) below for the test commercial they created on the experience.
The Jurassic World Petting Zoo will open in Spring 2024 at Universal Studios Resort – Islands of Adventure.
Explore More (Videos)
Editor’s Note: Hold onto your (dino)hats, folks! We must admit, we had a little too much fun hatching this prehistoric prank. 🦖 In case you haven’t figured it out, this article is an April Fool’s joke! You can find clues like the April 1st date under the title, the byline, and the “April Fools” tag under the headline. We indulge in these playful shenanigans every year, so don’t worry – no actual dinosaurs were involved (or harmed) in the making of this article. 😉