James Hanis, currently a design manager at Walt Disney Imagineering in Orlando, Florida, has built up a strong career in project management, urban design, and architecture. His previous experience in theme park design includes service as senior architect and administrative construction manager of Universal Studios’ Jurassic Park River Adventure attraction at the park’s Islands of Adventure. James Hanis oversaw work on that project that encompassed more than one dozen structures and a river ride experience.
Work on the first Jurassic Park ride commenced in 1992, the same year filming began on the feature film of the same name. In fact, the construction of the ride started even before production on the film. Both were based on the popular novel by Michael Crichton about a scientist who discovers a way to bring dinosaurs back to life through genetic manipulation.
Jurassic Park: The Ride debuted in 1996 at Universal Studios Hollywood, while Jurassic Park River Adventure opened three years later. At the time, the enormous dinosaur figures created for the Jurassic Park ride were the largest-scale animated characters ever made for an attraction in any genre.
The Jurassic Park River Adventure ride features a river transportation system that moves visitors from one lush jungle lagoon setting to another, through 22 acres of space that includes restaurants and shopping experiences.