Jurassic Park movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Jurassic Park filmed?

1993

About Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is an American science fiction/drama/thriller/adventure film made in 1993 by Steven Spielberg. It was based on the 1990 science fiction book written by Michael Crichton. The movie starts out with a new theme park created by John Hammond with dinosaurs he cloned. The park is on Isla Nublar, which is just off the Costa Rican coastline. After one of the dinosaur handlers gets killed by a velociraptor, the investors insist that experts should visit the park to make sure it is safe.

The experts include paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Sattler, paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, and mathematician and theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm. Joined by Hammond’s grandchildren, Tim and Lex Murphy, the group take a tour of the park. At first, none of the dinosaurs appear until they find a triceratops that is sick, and they get out and check on it. Unfortunately, the tour has to be canceled early because of a tropical cyclone heading for the island.

Meanwhile, the lead programmer, Dennis Nedry, bribed by a corporate rival to steal fertilized embryos, disables the park security system to get into the embryo room and as he prepares to leave, he is killed by a dilophosaurus. This leaves everyone unprotected as the animals are allowed to roam about the park, with the tour group stuck near the Tyrannosaurus Rex area when their vehicles are cut off, just like the power.

The T-rex attacks the tour vehicles, kills Gennaro, and injures Malcolm as Tim, Lex, and Grant escape. The game warden and Sattler search for the group, finding Malcolm but cannot find the kids and Grant because T-Rex chases them away. Back at the center, the engineer reboots the security system but gets killed in the process. After a long hike through the dinosaurs, the kids and Grant get back and after being chased by raptors, they escape when the T-Rex eats the raptors. Finally, a rescue helicopter gets them off the island to safety.

City Locations

Red Rock Canyon, California and several of the Hawaiian Islands

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, Nature Scapes, Ranch, Rustic, Studios

Location Styles

Beachfront, Exotic/Tropical, Modern Building, Resort, SUV

Jurassic Park Locations

The main Jurassic Park production was done on several of the Hawaiian Islands. It started on Kauai on August 24, 1992, and continued for three weeks shooting outside around building exteriors and the forests. It was the forests where much of the first scenes were shot. Hurricane Iniki struck the island on September 11th and cost them a day of shooting, but they used some of the real storm effects for storm footage in the movie.

Other parts of the film such as the Gallimimus herd chase were shot on Oahu at the Kualoa Ranch as well as on Maui, Haiku, and Niihau. The Visitor Center in the film was a fabricated façade on the Valley House Plantation in Kauai. The Jurassic Park filming location then moved to several studios in California before shooting on location at Red Rock Canyon for the Montana dig scenes. The Kualoa Ranch and Red Rock Canyon both offer tours to let the public see some of the shooting sites.

Fun Fact:

Even though the movie is about dinosaurs, the total dino screen time was only about 15 minutes. Nine minutes is the animatronics and six of it is computer graphics.

Grant and the kids chased by dinosaurs scene in Jurassic Park

The Kualoa Ranch on the Island of Oahu

One of the most memorable chase scenes, not as frightening as the others, was when a group of thousands of Gallimimus dinosaurs was running through a field just as Grant and the kids are going through.

This was a relatively harmless type of dino like an ostrich that could run about 26 to 35 miles per hour. Although these dinos are not typically carnivores and do not attack people, they were still pretty big and ran extremely fast so they could do some damage even by accident.

Dr. Alan Grant, Tim, and Lex find a large log to hide behind and feel safe for a few moments… until they realize that the Gallimimus were running from a T-Rex. As they are hiding, Grant asks Tim what kind of dino they are and he says “Gallimimus.” While they talk about how they flock like birds, Lex gets frustrated and says, “They’re flocking this way.”

You can visit the exact log at Kualoa Ranch and get a fantastic selfie there. The 4,000-acre nature park is at 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kane’ohe, Hawaii and they offer 2.5-hour tours in a Jurassic Park vehicle. You can get there on Bus 55 from Ala Moana.

Welcome to Jurassic Park scene in Jurassic Park

Kauai Island Manawaiopuna Falls

Another famous scene in this film shoot is the stunning Jurassic Falls, which is on the island of Kauai. The scene is when Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, and Dr. Malcolm arrive on the island and see the island from the helicopter as well as the spectacular waterfall, which is actually the Manawaiopuna Falls.

This is where Hammond gives everyone the “Welcome to Jurassic Park” speech. Although you will not see the dinosaurs that were actually computer graphics in the movie. It is also where the doctors who have just stepped off the helicopter, banter back in forth as they are in awe of the scenery.

To see this exact spot, take a helicopter tour called the Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure experience on Kauai. You will meet the helicopter on the helipad at Lihue Airport where they will fly you to the waterfall and let you walk around for about 20 minutes. The total trip takes about 1.5 hours.

The T-Rex attack scene in Jurassic Park

The Kualoa Ranch on the Island of Oahu

Waiting for it… you know it’s coming, and you cannot do anything about it. You see the vibrations in the puddles of water, the loud thuds coming from nearby. And then he is there… T-Rex attacks the lawyer sitting on the toilet.

As Donald Gennaro runs away from the jeep the kids are trapped in, T-Rex follows him to the bathroom and rips the building off, so we see the lawyer sitting on the toilet for a few seconds before he is gobbled up by the giant dino.

You can see this Jurassic Park action scene, or where it was before T-Rex destroyed it. Just like the log, you can visit this spot on Kualoa Ranch on the Jurassic Adventure Tour. However, there is nothing to see but an empty space. Just before this scene when Gennaro runs to the porta-potty, Dr. Alan Grant says, “Well, where does he think he’s going?” to which Dr. Ian Malcolm replies. “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”

The 4,000-acre nature park is at 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kane’ohe, Hawaii and they offer 2.5-hour tours in a Jurassic Park vehicle. You can get there on Bus 55 from Ala Moana.

Shoot herrrrrr scene in Jurassic Park

Visitor Center at Limahuli Garden Park on Kauai Island

At the beginning of the movie, you see a gatekeeper being attacked and eaten by a velociraptor when trying to transfer her. Later, you see Dr. Grant visit the same spot where they are feeding her. Also, later on in the film, you can see Muldoon and Dr. Sattler walk past the paddock. All these scenes are of the raptor paddock, which was filmed at Limahuli Garden.

As the gatekeeper is being eaten by the raptor, his last words were, “Shoot herrrrrr!” Although it is too late to save him, you can only imagine the scary scene here. There are no dinosaurs to set the scene here though.

However, this Jurassic Park film scene is now a Visitor Center for the Limahuli Garden Park on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The spot is easy to visit and does not cost a dime to enter. There is no tour. You just park your car and walk to the Visitor Center and you will recognize the scene.

This scene is at 5-8291 Kuhio Highway in Hanalei, Hawaii. It is easy to get to in any vehicle and while you are there you can take one of the guided tours of the stunning garden preserve.

Al Pastor Tacos scene in Jurassic Park

Taco Truck Kauai Island

Also located on Kauai, you can see the spot where Dennis Nedry (the nerdy programmer who goes rogue and causes all the problems) and Dr. Lewis Dodgson meet to talk about Nedry stealing dinosaur DNA over tacos. It is supposed to be in San Jose, Costa Rica but it is actually a spot on Kauai Island where there are indeed taco trucks.

In fact, the exact spot where the scene was filmed is replaced by several eateries including the Al Pastor Tacos truck where Nedry got his tacos. There is also a Chicken in a Barrel eatery and other options.

As Nedry and Dodgson are meeting, Nedry yells “Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here!” because he is recording the meeting to blackmail him later. The scene is not exactly the same since there have been some changes over the years, but you can almost see the scene if you line it up right.

You can find this scene by following the directions to Al Pastor Tacos or Chicken in a Barrel on Kauai, where you can enjoy some fish tacos or tasty chicken.

Timmy the human piece of toast scene in Jurassic Park

Olokele Canyon Valley

Remember the scene where Timmy is climbing the electric fence that his sister and Dr. Grant just climbed? The power had been shut off, but the warning lights are now blaring, letting them know that it will be electrified once again.

Although Tim hurries, he does not make it before being electrocuted and thrown from the fence. Luckily, he is not too seriously hurt, although he does have a slight limp and a bit of a burn, but he is able to make it back to the Visitor Center with Dr. Grant and his sister. As Tim recovers and begins to walk again, Dr. Grant says, “Timmy, the human piece of toast.”

The electric fence in the movie has been reconstructed in Olokele Canyon Valley in the northwestern part of Waimea. There is even a T-Rex statue there, with seriously sharp teeth! Even though you cannot climb the fence, you can get some great selfies with it and with the T-Rex as well.

Conclusion

One of the scenes that you may not be able to see in person is the Jurassic Park Gates. At the base of Mount Wai’ale’ale where the Jurassic Park gates stood, you will now see two poles that once held the giant doors. Located on Kauai Island, the place is now a tourist attraction and can be reached on a hike from the park. It is a long hike and can be pretty rugged though so many people do not even try.

As you can tell, making a movie takes a lot of time and travel with hundreds of different sites to get the right scenes. The right backdrop is essential for a blockbuster hit like Jurassic Park or any other movie. That is why it takes well over a year to finish the shooting before they even start on the editing and other film work that needs to be done.

With a movie like this, it can be an enjoyable experience on tropical islands in Hawaii and canyons in California. However, some parts of the movie were not so glamorous. Many of the rainy scenes were actually filmed during a storm that turned into a hurricane on the island and some of the sets were ruined by the storm too. But… that’s Hollywood!