Jaws 3-D Movie (SeaWorld Florida)

Jaws 3-D was produced in 1982 and released in the Summer of 1983. It was alternatively known as Jaws III, partly because it was the third movie in the Jaws franchise and partly because when shown on TV, it was only in two dimensions.

It was produced by Alan Landsburg Productions and Universal Pictures and distributed by Universal as well. The movie was filmed on location at SeaWorld in Orlando and the city of Navarre near Pensacola.

Because of the plot of the movie, the Sea World attraction plays a significant role. The marine park in the movie is actually Sea World, though it’s a somewhat fictionalized version. In order to allow the great white shark to invade Sea World and cause havoc, the movie version of the park is shown to be much closer to the ocean and there are large underwater tunnels connecting the ocean and various pools and the lake. In reality, the lake is freshwater, not salt, and was partly created as a water retention reservoir to keep the Sea World property well-drained. Such reservoirs are common in central Florida and it’s one of the reasons every theme park on Orlando has a large water feature (Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom technically has it’s water feature outside the park – Seven Seas Lagoon).

SeaWorld is about 60 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and so, unlike most aquatic parks that are located near an ocean, SeaWorld produces its own seawater, which each pool or group of pools having its own saltwater production facility. There are no underwater tunnels as each area, such as the Wild Arctic pools, Sea Lion Stadium pools, Shamu Stadium pools and Antarctica pool are all separate so that SeWorld can optimally maintain them.

Scenes illustrated in the photos include the park’s main entrance, the lake (typically referred to as the Lagoon), where the water ski shows used to take place, the Sky Tower, the Shark Encounter Tunnel, Stingray Lagoon, Whale and Dolphin Theater (the original location for Shamu shows) and Bayside Stadium (the arena where the water ski shows were seen).

This makes the movie useful as a document as to what SeaWorld looked like in the mid-1980s. Shark Encounter was a fairly new exhibit at that time and Whale and Dolphin Theater was still the place for shows that included both killer whales and dolphins. Shamu Stadium, which would be dedicated to killer whales, wouldn’t be completed until 1984.

Below are links to the Jaws 3-D Press Packet and other images from the movie:

Jaws 3-D Press Packet

Jaws 3-D Press Packet Color Slides

Jaws 3-D Movie Photos

Jaws 3-D Collectors Cards