Jurassic World spotlights the other side of Oahu
Isla Nublar, the dinosaur-teeming land from the Jurassic Park series of films, may only exist on the silver screen, but its exotic charm and wonder are a reality in the Hawaiian Islands. The islands of Oahu and Kauai have served as the key locations necessary to bring the prehistoric creatures to life since the series’ first movie debuted in 1993, and this summer’s box office record-setting fourth installment, Jurassic World, is no exception. With two-thirds of the Hawaii location days for the movie spent on Oahu, visitors can now have a true “Jurassic” moment with a selection of experiences that bring the movie to life, and give a taste of Oahu’s Hollywood-heritage.
The visionaries behind blockbuster films have long considered Oahu a cinematic gem, as filmmakers can pan the lens from exotic natural beauty to metropolitan sophistication, all within a fraction of a day’s commute. In addition to the Jurassic Park series, Oahu has served as the location for numerous TV and movie projects including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Godzilla, Battleship, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Soul Surfer, Big Eyes, Hawaii Five-0, LOST, the Oscar-winning film The Descendants and director Cameron Crowe’s newly released Aloha. “The most skilled filmmakers in the business are choosing Oahu as their location, and what a privilege that is,” said Walea Constantinau, film commissioner with the Honolulu Film Office. “These men and women seek out the beautiful and the dramatic, and we feel honored that they would choose the splendid scenery of Oahu for their projects,” she added.
Travelers are fascinated when they can immerse themselves in the location of their favorite films. “With the release of Jurassic World, visitors have the opportunity to connect the wonder of the movie with a real-world experience on Oahu and Kauai,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, senior director of sales & marketing with the Oahu Visitors Bureau. “The variety of these experiences are sure to satisfy any traveler, from the adventurous to the leisurely,” she added.
Known as “Hawaii’s Movie Ranch,” the verdant landscape of Kualoa Ranch has long made it a favorite, and the area was featured extensively in Jurassic World. Visitors who really want a sense of being in the land of the Jurassic can tour Kaaawa Valley by ATV, horseback or bus via the Hollywood Movie Sites Tour. Visitors can learn why this locale has attracted generations of filmmakers, and what makes this area significant in Hawaiian culture.