In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the only instance of a celebrity "appearing" in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version.
The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Jeep was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but turned it down without reading the book or the script.
The park software is written in Pascal; a program is clearly visible in one of the monitor close-ups on the UNIX system. The graphical interface recognized as a UNIX system is Silicon Graphics' "3D File System Navigator".
Director Steven Spielberg was worried that "computer graphics" meant "Nintendo" type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM's demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Video Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics' Indigo workstations.
Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene, which took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
"Dennis Nedry" is an anagram of "Nerdy Sinned".
Ellie Sattler says, "Something went wrong" to Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). In The Fly 1986, Veronica Quaife said this to Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum).
In the egg-hatching scene, a newborn baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor.
The first draft of the screenplay had Hammond left behind on the island.
Scenes of the T-rex attacking Grant and the kids while they ride down a river and through a running waterfall were cut before filming.
There were so many wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen-stalking scene that the child actors had to literally step over and around them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors. Some reports say that all of the dinosaurs in the kitchen scene were computer-generated.
Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer jeep was digitally generated.
Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
The ending where the T-rex saves the day was added when the production team and John Williams decided that it was the hero of the film.
A scene of Ellie pulling the leaf off an extinct plant appeared in the film trailers but not the film itself.
Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played "Jock", the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), also directed by Spielberg.
Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler's List (1993)), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.
In the novel, the characteristics of the children are reversed: Tim is the oldest and a computer nerd, Lex is the youngest and a tomboy.
In The Hunt for Red October (1990), Sam Neill's character's dying words are, "I would like to have seen Montana." He gets his wish during the opening scene in Jurassic Park when his character is working at a dig in Montana.
The first film to use DTS digital surround sound.
To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film's digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.