Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Skull Island - Reign of Kong Coming to Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure!

Time to put to rest all the speculation, King Kong is finally coming back to Universal Orlando after a 14 year hiatus. It's been fairly well known this was coming, but today it's all official, and what better way to celebrate the park's 25 anniversary than with one of the most iconic Universal characters of all time?

The new ride, being built between the Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon sections of Islands of Adventure, is being touted as a "multi-experiential" experience that will feature a variety of elements and effects that immerse riders into the world of Skull Island.

So, what else can we expect? The Orlando Business Journal sat down with Universal Creative Executive Producer, Mike West, and he had these tidbits to share on just what we'll see with this massive new addition to the parks.
"We will take guests to Skull Island and to Kong. It's a combination experience of walking through the queue and then the ride. You enter through Skull Island and go through dense jungles, meandering temple ruins and mazes, and along the way, you run into hostile natives and other unimaginable giant creatures on this journey."
That's not all though, West went into a bit more detail on some actual ride elements and the experience as a whole as well;
"A lot of tension and excitement. When you get on the expedition trucks, the first part is outdoors approaching the 72-foot-tall great wall. There are beautiful wooden doors and flames shooting on each side. You then drive up through the doors and you enter a dark cavernous cave with deep chasms with other creatures within. You'll take another turn where you are submerged further into this island where it becomes a fight for survival meeting small and large prehistoric creatures face-to-face."
Definitely sounds like an intriguing mix of things going on, and by the looks of the concept art for the attraction, the ride vehicles should be pretty intersting as well. I'm getting some some flash backs to Indiana Jones at Disneyland with this one, or the long since abandoned Jurassic Park trucks that Universal had planned many moons ago. Toss in this tidbit from West and it seems even more likely that these are going to be some rather large vehicles, "The ride vehicle is one of the biggest we have built. But the scale, while big unto itself, seems to fit the environment."

Some out there are thinking that it may be very similar to Kong 360 at Universal Hollywood, but the feeling from West is that this one is going to be unique in a lot of ways. His comment about 3-D and how their use of it varies leads us to think that differences will be there without question as well, "We have 3-D imagery. But, in the context of Hollywood, it was used out there as part of the film. Ours isn't film. It's about creating an environment with great 3-D imagery, but with a whole new facet to it."

Add it all together and mix in the fact that it possibly has the longest run time of any attraction at Universal in it's history and that's something right there for sure! Skull Island - Reign of Kong will open sometime in 2016.

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