King Kong 360/3-D debuts at Universal Studios Hollywood
Written by Robert Niles
Just got back from Universal Studios Hollywood, where the theme park today debuted the new King Kong 360/3-D experience on its Studio Tour. Today's event was for press and invited guests - you'll be able to experience Kong on the tram tour starting Thursday (July 1).Tweet
The new version of Kong is nothing like the old Bob Gurr-designed animatronic, which perished in the fire that consumed the Kong building along with four acres of Universal's backlot in the summer of 2008. While many fans loved the old Kong, that mechanical ape never could be described as thrilling. The old Kong was all about scale - a life-sized helicopter battled the immense Kong, with towering blasts of fire and the stench of Kong's famous banana breath completing a multi-sensory experience.
Universal's new Kong is all about action. King Kong 360/3-D slams riders with 90 seconds of the most intense fight ever seen in a theme park. As the name implies, this is a 360-degree, 3-D experience, enveloping you in the action on a studio tram that rocks and shakes throughout the brawl.
You're on Skull Island, as a velociraptors swarm your tram, only to be attacked by a trio of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Soon enough, the T-Rex are attacking the tram, too. But it's Kong to the rescue, who fights off the T-Rex, then saves your tram car from a deadly plunge into a bottomless ravine.
There's no banana breath here, though Universal Creative's substituted a generous helping of Tyrannosaur spit. Here's an on-ride video of the experience. Keep in mind that you'll see this in much sharper focus, while wearing provided 3-D glasses.
King Kong feature film director Peter Jackson oversaw the creation of the 3-D film, which was produced by WETA Digital. (We got a sneak peek at the production of King Kong 360/3-D earlier this year.) Visitors will get to hear from Jackson in an introduction that will play on the tram video monitors as they pass through the tunnel leading into the new Kong theater.
As part of the backlot renovation, the new Kong no longer plays in its old location on the backlot. You'll enter King Kong 360/3-D through a tunnel next to the old collapsable bridge on tram tour.
If you're interested: Red carpet photos on Facebook.
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