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Universal Orlando King Kong construction update

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Published: June 23, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Last week, we had the opportunity to preview new attractions in Universal Orlando's near future. But we took a few moments to look at attractions coming in the resort's more distant future, as well.

Construction is well underway for the new King Kong attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park. Here is the Kong construction site, located between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. That's Hogwarts Castle in the far background, and the elevated tracks at the treeline are for the Pteranodon Flyers ride in Jurassic Park.

Overview of Kong construction

Right now, Universal's contractors are clearing the site. We're still a bit away from any vertical construction.

Close-up of Kong construction

But we know from Universal's various building and site permit applications what the footprint of this new project will be.

Project site map

At his "State of the Universe" speech during the Diagon Alley media event last week, Universal Orlando President Bill Davis promised "new announcements" in the months to come about future developments at the resort. Perhaps one of those announcements will be an official confirmation of Kong, or perhaps more information about the fifth on-site hotel Universal is developing. Or both. Until then, "Kongstruction" continues.

Previously:

Readers' Opinions

From N B on June 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM
This makes you wonder what is next in the pipeline... I am absolutely sure Universal Creative is already planning the next 2 or 3 additions after Kong.

Any "leaked" plans we don't know about yet, Robert?

From Robert Niles on June 23, 2014 at 8:12 PM
Whenever I get my hands on actual blueprints for new attractions, you all are the first to hear about them!
From 69.149.253.66 on June 23, 2014 at 8:26 PM
I assume if this is Kong, it will be substantially different from Hollywood, which is basically one room with a tram attack. I wonder what they are planning? It would be great if there are many more scenes than the short film in the Studio Tour and they use practical sets also (like the Forbidden Journey.)
From 24.111.47.177 on June 23, 2014 at 8:47 PM
I am a huge fan of Universal's expansion efforts on the rides and attractions, less so on the hotel developments.

Although that's purely from a selfish standpoint and not wanting to contend with higher on-site crowds for early morning hours.

Robert, did we ever receive any sort of confirmation whether Express Pass will be active from the get-go on the Hogwarts Express and Gringotts?

From 108.0.202.66 on June 23, 2014 at 8:49 PM
Fifth new hotel already? Any idea where that is going? I think I saw that an area near Cabana Bay is already being worked on.
From N B on June 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM
I think a 5th hotel is in the works, and as far as I know, Gringott's has Express but Hogwarts Express does not.

An earlier report by Mr Niles (Feb 3rd, 2014) stated there is an Express line for Gringotts, but I have yet to see the actual sign in any pictures.

From Sylvain Comeau on June 23, 2014 at 11:34 PM
Does anyone know if the new Kong ride will be a mix of AAs and 3D? They already did Kong 3D at Universal Hollywood.
The only other (rumored) expansion plan that I've heard about is Ministry of Magic (yes, another possible Potter expansion).
From 204.4.13.72 on June 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Wow...So impressive. Wha'ts next? New Jurassic Park ride? (Jarassic Park World--4th movie releasing next year.) Kid-Zone closure this fall and an new kids land created? Twister and T2 on chopping block?!?! Toon-Lagoon re-themed? Fear Factor to close, to be replaced by HP Minstry of Magic ride?? I wonder if I correct about any of these things? LOL
From TROY DAVIDSON on June 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Wow...So impressive. Wha'ts next? New Jurassic Park ride? (Jarassic Park World--4th movie releasing next year.) Kid-Zone closure this fall and a new kids land created? Twister and T2 on the chopping block?!?! Toon-Lagoon re-themed? Fear Factor to close, to be replaced by HP Minstry of Magic ride?? I wonder if any of my predictions will come true... LOL ***3rd gate---Lord of the Rings???
From N B on June 24, 2014 at 5:35 PM
My only source on Twister and T2 was a Universal booking agent.. we talked for a while and he said "Enjoy them as much as you can on this trip".

I assumed that meant they could close this fall to both get major overhauls and be replaced. I don't mind T2 going away, but Twister is one of our all time favorites.

The land for the fifth hotel is already cleared and partially graded. I have a map from 2007 that shows the Cabana Bay (although the shape has changed) and a fifth hotel across the way. I think the next one is more for corporate events, trade shows, meeting halls, etc....

Let me dig it up and post it for you guys.

From Rob Pastor on June 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM
NB: Parkscope has just discovered the permits for more additional hotels at Universal. One looks like a tower hotel (no Express passes) next to the Royal Pacific adding 1000 rooms plus additional convention space on the lot between Cabana & Royal Pacific. Also looks like plans for a smaller 400 room boutique hotel (no express passes), also on that plot or Cabana plot.
From Anon Mouse on June 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM
It seems like King Kong has staying power. For some reason, it keeps coming back after destruction after destruction.

Universal has a bad (or good depending on perspective) track record of constantly rotating out their attractions. Little longetivity of their attractions. This has to change if they want to build up their slate of attractions to beat Disney. I think Harry Potter is the answer to their problems, but they need to add more legendary stuff.

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