King Kong is coming back to theaters, as it comes back to Universal Orlando
Published: July 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM
Promotion image courtesy Legendary Entertainment
How much more interesting that announcement becomes when one remembers that Universal Orlando is now building a (not yet announced) King Kong attraction at Islands of Adventure?
Could we have a rare case of movie/theme park synergy happening here, with King Kong returning to theaters and to Universal Orlando both in 2016? While we typically think of movie-themed attractions lagging the films that inspired them by many years, that's not always been the case. Disney debuted "It's Tough to Be a Bug" at Disney's Animal Kingdom seven months before the Pixar film A Bug's Life hit theaters. And the "Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage" show at what's now Disney's Hollywood Studios bowed on the same day as the now-classic Disney animated film.
Skull Island, to be produced by new Universal partner Legendary Entertainment, is slated for a November 4, 2016 release, meaning that the new attraction could beat the movie to opening if Universal Orlando completes construction within the next two years. Universal is building its new project between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park, creating an interesting thematic transition on the Jurassic Park side, as Skull Island is home to dinosaurs as well as Kong.
If you noted that we wrote about Kong "returning" to Universal Orlando earlier in this post, the "Kongfrontation" attraction ran from the opening of Universal Studios Florida in 1990 until 2002, when it closed to make way for Revenge of the Mummy. A dark ride with an animatronic Kong, the ride was based on the original King Kong Encounter at Universal Studios Hollywood, which featured a 30-foot-tall animatronic Kong designed by Disney Legend Bob Gurr. After Hollywood's Kong encounter burned during the 2008 backlot fire, the Hollywood park replaced it with the current King Kong 360/3-D on its Studio Tour attraction.
Now much will Universal Orlando's new ride draw from its classic Kong attractions, and how much will it draw from the new Skull Island? We will let you know the details when we learn the answer.