Theme Park Insider

Here's your first look at the new face of King Kong

May 15, 2016, 11:03 PM · Universal Orlando has released its first official glimpse at the new King Kong animatronic from its upcoming Skull Island Reign of Kong ride.

In the latest episode of its "The Making of Skull Island Reign of Kong" video series, Creative Director Mike West introduces the animatronic that represents the one true "King" of Skull Island.

"This isn't a movie - it's the real deal," West said. "Close enough that you'll feel his breath sweep across your skin and his thundering roar reverberate through every bone in your body."

Universal's original Kong animatronic was crafted by Disney Legend Bob Gurr and perished in a backlot fire at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2008. A second Kong animatronic, from Universal Studios Florida, was removed when that park's Kongfrontation ride closed in 2002.

Universal Orlando has asked reporters to "save the date" for a media event for Skull Island Reign of Kong on June 22-24. Fans are using the #ChanceofReign hashtag on Twitter to let others know when soft-opening "technical rehearsals" start for the ride.

Replies (18)

May 15, 2016 at 11:22 PM · This is the ride I've been most excited for in some years now. It seems like it's gonna be an epic experience. Kongfrontation was one of those rides that really made me fall in love with Theme Parks, I remember being blown away by the size of the sets and the animatronic Kongs. can't wait!
May 16, 2016 at 2:45 AM · I watched it on IGN and man is that face impressive! It's hard to think how big it will be. Can't wait to ride it.
May 16, 2016 at 5:26 AM · PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start the soft opening in the next few weeks. My family and I will be there the 28th through the 4th.
May 16, 2016 at 6:50 AM · Rumor is that Reign of Kong is delayed due to Universal trying to keep up with Disney and the install of the strobe light has taken longer than expected.
May 16, 2016 at 8:12 AM · Robert - that was evil. ROFL
May 16, 2016 at 8:35 AM · This looks amazing. I'm so relieved they've didn't go cheap and just use the screens. I can't wait to see this ride!
May 16, 2016 at 8:47 AM · Universal has always done large animatronics better than Disney. I even remember the giant cat's hand from the old Fievel's American Tail show at USH in the 1990s. Maybe this Kong will shame Disney into finally fixing the Yeti.

On another note, I always liked the look of Kong from the classic 1933 film better than the recent one, which looks more like a gorilla. Somehow the original one looked more distinctive, not like a blown up gorilla that you can see at the zoo.

May 16, 2016 at 8:54 AM · I hope this ride doesn't give you a headache like every other Universal ride. These movie simulator rides shake people about way too much.
May 16, 2016 at 9:43 AM · Can't recall a single ride at Universal that gave me a headache. They don't shake me about too much at all. This looks like it's going to be great.
May 16, 2016 at 11:35 AM · Hail to the King!
May 16, 2016 at 11:47 AM · I have a feeling this one is going to be terrifying when you first see him. will be absolutely epic. I loved Kongfrontation so to see him back will be a cool experience.

as for the headache rides at UO I think the Simpsons is about the only one because the roof is too low in the back.

May 16, 2016 at 12:04 PM · Looking forward to this, even though my family and I just rode Gringott's for the first time yesterday and we were all disappointed. The theming for Diagon Alley is a home run, but the ride is a dribbler to first for an easy out. Hope Universal gets away from the 3-D movie experience type ride. Soon, when you want to experience Universal they will just ship you 3-D glasses and you can sit and home and watch it on your TV.
May 16, 2016 at 12:14 PM · Once again, SCREENS. And more SCREENS are enroute for so called premiere attractions. That said, Kong looks...

AWSESOME!

But, I want to know...
When will expansion attractions arrive vs replacement attractions? With the 'Skip the Line' pass we're done with everything, at both parks, in one day.

And UO STILL LACKS a nighttime spectacular to keep you late.

May 16, 2016 at 2:15 PM · "as for the headache rides at UO I think the Simpsons is about the only one because the roof is too low in the back"

The Kong truck has a roof. We'll have to see if the motion is too strong.

May 16, 2016 at 4:46 PM · I hope that when I feel Kong's breath, I also get to smell bananas.

I miss that.

May 16, 2016 at 11:23 PM · Universal did have a nighttime spectacular. What happened to that? It just seemed to disappear.

As for Kong, I don't watch spoiler videos. Can't wait to ride it next year, though.

May 17, 2016 at 10:28 AM · Even UC admitted their nighttime show was NOT spectacular. Especially when the comparisons to WDW nighttime shows started.
May 17, 2016 at 6:19 PM · 172.88.247.221, we'll have to see how Kong compares to the Q'araq in the Roaring Rapids attraction in Shanghai. It's said to be 10 feet larger than Kong.

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