Personally, I know I’d be far more impressed by a giant Kong AA than by an animated version. As you point out, if I want to see a digital Kong, I can throw in my blu-ray of the 2005 film tonight, but I can’t go anywhere to see a physical, AA Kong.
And I’ll admit, I’ve got a little bit of a personal bias: even though I think Spider-Man is the greatest ride of all time, I will always be more impressed by a ride that takes me through real sets and physical animatronics than by a simulator-type experience focused on moving me from screen to screen. Misguided though I may be, I just feel like one requires more effort to pull-off than the other, and is therefore more impressive to me.
The King Kong tram ride attraction was pretty good, but not repeatable. It's yet another simulator, which Universal seems to do quite well, but it gets old by repeated use. Thus, I recommend the animatronic ride that can have a limited storyline. They shouldn't necessarily use a huge animatronic. How about a combination of animatronics of humans, natives, monkeys, animals, and combined with King Kong parts, with a huge finale in digital form.
I read another rumour that Universal is actually going to build it's own Snow White and the seven dwarfs mine train ride. The IP is in the public domain and supposedly they thought they could give it a great spin. It being Universal it's a bit more edgy then the Disney version. The concept video is already online and in this link ;-): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kIBeYoP9Wi0
Second reason: I have awful memories of waiting in what felt like the world's longest, slowest moving line for King Kong at USO in the early 90s. What a let down. The ride seemed so short, Kong so fleeting, and really bad effects throughout.
Third, I don't think you can make an effective, show-worthy, consistent animatronic of that size, without making it into a joke. That's what USH had to do with the banana breath joke. Of course, joking is part of US's DNA.
In my spiel I adlibbed the phrase "Not good! This is not good!" before the Terminator thing opened at the park.
Personally, I am getting tired of Universal rehashing the same exact ride technology over and over again.
Really? How about Disney:Omnimover ride system: The Haunted Mansion, The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters, Space Ship Earth, The Seas With Nemo.4D movies: every park got 1.Similar spinner: 2x Dombo, Space Orbiter, Magic Carpets of Aladdin,TriceraTop Spin.A mountain with a boat/coaster ride: there are 4 (a fifth is opening).Meet and greets (sure not a ride system but it replaced at least 1 attraction): 10.000 (or so it seems).The list goes on. Universal at least has significant variations in every ride technology wise. But in the end I don't think it's about the ride system but the story that is told. Universal always gives a new spin to a known story expending on it's world and showing us something new. Disney rehashing a movie in 4 minutes with the same music and scene's, sure if you call that creative and diversity...
My opinion is that the larger the animatronics, the worse they get. Even if they could get a good AA Kong working 365 days a year, it would still be stationary unlike a digital image.
If the guest satisfaction ratings for Transformers is any indication, it will probably have the same 30 foot HD 3D screens.
I'm a little tired of Motion simulators. If you're prone to motion sickness, it'll ruin your whole day. The only simulator ride that gives me problems is Mission Space in Epcot. But going to Universal with somebody prone to motion sickness drives me crazy. We can't do any of the popular or fun stuff.
I want physical sets accented with digital effects, instead of the opposite like we've been getting lately.