Sign in or Join the Community!

Theme Park Insider

YouTubeFacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+Email Newsletter
Home Park guides Hotel reviews Saving money Travel tips Community
  • 11 Things You Didn't Know About the 1964 World's FairThe IAAPA Legends panel remembers Walt Disney's role 50 years ago
  • Where to Eat? Fulton's Crab HouseVisiting Downtown Disney's most enduring iconic restaurant
  • Is This the Next Great Dark Ride?An All-Star Team of Theme Park Designers is Creating 'Justice League: Battle for Metropolis'
  • Our 2015 Orlando GuidebooksWe have two new guidebooks to help you plan your dream vacation.
11 Things You Didn't Know About the 1964 World's Fair Where to Eat? Fulton's Crab House Is This the Next Great Dark Ride? Our 2015 Orlando Guidebooks
Robert Niles
Editor

King Kong Construction Update, Plus a First Look at the Blueprints

Published: November 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

ORLANDO — Universal Orlando has topped out the show building for its new King Kong attraction, as we've gotten our first look at the blueprints for the upcoming attraction at Islands of Adventure.

Kong show building
Click for higher res version

The new Kong will occupy the show building under construction between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. You can see the Jurassic Park show building to the left, for scale, in the higher-res version. This show building is almost as large as the Forbidden Journey show building, and we've gotten our first look at the plans for what visitors will find inside.

Now, we haven't seen a complete set of blueprints, as we did for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. But we've seen enough to learn a couple of very interesting details about the new attraction.

First, this is not going to be a duplicate of the King Kong 360:3D attraction from Universal Studios Hollywood. Nor will it be a recreation of the old Kongfrontation ride from Universal Studios Florida. Obviously, this will be a dark ride (thus, the huge show building), and it will include a mix of screens and practical sets.

The blueprints we've seen call for a show scene with a massive set of screens on either side of the ride track, as found on the Kong encounter on Hollywood's Studio Tour. However, the next scene includes plans for a massive Kong animatronic, as we saw years ago in the old Kong ride and Kong encounter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, respectively. Kong appears on the right side of the ride track as ride vehicles curve around Kong to their right, allowing a long moment with the Big Ape. We will pass along additional details as they are leaked to us.

Disney Legend Bob Gurr designed Universal's original Kong animatronic, which burned in the Hollywood backlot fire that destroyed the original Kong encounter in 2008. Universal chose to replace that encounter with the screen-based King Kong 360:3D attraction, while Universal Studios Florida's Kong ride closed in 2002, to be replaced by Revenge of the Mummy.

Previous Kong coverage:

Across Hollywood Way, site preparation continues on Universal Orlando's fifth hotel, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Sapphire Falls Resort
Click for higher res version

With a Caribbean beach resort theme, the Sapphire Falls is under construction between the Royal Pacific and Cabana Bay Beach resorts, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2016.

Previous Sapphire Falls coverage:

Finally, Universal's not the only theme park company with a big construction project underway in Central Florida. ;^) We don't have a photo (at least, that we can show you...), but we've heard from sources on the ground that foundation work is well underway for Disney's Avatar land at Animal Kingdom. We've already shown you the plans for the Soarin'-like 3D movie that will be the centerpiece of phase one of the new land, which will be twice the size of Universal Orlando's new Diagon Alley and will feature multiple interactive experiences throughout. Disney's Avatar land will open in 2017.

Previous Avatar coverage:

 style= Comments (2) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the Week: Do You Play Carnival Games?

Published: November 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

 style= Comments (13) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Derek Potter
Writer

Master the Midway: The Theme Park Insider Guide to Winning Carnival Games

Published: November 21, 2014 at 9:57 AM

 style= Comments (1) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Looking Ahead to the Next Great Transformation in the Theme Park Industry

Published: November 21, 2014 at 9:05 AM

 style= Comments (3) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Disney Springs Construction Update

Published: November 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM

 style= Comments (7) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

11 Things You Might Not Have Known About Disney and the 1964 New York World's Fair

Published: November 19, 2014 at 9:23 PM

 style= Comments (8) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Where to Eat: Lunch at Fulton's Crab House at Walt Disney World

Published: November 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

 style= Comments (4) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Coming Attractions, at IAAPA 2014 in Orlando

Published: November 18, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Universal's Diagon Alley Leads the 21st Annual Thea Awards

Published: November 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

 style= Comments (7) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

First Look at Six Flags' Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Published: November 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM

 style= Comments (5) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Disneyland to Close Its Mad T Party November 30

Published: November 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

 style= Comments (13) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Robert Niles
Editor

Monday Top 10: The World's Best Shooter Rides

Published: November 17, 2014 at 5:29 AM

 style= Comments (30) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Jacob Sundstrom
Writer

Meet the Team Behind the NoLimits 2 Roller Coaster Simulator

Published: November 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

 style= Comments (4) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Get more from Theme Park Insider: