Published: November 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM
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:
- King Kong is coming back to theaters, as it comes back to Universal Orlando
- Universal Orlando King Kong construction update (June 2014)
- Universal Orlando files new maps for its King Kong permit application
- King Kong is coming back to Universal Orlando
Across Hollywood Way, site preparation continues on Universal Orlando's fifth hotel, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
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:
- Universal Orlando reveals the name for its fifth hotel: Sapphire Falls Resort
- Insider's Update: Details on Universal Orlando's fifth hotel, plus first public access to Diagon Alley
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: