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Skull Island Reign of Kong

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 8 out of 10

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King Kong returned to the Universal Orlando Resort in June 2016 with a ride blending the 3D, 360-degree imagery of Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour Kong encounter with the immense animatronic of Universal's previous "Kongfrontation" attractions.


I had low expectations for this following the reviews online but this is a great attraction- if not quite the home runs that Potter or Avatar have been. The queue is immense and genuinely unsettling, with great Audio-Animatronic work and use of scare actors. The ride itself is admittedly on the short side, but sitting slap bang in the middle of the middle row means you can't see any joins or ride equipment, and the effects/ride motion work staggeringly well- arguably more convincing than Gringotts. The Kong AA at the end is fantastic- more moments involving physical sets and this could have been a 9.
Universal has really made their ques an incredible part of the attractions and this one is no different. Great que, mediocre ride experience for me. I sat in the middle of the row and really couldn't fully enjoy either side of the attraction as I was always looking around others. It's an ok ride to see once but I doubt I'd go back to it unless the park was very slow and it was a quick ride to get on.
It's not a bad ride. It has great elements, and it's worth going if it's your first time(the - Spoilers? - Kong animatronic at the end is perfect). But it's not great. It's one I like to skip when possible. The beginning is great, with the great entrance to the ride, but that lasts seconds. Then, it's all screens seen from the windows of a truck, all while wearing 3d glasses that do not favor this attraction. Worst part? You can see the ends of the screens, there's no real-life elements to blend with those 3d screens.
Commendable on the basis that I've always wanted to experience the King Kong 360 3-D from Universal Studios Hollywood but I never got to. The panoramic view (on which essentially is the Studio Tour encounter) was certainly enjoyable for the 2010 technology standards it was based on. The extra material in this iteration didn't feel as immersive and honestly, felt cheap. The marriage of live actors and CGI creatures and environments, certainly does not compare to that of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. A missed opportunity for the extra polish Universal Creative have been known for.

If you do plan on attending this, wait in the queue to see a cute animatronic worm. You might find it scary, but for some reason I find it cute, like the headcrabs in Half-Life and the chestburster in Alien.

This is quite a bit better than I thought it would be. In fact, I think this is an underrated ride for IOA. The queue is possibly the best in the country. I still prefer Indiana Jones and the HP rides, but this ride fires on all cylinders. The ride itself has some great screen-based segments that really are full of suspense I felt. The movements the vehicle provided really were so fluid and great. Oddly enough, my biggest issue was actually the Kong AA. After it being built up as so great, it ends up being just alright. The fact that Kong was just beating up T-Rexes, but he is now just staring at you for a full minute bored is just odd. The animatronic itself isn't that fantastic either. The biggest issue I have though it that they just put the head in a tiny corner. Kong's body does not seem like it is below that head. Anyway, I actually do really love this ride. Really surprised me. 8/10
I have heard some put this attraction down stating it is a clone of the Hollywood experience...well, I have never been to Hollywood, and having experienced this today, I thought it was fantastic. The queue is an attraction itself, with some impressive animitronics and a very creepy, ominous feel. The attraction itself is great fun and the Kong animitronic is awesome. Overall, an excellent new attraction.
The queue and fortress around the ride are pretty incredibly designed. But the ride itself feels lackluster. It ends very abruptly after just a little bit of bumping around. You get crammed in a giant cart with 72 other people. It can be hard to see if you're in the center. You can't use a fast pass on it, and it's not worth waiting an hour to ride. It's a ride it once and you're done type of ride.
More and more Universal is starting to tell the story in the queue. That sucks when you are in a wheelchair because most of the time you pass the queue. That said, if you would do the queue you are pulled more and more into the story of the island and it's inhabitants. The queue even has life "scare actors" but they hardly scare you. Them being there though makes the feeling something is wrong bigger. The AA's are top notch and being in the queue it give you time to appreciate them.
When you board the vehicle you get one of 5 AA drivers who all tell a different story adding to the reride value. There are 2 ways to start your journey to find the lost crew and that is outside via a jungle setting or inside skipping the outside portion. This is clever due to thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls in the summer. Rides that go outside need to be closed for safety but Kong can continue entertaining guests. I only did the outside portion and I would love to do that again at night with all the fire. Entering you begin with AA bats but most of the ride is used by 3D screens. Yes people complain a lot about screens but it's done very well and I have no idea how they could create the story with AA's. In the end you meet a huge AA Kong (or at least it's head), it's stunning. Universal created another strong 6 minute long ride. There is no shop, no photo opportunity. As stated this ride could be to intense for small kids.

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