Skull Island Reign of Kong
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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.
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.
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.
Great queue, impressive AAs and the 360 scene is great. Too short though, and too much reliance on screens.