Skull Island Reign Of Kong could’ve been much much better agreed?

January 11, 2019, 11:24 AM

I don’t mean to sound harsh but in all seriousness Universals recently newly built Skull Island Reign Of Kong that debuted in 2016 has been a complete flop to me at least. We all know that 3D screens and 3D glasses are becoming really played out in attractions and still went too far again with Fast and the Furious Supercharged. While obviously this trend of technology will not stop coming Universal Orlando’s fourth gate when it opens in the early 2020’s. I somehow believe Universal was better than this I am not being harsh I am just telling the truth from
My point of view. Skull Island Reign of Kong had a lot of hype before this attraction was even built. People though it would succeed Kongfrontation. Some people think so. But it hasn’t to me not by a long shot. This ride would’ve been better off being a 3D or 4D Motion theater show but instead they make it a attraction. Kong Skull Island is just one attraction and it happens to also be a themed land with one attraction. Something I don’t really understand either. Normally a themed land would have a few attractions 3 being the most. People miss the old physical sets and practical effects Universal always and still does to this day always succeeds at. Their is no room for expanding Skull Island because of its poor location. It’s sits right next to Jurassic Park which could be transformed into Jurassic World if it isn’t brought over to the Fourth Gate. What I Am saying is don’t we all want to ride the movies instead of watch the movies? I am not sure if Mike West was being very creative when he was a part of creating Skull Island Reign Of Kong. I think Skull Island deserves to be more than just one attraction it could’ve add a few shops, a dessert place and even a restaurant. That’s what makes up a very good themed land. This is just my opinion but their could’ve been a whole lot of other potential at a fourth gate with King Kong but Universal decided not to go along with this. Kongfrontation is just as missed as Back to the Future was when it left us. Heck BTTF even passes Skull Island Reign Of Kong. Not to be harsh on the attraction but what I loved about Kongfrontation and Jaws they had these real effects like on jaws where a fire broke out and you can feel the heat from it when you were on the skippers boat. Just certain things that are dearly missed and we will never see again at Universal. I just think if they ended up doing Kong at a fourth gate then they could’ve made a Monsters land with Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghodirah, Rodan, etc. but people keep saying SI Reign Of Kong was based from the 2017 film it clearly wasn’t. If you look at the visuals it’s clearly from Peter Jackson’s Kong from 05’. Just think an all immersive Monsterland would’ve been awesome at a fourth gate with real physical sets and real effects. We all know Universal can still please guests but this isn’t the way anymore sorry. BTW Universal doesn’t have the rights to for WB and Legendary MonsterVerse to come to Universal Orlando but it would become a great fit. Godzilla King Of the Monsters is coming to theaters this summer and Kong v Godzilla is coming to theaters in 2020. Just think if there’s more after that why not have any theme park attractions from these films if they are very successfull at the box office.

Replies (13)

January 11, 2019, 12:07 PM

I believe it's simply designed to fit in a specific budget but as a bonus it trolls theme park geeks brilliantly. That attraction cuts corners at every chance and also tests tons of new technologies for potential projects. The result is an experience the public majority thinks is "good".

January 11, 2019, 12:31 PM

Wow, what a long and rambling post that really said nothing substantive.

Skull Island is not Universal's most iconic attraction, but I do think it's a reasonable attempt to re-introduce the character into the parks. UC is not going to spend a ton of money on an IP that's far down their pecking order, so adapting the quite popular USH tram segment (based on the Peter Jackson remake) into a full-scale ride was a strong play from them. The exterior of the attraction is amazing, and the queue is almost as good as Indy at DL, which set the standard for modern attraction queues.

Is it the best attraction at UO? Nope, but not every attraction is designed to take on those expectations. Skull Island fills the need of being a people-eating attraction that meshes well with the nearby Jurassic Park area. It was a necessary add to balance the park, especially after Diagon Alley pulled even more guests into Hogsmeade to ride the Hogwart's Express. IOA needed a new attraction at the time, and Skull Island filled the role perfectly, and did so economically.

Now, if you want to criticize the most recent additions to USF (Jimmy Fallon and Fast and Furious) , I'll be right there to back you up, but in Skull Island, I think Universal played their hand about as good as they could while still giving proper homage to The King. BTW, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong V. Godzilla (as well as Skull Island and the most recent Godzilla remake) are all WB productions, meaning that if Universal wanted to use any tie in's with those movies, they'd have to sign a licensing agreement to do so. The IOA attraction has ZERO connection to the movie starring Sam Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and Brie Larson (no, not Captain Marvel either).

Edited: January 11, 2019, 5:31 PM

I agree with you on USF they could’ve done better but your not understanding what I am saying that Skull Island Reign Of Kong is mostly screen based and uses 3D glasses. 30 years from now this type of technology will be long long gone or give it 20 years. Won’t be surprised if we see 3D screens without glasses. Their is already a 3D TV made overseas where you can view 3DTV without glasses. My post wasn’t rambled it was necessary because it will never live up to Kongfrontation and it’s real effects. This should also be categorized as a family attraction not a thrill ride. Mission Space is more extreme than Skull Island Reign Of Kong. They just need to tone it down with the 3D attractions I guess Universal Creative doesn’t realize that. Disney is probably laughing at Universal. You don’t understand Mr Meyer. 3D will not always be the future of theme park attractions.

January 11, 2019, 6:15 PM

Universal isn't in the business of building attractions that will be draws for 30 years. They're working to a distinctly different pattern to Disney - or the Disney of a few years ago, at least - keeping things in constant development so that there's something new for most guests every visit. Sometimes, that'll mean mixing existing technologies, and drawing from pre-made media. As an only-occasional visitor to the Orlando parks, I'm fine with that.

If in 20 years the tech exists to go glasses-free, as you suggest, then they can make that switch. (Or ideally create something brand new.) In the meantime, I'd rather they work with what they've got and actually get the thing built.

FWIW, I like the ride a lot. As Russell says, I don't think it's anyone's favourite attraction - but it's not supposed to be. It's a great people eater that rounds out the park's offerings. (And on the subject of "family attraction not a thrill ride" - great. IoA needed more genuine family attractions.)

January 11, 2019, 7:58 PM

Wasn't that the original marketing campaign slogan for the attraction?

"SKULL ISLAND: A reasonable attempt to re-introduce the character into the parks!"


January 12, 2019, 9:41 AM

I will never understand why online theme park fans hate Kong so much. I think it's a great ride. Any layperson I talk to in person thinks it's a great ride. I guess the online theme park community just can't get past the screens/3D.

Cool exterior, cool queue, cool props, unique ride vehicles, great effects (albiet not the effects online fans want), and an all-time great animatronic.

January 12, 2019, 3:05 PM

So you don’t think WB & Legendary can incorporate anything Godzilla related either from the Monsterverse of these films become a hit? You still have Rodan, Mothra, King Ghodirah, they can become excellent theme park attractions. It would be nice to see another WB & Legendary property at Universal. No more Kong we can all confirm that but just saying he is a part of the shared MonsterVerse. Maybe it’s a bad idea to make the monsterverse a theme park mini land but it would be cool to see Godzilla at least.

January 12, 2019, 3:14 PM

Just think if Universal could get the rights to WB & Legendary MonsterVerse then they could add Godzilla & his foes to Universal Orlando. A Godzilla 4D attraction is already making its way over to Universal Japan. Just saying if we see more Kong and Godzilla films in the MonsterVerse if it continues after Kong v Godzilla in 2020 it would be a little weird not to see any theme park related attractions to the MonsterVerse at the fourth gate. But they would have to acquire the rights to Kong & Godzilla from WB/Legendary since Legendary used to be over at Universal. I know it’s a long shot but having Godzilla at the Japan park now gives us a little hope doesn’t it with other Universal Parks in the future?

January 13, 2019, 3:23 PM

I concur with Florean ... Kong is a decent attraction ... But UC needed a home run after the Jimmy Fallon/Fast & Furious fails ... Maybe Kong is being held to a Potter standard.

January 13, 2019, 3:56 PM

TH: "needed" or needs? Kong opened prior to Fallon/Fast & Furious. So if you meant to say needs, that is what the new harry potter coaster should be: a home run.

I personally don't understand how someone complains about a new ride that literally was built where dirt was prior. No rides, shops, dining facilities needed to be shut down to create Kong. It is an additional ride that is now there, so even if you don't like it that much, it is still taking capacity away from other rides that you may like.

January 13, 2019, 5:38 PM

Point taken

January 15, 2019, 9:33 AM

@Halo - I think UC wants to limit the IP they purchase. HP has been a huge hit, but who knows how much of their revenue is skimmed off the top by WB and Rowling. Purchased IPs can also create uncomfortable situations like Marvel and the Simpsons (both now owned by Disney, or soon to be in the case of Fox), so UC is probably wise sticking with the IPs they own, and or have strong control over.

There is also that carry over affect where Universal essentially is getting free publicity with the release of Kong movies under the WB label. Why should Universal purchase the licensing for those characters when the general public doesn't recognize the difference? If Universal wanted to hit a home run, they would integrate Pacific Rim into the parks to piggyback off the WB Godzilla/Kong series.

January 16, 2019, 2:24 PM

I could not read this dribble and run on sentences and no info and a whole lot of nothing making no damn scene.

Yes we get it - you do not like Skull Island.... But I guess the daily waiting time periods are still over one hour and would have to disagree. This is a Huge hit... And is still an e-ticket attraction..

Ya know the theme parks are trying to entice folks to visit/make a profit...Seems like it worked...

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive