Comcast Confirms Kong's Return to Universal Orlando
Comcast executives confirmed in an earnings call today that Universal Orlando Resort is building a new King Kong-themed attraction.
Image courtesy Legendary Entertainment
Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates the Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Studios has a distribution deal with Legendary Entertainment, which is producing a new Kong movie for next year, when the Kong attraction at Universal Orlando is expected to be complete.
The new Kong pavilion is under construction between the Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park islands the Islands of Adventure theme park. Blueprints for the new ride, leaked to Theme Park Insider, call for what looks like a mix of the wrap-around 3D screens featured in the Kong Kong 360/3D encounter on Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour and the a large Kong animatronic, as was featured in the original Kongfrontation encounter on the Studio Tour and a standalone ride at Universal Studios Florida.
Public documents detailing the 'Project 340' Kong construction site at Islands of Adventure
USF closed the Kongfrontation ride in 2002 to make way for the current Revenge of the Mummy attraction. Hollywood's Kongfrontation was lost in a backlot fire in 2008.
Though Universal Orlando has been filing permit applications for the Kong construction project with local authorities and sources connected to the project have leaked the show building blueprints to Theme Park Insider, no one from Universal or its parent Comcast had confirmed the plans officially to the public before today.
You Might Also Like:
Big differences between disney and universal: universal is constantly and quickly putting in new rides, and actually listened to their loyal fans that missed one of their old attractions.
Universal had a very successful fourth quarter, as announced at that same meeting. The "revenue increase" for all USA parks was an outstanding 29.9% increase. That follows a huge attendance increase (19% "attendance" increase all parks) during the third quarter. Since that figure also includes Universal Hollywood, which hasn't completed their expansion yet, that percentage was probably even a bit higher for Orlando Universal alone. This should put the lie to those posters who continually say that Diagon Alley was a failure. Those are numbers rarely ever reached during any expansions. It's a great time for Orlando theme park fans to see both Universal & Disney thriving. It can only result in a continued better theme park experience. Only Sea World, which is being dragged down by Blackstone's cost cutting & poor management, is lagging behind.
nobody said it was a failure...now they did say it didn't meet expectations, but I don't recall the word failure ever used...
Honestly, I love universal the best out of all the parks that I have been too. I don't agree though that disney doesn't listen. I think disney listens just as much as universal. I mean look at Luigi's tires attraction at Californias adventure. That was litterally just built a couple of years ago, and they are already replacing it with something more suitable to the area. but anyways, I love to see expansion, regardless of where it is at. This has me so excited for the future!!
Continued expansion at both of the Orlando majors is VERY exciting.
Is the large Kong animatronic from the original Kongfrontation attraction or a new construction? I guess we will know soon. Too many screen based attractions, but this is a mix of both screen and practical sets.
With the advances in the art of AAs, they would have to be crazy to put in the clunky old Kong from the defunct attraction. It wasn't a bad AA for the time, but this new ride has only one animatronic. Obviously, we want to see something state of the art.
Anon Mouse, it's a new construction. But it's the same upper-torso concept as the original.
This Kong attraction looks pretty awesome. Having it sit in Jurassic Park is brilliant as well.
I think Universal has been spending and investing money wisely.
Ugh with the screens. You know what's more 3-D than a 3-D screen? Actual things existing in space.
I've been going to disney for years, since 87 and lived in Florida for 7 years through the 90s, 90-97, and the difference between universal and disney now is night and day. Universal puts in an attraction, starts building another one, a lot of the time with cutting edge technology involved and an amazing experience. I love disney, I just want them to step it up a bit. Give us something. Soarin should not have 120 minute waits, nor should toy story or seven dwarfs mine train. When I found out that disneyland had as many rides as disney world in a tenth of the space it shows how as long as the money keeps pouring in they can operate at a snails pace rather than making new exciting rides for their loyal patrons. They'll build another 5 parking lots 10 restaurants and a hotel before putting in a new ride, and it will probably just be a rebrand of something with short lines.
Early reports are saying there will also be some giant insect animatronics plus a very unique ride system for the trams. They've already started rock work on the building. A large section of the Skull Island entrance section has rock as of today.
Now, I'm pretty sure that this will end up being a fantastic ride, but I have some complaints. I'm honestly getting tired of Universal just turning everything into a motion simulator. Every time they get their hands on a new franchise, they ALWAYS have to turn it into a motion simulator! Don't get me wrong, Universal makes the greatest motion simulators in the world, but they do it too much. This is why I like Disney more, they have such a HUGE variety of attractions, so there's something for everyone. (Though grant it Disney has the unfair advantage of having a lot more space). I, personally, would like to see something more like Revenge of the Mummy, an indoor thrill ride that uses more practical effects. And I want those practical effects to be above and beyond, I want Universal to invest a truckload of money into making them as realistic and scary as possible! Ok...I've gone on for way too long...what about you guys? Would you by any chance be interested in this ride becoming something other than a motion simulator?
Re: the comment directly above this one...
Well, the attraction is only opening in 2016, probably in May or June (based on past history). So I would imagine they're saving the big media events for next year. An ad in next year's Super Bowl would probably generate a frenzy of anticipation.
Just in my never-ending quest of "Disney-Defense"... to the people who keep bringing up that Universal is constantly pumping out new rides and lands, can I remind you that...
Are people really excited by a King Kong ride? Really? Sure it is nice that something new is on the way, but to the average Joe does this "franchise" even register a blip? It is unfortunate Universal did not just expand the Jurassic Park footprint - even though the new JP movie looks pretty awful (why Chris Pratt, why???), at least it has relevance with today's Universal fan.
Let's call it by its proper name. James Cameron (quoted): “It’s going to be called, I believe, 'Pandora: The Land of Avatar'.”
Oh, and Rao's last post was funny ... In that snarky Rao-kinda way ... And extra points for successful funny without bald jokes ,,, Well done!
As much as people malign the Avatar expansion at DAK, the source material is infinitely better than King Kong.
"why Chris Pratt, why???"
Considering the abs ... It is more like Greek yogurt vanilla.
I think the secret is looking at the sources potential as an attraction, not by how much the film is "liked". Avatar has potential to be a unique and beautiful land with potential for a wide variety of attractions (from a peaceful boat ride, to a simulator flying ride).
I'm still not sure why some people are bagging on Kong for being a simulator with screens while at the same time looking forward to Avatar, a Soarin clone.
James, firstly because Avatar is not just the "Soarin clone" but also a boat ride, and a completely unique land. And I doubt that Avatar is going to be a clone, seeing as how it has been promoted as "riding a Banshee will definitely be an “E-ticket” attraction unlike any our guests have ever experienced"- Tom Staggs
This looks awesome. I love that while opening Potter which is the new, universal is also bringing back a classic. I can't help but think that a small reason for the giant Kong AA is to somehow 1 up disney, whose giant ape AA has been broken for years now.
Avatar land is never going to be as successful as say Harry Potter is at Universal.
This is just another Disney droids bashing Universal thread. Seems Disney knows what the people want because the two most popular rides at WDW are screen rides Soaring and Toy Story Mania, and guess what? Disney is building a third screen/ride for both of them. Or soon will.
Hmmmm... I see no bashing here. Just some constructive criticism from fans who do not always see the world through Pirates of the Caribbean spyglasses or Harry Potter spectacles. Well, until you get to Apple Butter's comments, anyway.
Just not even going to go into all of Apple Butters comments, Clearly you have made up your mind and I simply disagree with your assessment of Avatar, and I am sure many people have already posted about Avatar in some other thread.
I'm not planning a vacation around Avatar either, I'm pretty sure most people on here are not either. Also phase one is not even ready until 2017? Universal will have Kong, a new waterpark, and a new resort by then. That's just what we know about too. Disney has one gear in Florida, slooooowwww as molasses. I don't know about you guys but I love me some phases! It's great to go to a new section only to find out that only part of it is open and in two years everything will be open, I love that.
Disney had always intended Animal Kingdom to include both real and mythical creatures. The original plans for the park included a section entitled Beastly Kingdom (which then became Camp Minnie Mickey). It's not hard to do a bit of research people, good grief.
Jack, you clearly don't know what you're talking about.
This is basically my take on Kong & Universal, though of course it's just opinion. But there is a lot of info out there from various Universal insiders that have an excellent track record...Kong will create a bump in attendance similar to Transformers, which was significant. Since it is only an attraction & not a land it really can't be compared to Avatar, HP or Carsland. It looks like Kong will be a very entertaining "family" entertainment attraction that will also be using some new high tech. Universal Orlando has a very strong local customer base and they will flock to this attraction no doubt. Universal is basically pausing this year and taking advantage of the newness of Diagon for marketing. But starting in 2016 they go into blitzkreig mode for a few years. 2016 & 2017 will surely bring Kong, a state of the art theme/water park a step above anything existing in the Orlando market, a new convention hotel Sapphire Falls & added convention space. Plus good sources are saying a Soarin type replacement for Twister, Fast & Furious, and probably Star Trek. All of this opening in a 2 year time span. So the tourist marketing for Universal will include all of these attractions & amenities. And then 2018-2020 will bring another wave of new attractions. It will be a sum of the parts that will be the impetus for additional huge attendance & guest spending gains. Universal has really mastered the art of increased guest spending with the Harry potter model. Universal won't pass Disney during this time period but it will significantly increase it's market share. Universal is a monster.
"Star Trek" vs. "Star Wars". The knives are out.
Your right Anon Mouse, I really miss the Star Trek experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas. It had a restaurant themed with two solid motion simulater rides and small muesum while you waited. Characters from the movies and shows walked around and entertained the guests. It was ahead of its time in total immersion albeit in a small scale. Last I heard it was moth balled and was going into some downtown mall there. I don't think that ever happened because that was a few years ago. It would be great if Universal could do something like that. I'm a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek. I know how dare he but I have Ahbrams to thank for rebooting both.
Your right Anon Mouse, I really miss the Star Trek experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas. It had a restaurant themed with two solid motion simulater rides and small muesum while you waited. Characters from the movies and shows walked around and entertained the guests. It was ahead of its time in total immersion albeit in a small scale. Last I heard it was moth balled and was going into some downtown mall there. I don't think that ever hyyvappened because that was a few years ago. It would be great if Universal could do something like that. I'm a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek. I know how dare he but I have Ahbrams to thank for rebooting both.
im the one with the previous anonymous comments about universal being better, I should just make an account for myself. My argument comes from having no dog in the fight. Without disney world there would be no universal florida. I love both equally which is why im
"I hope Star Trek will be an entire land. I really miss the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas. Please bring back the Borg ride. It was amazing."
I think Rob Pastor should come clean and vet his sources. His comment make him seem like a UO publicity rep.
Sorry about that guys, but I would never divulge any non public sources.Though I am confident to say that the theme/water park will be over & above expectations.....But, concerning Star Trek, I will tell you that Disneyhead, an individual who works for the media in Orlando & generally has had info that pans out, last week stated on OU that Universal was finally able to procure the IP rights for Star Trek in January.Take that "rumor" for what it's worth. ....And I like Disney too and think they're finally getting back on the track expansion wise. Just my opinion though.
Ok, 2 things...1. Thank GOD they're finally getting rid of Twister! While I've always been more of a Star Wars fan, at least Star Trek is an actual quality franchise. 2. Re: Apple Butter's criticism of how Avatar Land "doesn't fit into Animal Kingdom." It is a known fact that Disney originally wanted a land in Animal Kingdom that was based around mythical creatures. Due to budget restrictions or something like that, it instead became Camp Minnie-Mickey. So this is something that Disney has wanted to do for a while. Animal Kingdom is about two things: cool animals and expressing the need for environmental protection. Mythical animals are something the park has barely touched on. And need I mention Avatar's not-so-subtle environmental message? And why complain about not making the new land extremely dangerous like its cinematic counterpart? By that logic, every theme park attraction based on a movie that's ever been created should start killing off guests. So yes Apple Butter, Avatar Land does fit into Animal Kingdom.
They also have a new King Kong movie coming out soon, don't they?
Blake, the statement "for people capable of appreciating cinema that is more than, say, 20 years old" essentially backs up my irrelevant comment, and rules out a majority of the current Harry Potter-centric Universal fans. However, "It's all about execution" is 110% correct, as I also stated previously, and is true for any attraction, even the ones based on relevant franchises.
I hope that the King Kong ride can be less challenging to do maintenance now with the better, upgraded technology they have. I also guess that King Kong is not the only on who goes after bananas because the minions from despicable me go after them as well but the pursue it in a comedic way where the kong might not find the acts humorous. I'm really going for King Kong opening in the summer of 2016! Go NBCUniversal!! Go Comcast! Keep it up!
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.