Skull Island: Reign of Kong will open in summer 2016. Here is how Universal describes the attraction, in its press release:
It begins as guests are transported deep into a wild and mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin – but where they are soon fighting for their own survival. Their journey will take them through an ancient temple inhabited by hostile natives, a perilous jungle ruled by prehistoric creatures, a foreboding underworld of caves concealing unspeakable terrors – and face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself.
And the video announcement:
Universal has been building its new Kong attraction, on a parcel between its Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon lands in Islands of Adventure. We described the blueprints for the Kong attraction last year — the attraction will blend the 3D, 360-degree imagery of Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour Kong encounter with the immense animatronics of Universal's previous "Kongfrontation" attractions.
Here is how our writer Renata Primavera described the "Kongstruction" site on a visit this week: "Stuck right in the middle of the Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon areas, the new construction definitely stands out against the blue, clear sky. Even knowing that it is due to feature the classic and terrible missed Audio-Animatronic version of our beloved King Kong, I was not expecting an attraction building that big and long; big enough to embrace the better aspects from both the Californian current version and the Orlando long-gone one, and with room for a couple more surprises.
"On the far left, visitors who have been to California will definitely recognize the rock formation in the shape of claw, which is also featured in the entrance of the Studio Tour Kong encounter. Is that also the entrance for us, visitors, in the ride? If so, why such a tall rock formation? If this doesn't ring a bell, the pictures printed on the walls all around the construction feature the same skulls and artefacts from the Peter Jackson.
"Interesting enough, visitors in the Orlando are getting so used to refurbishments and construction sites at Universal that they didn't even seem to be curious about what was going on there, passing by in a hurry to get to the next attraction in the park."
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I think the smaller size of the building has something to do with the fact that some of the attraction takes place outside. The whole thing looks like it will be incredible.
It's interesting how close the ride building and facade are to Toon Lagoon. As I was walking through Toon Lagoon it made me wonder if the whole area could receive an overhaul with a theme of either Skull Island, expanding Jurassic Park, or something Godzilla inspired.
I imagine they still have a lot of construction and infrastructure that has to be completed inside the ride building, hence the 2016 date. The outside does look impressive and it is amazing to see people walk by and not even stop to take notice that it is there.
This sounds like Indiana Jones 2.0. The Indians Jones Adventure at Disneyland was a terrific attraction that hardly ever works as promised. Effects largely don't work. A few big rehabs got them working, but they broke down eventually and now it is a shadow of its former self.
I wish this King Kong attraction well. It adds another reason to visit this terrific park.
Is this really how we should portray indigenous cultures nowadays? To me, this is outdated and inappropriate. I hope they will rethink this aspect.
Other than that, the ride looks very promising.
Plus...I don't think any lost civilizations of giant-ape-worshipping natives will be riding the ride, so I dunno who would be offended.
Uuuhh...where have you been the last few centuries? This is how native cultures have been portrayed for quite some time now. And, in reality, that's probably a lot more realistic. I mean, wouldn't you be a little defensive if an entire new race of people with superior weapons and technology invaded your home?
On an unrelated note, this new ride sounds promising. Sure, I always give Universal crap for not being Disney level of quality, but they've really improved over the last couple of years! Even though Disney still remains the King of theme parks, Universal has been catching up and Disney has been stepping up their game even more because of it! Even Seaworld has been taking notice and is now building a new E ticket ride! Truly, there has never been a better time to be an Orlando fan.
It's not about them being defensive. It's about them being portrayed as repulsive human beings.
And it's not about whether people are offended or not. It's about what kind of image of indigenous cultures we instill in our minds. I think this stuff matters.
Not historically. Most native americans were fascinated by european people and technology. They were interested in trading and even helped the first settlers survive. They only became hostile when the foreigners put up walls, took land and forced their culture to change.
Like the people do in Kong by invading their land and trying to steal their giant monkey god?
The Mummy pre-dated Indiana Jones. The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser was a remake of the original movie made in 1932.
Oh yeah...forgot about that...my bad!
Even so, I'm still standing by on what I said about Universal using the Mummy to bring Indiana Jones to Orlando.
I'm really glad that this ride will consist mostly of physical sets and AAs. Not that I'm "weary" of the screens in Universal attractions. I think Universal has done amazing things with screens, and I love their 3D/4D rides. But variety is an important part of theme parks, and you can't have too much of the same kinds of attractions.
I've always been a sucker for 3D, but Universal parks need more AAs. This might give us the "king" of all AAs!
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