Universal Orlando Offers First Glimpse into Reign of Kong
February 25, 2016, 9:26 AM ·
Universal Orlando Resort today dropped some more details about its upcoming new attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong. The ride, being built next to Jurassic Park in Islands of Adventure, plusses the King Kong 360 3-D segment from Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour into a longer, more complete narrative experience, adding a themed queue, richly detailed setting, and an animatronic Kong.
While Hollywood presented its Kong encounter simply as an exercise in film production, Orlando's will seek to transport you to another place and time. Universal today revealed some of the details from that backstory:
The adventure begins as you set out to explore an island rife with prehistoric creatures of unknown origin – and the legend of a beast still undiscovered. You find yourself at a campsite of the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the research team leading your adventure.
Once beyond camp, the menacing terrain shows signs of a native presence; beating drums draw you toward an ancient temple. Moving deeper into the ruins reveals a lost shrine – and proof you are not alone. You ignore warnings to turn back.
You board a specially designed expedition vehicle that will take you deeper into the island. Mysterious sounds pierce the air and you hear chanting. And then – you confront an enormous temple wall, complete with carvings and images that seem to pay homage to something you cannot quite comprehend. The temple’s massive wooden doors slowly open, revealing a labyrinth of caves.
Inside the caves, you meet your expedition leader – and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a raging struggle between creatures of incomprehensible size and ferocity. Then, as those creatures turn on you, there is an even more enormous, earth-pounding presence – bigger, closer and more overwhelming than you can possibly imagine. It is Kong. But is he friend or foe?
The backstory appears to describe an adventure that begins in the ride's queue — the campsite. The loading station will be in the shrine, and once aboard your vehicles, you will enter the ride's show building through the temple gate. Inside the building will be the Hollywood-style video tunnel, where the creatures will fight. After that battle, your ride vehicles will make a sweeping right-hand turn around the massive Kong animatronic, which serves as the ride's finale.
And here's a look into the making of the ride, hosted by Universal Creative's Mike West:
Universal is also promoting the new ride with a Web series called "Myth Explorer," starring SyFy host Erin Ryder, in which she travels to the Indian Ocean in search of the lost Skull Island. Here's the first episode:
Skull Island: Reign of Kong opens this summer at Universal's Islands of Adventure. A specific opening date has yet to be announced.