The King Kong ride, known as Kongfrontation, was one of the main attractions at Universal Studios Florida when it first opened in 1990. However, it closed permanently in 2002, leaving many fans wondering what happened to this beloved attraction.
The King Kong ride, also known as Kongfrontation, at Universal Studios Florida was closed permanently in 2002 due to speculated high staffing, operations, and maintenance costs. It was replaced by Revenge of the Mummy in 2004. However, King Kong made a return to Universal Orlando in a new attraction called “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” in 2016.
Introduction to the King Kong Ride
King Kong Encounter, the original King Kong ride, was first introduced on June 14, 1986, at Universal Studios Hollywood. It was based on the 1976 King Kong film and served as the basis for the Kongfrontation ride in Florida. The significance of King Kong Encounter lies in its groundbreaking use of animatronics and immersive experience, which marked the beginning of a new era of theme park attractions.
The Experience of the King Kong Ride
The King Kong ride was an immersive, multi-dimensional thrill ride that took guests on a 1930s-set expedition to Skull Island. The ride utilized 3D technology, immersing riders in the story as they encountered giant bugs, dinosaurs, and King Kong himself. The animatronic King Kong figure was a marvel of engineering, standing 26 feet tall and proving to be highly expressive and detailed.
The Closing of the King Kong Ride
Despite its popularity, the decision to close the King Kong ride was announced on August 15, 2002, and the ride was permanently closed on September 8, 2002. Universal never provided a solid reason for the closure, but it is speculated that high staffing, operations, and maintenance costs were to blame. The attraction was later replaced by Revenge of the Mummy in 2004.
Public Reaction to the Closing of the King Kong Ride
The closing of the King Kong ride elicited mixed reactions from the public and fans. Some fans were disappointed with the closure, as Kongfrontation had become one of the most beloved Universal attractions of all time. However, some fans had more positive reactions to newer King Kong-themed attractions, such as Skull Island: Reign of Kong.
The Replacement of the King Kong Ride
In 2010, King Kong Encounter was replaced with King Kong: 360 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood, and Kongfrontation was replaced with Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida in 2004. Later, a new King Kong attraction called Skull Island: Reign of Kong was opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 2016.
The Future of King Kong in Universal Studios
Despite the closure of the original King Kong ride, the famous ape made a return to Universal Orlando in a new attraction called “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” in 2016. This attraction takes visitors on a journey through a recreated version of Skull Island from Peter Jackson’s 2005 movie, King Kong.
While the original King Kong ride is no more, its legacy lives on in the new King Kong-themed attractions at Universal Studios. As technology continues to advance, we can expect future attractions to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in theme park entertainment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the original King Kong ride at Universal Studios Hollywood closed?
The original King Kong ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, known as King Kong Encounter, was destroyed in 2008 due to a fire at the studio. The ride was then replaced by King Kong: 360 3-D in 2010.
What is the difference between the original King Kong ride and the new King Kong: 360 3-D ride?
The original King Kong ride was a tram tour that featured a large animatronic King Kong. The new King Kong: 360 3-D ride is a 3D immersive experience where guests wear 3D glasses and are surrounded by a 360-degree screen.
Is the King Kong ride still available at any Universal Studios theme parks?
Yes, a King Kong-themed attraction is still available at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. The ride is called “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” and it opened in 2016.
What is the “Revenge of the Mummy” ride that replaced Kongfrontation?
“Revenge of the Mummy” is an enclosed roller coaster based on the Mummy film franchise. It replaced the Kongfrontation ride at Universal Studios Florida in 2004.
What are the main features of the “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” ride?
“Skull Island: Reign of Kong” is a 3D dark ride that takes guests on a journey through Skull Island. It features animatronics and 3D screens to create an immersive experience.