The King Kong attraction at Universal Studios has had a long and exciting history, from its initial opening in Hollywood in 1986 to its latest iteration in Orlando in 2016. With its evolution over the years, the King Kong attraction has become a significant part of the Universal Studios experience, attracting millions of visitors and showcasing advancements in theme park technology and design.
The original King Kong attraction, known as King Kong Encounter, opened at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 14, 1986. The latest iteration of the attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, opened at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure on July 13, 2016.
The Birth of King Kong at Universal Studios
The original King Kong attraction, known as King Kong Encounter, first opened its doors to the public at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 14, 1986. This attraction, part of the Studio Tour, was based on the 1976 King Kong film and was designed by legendary theme park Imagineer, Bob Gurr.
The Evolution of the Attraction
Over the years, the King Kong attraction has seen several transformations. In 1990, Universal Studios Orlando introduced Kongfrontation, a similar attraction that became the park’s main attraction at the time. However, Kongfrontation was closed in 2002 due to the high cost and unreliability of maintaining the animatronic figures of King Kong.
In 2008, the original King Kong Encounter in Hollywood was closed due to a fire that completely destroyed the attraction. But King Kong made a comeback in 2010 with the opening of King Kong: 360 3-D, which featured 3-D HD imagery on two 200-foot wide screens, tram motion, wind, water, and scent effects, creating an immersive experience for guests.
In 2016, Universal Orlando Resort brought back King Kong with the opening of Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure. This trackless 3D dark ride features a combination of physical and digital effects, an immersive queue, and a close encounter with King Kong himself.
The Impact of King Kong on Universal Studios
The King Kong attractions have had a significant impact on the overall theme park experience at Universal Studios. For example, the King Kong 360 3-D attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood helped the park draw over 5 million visitors in 2010, a 26% increase over the previous year. This demonstrates the appeal and drawing power of the King Kong character and its associated attractions.
Moreover, the King Kong attractions have showcased advancements in theme park technology and design. The evolution of the King Kong attractions reflects the continuous innovation and development in theme park design and technology.
From its initial opening in 1986 to its latest iteration in 2016, the King Kong attraction at Universal Studios has evolved significantly, offering thrilling and technologically advanced experiences to millions of visitors. Despite the changes and challenges over the years, King Kong continues to be a significant and popular part of the Universal Studios experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other attractions are there at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Other than King Kong: 360 3-D, Universal Studios Hollywood also offers attractions like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World – The Ride, The Walking Dead Attraction, and The Simpsons Ride, among others.
How long does the King Kong: 360 3-D ride last?
The King Kong: 360 3-D is part of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, which lasts approximately 45-60 minutes. The King Kong section of the tour lasts around 5 minutes.
Is the Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride suitable for young children?
Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal Orlando Resort is a thrilling ride with intense visual effects, which might be scary for young children. It’s recommended for children aged 9 and above.
What other attractions are there at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?
Universal’s Islands of Adventure offers a range of other attractions including Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, among others.
Is the King Kong attraction available at other Universal Studios locations worldwide?
The King Kong attraction is unique to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure. There are currently no King Kong attractions at other Universal Studios parks worldwide.