The Universal Studios backlots were set ablaze in June 2008, destroying sets and one of the park’s signature attractions — King Kong. The ride has been part of the park’s tram tour for over 20 years. But when the fire destroyed the attraction many speculated that Universal would replace it with a ride based on a more recent movie property. Last year we got word that Universal would be teaming with Peter Jackson ro rebuild King Kong.
At the time we were told that the new attraction would involve guests wearing “special glasses as they enter a darkened sound stage” containing “the world’s largest 3D Surround Digital projection system” aboard the famous Studio Tour trams. The attraction would transport guests to Peter Jackson’s version of Skull Island where they’ll “survive a close encounter with a swarm of monstrous bats, only to be” put in the middle of “a ferocious showdown between” an “enormous, ravenous 35’ tall dinosaur” and King Kong.
We have finally gotten an update on the attraction, formally titled “King Kong 360 3-D, created by Peter Jackson“.
The Los Angeles Times has been confirmed that the attraction will feature all original material, created by Jackson specifically for the attraction, and not just repurposed footage from Jackson’s 2005 remake. The new Kong attraction is described by Universal Studios as the largest 3-D exhibit in the world — The 3D images will be projected on two 180-foot-long by 40-foot-tall screens that wrap around the trams. The 2 1/2-minute long attraction will cost “more than six times the price of rebuilding the destroyed mechanical Kong.” Here is a bit more from the article:
“If the new technology works as designed, park visitors will not only see Kong in three dimensions but also smell his banana breath, feel the gust of wind as he jumps over the guests and sense the ground quake when the ape engages a Tyrannosaurus rex in a life-or-death battle.” … “In another scene, a 35-foot-tall T. rex stepped over the trams, turned to the audience and bared its massive teeth.” … “Inside the building, the tram will stop over a “tram-mover” system, powered by massive air bags that will lift, shake and drop the tram, giving guests the feeling of being jolted during the battle between Kong and the T. rex.” … “The 180-foot-long screens will curve around the tram so that the 3-D images seem to surround the passengers. A system of fans, sprayers and other devices installed in the building will spew air, water and odors at park visitors to bring the images to life”
Sounds pretty cool — now that I’ve moved to LA, maybe I’ll have a chance to check this out when it premieres this Summer. The wonderful photo at the header of this article actually has nothing to do with the ride. It’s actually a wonderful Peter Adams photo I found on Flickr.