'Skull Island: Reign Of Kong' Concept Art And Trailer Revealed For New Universal Orlando Ride

After years of rumors, Universal Studios has finally confirmed and announced the upcoming Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride for Universal's Islands of Adventure. Universal Orlando has released concept art of the new attraction alongside the first Skull Island: Reign of Kong trailer, teasing Kong's return to Florida.

Universal Orlando announced the Skull Island: Reign Of Kong attraction this morning. Here is their official description of the new ride:

As you journey deep into a mysterious island, your 1930s expedition is swarmed by enormous prehistoric predators. Your only hope is the most colossal ape ever to walk the earth. As the gargantuan beasts fight for dominance, you will just fight to survive. Skull Island: REIGN OF KONG – A multi-sensory, multi-dimensional new ride for your life. Coming Summer 2016 to Universal's Islands of Adventure® at Universal Orlando® Resort.

A Universal blog post says that the ride will take you on a trip navigating "perilous jungles, explore ancient temple structures and encounter hostile natives – and that's only the beginning."

Throughout the rest of your excursion, you'll brave foreboding caves crawling with prehistoric creatures, fend off unspeakable terrors – and even come face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself.

Executive Producer Mike West says that the ride will feature "revolutionary" vehicles, taking guests on a journey throughout Skull Island, across huge sets. He promises "massive sets, massive ride vehicles, massive characters and creatures, and a massive story" in the announcement trailer, which leads us to believe it will be much more than the King Kong 360 tram tour experience currently featured at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The ride is expected to be a combination of the Kong 360 experience, huge sets and animatronics as well as other 3D projected scenes — something — imagine something likeTransformers: The Ride but on a tram vehicle. Which makes sense, West was lead on rides such as "The Simpsons," "Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem," and "Transformers: The Ride — 3-D."

Mike West also says:

The challenge is also to tell the next generation of the Kong legend, all while delivering an unparalleled, revolutionary theme park experience guests have come to expect from Universal.  We have done exactly that with Reign of Kong – you'll be pulled into a powerful, intense fight for survival as you discover a side of the iconic beast that has never been revealed...until now.

I'm excited to visit Skull Island when it opens in Summer 2016.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong Concept Art and Poster

Skull Island: Reign Of Kong Trailer

Skull Island: Reign Of Kong Featurette

Executive Producer Mike West reveals details about a new attraction coming to Universal Orlando Resort's Islands of Adventure in Summer 2016, Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

Rumors of the attraction first leaked in early 2013, saying that a new ride or land was being planned for construction behind the Jurassic Park land in Universal's Islands of Adventure. With Jurassic World gearing up for production, initially people thought the area might be an expansion of the Jurassic Park land. It was quickly revealed, however, that the area would feature a new "'ride' version of the King Kong 360º 3-D attraction added to the backlot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood".

Plans on the Orlando Water Management website detailed the site and shape of something being called "Project 340" featuring a very large new attraction. Initial reports had pegged a May 2016 opening as construction officially began clearing the area in February 2014.

Legendary Pictures surprised a packed Hall H crowd revealing an announcement trailer for a Skull Island movie at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. This led me to wonder if the movie would be based on the earlier book or was being developed in conjunction with this new Universal theme park attraction. We still don't know if they are connected in any way.

We've since learned that Kings of Summer helmer Jordan Vogt-Roberts will be directing Tom Hiddelston, Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons in the upcoming film, now titled Kong: Skull Island. The movie will take place in an entirely new time period from the previous adaptations. Here is the official synopsis released by Legendary:

In the spirit of its worldwide blockbuster Godzilla, Legendary Pictures presents a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast with KONG: SKULL ISLAND, which stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers and Thor series).  Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and written by John Gatins (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla), KONG: SKULL ISLAND will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.  Legendary's story honors the foundations of existing King Kong lore, but places it in an entirely new, distinct timeline.  Thomas Tull (GodzillaThe Dark KnightPacific Rim) and Jon Jashni (Godzilla, upcoming Warcraft) will produce and Alex Garcia (Godzilla) will executive produce.  The film will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D by Universal Pictures.