Since construction began on the plot of land adjacent to Jurassic Park in Universal's Islands of Adventure, everyone has known that the mystery project would be a King Kong attraction. It seems Universal has worked tirelessly to erect this structure which in just months has gone from a steel skeleton to detailed building now receiving rock work on its exterior.
Today, finally, Universal has revealed what we already knew. Skull Island: Reign of Kong will be coming to Islands of Adventure in Summer 2016. The secrecy for so long was a bit puzzling considering the internet had already figured out it was Kong, and a Universal executive even let it slip in a conference call months ago. I had assumed the silence was caused by the potential movie tie-in for Kong: Skull Island. The film was delayed so that could have affected Universal's announcement plans. That might not entirely be the case however. But more on that later.
Universal announced the ride without revealing much of anything. We know Kong will be in there along with other creatures from the Island. You'll be boarding a "revolutionary ride vehicle", which, from the looks of it in the concept art could be a lot like the ride vehicle in Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
The themeing of the land looks incredible. Just from the construction photos I've seen the scale is indeed massive. From the concept art and Universal's recent reputation of complete immersion in its lands, this should be an incredible experience and one you have to do at night.
What threw me for a loop is that this new attraction appears to have nothing to do with the new film which will star Tom Hiddleston, opening around 9 months later in 2017. Instead the attraction is based on Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong film. There is already a part of the tram tour ride in Universal Studios Hollywood dedicated to Jackson's film. The Orlando attraction will be taking parts of that film and expanding it out further than just the Kong vs T-rex scene.
I love Peter Jackson's Kong film more than most. It is overlooked and underrated. So I welcome a ride based on that great movie but it seems like a huge missed opportunity not to have this ride be based on the new film. The new Kong is one of the first collaborations with Legendary Pictures. The studio that brought us Christopher Nolan's Batman films, 300, Inception, Pacific Rim and more. So it might have been a safe bet to base this ride on the new film.
What do you think of the latest land going into Universal's parks?