Project 2016: Skull Island: Reign of Kong (Project 340)

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May 6, 2014
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King Kongstruction Update RE: [Rumor] Expansion to IOA (Not potter) 2013-2014

Time to update this thread as construction photos are showing great progress!

It is now known the IOA expansion near JP "Project 340" is based on the King Kong franchise. Construction is really taking shape as evidenced by this excellent blog post.

http://www.aliciastella.com/blog/2015/04/08/theme-parks-kongstruction-update-painting-the-rockwork-and-faces-appear/

The attraction should feature groundbreaking animatronics. I visit in June and will report back with photos. Please post any updates you find here.
 
May 6, 2014
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RE: Project 2015/2016: King Kong (Project 340)

Comcast just announced the Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction geared to the entire family for guests 34" and taller.  The queue will be highly themed and have visitors exploring jungle and temple ruins.  The ride portion happens in large expedition vehicles.  This is expected to be a high capacity attraction opening in the summer of 2016.  A new King Kong film is also due in 2016.

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/travel/florida-travel/article20329470.html

By Marjie Lambertmlambert@MiamiHerald.com

King Kong is coming back to Universal Orlando, but the story line will be unlike that of any other King Kong theme park attraction — of which he has already had his share.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong has been under construction at Universal’s Island of Adventure since last spring, but park executives remained mum about the building going up until Wednesday, when they announced that it was a King Kong ride that would open in summer of 2016.

“It’s going to be a groundbreaking attraction. It’s going to be an intense attraction,” Mike West, executive producer for Universal Creative, said in an interview. “We’re going to draw guests into ... the mysterious and daunting world of King Kong. They will be playing an active role in this new generation of storytelling.”

The ride will be between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park.

This will be the second King Kong attraction at Universal Orlando. The first, Kongfrontation, one of the original rides at Universal Studios, was closed in 2002 to make room for Revenge of the Mummy. There have also been two King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Hollywood. All have been different.

This time, he won’t be wreaking havoc on New York. Instead, guests will accompany explorers searching for prehistoric beasts to Skull Island. They will trek through dense jungle and temple ruins, encounter hostile natives, find an underworld of caves and hear cryptic messages about a monster. Then they will be confronted by a colossal Kong.

“There is a 72-foot high great wall. The huge wooden temple doors open. You are unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. You’re out there to help the explorers on this expedition to find creatures that no one has ever seen before,” West said.

Skull Island “is not a story line from any movie or attraction. It’s next generation,” West said. “The fact you’re there in his home instead of him coming to your home is what sets this attraction apart.”

The first part, through the jungle and temple ruins, will be done on foot — part of the queue — and the rest of the way will be in big expedition trucks. Although the ride starts outdoors, most of it will take place in a large show building.

“It’s really a very dramatic physical environment that you’re immersed in,” West said. “It’s an intense, thrilling ride.”

But not so thrilling that it will traumatize young children, he said. “It was conceived for the whole family. Kids will be in awe.” Minimum height will be 34 inches, which will allow many 2- and 3-year-olds to ride.

Universal consulted with Peter Jackson, director of the 2005 remake of the 1933 movie, on how to put the adventure together, West said, “but it’s its own story and its own experience. It’s a chance for guests to see Kong in a way they have never seen before.”
 

Zimmy

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RE: Project 2015/2016: King Kong (Project 340)

[
By Marjie Lambertmlambert@MiamiHerald.com


But not so thrilling that it will traumatize young children, he said. “It was conceived for the whole family. Kids will be in awe.” Minimum height will be 34 inches, which will allow many 2- and 3-year-olds to ride.
Oh goody.
 
May 6, 2014
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RE: Project 2015/2016: King Kong (Project 340)

I feel similarly, Zimmy.  2 and 3 years old is very young to be dealing with giant animatronic spiders and scorpions.  From the artwork it appears the maximum number of screaming adults and children per vehicle tops out around 32. ;-D
 
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RE: Project 2015/2016: King Kong (Project 340)

Connor said:
Giant Spiders? Looks terrifying stupid. First Harry Potter and now this, guess I'm just gonna keep riding Jurassic Park River Adventure. Also, a low height requirement and an traumatizing experience?  This ride just screams "Yes." Still, I'll probably ride and have nightmares but I'll have fun.
This seems like a good fit with neighboring Jurassic Park. River Adventure and the surrounding area is being refurbished. More details and photos are available from Alicia Stella's excellent blog.

Here is hoping it is finished and open by the time Jurassic World opens on June 12th and my visit on June 4th! Alicia also infers from a call to hire puppeteers able to support 55 pounds of distributed weight that a Velociraptor meet-up may be in the works!!!
 
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Connor

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Giant Spiders? Looks terrifying stupid. First Harry Potter and now this, guess I'm just gonna keep riding Jurassic Park River Adventure. Also, a low height requirement and an traumatizing experience?  This ride just screams "Yes." Still, I'll probably ride and have nightmares but it's all about trying new things, right?
EDIT: I Don't know why but my post seemed to have disappeared.
 
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I've got a trip planned to Orlando in spring 2016, so I'm bummed to miss this. It seems like not much information is here in this announcement, but I trust Uni's track record and imagine that this will be a great experience.
 
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Mushroom

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While I was expecting more of a thrilling, DINOSAUR-esque dark ride, I'm very excited about this attraction. Given Universal's knack for dramatic storytelling and attention to detail, I'm fully confident that they'll deliver well here.

Perhaps my favorite part is the "live" Jeep ride feel. I love attractions where the vehicle's driver plays a part in the story- it makes it feel more like a performance than just a passive story. The rider involvement aspect of this type of attraction was something I think was lost with the closure of JAWS, but I'm sure that void will be more than filled with this attraction.

The only twinge of disappointment is that it kind of feels "plopped" into the park. It's not really a part of any themed land. Then again, with its remote location in a well-forested part of the park, it seems like the attraction will sort of bring about a themed area of its own.

Anyway, the concept art looks amazing and I can't wait to experience this new ride.
 
Aug 25, 2012
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I recently went to universal, and I was wondering what the ginormous building was. It is HUGE! Very very large. Construction seems to be going well with some exterior detail being put in.
 
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May 6, 2014
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Hoopla said:
I recently went to universal, and I was wondering what the ginormous building was. It is HUGE! Very very large. Construction seems to be going well with some exterior detail being put in.
Google Earth now shows the building.  Interestingly, it does not appear until you click on the Time Slider control on the toolbar.  One would think it would show the latest image by default...





It is hard to judge the immense size of the building from this aerial photo but when land is limited, I guess the sky is the limit when you have a King Kong sized budget.
 
May 6, 2014
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I am back from a fun trip to Universal Orlando.  Reign of Kong is taking shape nicely but you can see there is still much work underway.  I could not help but think of Luke as I climbed a stone wall to shoot the construction site and closeup over the construction wall.

You can also slightly see the building by the Toon Lagoon sign next to Rip Saw Falls. This location from the walkway of Thunder Falls Terrace is better.  I like how the construction wall is themed. Note the blue primer on the right of the building.


Here's a shot over the wall.  Nassal is definitely involved. Here are links to Nassal's web site and Facebook page.


A closer view


The Velociraptor meet and greet is open in Jurrasic Park!  She looks really good.  I'm sure the 75 pound suit is hot.  I was in line about 15 minutes when she started "eating" a nearby tree.  Silly carnivore.  I think this is a sign for the handlers that it is break-time.  I was next in line to meet her when she went on break.  It's a great costume with a lot of maneuverability. Wow, I don't think I took any photos of her... :-[
 
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