So it's not that big of a surprise that Universal announced an immersive new Kong experience, slated to open in the summer of 2016, called "Skull Island: Reign of Kong." This huge experience, which will supposedly be one of the longest and most intense attractions in the entire Universal Orlando complex, allows guests to, for the first time, visit Kong on his native turf: the terrifying Skull Island. If you've seen any of the movies, you know what this undoubtedly entails: dinosaurs running amok, giant insects and other creepy crawlies, and Kong himself, the king of it all. Guests will board large expedition trucks, tasked with cataloging the island's vast array of creatures. Things, somewhat predictably, will go horribly wrong.
Just how wrong? We spoke with Mike West, Executive Producer at Universal Creative, about what guests can expect when entering the spooky world of Kong next summer, what it was like working with Peter Jackson on the project, and why the ride will be housed in Islands of Adventure (over by the Jurassic Park ride) as opposed to Universal Studios proper.
Moviefone: There was obviously a King Kong ride in Orlando before and there's still one in California. So my question is: why circle back to King Kong?
Mike West: It was kind of like why not? Well, there's a couple of things: we're getting ready to celebrate our 25th anniversary at Universal Orlando Resort. And King Kong has been such a rich part of Universal's history from movies to theme park attractions and they've always been great stories in the past. We thought that this gave us the opportunity to tell a new Kong story to a whole new generation, in a completely different way, by having you go to Kong's home instead of having Kong come to the United States.What from the 3D experience at Universal Studios Hollywood either inspired or informed this new ride and what you're doing to push that technology forward?
Well, it's really a vastly different ride than King Kong 360 3D. We're taking guests to the physical, thematic environment of Skull Island, whereas in Hollywood it's really about the movie-making process. You're watching monitors and you're on the tram and you're going in and it's got the cut and action. It's all very segmented. We've gone in and actually created Skull Island. It's not about a movie. The story is a story all to its own. It really has no relation to the Peter Jackson 2005 and is in no ways a prequel to the 2017 film. It's its own piece, which is really exciting.
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