King Kong The Ride 3D 360 - The King Returns

The King has returned with a vengeance to Universal Studios Hollywood.  
It was slightly over two years ago that the disastrous fire destroyed much of Universal’s back lot, which included the famed King Kong ride.  Then director Peter Jackson had a vision to create a ride out of the movie set.  Not just any ride, but a 3D. 360 surround ride. 

With the help of Wheta Digital and Universal’s creative team, Jennifer Sauer, Valerie Johnson Redrow, and Dale Nassan,  the 180 foot King Kong experience was born.  This was the first time that a theme park attraction was directed by a world famous director.  

It was 1933 when the first movie hit the screens.  The film was redone in 1976 and again in 2005. In 1986, King Kong became the first at the Universal centered back lot tour.  

King Kong's Peter Jackson

Among those at the event today were Christopher Lloyd, Warren the Ape and his buddy Josh Sussman, Dino DeLaurentiis and family, Bob Burns with the original 1933 King Kong model, Jack O’Halloran and Thomas Kretschmann from the King Kong movies, Sam Poueu and Stephanie Anderson from the Biggest Loser, and Yvette Nicole Brown from Community as well as Mark Pellegrino from Lost.    Also visiting were Banana the albino Burmese python and Drifter, the tiger from, Wild Life Way station.  The animal rescue center has taken in over 7600 animals and currently houses 400.

Because jungle was the theme of the event, Ron Meyer, President of Universal and Larry Kurzweil, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Universal Hollywood Studio, gave a generous donation to the Wild Life Way Station.  

Reportedly, the largest 3D experience in the world , it, according to Tom Williams, Universal Parks and Resorts CEO, will not disappoint and will, in fact, take your movie experience in an entirely new level.  

Escorted through the back lot, we traveled to Skull Island with all the sights and sounds of the jungle, where we  became part of the story and not just an observer.  Once inside, the trams are enveloped with the enormous screens (equal to 16 conventional movie theatres.)  Surviving an encounter with hungry raptors, we watched, and felt, as King Kong fought the 35 foot tall dinosaurs to save the tram.  The tram rocked and shook as if we were, indeed, in the clutches of the monsters, caught in a titanic struggle.  

The enormous scale and cutting edge technology employed by the designers elevate the storyline to a new level.  The vivid realism of the 3D immersion and synchronized motion of the tram combined to produce the total effect.  

The ride, however, seemed only to last a few minutes and those on the inner seats of the tram were hampered in their experience by the inability to experience it as fully as those who sat on the outer edges.  Nevertheless, it truly is the largest and most intense of all 3D experiences currently available.  

The only other thing like it, I’m told, is the Harry Potter rides at Universal Orlando. 

The arrival of the new King Kong coincides with other enhancements in the theme park including reconstruction of all the New York sets that were destroyed in the fire.  

The ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 1st and I am sure that many will enjoy it.  

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