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First look: Universal reveals more details of huge Kong ride coming this summer

 [Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando]

Skull Island Reign of Kong

[Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando]

Universal Orlando has revealed more details on Skull Island: Reign of Kong. The giant attraction set to open at Islands of Adventure this summer will take riders into the home of King Kong.

The details released today include a first look at an enormous temple wall complete with carvings and images, and the temple's "massive wooden doors that slowly open, revealing a labyrinth of caves," according to Universal officials.

The attraction has been a major presence in the park for more than a year while it was under construction between Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon. Looming rock walls have risen on what looks like an ancient temple in a primordial jungle setting.

Mike West, head of the theme park's creative team, has called it an immersive experience that "defies categorization." With an elaborate queue and environment, the goal is to put the visitor in another world, he said.

This adds to a steady building boom at Universal, already profiting from its Harry Potter attractions. The company has vowed to bring new theme park attractions year after year.

Visitors will set out to explore an island rife with prehistoric creatures of unknown origin. They'll find themselves at a campsite of the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the research team leading the adventure.

Beating drums draw guests toward an ancient temple. Moving deeper into the ruins reveals a lost shrine and warnings to turn back.

Visitors will board a specially designed expedition vehicle that will travel deeper into the island before confronting the enormous temple wall, leading to a maze of caves.

Universal's press release states: "Inside the caves, you meet your expedition leader – and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a raging struggle between creatures of incomprehensible size and ferocity. Then, as those creatures turn on you, there is an even more enormous, earth-pounding presence – bigger, closer and more overwhelming than you can possibly imagine. It is Kong. But is he friend or foe?"

Universal worked with Peter Jackson, the director of 2005's King Kong, a $207 million spectacle that was at the time the most expensive movie ever filmed. The theme park is going big as well. The great wall at the entrance to the ride looms 72 feet tall and the ride vehicles are among the biggest the theme park has built.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

First look: Universal reveals more details of huge Kong ride coming this summer 02/25/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:55am]
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