Monday, July 23, 2018
Things To Do

King Kong's reign begins as Universal opens Skull Island ride

Universal's Islands of Adventure surprised visitors Wednesday with the official opening of its newest mega attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

The Orlando theme park has been tight-lipped about when the enormous ride would open, even though it has let riders on intermittently for "technical rehearsals" for weeks.

After Al Roker showed viewers on the Today show Wednesday morning what to expect when they board a 40-foot-long, 17-ton expedition vehicle to navigate the foreboding terrain of King Kong's home turf, the park officially opened the ride for full-time operation.

The attraction, which looms over the park between the Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park islands, has a complex ride queue loaded with props and even actors as scary islanders. The ride itself is aboard a 72-seat jungle bus that takes riders past the 36-foot tall doors of an ancient-looking temple into the world King Kong.

The action takes place on huge curved 3D screens on each side and above the truck and a loud animatronic Kong nearly three stories tall roars his displeasure in a battle sequence.

The ride announcement comes one day before Thursday's opening of Universal Orlando's fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The 1,000-room Caribbean-themed hotel with Universal's largest resort pool, a water slide, fire pit, two sand beaches, waterfall and lush lagoon, is positioning itself as a convention hotel that connects via covered walkway with Royal Pacific Resort's conference area.

A stay at the resort includes early access to Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure, with transport via land or water taxi. Rooms start at $179 at loewshotels.com/sapphire-falls-resort.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

Comments
New ‘Karate Kid’ action figures are coming soon

New ‘Karate Kid’ action figures are coming soon

Fresh off the success of YouTube Red's Cobra Kai series, a toymaker has decided now is the perfect time for a new set of Karate Kid action figures. Why? Because who doesn't want a creepy figure of Johnny Lawrence dressed as a skeleton sitting on our ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Paul Reiser talks about returning to stand-up, never winning an Emmy and why ‘Mad About You’ likely isn’t coming back

Paul Reiser talks about returning to stand-up, never winning an Emmy and why ‘Mad About You’ likely isn’t coming back

Paul Reiser has some bad news for Mad About You fans hoping for a series revival."It's kind of stuck in the business end of it now," the comic, actor and co-creator of NBC's Emmy-winning sitcom told the Times recently. "Sony is trying to figure out f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Review: Violent Femmes, Echo and the Bunnymen in Orlando

Review: Violent Femmes, Echo and the Bunnymen in Orlando

  When I saw that Violent Femmes was touring this summer with with Echo & The Bunnymen, I thought my heart was going to explode with undiluted glee and neon-glazed confetti. Two bands that have long occupied top spots on my bucket list – t...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, July 23

TODAYBaseballYankees at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMBraves at Marlins7 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Cubs8 p.m.ESPNWhite Sox at Angels (in progress)11 p.m.MLB...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, July 22

TODAYAction sportsX Games1 p.m.ABCAutosF1: German Grand Prix9:05 a.m.ESPN2Monster Energy Cup: Foxwoods Resort Casino 3011 p.m.NBCSNNHRA: Mile High Nationals3 p.m.FoxBaseballMarlins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun, FSF; 620-AMCardinals at Cubs2 p.m.TBSMets at Ya...
Published: 07/21/18
Where to get a good hot dog for National Hot Dog Day in Tampa Bay

Where to get a good hot dog for National Hot Dog Day in Tampa Bay

Who has the best hot dogs in the Tampa Bay area?
Updated: 0 minutes ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday, July 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Sunday, July 22

Our editors' picks for things to do.
Published: 07/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, July 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, July 21

Chicago & Reo Speedwagon: Two of the most successful, legendary and critically acclaimed rock bands perform some of their greatest hits and more. 7:30 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50-$129.50. (813) 740-2...
Published: 07/21/18
Twenty One Pilots sell out Tampa concert hours after tickets go on sale

Twenty One Pilots sell out Tampa concert hours after tickets go on sale

Not that you needed any proof that Twenty One Pilots are the most popular alternative act in America.But if you slept on tickets to their upcoming fall tour, you might be out of luck.The Ohio duo's Nov. 3 concert at Tampa's Amalie Arena sold virtuall...
Published: 07/20/18
See 'Unseen Worlds' in glass in St. Pete, plus art events for kids this week

See 'Unseen Worlds' in glass in St. Pete, plus art events for kids this week

Art events for kids around Tampa Bay this week.
Published: 07/20/18