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King Kong returning to Universal Orlando


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I can't wait to see another new 3D dark ride at Universal! :rolleyes:

I do love Universal. All of their 3D dark rides are amazing. But I'm sure King Kong will be the same old same old technology like Spider-Man, Transformers, The Simpsons Ride, Minion Mayhem...those are all great rides, but they need something different!

I am excited though. I went in 2014 and maybe a trip in 2016 is in the works? (as a celebration for my high school graduation!)

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Particularly at Universal Studios Florida, simulators are overused. However, each is very different. Despicable Me has nothing in common with Transformers, which in turn feels, acts, looks, and is much different from The Simpsons Ride. There are screens in Forbidden Journey, but the ride has nothing in common with Gringotts, which also uses screens. So one simulator does not equal another.

And honestly, in terms of bringing those worlds to life, Harry Potter probably does call for screens as those environments could never be fully realized in physical form in a theme park. You'll see the same thing in Pandora - The World of Avatar.

Even Disney recognizes this. What was their big coup last year? Ratatouille. Entirely screens and physical sets. Not a single Audio Animatronics figure. Cheaper, easier to maintain, and more realistic.

Supposedly Kong would more closely resemble Spider-Man / Transformers with digital screens embedded seamlessly into physical sets, but with a much healthier balance between the two, and some great Animatronics figures as well. Supposedly even EMV type troop transport vehicles, like DINOSAUR or Indiana Jones Adventure. And again, the King Kong animatronic featured at Universal in the 1990s was astonishingly large, but even an advanced 21st century version today would not compare to the digital version that leaps over your vehicle aboard Hollywood's Studio Tram Tour. When it works, it works. Universal's challenge is to keep it real as often as they can, and as their work evolves, I see evidence that it's happening. Gringotts is a better balance than Transformers is a better balance than Spider-Man is a better balance than......

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And I still think out of all of the various rides that incorporate screens, physical sets and motion simulators the California Indiana Jones is by far and away the best. I think the next evolution in this technology is to take a ride system like Indy and Dinosaur and incorporate more of the 3D mapping technology along with real sets and the occasional movie screen. Sorry but to me many of these rides are all movie screen and very little else. The set dressing is almost an afterthought. Thats why Indy blows me away still to this day, the scene with the rope bridge and watching other rovers cross it is very impressive.

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And I still think out of all of the various rides that incorporate screens, physical sets and motion simulators the California Indiana Jones is by far and away the best.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the only screen-based technology in Indiana Jones is a relatively new piece of projection mapping technology used on Mara's giant face at the start. Beyond that, it's all physical sets and effects.

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And I still think out of all of the various rides that incorporate screens, physical sets and motion simulators the California Indiana Jones is by far and away the best.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the only screen-based technology in Indiana Jones is a relatively new piece of projection mapping technology used on Mara's giant face at the start. Beyond that, it's all physical sets and effects.

Yeah, Indy doesn't use any screens.

TTD, you're probably right about Spider-Man having more physical sets. I like Spider-Man a LOT more than Transformers, so don't misunderstand that. :P But yeah, you're probably right.

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Or, they can employ a next gen technology used at Test Track/Radiator Springs. A number of Disney Imagineers have jumped to Universal in the past few years, taking the concepts they gleaned with them. I loved Kong there in the 90s. The huge ape animatronic was simply awesome when it worked. I was sad to see it go but am happy to see its return. When I'm sans kiddos on my trips to Orlando, I usually carve out a day into night for Universal and IOE.

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I really like Universal, but the park is so simulator heavy. Kong and Jaws were 2 of the best rides in the park. I know I know, great additions went in their place, but those rides were very unique to the park and added diversity. IOE offers a much more diverse ride line up compared to the sister park.

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I'm sure the new Kong/Skull Island attraction will be very well done...they've set a pretty high bar for themselves.

I prefer Spiderman to Transformers (especially after Spidey's upgrade to HD projection)...mostly because I think the story is a lot better and more cohesive. (I'm also not nearly as familiar with the Transformer franchise as I am the Spiderman cannon...)

Gringotts is actually the first ride of that type where there were times that I had a hard time telling physical set pieces from some of the 3d projections. The immersive quality of that ride is amazing.

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^That's the main reason I like Spiderman over Transformers. Transformers is a lot of the same thing over and over again (robots fighting) and it just gets old. I rarely ride it anymore.

Not to mention, it's one of very few rides I can think of where you need to preface it by explaining it to first-timers.

And good luck if they haven't seen Transformers, as some of my family members hadn't. "There are robots that turn into cars. The good ones are colorful and the bad ones are just metal. They're fighting over a piece of glass we're going to see in the queue that we inexplicably get ahold of. But basically it's just going to look like tons of explosions happening in front of you."

Most rides effectively narrate themselves. Not Transformers. And it could just be the source material, but still.

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^ I agree...I saw the first Transformers movie and bits and pieces of others on cable. And, while I have an understanding of the overall premise, I had to Google "All Spark" after riding the first time just to figure out what had happened. (Good storytelling on a theme park attraction shouldn't require you to do research...)

I also had a hard time following the preshow in Transformers...there was so much ambient noise with the crowd and the audio didn't seem very clear to me. (Or, maybe I'm just old! :) )

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