STORY WRITTEN BY TAMARA LUSH
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — King Kong first appeared on screens in New York City in 1933, but next summer, he’ll be in Florida , headlining a new thrill ride at Universal Orlando.
“Skull Island: Reign of Kong” will open in the summer of 2016 at Islands of Adventure.
Universal executives announced this week that guests participating in the “intense adventure” will board expedition trucks and forge through jungles, temple ruins and past prehistoric beasts before they come face to face with the oversized ape.
It will be one of Universal’s longest rides and will have a 34-inch height requirement. The attraction will be partially indoors and partially outdoors and will involve flaming cauldrons and caves.
The new attraction will be nestled in between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park.
This isn’t Kong’s first rodeo at Universal Orlando. From 1990 until 2002, the Kongfrontation attraction was housed at Universal Studios. But that experience centered on Kong in New York.
Mike West, Universal Creative Executive Producer, said the ride takes guests into King Kong’s home on Skull Island. Locating the ride “in Kong’s home” as opposed to New York was a conscious decision on the part of the creative team, he said.
“We want to tell the next generation Kong’s story,” said West. “He’s timeless.
In the 1933 version of “King Kong,” Fay Wray played an unemployed actress who agrees to take a job with a movie company that is going on location to a mysterious island. Kong is the huge ape that inhabits a part of the island.
When the film company discovers the enormous gorilla, Kong is attracted to Wray and abducts her. But he is eventually captured and brought to New York and put on display. Kong escapes and finds Wray, with terrifying results, but eventually meets his death on the Empire State Building.
West said more details about the ride will be released in 2016, but promises it will be an “intense, thrilling ride” that will “use all of the senses.”