Universal Studios Hollywood has confirmed that the latest addition to its Studio Tour attraction, King Kong 360 3-D, will open on July 1, 2010.
The announcement of the attraction's opening date came at the International Pow Wow event for members of the travel industry, and has been widely reported online. Universal claims that King Kong 360 3-D will be the largest and most intense 3-D attraction in the world when it opens as part of the 45-minute Studio Tour.
The attraction is based on the Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of the original King Kong movie, and Jackson himself has been heavily involved in its production. As with all parts of the Studio Tour, guests will remain seated on trams throughout the exerience, donning 3-D glasses to allow them to see the action. They will be surrounded by two 180-foot-long, 40-feet tall screens to immerse them in a battle between Kong and two giant dinosaurs.
To add to the realism, the trams will sit on motion-based platforms that move in time with the images. This will be used to create effects such as Kong and the dinosaurs crashing into the trams, with riders becoming fully involved in the attraction's storyline as they come perilously close to falling off the edge of a cliff. Life-size animatronics will be used alongside the advanced 3-D effects.
The effects have been developed by Weta Digital, the special effects company which Jackson co-founded. The company worked on James Cameron's smash-hit movie Avatar, and Universal claims that many of the technological advances developed for the film have been applied to the Kong attraction.
Jackson himself features in a new teaser video posted to Crave Online. The director describes his team's aims in developing the attraction, saying: "Our intention was to create an enormously spectacular and immersive 3-D experience and we’re pretty confident that we’ve done that.”
Universal Studios Hollywood suffered a huge blow in 2008 when a fire devastated large areas of its famous backlot. Visitors suffered as well, as the park’s Studio Tour lost some of its most famous sights, including the New York Street set and the previous King Kong soundstage. The park reopened some of the lost sets (plus a few new ones) back in June, and announced the Kong soundstage to replace the original, which was built in 1986.
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