Universal Studios Hollywood has begun a soft opening period for King Kong 360 3-D, the latest addition to its famous Studio Tour.
King Kong 360 3-D will officially open on July 1, 2010, but the park has begun taking some tour trams through the new area in order to ensure that it is working smoothly. According to Screamscape, not all tours have been lucky enough to see the new attraction, although with only days to go until the grand opening there is not long left for excited fans to wait.
The 3D show is based on 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 remain seated on trams throughout the experience, donning 3-D glasses to allow them to see the action. They are then 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 sit on motion-based platforms that move in time with the images. These are 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 are 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.
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.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.