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Video: first reviews emerge of King Kong 360 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood

King Kong 360 3-D logo

Full video and reviews of Universal Studios Hollywood's King Kong 360 3-D have emerged online, following the media day for the new addition to the park's famous Studio Tour.

King Kong 360 3-D, the largest 3D attraction in the world, will open officially to the public on Thursday, July 1. Public previews have already begun, and following the media day the first in-depth reviews and full-length videos of the attraction have now appeared online.

Reviews of King Kong 360 3-D have been overwhelmingly positive, with a representative selection given below:

  • USA Today claims that Universal Studios Hollywood has succeeded in living up to its own hype with King Kong 360 3-D, agreeing that it is "the largest, most intense 3D experience on the planet".
  • Theme Park Adventure Magazine described the new tour stop as a "solid 7" out of 10 on its Twitter account, saying that it was difficult to compare it to the original Kong attraction (which was destroyed in a fire in 2008).
  • Dread Central praises the dynamic nature of the new Kong attraction, compared with the previous version, saying: "Gone is the static feeling of a large animatronic head roaring at you, replaced with an all-out sensory overload as the tram was knocked around through all out war in a fully immersive 3D environment."
  • Theme Park Insider also picks up on the action-packed nature of King Kong 360 3-D, saying that it "slams riders with 90 seconds of the most intense fight ever seen in a theme park."

Universal Studios Hollywood suffered a huge blow in June 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.

King Kong 360 3-D is based on Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of the original 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.

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.


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