For over two years now, Universal fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of King Kong to Universal Orlando Resort in the form of Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which is set to debut later this summer. However, even though this ride isn’t actually open yet, technical rehearsals have been going on in the past few days, which have given a lucky few an advance look at this attraction

Interestingly, praise for the attraction on a technical level has been near universal (no pun intended), with many lauding the attraction’s amazing King Kong animatronic (which you can learn more about here). However, there was one issue that has been causing a lot of controversy in the theme park community: the queue.  Now something as simple as a line might not seem like such a big cause for issue, but there’s one big thing that will separate this line from any other at an Orlando theme park…. 

Editor’s note: some elements of the Skull Island: Reign of Kong queue are discussed here, so if you want to experience this attraction completely unspoiled, turn back now!

There will be scareactors in the queue 

Image: Universal 

Anyone who has ever been to Halloween Horror Nights knows all about scareactors, who roam the streets of Universal Studios Florida and hang out in haunted mazes waiting for the perfect time to jump out and give guests a fright. And while this type of guest interaction was previously confined to Halloween Horror Nights, it looks like guests who enter the interior part of the Skull Island: Reign of Kong queue will be subjected to some “natives” of Skull Island that will be hidden at strategic points in the queue and will be surprising unsuspecting guests.

This is certainly an interesting development for a number of reasons. First of all, this will be the closest thing to a year round haunt Universal Orlando Resort has ever had. Interestingly, west coast counterpart Universal Studios Hollywood had a year round haunt with Universal’s House of Horrors for over a decade before that attraction closed down in 2014 and it will have another year round haunt later this year when The Walking Dead attraction opens. However, this will be a first for Orlando. 

Image: Freddo, Wikipedia (license

Another reason why this new addition is especially noteworthy is it continues Universal’s recent trend of making queues a legitimate part of the attraction they are placed in front of.  Back in 2010 when Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey opened, guests were stunned by the Hogwarts castle queue, and to this day guests who prefer not to ride the attraction can request a “Castle Tour” just so they can see the queue. 

Though this development sounds great on the surface, there are some that are wary of this change, for some very legitimate reasons



I'm not a fan at all of this idea. I like scary movies and thrill rides but I don't enjoy anything that has to do with anybody or anything physically jumping out at me. I always avoid anything of haunted houses and anything Halloween whatsoever. I was at universal today and as we were waiting in the queue I saw the party infront of us was jumping and terrified, not to mention loud screams coming from the hallway and I felt extremely nervous and scared I could barely move. I had waited in line for nearly an hour and I find this surprise. I was unaware there were scareactors, I'm just glad it hit the party infront of us because it gave me enough time to head out the emergency exits. It was humiliating at some point because I'm a 20 year old and escaping a ride. I saw people beforehand leaving and I didn't understand why but then I became one that did leave. Luckily as I headed out a crew member approached me and asked me if I still wanted to ride and I said I did but I didn't want to go through the queue because of the scareactors and he let me pass through a seperate line that let us directly to the ride. And to be honest I'm glad I didn't get through the whole queue because it wouldn't have been worth it whatsoever if I had got scared by the scareactors. I found the ride not scary whatsoever, I'm not riding this again in the future just because of the scareactors. Unless the singles only line doesnt have scareactors. Keep in mind that not everyone likes to get jumped on. I'm 20 years old and I love scary rides but I hate people jumping at me.

I think its a horrible idea. I'm ok with rides and animatronics but after being attacked I find people scare acting intensely unnerving. I cant even do Halloween parties, i love scary rides though but only if there arn't people there. just like i like scary movies. but there is no real threat there but add a man deliberately jumping out at me where im in a small space such as a queuq and i hyperventilate and faint and cant help it. for me it rules out a ride i would love to do as i couldn't risk the queue. would there be a way to bypass?

GREAT idea. Wish I thought of it first!

I think it's a great idea and the mummy ride still has a scare element in the queue as a puff of air sprays at random times making people jump also I think the scare actors can see groups with younger children coming through and would more than likely choose to opt out of trying to scare them and let them pass or just maybe not physically jump out just move a bush or make a noise as it would still be a scare just not as intense.

Sure, not every ride has robe made for kids, but not all theme park attendees are as savvy in their research as we Theme Park Tourist readers. Parents will only see the restriction height and not bother to take into account how scary it may be for their child.
Having said that, I think many are making this a bigger deal than it is. The Scareactors will have a monitoring system in place so that they will know who is in the queue and an appropriate action for those in said queue.

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