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King Kong returning to Universal Studios this summer

The old Kong attraction
The old Kong attraction

In case you hadn’t heard, King Kong is returning to Universal Studios Hollywood this summer. The giant ape has been missing from the theme park attraction since a fire damaged large parts of the studio a couple years ago, but now he’s coming back, in a brand new attraction. The new Kong is part of something called the King Kong 360 3-D Attraction. which sounds as if it combines film, physical effects, and motion simulation:

In the new attraction, guests will don special glasses as they enter a darkened soundstage aboard the Studio Tour trams and will be transported— via the magic of Surround Digital 3D projection —deep into the dark heart of the world of .  They’ll survive a close encounter with a swarm of monstrous bats, only to be confronted by the terrifying presence of Kong himself.  Suddenly, an enormous, ravenous 35-foot tall dinosaur will challenge Kong and guests will feel their trams jolt, roll and shudder as they find themselves caught in the middle of a ferocious showdown between the great ape and the giant lizard. The action will immerse guests in the battle between the two colossal predators!

Universal Studios’ old King Kong was a mechanical torso that peered over a bridge and spewed banana breath on visitors as they passed by on the back lot tram tour. Although not an exact recreation, the ape was obviously designed to suggest the original version of Kong that appeared in the 1933 film (as opposed to the 1976 remake).  The new Kong 360 3-D attraction is being credited as “Created by Peter Jackson,” so don’t expect the classic  Kong but a new version designed to resemble the ape as he appeared in Jackson’s over-bloated 2005 remake.