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King Kong The Attraction (Back to the King Kong page)

After seeing the delights of New York Street, our guide announces they've built 'an entire city block INSIDE a sound stage' - we should really get our cameras out as there's a "big star" inside...

The tram heads into a soundstage behind a massive pair of doors. Inside, a stunning recreation of a New York suburb has been prepared for filming. The tram's heading across a large bridge. Suddenly, a TV flickers into life in one of the windows we're passing. It's a News Report. The anchorman announces "There's an enraged beast loose on the streets of New York". We now see beautiful telecopter reporter Kelly King who's right in the middle of the action above the wreckage of a crashed el-train. She sees a tramload of people down on a bridge in danger. That's US!! We hear the helicopter, and Kelly's voice now cuts through the noise over the helicopter sound system, warning us to get out!. Suddenly, the news report cuts out, and the stricken helicopter falls out of the sky right next to the tram, smashing into some power cables on the way and bursting into flames.

The tram driver decides to get us out of the danger. Wait - there's something blocking the bridge ahead, and there's a Police chopper shooting at it. As we round the corner, we can see Kong! He's got hold of the bridge that we have to cross to escape! The tram driver tries to pass Kong but the beast shakes the bridge and roars at us! The terrified tour guests can't do anything except smell the banana breath and hold on for dear life until the tram safely exits the sound stage.

Show duration: 150 seconds
Specs: The bridge
The sliding bridge was designed by Bill Watkins, and was engineered with teflon plates that slid the 88,000 pound tram back and forth as Kong "rocked" the bridge. The bridge rocked itself - Kong merely held onto it and looked as though he was moving it.
The stage: The soundstage was 26,000 square feet (160 feet x 160 feet)
Cost: $6.5 million (in 1986)
Audio: Technomad loudspeakers
Attraction credits:
Art Director: Peter Alexander
Project Manager: Larry Lester
Kong figure: Bob Gurr (Chief Engineer), Tom Reidenbach, Dave Schwenniger
Kong Animation: Peter Alexander, Craig Barr
Helicopter Crash rig: Bob Gurr, Sequoia Creative
Soundstage design: Henry Bumstead
Many thanks to Peter Alexander at www.totallyfuncompany.com for some information.

Tram entering the King Kong stage
Tram entering the King Kong stage
Sander Vanocur was the newsreader from 1986 - 1990
Sander Vanocur was the newsreader from 1986 - 1990
The Kelly King helicopter crashes in a ball of flame
The Kelly King helicopter crashes in a ball of flame
King Kong himself (in rather unflattering lighting) - photo © Universal Studios Hollywood
King Kong himself (in rather unflattering lighting) - photo © Universal Studios Hollywood