(2011 – present)
Official teaser website:
He’s Never Been This Real.
Created by Peter Jackson
Your heart pounds. Your adrenaline flows. Your survival instincts are on overload.
Welcome to the largest, most intense 3-D experience on the planet.
It’s 3-D to the next level.
COMING SUMMER 2010
TV Advert, 2011
The first King Kong attraction, based behind the New York Street facades, was destroyed in the June 2008 fire, along with the New York Street sets.
As Universal is a working movie studio, the priority for the studio was to get the sets rebuilt so they could be used for filming.
The new King Kong attraction is in a different location – on what was formerly a parking lot near the Collapsing Bridge. Using this new site enabled the studio designers to make maximum use of the new Metropolitan area sets, rather than having a large chunk of real estate taken up with part of the theme park. Instead of being based on two separate sets (the TV news sequence and helicopter crash, then the Kong encounter) the new King Kong 360 3-D is a ‘drive-through’ attraction where the tram will stay in a single line, much like the old Battle of Galactica attraction. It will feature a close-up encounter with a more high-tech version of old banana breath, using a massive wrap-around 3D projection screen. In 1986, when the original King Kong Encounter was introduced to the public, they were blown away by the breakthrough technology which Universal had made use of. To make the experience truly remarkable, the tram guests will wear 3D glasses.
After the success of his 2005 King Kong movie, Peter Jackson experimented with a 3D version of some of the CGI scenes. He was blown away by the quality of the images, and the immersive nature of the scenes.
The new King Kong 360 3-D incorporates the same digital model of Kong that was used in the movie, but in brand new footage created by Peter Jackson.
Interview with Peter Jackson about King Kong 360 3-D
At the time of opening, King Kong 360-3D was the largest 3-D experience in the world.
Two 180-foot-long by 40-foot-tall screens surround the tour trams so that wherever the guests look, they’ll see Kong, his environment, and his adversaries.
A test run of the concept off-site in January 2010 (photo right) used 3-D test footage from the Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong movie. The film was never released with any 3-D elements, but footage was created for test purposes during production. The projection system and ‘tram-mover’ system was tested in a large hangar at Playa Vista until construction was complete on the show building at Universal.
The tram-mover system uses a series of airbags to make the tram and guests shake and move in time with the projected action.
The visual effects director working on the project, Joe Letteri, used many of the advanced digital cinema tools that were created by WETA Digital working for James Cameron during production on Avatar.
Interview with WETA Digital’s Joe Letteri about the 3-D process
Joe Letteri, Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Weta Digital Ltd. in New Zealand discusses how “King Kong 360 3-D” created by Peter Jackson will feature the latest in 3-D technology to create the world’s largest, most intense 3-D experience.
- Creator: Peter Jackson
- Executive Art Director (VP Universal Creative): Dale Mason
- Show Producer (Universal Creative): Valerie Johnson-Redrow
- Senior Visual Effects Supervisor (WETA Digital): Joe Letteri
- Visual Effects Supervisor (WETA Digital): Matt Aitken
- Digital Effects Supervisor (WETA Digital): R. Christopher White
- Animation Supervisor (WETA Digital): Eric Reynolds
- Sound Mixer: Michael Hedges, Park Road Post
- Sound Editor: Brent Burge, Park Road Post
Facts and Figures
- Running time: 2 mins 30 seconds
- Screen size: 180 feet x 40 feet (each screen)
The Making of King Kong 360 3-D
Videos courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood
Construction Photo Gallery
As these photos show, the new King Kong building almost covers the Collapsing Bridge.
It’s thought that if King Kong is out of action, the Collapsing Bridge will be used as an alternative route, but it’s thought to be unlikely the tram will visit both attractions.
Hear what fans and the general public think of this new attraction directed by Peter Jackson based on the blockbuster film and taking place on Skull Island. This new 3D experience puts you right in the middle of the action as King Kong takes on a swarm of deadly T-Rexs.
Advertising & Promotion
The Intensity Lasts a Lifetime advert
King Kong Across LA
Santa Monica Pier: