King Kong ride officially announced for Universal Orlando, Skull Island: Reign of Kong set to open in 2016

in Entertainment, Islands of Adventure, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando

King Kong is coming back in a big way.

Today Universal Orlando officially announced Skull Island: Reign of Kong will open in 2016 at Islands of Adventure. Already well under construction adjacent to the existing Jurassic Park area, this new ride will take guests through Skull Island and feature life-sized, face-to-face encounters with King Kong himself.

The experience begins as guests are transported deep into a wild and mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin – but where they are soon fighting for their own survival. Their journey will take them through an ancient temple inhabited by hostile natives, a perilous jungle ruled by prehistoric creatures, a foreboding underworld of caves concealing unspeakable terrors – and face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself.

“King Kong is a Hollywood movie legend and a huge part of both our history and our future,” said Mike West, Executive Producer, Universal Creative. “He gives us the opportunity to tap into everything that makes our film history so special and everything that makes our theme park attractions so spectacular. We can’t wait to bring him to life in such an epic way.”

In the video announcement above, West adds that the ride will feature “revolutionary” vehicles, taking guests on a journey throughout Skull Island, across huge sets.

This will not be the same attraction as Universal Studios Hollywood’s King Kong 360 3D, adding many more real life visuals beyond the wrap-around screens that are part of that park’s backlot tram tour. But there will be screen-based visuals as well, including dinosaurs and other creepy creatures, along with Kong himself.

It’s been more than a decade since Kong had a home in the Florida park, as the former Kongfrontation ride closed in 2002, later replaced by Revenge of the Mummy, which is still open today.

This morning’s official announcement comes more than two months after a Comcast executive let news of the ride slip during an earnings call.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong will open in summer 2016. More information can be found at


  1. Doug

    Universal is truly a massive step ahead. They continue to out perform everyone in ride innovation. From Spider-Man, to Mummy Returns, to the Harry Potter rides (and immersive worlds they’ve created), to (my personal favorite) Transformers, to this new experience, I am in awe of each and every step they have taken. I still love Disney, and have been there roughly 20 times, but Universal has quickly become my favorite destination when visiting Florida. I’m certain this will be excessively hyped and I’m confident that the creators of this masterpiece will live up to it. They’ve created not just rides, but all encompassing experiences. Thank you to ITM for their fast, accurate, and thorough information on new and upcoming park experiences.

  2. Since1976

    Looks great, but I find it odd that they put it right next to the conceptually similar Jurassic Park. I mean, even a character in the movie recognizes that the front gate to the tour looks like Skull Island’s — “What they got in there? King Kong?”

    1. Colt

      Dr. Ian Malcolm the “chaotician”

  3. Cheryl

    Wow. Thanks so much for bringing this ride back even though it will have different features. I can’t wait to ride it in the summer of 2016.

    1. Dancing stars

      I know right!

  4. Jeany Sanchez

    I can’t wait to ride it next year! Awesome KONG!

  5. cam

    Yes, their ride innovation never ceases to amaze me. From Spider-Man to Spider-Man…er I mean transformers. To the Mummy to the mummy, er…I mean Gringotts. To a train with a video playing inside to the new king Kong ride with what appears to be the ride car from either Kilamanjaro Safari or Dinosaur. Yep, the innovatuon just keeps on coming!

    1. Topher

      At least something new is happening at Universal! Because lets not forget the phenomenon that was Under The Sea with Ariel and Friends, a revolutionary new omni-mover… Oh, wait… Not so revolutionary. But Enchanted Tales with Belle, that’s a great place to visit… as long as you don’t have a big group. Seven Dwarves Mine Train, that’s cool… I mean, the cars rock… Well they rock a little. Oh, but speaking of rocks… the rock work inside of New Fantasyland, that’s groundbreaking… Oh, wait… Nevermind.

      1. EricJ

        Yeah, and with Ariel, they just ported over some existing hit attraction from their California park, stuck it in a brand new building with some fancy pre-shows and called it a “new” attraction, not like Universal, where they……erm…….maybe I should rephrase that….

  6. EricJ

    Looks like an East-coast upgrade to the Hollywood Tour 3D drive-through, but with an indoor set-up, like Earthquake.
    (With Spiderman immersiveness, of course.)

  7. Joshua Beaupre

    this ride might be scary and i hope to visit there in 2017 i hope this ride will be the most scary ride ever crated

  8. Tyler Corelli

    So it’s based off of the movie Peter Jackson movie?? Shouldn’t they wait for the new movie…

    1. Greg

      No, see, that’s Disney’s tact. As with Star Wars. Disney is still king, but what I do admire about Universal is the past decades constant delivering of new E-Ticket attractions. Disney World’s last was what, a decade or so ago? It took them 3 or 4 years to build Fantasyland with no E-Tickets (7 Dwarfs is not an E-Ticket, though the line is long enough to be), they announced Avatar 2 years ago and it still has another 2 years to go, which brings me back to Star Wars. This should have been announced and started already, but with the new movies, is hold until… until what? When do they draw the line? Since they plan to release movies once a year for a while, at one point do they say, “OK, fans are really wanting this, we really want to capitalize on it for additional revenue (Potter Swatter), and the existing movies have PLENTY of inspiration for a new themed area already. Let’s do it!”
      End of mini rant.

      1. Greg

        And now, with the Nintendo announcement, Universal continues to leave Disney in the dust with exciting new attraction and experience announcements.

        But it’s not all bad at Disney – they did get an overlay to Test Track, and will get an overlay to Maelstrom, and they are adding more capacity to a couple of existing rides – Toy Story and Soarin’, and they added new things to see while waiting in line for Peter Pan, and 3,000 dollar a night Bungalows at the Poly. Obviously this is sarcasm. I love Disney, but come on guys (I know you read this) give us something to really be excited about. Universal is doing that in numbers you can only dream about.

  9. Kyle

    It looks great and universal steps up their technology game each time but lately all of their rides are the same thing: a moving car thought a TV screen. The rides are awesome but redundant. Where are the read sets? I wanna be in a movie not watching one!

  10. Wes

    I’m glad Kong is coming back in some capacity. I just wish they wouldn’t put a big screen in every one of their recent attractions. You’re basically paying a hundred bucks for a day at an arcade. I’m a big fan of retro Universal and hated when Kongfrontation was replaced. I’m not really ahuge Potter fan so it’s nice to see them step out of that realm for a short time at least.

  11. Dave

    Bring back Kongfrontation

  12. Jennifer

    I have to agree with what others have been saying about animatronics, and I’m happy to hear that other people have been feeling this way! I understand some effects can only be achieved with screens or digital technology, but I miss animatronics. I’m getting tired of the screen heavy theme park rides. I hope the theme parks listen, and deliver (especially on this new Kong ride!). 🙂

  13. jake

    What date will it be opened in 2016?

  14. Lee

    Where on old maps was Skull Island East off of what Indonesian Island ? .

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