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King Kong 360 3D – the new Universal Studios “thrill ride”

King Kong 360 3D – the new Universal Studios “thrill ride”

NOT King Kong

The world”™s largest, “most intense 3-D experience” made its debut last Tuesday morning, when Universal Studios Hollywood debuted its new “thrill ride” King Kong 360 3-D.

Tuesday”™s event also, in part, benefited the Wildlife WayStation Animal Refuge.

The event was staged on the studio lot, in one of Universal’s sound stages, where a lush and exotic jungle theme ran rampant and fantastic and talented drummers performed rhythmic jungle beats while dressed as primitive natives. Fabulous food was served. Some exotic endangered animals (a magnificent tiger, a playful monkey and a giant albino python) were on hand for the festivities.

Conceived and directed by Peter Jackson, director of the 2005 blockbuster movie King Kong (as well as the highly acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy etc), Jackson launched his creation via a 3-D press briefing.

Jackson described his vision and intent with this “ride”, saying it was “impossible to describe” promising us an experience that would affect “all of our senses.”

And assault our senses it did indeed!  Well, there was sight, sound, touch and even smell but thankfully not taste!

This close encounter with King Kong is now part of Universal Studios Hollywood”™s classic back lot tram ride.

A highlight of Jackson”™s presentation was when he kicked off the ride by aiming a small streamer bomb at the camera. Not only did streamers shoot out towards us in 3-D, but in the soundstage several huge steamer bombs went off, filling the air with glittery confetti.

Following the pre-taped video introduction from Peter Jackson (he is based in New Zealand) we all boarded the tram to experience the ride.  The tram entered the tunnel and stopped. Suddenly, the movie was projected in glorious 3-D surrounding the tram and we felt as if our vehicle was floating through a prehistoric jungle. We smelled the musty scent of thick flora and oversized fauna.

kongdinotramground

And what a ride this is – about 4 minutes of terror as massive dinosaurs roar, scream and attack. They even jump on the roof of the tram. Giant bugs threaten to snap off your head with their fearsome pinchers. The mighty Kong appears to save the day!  Water is sprinkled!!

It”™s all over so fast but a lot of (blurry) fun!

Enjoy this ride next time you visit Universal Studios.

WHERE: Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 90068

The gala opening event of “King Kong 360 3-D” will benefit the Wildlife WayStation, located in the Angeles National Forest, where over 400 injured and abandoned exotic animals, including many primates, have been housed and cared for the past 35 years. Joining the festivities will be a 450-pound Bengal Tiger, a 13 ft. long albino Burmese Python and a Macaca monkey.

Universal Studios Hollywood breaks new ground in themed entertainment with the landmark introduction of the world”™s largest, most intense 3-D experience, “King Kong 360 3-D” Created by Peter Jackson.  Integrating spectacular three-dimensional visual media and the world”™s largest 3-D projection installation ever produced with physical effects, “King Kong 360 3-D,” re-sets the bar for immersive theme park attractions.  “King Kong 360 3-D,” based on Peter Jackson”™s 2005 blockbuster, opens July 1 as a signature ride on Universal Studios”™ world famous, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour.

WHO:  Celebrity supporters of Wildlife WayStation, including Betty White and Los Angeles radio personality Lisa Foxx and Stephanie Powers. Christopher Lloyd, Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Oscar Nunez, (“The Office”), Craig Robinson, (“The Office”), Josh Sussman (“Glee”), Wayne Brady, Kevin Sorbo, Mark Moses (“Desperate Housewives”), Taryn Manning, Mark Pellegrino (“Lost”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”), Sam Jaeger (“Parenthood”), Zachary Levi (“Chuck)”, Joshua Gomez (“Chuck”), Gretchen Rossi (“Real Housewives of Orange County”). Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, Universal Studios Hollywood President Larry Kurzweil.

Report by Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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