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Skull Island: Reign of Kong - General Discussion

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I know this thread has gone off the rails a bit, but even with all of my negative impressions, I wouldn't go as far as to say that 2D Kong is as bad as Supercharged. That feels to me like just plain hyperbole.

F&F is a laughable effort with corny stilted acting, lame setpieces, and a bulk of the attraction so needlessly abrasive and loud that neither myself nor my SO can comfortably ride through without a pair of ear plugs.

Kong, even without 3D or the outside entrance scene, still has some legitimately rather cool practical sets with the Kong skeleton, Bat animatronics, Kong himself, and a few screen scenes that are paced well, action-packed, and well-synced with the water effects and motion profile. It's a solid ride with the 3D, and without it, I still argue it's fine. Just not anything special at all, especially considering the long wait times it's known to amass.

It's Minion Mayhem-tier for me. It's fine, and actively worse without 3D; but the reasons why I think that are only really because I'm a diehard theme park nerd and I care about little things like the weird artifacting that the running Dinos have during the Kong 360 screens. Universal has the budget to fix that, I notice it, and I think they should work to make it better. It's also worthwhile to point out the experience of the random 50 year old dad in the party in front of me, who went from stern face bored in the queue, to sitting upright on the bus with his face all lit up, smiling and laughing along with the ride video and telling his family "This is so cool!". He had no clue he was missing anything, and that might be why we won't see the 3D come back here, because he had a great time regardless of the weird artifacting or visible seams or wonky parallax. And frankly, good for him.
 
I know this thread has gone off the rails a bit, but even with all of my negative impressions, I wouldn't go as far as to say that 2D Kong is as bad as Supercharged. That feels to me like just plain hyperbole.

F&F is a laughable effort with corny stilted acting, lame setpieces, and a bulk of the attraction so needlessly abrasive and loud that neither myself nor my SO can comfortably ride through without a pair of ear plugs.

Kong, even without 3D or the outside entrance scene, still has some legitimately rather cool practical sets with the Kong skeleton, Bat animatronics, Kong himself, and a few screen scenes that are paced well, action-packed, and well-synced with the water effects and motion profile. It's a solid ride with the 3D, and without it, I still argue it's fine. Just not anything special at all, especially considering the long wait times it's known to amass.

It's Minion Mayhem-tier for me. It's fine, and actively worse without 3D; but the reasons why I think that are only really because I'm a diehard theme park nerd and I care about little things like the weird artifacting that the running Dinos have during the Kong 360 screens. Universal has the budget to fix that, I notice it, and I think they should work to make it better. It's also worthwhile to point out the experience of the random 50 year old dad in the party in front of me, who went from stern face bored in the queue, to sitting upright on the bus with his face all lit up, smiling and laughing along with the ride video and telling his family "This is so cool!". He had no clue he was missing anything, and that might be why we won't see the 3D come back here, because he had a great time regardless of the weird artifacting or visible seams or wonky parallax. And frankly, good for him.
Excellent summary.
 
That’s the argument to keep the ride open vs. close it altogether.

But when all those people get off the ride and rate it a 6/10 at the end of their day, doesn’t that make it an obvious candidate to trim back (if savings are necessary) when all of its peers are consistently scoring 7+?
So making a 6 even lower is a good idea? I don't get the idea of making a low rated ride even more low rated. I would think they would want to make it better. Especially bringing back the outdoor portion. This making it worse is a real head scratcher and I don't understand this type of cost savings for a park NOT in trouble.
 
So making a 6 even lower is a good idea? I don't get the idea of making a low rated ride even more low rated. I would think they would want to make it better. Especially bringing back the outdoor portion. This making it worse is a real head scratcher and I don't understand this type of cost savings for a park NOT in trouble.
Yall keep missing OrlandoGuy’s point. Cuts happen, whether we like it or not; and if a cut needed to happen somewhere - he’d rather it be a ride a lot of people find average vs a ride like VelociCoaster. Basically, a Sophie’s Choice situation. There is no right answer but if there had to be one…
 
Yall keep missing OrlandoGuy’s point. Cuts happen, whether we like it or not; and if a cut needed to happen somewhere - he’d rather it be a ride a lot of people find average vs a ride like VelociCoaster. Basically, a Sophie’s Choice situation. There is no right answer but if there had to be one…
I guess my argument is with the profits they get, there shouldn't have been a need for a cut to begin with that effect guest experience. But I mean staffing cuts clearly have to be happening all over the resort or it wouldn't take 30 to 45 minutes to get food at a QUICK service place. I think they really need to look at management within the parks honestly, because I see that bloated. Every time I go there are way too many people just standing around looking like management type.
 
I guess my argument is with the profits they get, there shouldn't have been a need for a cut to begin with that effect guest experience. But I mean staffing cuts clearly have to be happening all over the resort or it wouldn't take 30 to 45 minutes to get food at a QUICK service place. I think they really need to look at management within the parks honestly, because I see that bloated. Every time I go there are way too many people just standing around looking like management type.
The end goal is always more profit. That’s not a Universal problem, that’s a corporate America problem. I can’t get worked up when business is gonna business. In this case, Universal is spending a lot in investments, so naturally they’re going to cut the fat somewhere. From a fan perspective, I don’t like it.

But from the business side of things - if the test concludes with no discernible difference in ride satisfaction scores with guests… I wouldn't be surprised.
 
Cuts like these shouldn't be happening in the first place at a "world-class" resort that needs to be in tip-top shape next year for a massive boost in attendance.

My issue with this choice is that Universal has now signaled that they are open to the idea of modifying attractions to reduce costs.

Universal already operates lean with short park operating hours (USF closes at 6PM today) and low staffing at their quick service locations... what else can they possibly cut? Can't cut entertainment at IOA since there's virtually nothing there.

WDW just increased prices today, expect Universal to follow relatively soon, so all of these cuts will be difficult to justify.
 
I hear @Brian G.'s point, but I would argue this (and a lot of the other cutting-back) is a bit more than just cutting the fat.

Universal should want IOA and USF to be at their absolute best in summer of 2025. These moves are not furthering that goal.
And in a lot cases, they are! The investments aren’t just Epic related. Rides are getting fixed, areas are getting refurbished, remodeling restaurants and kiosks with new menus, and still adding new stuff this year. The scales aren’t tipping heavily to one side. It may be teetering, as a down year is expected right before completion of a couple major investments, but there still is a lot of good going on.

Universal already operates lean with short park operating hours (USF closes at 6PM today) and low staffing at their quick service locations... what else can they possibly cut? Can't cut entertainment at IOA since there's virtually nothing there.
It’s a Tuesday at the end of February. Of course it’s gonna close at 6. Now look at the hours for March…
 
It’s a Tuesday at the end of February. Of course it’s gonna close at 6. Now look at the hours for March…
Past two months have had 6PM closures in favor of private events (a few Fridays too), but even then, closing parks (especially IOA) at 7PM is way too early for a resort with nearly 10K rooms now. As a local it's virtually impossible to visit UOR during the weekdays after work.

Also, January/February have been jam-packed attendance-wise... it's become one of the busiest periods in the year now for Orlando. It used to be the quiet season, now it's become more popular than the summer months (last July/August was rather quiet compared to previous summers).
 
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Is there even confirmation that removing 3-D cuts any meaningful costs? Like, yes, I’m sure there’s an incremental savings in not having a TM run glasses to another cleaning machine but I can’t imagine that’s enough for a company of UO’s size to even motivate them to make a change at all.

Maybe the current TM pool is shorthanded and the labor required to make do while the in-house cleaning machine gets fixed wasn’t worth it when other venues were short-staffed (so not cutting, just re-allocating). For all we know, this is just a halfhearted attempt to cut back on 3-D complaints…on the flip side of my point, maybe tinkering with a mediocre scoring attraction is a sign of trying to improve it (vs. seeing what they can get away with).
 
Past two months have had 6PM closures in favor of private events (a few Fridays too), but even then, closing parks (especially IOA) at 7PM is way too early for a resort with nearly 10K rooms now. As a local it's virtually impossible to visit UOR during the weekdays after work.

Also, January/February have been jam-packed attendance-wise... it's become one of the busiest periods in the year now for Orlando. It used to be the quiet season, now it's become more popular than the summer months (last July/August was rather quiet compared to previous summers).

Because it's still January and February. "Not dead" does not equal "not the slow season".

They adjust staffing based on crowd needs, which do not show a need past certain times. I'm sorry you can't see the parks at night; but it's still the slow season at the end of the day.

I just left the park now, and the crowds were very light with a lot of rides having decent wait times. Last Thursday, I could've walked up to any area for a Mardi Gras spot, and Antojitos was basically walk-in. I could not do the same on Saturday when the park closed later.
 
Is there even confirmation that removing 3-D cuts any meaningful costs? Like, yes, I’m sure there’s an incremental savings in not having a TM run glasses to another cleaning machine but I can’t imagine that’s enough for a company of UO’s size to even motivate them to make a change at all.

Maybe the current TM pool is shorthanded and the labor required to make do while the in-house cleaning machine gets fixed wasn’t worth it when other venues were short-staffed (so not cutting, just re-allocating). For all we know, this is just a halfhearted attempt to cut back on 3-D complaints…on the flip side of my point, maybe tinkering with a mediocre scoring attraction is a sign of trying to improve it (vs. seeing what they can get away with).
Very rough math... but Universal only needs to sell 160 Butterbeers a day to make up the cost of cleaning 3D glasses lol (yes I know it costs money to create Butterbeer and they're not pocketing the entire $8.59)
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Because it's still January and February. "Not dead" does not equal "not the slow season".

They adjust staffing based on crowd needs, which do not show a need past certain times. I'm sorry you can't see the parks at night; but it's still the slow season at the end of the day.

I just left the park now, and the crowds were very light with a lot of rides having decent wait times. Last Thursday, I could've walked up to any area for a Mardi Gras spot, and Antojitos was basically walk-in. I could not do the same on Saturday when the park closed later.
Might derail this forum, but Orlando in Jan/Feb is busy nowadays (like really busy), I'd argue busier than some July days recently. If you're insinuating that people leave Universal's parks earlier in the day, that's mostly due to the lack of nighttime entertainment and inconsistent operating hours. IOA has had no issues with keeping guests late, but USF has this issue more due to the lack of repeatable attractions. According to Thrill-Data, Jan/Feb is roughly in line with the "busy" period of July-August, and even December.
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As for Mardi Gras, I think that's a separate issue as I believe the event has hit a price ceiling/lack of interest (along with just about every other food festival in Orlando). Went on Saturday & Sunday, and it was very easy to walk up to a booth and order, park was packed.
 
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The end goal is always more profit. That’s not a Universal problem, that’s a corporate America problem. I can’t get worked up when business is gonna business. In this case, Universal is spending a lot in investments, so naturally they’re going to cut the fat somewhere. From a fan perspective, I don’t like it.

But from the business side of things - if the test concludes with no discernible difference in ride satisfaction scores with guests… I’m wouldn't be surprised.
Why exactly is “business is going to business” an acceptable excuse? Is there any cut that it couldn’t be used to excuse? Corporate culture isn’t some immutable force, it’s a series of human choices. How is it a defense?
 
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Is there even confirmation that removing 3-D cuts any meaningful costs? Like, yes, I’m sure there’s an incremental savings in not having a TM run glasses to another cleaning machine but I can’t imagine that’s enough for a company of UO’s size to even motivate them to make a change at all.

Maybe the current TM pool is shorthanded and the labor required to make do while the in-house cleaning machine gets fixed wasn’t worth it when other venues were short-staffed (so not cutting, just re-allocating). For all we know, this is just a halfhearted attempt to cut back on 3-D complaints…on the flip side of my point, maybe tinkering with a mediocre scoring attraction is a sign of trying to improve it (vs. seeing what they can get away with).
Overall park rides Replacement glasses (ruined, missing, worn out) might well be a significant cost. I'd think the numbers are even higher than Universal RBLX is speculating. These aren't like the cheap Shrek 3D glasses. They're quite expensive if I recall past numbers being thrown around. I'd guess that's a higher yearly cost than the labor for cleaning is.
 
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