1. Welcome to the Inside Universal Forums! Make sure to sign up and join the community! It's fast, free, and easy! DO IT!

Skull Island: Reign of Kong - Reviews, Photos, and Videos

Discussion in 'Islands of Adventure' started by Joe, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    15,705
    Likes Received:
    23,881
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider finally got to ride Reign of Kong for the first time last week while he was in Orlando for the theme park convention. Basically, he walked back his comments on TPI from the months before Kong opened. Previous to the opening he was very meh on the attraction and said that the attraction would just be a plussing of Hollywood's Backlot Tour version. It's great to see he changed his opinion once he experienced it and now gives a glowing review of Reign of Kong. And I now wholeheartedly agree with him. See above. :) Here's most of his review from this weekend :..."Let's forget the word "plussing". With Reign of Kong, Universal has multiplied what it did with Kong in Hollywood. Maybe integrated, if you're talking about really advanced math. Even if you set aside the well decorated queue, the impressive temple facade with it's 30 ft. doors that creak open for each ride vehicle, and the new "life sized" Kong animatronic at the end, this version still beats the Hollywood original with it's crisper, brighter and smoother projection. But you shouldn't set aside those elements. Together they help set up the encounter in an essential way.....In Orlando, on Skull Island, Kong can assume his royal position as star of the show. The walk through the dark, skull filled queue, the warnings of an animatronic shaman, the themed car and animatronic driver, and that visually impressive drive around the corner to the front of the temple, with torches blazing and unseen natives chanting 'Kong, Kong, Kong, Kong".....all that prepares us to believe what we're about to see. Once inside, Reign of Kong further rewards us with two short additional scenes that reinforce the narrative of why we are there (to deliver supplies to an exploration mission) while raising the stakes for the encounter. Once everything's gone terribly wrong, as it must on such rides, than it's time for the Big Guy to appear. With a superior projection surface and much cleaner video than in Hollywood, Reign of Kong's core action sequence delights with a clear, colorful vision of the Skull Island forest, in which Kong battles dinosaurs intent on having us for lunch. It's a wild 3D bath that takes place on both sides of the 72 person ride vehicle. You'll get sprayed as creatures spit and hiss before our inevitable near miss with death. And the animatronic at the end? Amazing. That alone provides enough reason to circle back to the front of the queue to line up and ride again. The detail in the immense beast commands your attention and 'leaves you wanting more, as any good entertainment should'.....But whatever you do at Islands of Adventure on your next visit, get on that truck. Skull Island:Reign of Kong ought to be a 'Must Do' at the Universal Orlando Resort".......Kudos to Robert Niles for re evaluating his opinion after riding the attraction.:thumbsup: Kind of the perfect example that people need to actually ride a ride to do a true review.
     
  2. LJGonz

    LJGonz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    A bit off topic, but I LOVE Gringotts (you mentioned it in your comment). The first time I rode, I was expecting more. But the past 5 times I've been to universal this year, the ride gets better and better. It's become a thing where I go to diagon alley 2 hours before the park closes (that's extra points if it's raining) and will walk in to diagon alley and feel TOTALLY emersed. I always go to gringotts and ride back row. It just gets better and better each time I ride it. It's almost become, I think, my favorite ride. This is a super shocking thing for me considering I love the hulk, mummy, and dragon challenge, but this ride is amazing. I feel like if I keep on riding it, and it keeps on getting better, my head is gonna explode while I'm riding it. This is just an example of how this ride gets better each time I ride it.
     
    Mad Dog likes this.
  3. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    15,705
    Likes Received:
    23,881
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    I agree 100%. My exact experience & feelings (except I prefer the front rows of both cars for seating). Better & better the more I ride it. I've almost become addicted to the sensations I feel on the ride. Plus really great ambiance.....We spend countless hours in Diagon. So immersive. Even during HHN we spend most of our time in Diagon since it's so fantastic in the dark.
     
    Coasted, LJGonz and Mike S like this.
  4. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,652
    Likes Received:
    10,221
    Location:
    Florida
    Who writes of a review of a ride having never ridden it? Goodness gracious
     
  5. LJGonz

    LJGonz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Diagon alley during HHN is really nice. It's not that pact and much more quiet. I Feel the SAME exact way. I've come to love everything about this ride. The drop, the atmosphere, the spinning through the sets. It just gets more and more enjoyable.
     
    Mad Dog likes this.
  6. LJGonz

    LJGonz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Who?
     
  7. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,652
    Likes Received:
    10,221
    Location:
    Florida
    Robert Niles apprently...Perhaps I am reading it wrong and it was his second go on the ride...If so then I appologize
     
  8. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    4,435
    Likes Received:
    6,465
    Location:
    Ever Lurking
    Bobby working both ends of I-4 now? Has TDO cut the blogger budget?
     
    GAcoaster, Mike S and Mad Dog like this.
  9. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    15,705
    Likes Received:
    23,881
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    To be fair, Niles first comments (months before the ride opened) wasn't an actual "review" per se. They were articles he had written that described what he believed the ride was going to be and then his later comments on the You Tube video . The actual ride obviously exceeded his expectations. I give him credit for changing course and actually making fun of his own comments that said Kong was just going to be a plussing and nothing to get excited from before the opening. My comment at the very end was mostly in reference to all of those people that judge any ride according to You Tube videos. Niles did a real good job on the review once he had an opportunity to ride the attraction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    Mike S likes this.
  10. LJGonz

    LJGonz Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I didn't see the comment so I wanted to know when you where talking about.
     
  11. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,652
    Likes Received:
    10,221
    Location:
    Florida
    Ah, I figured he wrote a review up before...Comments are one thing I guess
     
  12. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    4,353
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    While I don't necessary agree with the brash way you voice your opinion, I tend to agree with the underlying sentiment. I love kong for what it is, but after reading this, I agree with you especially regarding turning the outdoor portion into indoor and using a ride track. Money saved could have gone towards a great, real-set first scene.
     
    Coasted likes this.
  13. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    4,435
    Likes Received:
    6,465
    Location:
    Ever Lurking
    Good ride on Kong today :)

    Was at the studios and saw 10 mins wait about 10:30 so caught the HE over. By the time I got there it was 35. Went in and the line started right at the inside portion.

    I was behind a couple with a 2 (boy) and 3 (girl) YO and she was wearing a Princess race shirt. We went through and spent quite a bit of time with the witch, they had no fear but when we left the room the girl looked at me and pointed back to proclaim "Bad Witch"! It was classic. All the fears of scaring little kids is overblown. They know what is real and what is not. I said "right - but great animatronic" she agreed:clap:. I don't know if she understood but it looked like she did.

    The scare actors were in rare form, many around us got startled and they were reaching out touching the older kids and younger women. Really playing it up to screams and smiles. Best thing is no one stuck out a camera and ruined it!

    The ride was good, went outside and everything worked - lots of chanting and cheers. To me it looked like they changed the program on the big guy. He seemed more animated and menacing. All in all it was good. Needs single rider for me though
     
    Andysol, Coasted, Joel and 3 others like this.
  14. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    15,705
    Likes Received:
    23,881
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    Same as what I've seen with the kids. They almost all seem to love it and are unafraid. The fear factor for kids that many were talking up was really over blown on Kong. Good family attraction. IOA needed that balance.
     
    Andysol, Joel, JoeCamel and 1 other person like this.
  15. sjago13

    sjago13 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    907
    Location:
    Kissimmee
    I was there presidents day weekend and they had single rider going but i think we waited almost as long as the regular line. They are routing it to the left the covered queue area and down a sidewalk that goes to a backdoor to the final room. You walk though the facade and see the underside of it all unfinished plus drainage pipes and the beige underbelly of the actual building. If they want to use this they need to finish the area off because it is really ugly.
     
  16. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    4,353
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    They're loading express to the back half of the RV and normal line front half. Double screwed, unless you ask for a row like we did
     
    Speed and JoeCamel like this.
  17. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    4,353
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    couple things.. my brother who's been on the ride before asked on the 360 scene if we were actually moving

    Second, we didn't didn't go outside and I asked why.. the TM said the actual RV we were on was having difficulty with the wireless positioning outside but the other ones weren't. He said sometimes they don't sync up well. Interesting if true
     
    Speed likes this.
  18. Joel

    Joel Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    4,353
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Morning!
    IMG_2158.JPG
     
    Scott W., JPRA513, Quint and 4 others like this.
  19. Coasted

    Coasted Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    454
    Morning! Please could you recommend approx row(s)? I guess not too close to the front? First time Kong at Easter. (Realise ride will be packed so may be no choice) Thx
     
  20. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    15,705
    Likes Received:
    23,881
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    Middle to back is best. When you get to the end of the boarding line it splits & goes left & right. Go RIGHT, that way you'll be seated in the middle or back. (People that go left get seated in the front, and that's a lesser experience).....Welcome to the OU Forums:thumbsup::cheers:
     
    Mike S, Coasted and Joel like this.

Share This Page