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

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,748
Orlando
Made it over to soft open last night. Always hard to judge after a single, hyped up ride, but willing to call it a solid double, just not a home run.

What Works
  • The queue. Amazing level of detail and atmosphere. The witch AA is so fluid I thought at first she was a Peppers Ghost. Dark and foreboding. Somewhere between FJ and PotC, which is high praise indeed.
  • The facade. Both on the pathway and as you enter the cave. Beautiful rockwork.
  • The smell of peat in the cave.
  • The main 3D "tunnel." First experience with it, worked very well. Better than most "screenz" attractions. You can tell some seats better than others, but overall it sold the illusion to me.
  • Kong himself. Just impressive, life-like. I do miss the banana breath tho.
What Didn't
  • The drivers. You barely get an introduction to their back stories, then barely see or hear them thru the ride. It's not that they don't work as much as they are irrelevant. I'd almost rather they went with live drivers or a projection and saved that money for...
  • The first two scenes. If there are AAs, I didn't notice them. Neither of these screen scenes felt like it matched up to the tunnel, and both heavily favor one side of the vehicle for viewing. TBH, I'd have rather had some AAs and more suspense-building, less action.
Overall, it starts weak, finishes strong, which should make it a crowd-pleaser. A solid addition to the line-up for sure, just not the jaw-dropper that the Potter lands were (and I suspect Nintendo land will be). Call it a Transformers-level ride.
 

Blaw923

Member
Feb 10, 2016
593
Mechanically and quality an awesome looking Kong AA, but damn is the interaction just awkward???

Its like both Kong, the riders, and UC just forgot to do something haha

I wish they utilized the crab walk of the RV and had the Kong like hit or nudge and jolt the RV along to 'GTFO of this territory'
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
12,096
Pittsburgh, PA
Mechanically and quality an awesome looking Kong AA, but damn is the interaction just awkward???

Its like both Kong, the riders, and UC just forgot to do something haha

I wish they utilized the crab walk of the RV and had the Kong like hit or nudge and jolt the RV along to 'GTFO of this territory'
Is this a review or your comments after watching a POV?
 

tstokes7

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2013
6
Awesome addition to the park! I had the good fortune of getting on at about 6:30 last night and had none other than Mike West sitting behind me. I didn't know the two people he was with but they did not seem pleased the POV already hit Youtube, he didn't seem phased. He did seem a little irritated we were waiting about 5 minutes in the unload room with no info.
 

Attachments

Mr. EPCOT

Veteran Member
Nov 8, 2011
1,661
Celebration, FL
One of my favorite details I haven't really seen anyone talk about much (or at all), one of those things you just won't get from a YouTube video:

They've figured out the perfect way to hit you with water, as opposed to just the general spray that's on almost every other Universal attraction. When the giant worms explode, it feels like you get hit with a wad of goop. When the t-rexs snap their jaws at you, you get hit with what feels like a big glop of snot. It's great!
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,479
Orlando, FL
OK so I'm going to keep it short because I'm ungodly busy...

For me, personally - Top 5 in the resort from ride experience alone, not 1-2 but definitely between 3-5. Need time to marinate on it before I give it solid placement. Queue is really done well and probably my favorite queue in all Orlando theme parks - beating out the likes of ToT, FJ, Everest, and ET. I could literally spend all day in the Witch Room.

360 scene was bananas (HA IM PUNNY) as you really didn't know where to look because it was just so great and filled with action. AA really is breathtaking.

There are some negatives, as @SeventyOne mentioned with backstories. You don't really connect with the driver. You also don't really know who Kate is, but those familiar with Kong lore will pick up the gist when you see blonde-hair woman. Also, seems like rows 1-2 are not the best to view the attraction.
 

sonoma15

Member
Feb 28, 2016
536
I don't know if it was my truck or if I wasn't listening but I didn't hear them mention Kate at the end today. Also the 360 screen didn't just turn off at the end so that was another plus
 

Honor_Knight

BANNED
Sep 20, 2012
332
Mechanically and quality an awesome looking Kong AA, but damn is the interaction just awkward???

Its like both Kong, the riders, and UC just forgot to do something haha

I wish they utilized the crab walk of the RV and had the Kong like hit or nudge and jolt the RV along to 'GTFO of this territory'
It is an awkward moment, but that's only because it comes directly after the 360 scene. We just watched Kong be very proactive in that fight, so when you see him 'live' you expect him to do something, to interact with your vehicle in some way, instead of just doing his Stevie Wonder impression as you slowly, almost painfully, roll past him. It's like escorting someone home after a great first date, then awkward ducking out because you're afraid to kiss them, lol.
 

Enbee

Rookie
Oct 8, 2012
162
Central Florida
Thoroughly enjoyed this attraction. The queue is fantastic. I think it benefits from all of various elements. The theming is great, but the way people move through the line just can't compare to FJ or Gringotts. Loved the witch scene. Glad I got to experience the whole scene.

The ride itself was very enjoyable. Rode in the back right and back left. Right is definitely better, but I imagine a middle-right seat would be ideal as it would hide the screens more. The ride vehicle is very impressive, and the 360 scene was better than I remembered from Hollywood. I'd agree the animatronic scene plays awkward, and the pacing feels off ending so suddenly and quietly. The sound however, for the whole ride and the queue, is outstanding! Best ride audio out of any attraction imo.

Second time we rode, we skipped the outdoor portion. Great that they have this feature, but the ride definitely loses an element doing so. Anyways, I can't wait to ride again!
 

Garagely

Newcomer
Jan 26, 2016
36
Skellige Isles
Got to ride twice today! Same driver both times. Second ride skipped the outside portion, although the weather was clear. This was shortly after a long downtime.

I definitely recommend the right side, if you can manage it. I was on the far left during my first ride, and Kong was harder to see in the final room.
 
May 15, 2016
277
I loved the queue but wasnt in it long enough to take it all in. The line literally moves so quickly when the ride is running smoothly that you spend way more time in the mummy queue than in this ride. And i was in line from the outside back lot portion. The line was flowing and moving very quickly. 72 people per car... Thats a big chunk of people in front of you..I love the theming but with queues like gringots and FJ you cant even compare them to this, those are overwhelmingly better and further immerse you into the world of harry potter. There really is no story to the reign of kong line. Its just the locals of skull island doing their thing in their temple.

So i am not really a screens guy. But these set pieces and 3d screens are so damn awesome and huge that I didnt even think of them as screens any more. I think this is partially due to the epic size and detail of the vehicle. You cant get an animatronic bat to fly right at your face. But this manages to portray 3d scenes in a way that they feel like actual actors standing in front of you. Think of he who shal not be named staring at you as Beletrix casts the spell that launches the gringots vehicle away from them. 3 screens may not seem like a lot but the vehicle chills in these spots and allows you to soak in the action. The movement of the vehicle feels way more fluid and realistic than that of spiderman. The bug scene will have you grinning with delight and you actually feel like the bugs are animatronic and not part of the screen. (Of course you know theyre not) and the ammount of time and action that goes into the 360 scene is legnthy and immersive. So much happens you cant decide where to look. This is where videos and povs will just look completely utterly lame. Without the googles on watching a pov would be as lame as seing a full legnth 3d movie without the glasses on. Which is why i would say dont watch one. Dont cast judgement on it since that cannot do it justice. Also i hate whoever decided to video tape it because i wish i could erase that from all of your minds. Its a 360 immersive experience and you will want to ride it again and again. Its not the greatest attraction ever. But it is so damn good. The whole family will love it. And personally I cannot wait til it opens so we can all ride it over and over.

Id like to say that the ride is just as awesome as the queue. The people that are saying the queue is better than the ride are wack. And you should all wait to pass your own judgement. I did not feel like the ride was too short. Most rides are short. Thats why universal god created single rider line.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,488
Pittsburgh area
I loved the queue but wasnt in it long enough to take it all in. The line literally moves so quickly when the ride is running smoothly that you spend way more time in the mummy queue than in this ride. And i was in line from the outside back lot portion. The line was flowing and moving very quickly. 72 people per car... Thats a big chunk of people in front of you..I love the theming but with queues like gringots and FJ you cant even compare them to this, those are overwhelmingly better and further immerse you into the world of harry potter. There really is no story to the reign of kong line. Its just the locals of skull island doing their thing in their temple.

So i am not really a screens guy. But these set pieces and 3d screens are so damn awesome and huge that I didnt even think of them as screens any more. I think this is partially due to the epic size and detail of the vehicle. You cant get an animatronic bat to fly right at your face. But this manages to portray 3d scenes in a way that they feel like actual actors standing in front of you. Think of he who shal not be named staring at you as Beletrix casts the spell that launches the gringots vehicle away from them. 3 screens may not seem like a lot but the vehicle chills in these spots and allows you to soak in the action. The movement of the vehicle feels way more fluid and realistic than that of spiderman. The bug scene will have you grinning with delight and you actually feel like the bugs are animatronic and not part of the screen. (Of course you know theyre not) and the ammount of time and action that goes into the 360 scene is legnthy and immersive. So much happens you cant decide where to look. This is where videos and povs will just look completely utterly lame. Without the googles on watching a pov would be as lame as seing a full legnth 3d movie without the glasses on. Which is why i would say dont watch one. Dont cast judgement on it since that cannot do it justice. Also i hate whoever decided to video tape it because i wish i could erase that from all of your minds. Its a 360 immersive experience and you will want to ride it again and again. Its not the greatest attraction ever. But it is so damn good. The whole family will love it. And personally I cannot wait til it opens so we can all ride it over and over.

Id like to say that the ride is just as awesome as the queue. The people that are saying the queue is better than the ride are wack. And you should all wait to pass your own judgement. I did not feel like the ride was too short. Most rides are short. Thats why universal god created single rider line.
Nice review. And what makes it most interesting is that you're not really a screens guy. Kong sounds pretty immersive..... On the subject of the amateurish bootleg video, that site pulls that kind of BS all the time. If I was a Universal Exec. I would ban him from the parks for all the bad publicity his poorly made illegal video has caused.
 
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Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,479
Orlando, FL
Nice review. And what makes it most interesting is that you're not really a screens guy. Kong sounds pretty immersive..... On the subject of the amateurish bootleg video, that guy Brigante pulls that kind of BS all the time. If I was a Universal Exec. I would ban him from the parks for all the bad publicity his poorly made illegal video has caused.
FWIW, Brigante isn't behind much of the park updates anymore.
 
May 15, 2016
277
I realized that in my excitement i forgot to mention the Kong AA which is truly spectacular and feels like a gift to fans and an excellent homage to Kongfrontation. I had a great seat, row 7 on the far right. You get an amazing view of him from this side and feel his breath as promised. He appears to be standing in a pit and you see his upper body and his facial expressions are very lifelike. I was most impressed with his eyes and upper lip. And his thunderous roar will have your car erupting into cheers as you round the final bend into the unload bay.
 

OLSinFLA

Veteran Member
May 26, 2012
1,556
OK, I got to ride it twice today (once outdoor, once indoor bypass). I thought the queue was epic... noticed stuff the second time through I didn't notice the first time. My second time through there were some kids that it was too much for and the family(s) backed out. Had the native girl both times - I was surprised that the drivers are pretty much full AAs - you can see they are actually "talking" not just a static head. (I also liked how she described the bypass as "one of the many secret entrances we have found"). As for the ride... the AA bats are just ... creepy. In he first room the 3D looked great and when one bat swooped it looked like it actually entered the truck space - freaked out for a second it seemed so real. The second scene was OK... when Kate is grabbed it looked... off. The 360 part was very convincing... my only complain is if you're on the side seat and look ahead you can see the opening for the truck to pass through. But looking side to side, with the motion base, is very convincing. (When we 'slid' into the pit there was a LOT of screaming). And finally Kong. I think people were pretty awed by it. First glance everyone cheered but when he turned and started to snear it got very quiet, everyone was just staring as if mesmerized. When he roared it really made everyone sit up. Lots of cheering at the end. Overall I think its some of the best 3-D work on any attraction, the pacing (even inside) seemed just about right and the finale with Kong was impressive and memorable.
 

Disneyhead

Legendary Member
Jul 24, 2008
10,688
Orlando, FL
This ride is the whole package. Epic theming and practical sets, state of the art projections, and impressive AAs. It is a tour de force appropriate for the IP. It is big, loud, and unapologetically Universal.

It is my second favorite ride at UOR behind FJ and ahead of Spider-man.

The thing I like best in the whole attraction is they found a new trick that rivals the falling and being caught gag. When the truck falls into the ravine and starts swinging from side to side between Kong and the T Rex, that swinging feeling was sooooo cool and unique.
 

mebweb

Premium Member
Mar 9, 2010
212
Seffner, FL
I've now ridden three times over the last two days. Overall, SI:ROK is wonderful and now is my third favorite attraction at UOR, only behind FJ and Spidey. As someone who has been going to UO since 1990, I am absolutely thrilled that Kong is back and bigger than ever. As much as we argue about the use of screens and 3D, the Universal Creative team is expert at using these technologies to create fully immersive and engaging attractions. And to get an absolutely jaw-dropping Kong AA from the 'gods' at Creature Technology just makes a fan like me so satisfied. I grinned ear to ear each time we rode past him. And I love how you get an ample time to take him in and marvel at the awesomeness that is Kong!