At approximately 4:45am on June 1, 2008 a fire broke out on the backlot at Universal Studios. Numerous sets from the New York Street and Courthouse Square areas of the backlot were either damaged or completely destroyed. Also lost in the blaze was the King Kong attraction that had been a mainstay on the Studio Tour since debuting in 1986. While the destruction of this classic, but dated, attraction is tragic, it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it has finally given the park significant reason to update the experience.
Set to open this summer, the New King Kong Encounter, as it has been dubbed, will be a much welcome addition to the Studio Tour. The attraction is being housed in a newly-constructed building on the backlot located next to the Collapsing Bridge. The experience will be themed to Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of the classic film, not the 1976 remake like the original attraction.
As the tram enters, guests will don 3D glasses and be transported to Kong's home of Skull Island through the use of high definition screens stretching 360 degrees around the tram. The experience will recreate the thrilling fight between Kong and the T-Rex seen in the film. A specific date when the attraction will open has not yet been set, but a window of sometime in mid to late June would be expected.
Universal took a slight misstep with its new attraction last summer, The Creature From the Black Lagoon: The Musical, but hopefully this addition to the Studio Tour will make up for that in a big, big way.