Theme park revives King Kong

Universal Studios to host high-tech attraction

King Kong may have been a casualty of the devastating fire that destroyed part of Universal Studios’ backlot in Hollywood last year, but the big ape’s being resurrected in 2010 as a signature attraction for the theme park.

New version will be based on Peter Jackson’s redo from 2005 and use high-tech wizardry to re-create elements from the film for riders of the park’s backlot tram tour.

Guests will wear 3-D glasses as they travel through Skull Island and encounter a swarm of monstrous bats before winding up in the middle of a fight between King Kong and a 35-foot-tall dinosaur.

Kong, which will utilize what U calls “the world’s largest Surround Digital projection system,” will be introduced in summer 2010. Expect a major promotional push around the attraction’s return to boost ticket sales.

The previous attraction, introduced in 1986, was loosely based on the 1976 pic that mostly took place in New York City. That Kong had been one of the backlot tour’s biggest draws until last year’s fire.

“King Kong has been an integral part of Universal Studios Hollywood for decades and, after last year’s fire, we knew he had to be resurrected for our studio tour guests,” said Larry Kurzweil, prexy and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood. “Not only are we reintroducing King Kong, but we’ve completely reimagined the experience and will incorporate this legendary icon into a truly innovative studio tour attraction.”

King Kong is the latest in a series of enhancements to U’s Hollywood park.

Company recently overhauled its trams with high-definition flatscreen monitors and digital playback systems that feature commentary from Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Stephen Sommers on filmmaking.

Studio tours will also resume this summer through a rebuilt Courthouse Square, Brownstone Street and an enhanced New York Street, as well as a new cityscape setting built since the blaze.

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