Forget Harry Potter, King Kong Returns

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King Kong and Harry Potter at Universal Studios

King Kong and Harry Potter at Universal Studios

The big tourism news in Florida is the opening of the world’s first Harry Potter theme park on June 18th at Universal Studios in Orlando. But over on the other side of the U.S. at Universals’ studio in Hollywood, the news is all about the huge 3-D King Kong exhibit that will open in early July.

There used to be a King Kong exhibit but when the fires hit the Universal Studios in 2008, the exhibit went much the way of the other 10 acres. All reduced to ash. If it hadn’t been scorched maybe this new exhibition wouldn’t have taken place. Universal is coy in saying how much it has cost but having the famed director Peter Jackson to take his King Kong 3-D movie and create an exhibition can’t have been cheap. Nor can the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With all the Hollywood razzmatazz you would expect, these two events are the biggest tourism experience in the US this year.

Jackson has created an event that includes the world’s largest 3-D projection. the two screens are claimed to be the size of 16 screens that we would see in our cinemas. It takes visitors to Skull Island, home of Kong, where they are involved in a struggle between Kong and dinasaurs. You ride on a tram which is attacked by prehistoric animals. The tram rocks and is buffeted as the animals smash into the sides. You as a passenger in the tram feel the jolts as t-rex’s try to knock it over . And who comes to the rescue? King Kong. Funny how a horror movie of nearly 80 years ago now provides a giant ape as a hero. But then when he dies as he hangs onto the Empire State Building in the film it is hard not feel sorrow for the ape with a heart. The tram sequence takes only a few minutes but, accoring to Universal’s executives, it seems to last forever. The whole King Kong exhibition takes about 45 minutes .

What else can I tell you about it. Nothing. The bigwigs are keeping it under wraps until it opens. But in true Hollywood spirit, it will be the biggest and best theme park ever. Apart from, maybe, Harry Potter at Universal’s other theme park in Orlando.

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