King Kong going 3-D on studio tour
By Hugo Martin
Los Angeles Times
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, Los Angeles — After nearly 19 months away from the spotlight, a new King Kong — more grizzled and, definitely, ferocious — will return to roar at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The old animatronic King Kong icon was destroyed in a fire on the theme park's back lot. The new Kong attraction, described by Universal Studios as the largest 3-D exhibit in the world, will debut this summer at the height of tourist season.
Visitors will not only see Kong in three dimensions but will smell his banana breath, feel the gust of wind as he jumps over them and sense the ground quake when the ape battles a Tyrannosaurus rex.
On wraparound screens, the 35-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus steps over the trams, turns to the audience and bares its massive teeth.
Many of the technological advances developed for "Avatar" will be used in the Kong attraction.
The new ape looks like the Kong from the 2005 film, right down to the broken canine tooth and the scars over its right eye. Other creatures from the movie, including giant bats and dinosaurs from Skull Island, will rear up on the four-story-tall screens.
IF YOU GO: You don 3-D glasses for the 2 1/2-minute attraction. Inside, the tram will be lifted and shaken, jolting you during the battle between Kong and the Tyrannosaurus. The 180-foot-long screens curve around the tram so the 3-D images surround you. Water and odors are sprayed into the air.
Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City (www.universalstudioshollywood.com) is just north of downtown Los Angeles.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: A one-day ticket bought online costs $69.99, ($59.99 under 48 inches high). For a limited time, the ticket is good for a second visit within 30 days. It includes the back-lot tour.