Everything about the new Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park is massive. Enormous gates open to let 40-foot-long, 50,000-pound, 72-passenger trackless vehicles onto the mysterious island. Humungous dinosaurs threaten to attack the passengers and send them hurtling over a cliff until an even larger, more menacing King Kong comes to their rescue. After he saves the day, the big galoot — 18 feet wide, 30 feet tall from mid-chest to the top of his Escalade-sized head, a roar louder and more sternum-vibrating than anything Katy Perry could ever hope to replicate — stares down the puny human survivors.
Despite the mind-boggling scale of the attraction, there’s something oddly intimate about the experience. “We want you to be up-close and personal with Kong,” says Mike West, executive producer at Universal Creative and lead designer of the ride. After encountering the colossal ape, I wouldn’t exactly consider him my new BFF. But I would say we shared a special moment and forged a unique bond.
For the complete story, visit USAToday.com/Travel/Experience.