Well, it is official: Skull Island: Reign of Kong is coming to Universal Orlando resort next Summer. The attraction will be located at Universal's Islands of Adventure, next to the Jurassic Park Island. Universal Orlando's blog, gave some details on what to expect from the new attraction:
"You’ll navigate perilous jungles, explore ancient temple structures and encounter hostile natives – and that’s only the beginning. Throughout the rest of your excursion, you’ll brave foreboding caves crawling with prehistoric creatures, fend off unspeakable terrors – and even come face-to-face with the colossal Kong himself."
Universal is boasting about "massive" sets in this thing. It looks like the attraction will be pretty different than the Kong 360 attraction at Universal Hollywood. Universal Creative's Mike West, shared some further details about what to expect in an announcement video:
"We have massive sets, massive ride vehicles, massive characters and creatures, a massive story- the entire experience is really going to be larger than life."
It's going to be big, we get it. Full details from West, in the video below. I personally can not wait for this thing. I think marketing this as some kind of Summer blockbuster, is genius. I await Kong's return with baited breath. Kongwatch, has begun.
SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG DETAILS WITH MIKE WEST
SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG TRAILER
Universal Orlando has taken to teasing people on Social Media today. Something "Huge" is apparently on the horizon. Soon after they teased that foggy picture, they teased us with a Vine video. It is a sped-up walk pased Thunder Falls Terrace, to the construction site next door. It also invited guests to join them at 11:00am ET. Wednesday morning.
Gee, I wonder what it could be...
So, I was planning to do another Rumor Mill for this year. However, I have ultimately decided against doing one, for a couple of different reasons. You all probably know about the supposed “leaked” info that has popped up online by now. This information claims to know all the houses, scare zones, shows, and even stuff concerning a certain Icon. If you have seen this information, then you will only see it wherever it was you saw it. I will not post, link, reference, or give details about any information that has supposedly leaked out to the public. Ever.
There are a few things I wanted to address though. Believe it or not, there are nasty rumors floating around about this leaked information, that has found its way onto the interwebs. Something that could have some repercussions if true for certain individuals. So, without further stalling, let us get started. But first...
DISASTER! GOING AWAY 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS
Furious 7 is taking the world by storm. Universal Hollywood has been building a Fast and the Furious attraction for some time now, and it is scheduled to open this Summer. Universal Orlando, has been eying a Furious attraction for a while, I don't think that is a secret to anyone who follows what Universal Orlando does. Furious 7, became Universal Studios' highest grossing film ever. Like, in history, and that is without accounting for the entire series. So, fast-tracking a Fast and the Furious attraction? Which is rumored to be taking over Disaster!?
What does this mean for HHN XXV if true? Well, if Disaster were to suddenly be demolished, then more than likely, the Disaster overflow queue goes with it. We all know that Horror Nights has utilized that space for quite some time, for houses. If other rumblings are to be believed, than HHN XXV is already struggling to find space to put things. If the event were to have 9 houses (like some rumors currently suggest), the Disaster! queue naturally would be a given to put a house.
We know as of April 30th, that a construction permit has been filed, to construct a house within the Disaster! overflow queue. So, that means the house is safe, right? Well, not necessarily. HHN XXII, was to have eight houses. HHN XXII was struggling to find space to build an 8th house. Jaws had just been bulldozed in favor Diagon Alley, and they lost that space. There were also issues with the Parade Building, and even some of the Soundstages were being tied up. HHN XXII was to utilize a space that hadn't been used since 2006. Soundstage 44, was to be the spot to make-up for the lack of space. So, a house began to be constructed in the building. It was being built. Paint was being splattered on the walls. That is until the big bosses hastily told the design team to leave, as the building was being demolished.
So the team vacated the premises quickly and within a few days, Soundstage 44 was a pile of rubble, and HHN XXII went from 8 houses to 7. A year later, Transformers The Ride 3-D rose from the ashes. So, same scenario for Disaster! if one is to believe these rumors? Well, not necessarily. We know there is precedent for HHN to scrap stuff at the last minute. And what happened with HHN XXII, shows us Universal isn't afraid to kick the design team out of a space no matter what. However, there is a difference here when looking at the bigger picture.
Soundstage 44 was a vacant building. It had been vacant for quite some time too. Nothing had occupied the space since the Hercules & Xena effects show had closed in 2000. There had also been rumblings that the building itself, was in a little need of repair. Rumors of leaky roofs, bad electrical wiring, crumbing walls and other things, had been around since 2006's Horror Nights Nightmares. Even if a house was being constructed on that site, it was much easier for Universal to come in and tell them to get out. There wasn't anything in that building.
Disaster! Is a little bit of a different scenario. It's still a working attraction. We are headed into the busy summer season, and it is a little bit of a people eater. If one is to also believe that Beetlejuice is to be torn down as well, that is even more people being occupied and spread out, that would be lost. Depending on how fast Universal would build something on that site, it is of course possible, they tear down the area and have the attraction ready for next summer. We know based on Transformers, and other recent attractions, Universal likes to build things fast. Soundstage 44, was torn down in late June, and Transformers was open that following Summer.
Could this mean that the San Francisco area of the park gets demolished in time for an attraction opening in the Summer of 2016? It's entirely possible, but I don't think Universal would close two pretty high capacity attractions before Summer. Not to mention 2016 will see the return of King Kong over at Islands of Adventure, which they may not want to steal the Big-Guy's thunder. It was also revealed that Furious 8 is now slated for 2017, so perhaps they wait to piggyback off that marketing with a Fast & Furious attraction.
I think we have a Jaws situation here. The area remains untouched through Summer, and the holiday season, and work begins in January. And that is IF something is going up in that area. All this talk is pure conjecture. I think the house in the Disaster! overflow queue is fine. For now. Who knows though. Universal has been pretty impulse lately when it comes to new toys.
AN INSIDE JOB?
So, let's talk about this leaked information for a little bit. Once again, we will not be revealing anything on said leaked information at all. I do however, want to address something that has popped up the last few weeks. If you have seen this supposed leaked information, you more than likely saw it on a few websites who published it. Perhaps, that is all part of the plan. Let's see if we can break this crazy rumor down.
What if all this information that some people have, and have obtained, is false? What if A&D leaked the information on purpose? Some have suggested recently, that A&D may have been providing false information to different people, to try and weed out any leakers. Which would mean, all of the information, both published on certain websites and early information that people had obtained, is totally bogus.
Could A&D pull off something so complicated? Do they really care about “leaks”? And more importantly, why? Why would they suddenly be so concerned about information leaking out? Well, I did some digging, and while I can't confirm that any leaked information is false (or true), it COULD be possible. With this year being the 25th anniversary, perhaps they wanted to keep some things secret. This leaked list contains some detailed info, and there has already been some head-scratching about certain things listed.
I personally think some people need to be cautious for a few different reasons. It has been speculated that perhaps those in control wanted to keep tabs on certain places, who would publish the list. For what reason? Blacklisting? Could they be that petty? I'm not sure. A lot of the discussions I've had with people about this, have some conflicting views and information. Some say that the leaked info is 100% fake. Others say some of it is fake, but not all of it. Others say it is all real.
I've also heard that there were different lists given out to different people within the department, to see who was actually leaking info to people on the outside. Again, I say, would they really get that complicated? I personally don't think they would care that much. I mean, people who are “in the know”, have been leaking leaked information for years. So if it is faked information, then again, why now? Why suddenly try and weed out blabbermouth's?
I have a theory on this: Comcast. Perhaps Universal Orlando's parent company, is sick of all these leaks getting out so early. HHN has grown so much over the last few years. It is a much bigger event than it was a few years ago. Perhaps, Comcast also wants to avoid some negative press before all is revealed for the event. I mean, the die-hards have been a little snippy with certain decisions that the event has made in its recent history. Maybe they want to stop that before it starts? Generally, it would be the die-hards analyzing everything before hand anyway. This could ring truer for this year, given it is the 25th anniversary.
Let's look at the other side to this for a moment. If all this leaked info is true, is it in bad taste to post such info publicly? This has also been a topic of discussion. I personally think certain places like to do things for easy click-bait. This is no different. It's entirely up the individual if they want to take that bait, and to each their own. However, there is a part of me that thinks it's wrong. Again, to each their own.
There is another part to this. If this info is true, there is also the real possibility that things have changed. Sure, the list could have been 100% accurate at one point. However, like discussed above, things can easily change. HHN is notorious for changing things at the last minute. It happens all the time. There have been discussions about this very list, and changes that may, or may not, have already taken place. I caution taking anything you read, or see, with 100% certainty.
There is yet another part to this. It's all a ruse. Perhaps A&D and the higher-ups, somehow got the idea out there, that all this info was fake. It would be a form of damage control, for having this very, very detailed information leaking out so early. If one can believe that they can pull off some kind of covert operation to leak false information, then why not do this?
Bottom line is, I'm not saying the info is wrong, and I'm not saying the info is right. I'm saying that unless it comes from Mike Aiello, or Universal Orlando, one should tread lightly when looking at certain information. Even me. Trust no one.
HHN LEGACY OWNER