OK, so we are on the Universal Studios Hollywood, have eaten ourselves silly, and have embarked upon the tour to see their famous 13-city block backlot and the plane wreck scene used for the filming of War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise. Now we’re moving to the dark side with King Kong. (To start from Part 1 click here)
The new King Kong 360/3-D is—as the kids say—“freakin’ awesome!” Here, King Kong finds himself in the long gone dinosaur era, fighting for his very survival against these massive creatures that lived billions of years ago.
All decked out in our 3-D glasses we entered into a dark, spine-tingling sort of tunnel under what is reportedly the world’s largest 3-D projection installation ever produced. The projection system alone is astounding: comprised of two seamless, compound, curved screens 40 feet high and 187 feet wide each, the equivalent of 16 movie theatre screens. Kong and T-Rex never looked so large!
Throughout the short but completely captivating “ride” we recoiled and shrieked as Kong and the dinosaurs brawled against the sides of the tram, lept back and forth into the jungle foliage, roared in our faces, and threw each other around in fits of rage, all while the tram pulsated and lurched in all directions. The special effects were simply amazing and the minute it was over we all wanted more.
As we motored further along the tour we passed by several working and former movie and TV stages including the set for Desperate Housewives, watched the raging flash flood from Liar, Liar, learned how they made those awesome, fiery car crashes for The Fast and the Furious, drove through the town square from Back to the Future, and experienced the subway scene from the Earthquake, among others.
For those who want more of the movie magic experience, the park offers an extensive VIP Experience package that gets you into more areas of this amazing facility, a gourmet lunch, visit the Archive and Collections Department, and more.
If it works with your budget, you might consider upgrading to include a “Front of the Line Pass” which is good for all shows and attractions (and included in the VIP Experience), particularly during the busy summer months when the lines can be quite long.
A Remarkable Adventure
An honorable mention goes out to the cleanliness of the park. It is spotless in every area and loaded with plenty of signage and areas reflecting the park’s dedication to recycling and environmental stewardship, including as a smoke-free environment with designated smoking zones around the park.
The one thing that I found odd and quite disappointing was that despite the park’s global appeal, with the exception of several of the Studio Tours conducted in Spanish and Japanese at intervals throughout the day, there were no other signs in any other language than English. However, the Universal website does have Spanish and Japanese sub-sites.
All in all, Universal Studios Hollywood is an attraction and well worth the adventure!
More about Universal City is on the horizon! To start from Part 1 click here.