Animatronic King Kong Returns to Universal Orlando

Michele Debczak

For close to two decades, visitors to Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando were terrorized by the seven-ton, 30-foot-tall mechanical gorilla at the center of both parks' King Kong attractions. Orlando's ape was retired in 2002, and when a fire tore through Hollywood Studios' backlot in 2008, it destroyed the remaining Kong in the process. For the past few years a 3D attraction based off of Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) has filled the vacancy, but now, as Nerdist reports, a rebooted King Kong ride reminiscent of the original is coming to Florida. 

This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will be launching Skull Island: Reign of Kong, complete with a new-and-improved animatronic ape. After trekking through the caverns and jungles of Skull Island, adventurers will receive an up-close-and-personal encounter with the three-story ape at the climax of the ride. According to Universal Orlando's blog, riders will be "so close to the legendary beast that you can feel his breath sweep across your skin and his thunderous roar reverberate through every bone in your body."

You can catch a glimpse of the new King Kong in the behind-the-scenes video above.

[h/t Nerdist]

All images courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.