The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure has been completely refreshed and is now open for guests! We've witnessed the entire track being replaced piece by piece, the queue building get new paint, signage, and storyline, the whole area receiving beautiful nighttime lighting effects, and a gorgeous new entrance created with a realistic full-size Hulk statue standing tall. But now we finally get to see what the queue looks like inside, how the launch tunnel has improved, and what the on-board music sounds like on the ride! It's wonderful to see such a classic attraction like the Hulk receive some much-needed TLC. I love the new area music around the Hulk courtyard, (hear it in the video below just after a minute in.) It has a military feel, and is very cinematic, perfectly punctuating the new area theming as a secret military base and scientific lab. Check out the video for your area update plus the images below of the updated ride, queue, and grand opening ceremony. Stay tuned for more theme park updates coming soon!
The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and it's looking like it's just about ready to re-open! Spectacular lighting effects and new roar sound effects have been added since my last visit, as well as some smaller details throughout the area. Everything looks truly incredible at night and I cannot wait to ride it with the new launch effects, sounds, and music! As I was leaving last night they were taking down the construction walls, so hopefully that means a soft opening is not too far away. See today's video and photographs below and stay tuned for more Hulk updates coming soon!
Universal's newest attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure is now officially open! The announcement was made during the Today Show with Al Roker and Tamron Hall earlier today. It has also been tweeted by Universal Orlando with them saying "Skull Island: #ReignOfKong is now open at #IslandsOfAdventure!" The attraction has been in soft open, or 'technical rehearsals' as Universal calls it, for a full month, but as of now will be officially listed as open in the Universal Orlando app and map, and will (hopefully) be open all day along with the rest of the park (starting tomorrow). You can see the official opening ceremony from earlier this morning below along with some more images as well. Check out our extensive coverage of the construction of Kong since the beginning here, and stay tuned for more theme park news and updates coming soon!
The Secret Life of Pets hit the ground running at theaters this weekend, raking in more than a hundred million dollars. Earlier this week the Pets got their own store in Toon Lagoon at Universal's Islands of Adventure. The Rocky & Bullwinkle themed 'Wossamotta U' store is now completely filled to the brim with Pets merch. There you can find countless plush toys, shirts, cups, mugs, books and more.
There's been talk of the Pets getting their own ride in Hollywood, and maybe in Orlando, but only if the film performs well. Given the success it's having at the box office so far, I'd say there's a pretty good chance we'll be seeing them come to Orlando. The rumored location for a new Secret Life of Pets ride is the barely used amphitheater in Toon Lagoon. Only used for special events a couple of times a year, this theater could be torn down to make way for a completely new family friendly trackless dark ride. Rumors say the ride could feature set-pieces from the film including Katie's apartment, cat's alley, and the flushed pets lair in the sewer, all with animatronic characters. Check out the video and images below to see all the merch and the rumored ride location and stay tuned for more Pets news!
We're a few steps closer to the grand re-opening of the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure later this Summer. The brand new entrance and plaza are ready. Most of the work walls are now down throughout the area. A new life-size Hulk statue holding a piece of coaster train between two ripped pieces of track beckons you to enter. And the new locker station is complete, with a new system that utilizes your park ticket to reserve your free locker rather than your fingerprint which can be faulty at times (especially in the hot summer months). Other changes since my last update include some new safety nets, lots of nighttime lighting has been installed on the track supports, the lagoon is filled with water again, and the queue building looks nearly complete on the outside. Trains are now cycling empty for testing, so no more water dummies as far as I could tell. Check out the video as well as lots of images below and stay tuned for more theme park updates!
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke told analysts at an investor conference last week that Universal is working on an attraction based on the upcoming film, "The Secret Life of Pets". While there have been rumors of a family friendly dark ride featuring the characters from this upcoming film coming to both Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando, this is the first time we have had any confirmation on the matter at all. Burke did not say which theme park or parks would feature the attraction, but if rumors prove true we could see this new attraction appear at both coast's parks before the end of the decade.
Burke did go on to say "We are doing -- we have started a Pets attraction even before the film comes out, which if the film doesn't do as well as I think, it will be painful. But I think it will do very well." The Secret Life of Pets comes to theaters July 8. It was produced by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, the same folks that brought us Despicable Me and Minions. I believe that SLoP, as I am calling it, will do wonderfully at the theaters, and like Despicable Me, will feature characters we'll be seeing plastered on every product imaginable for years to come.
Check out my recent park updates featuring new merchandise for The Secret Life of Pets that has shown up in Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. And stay tuned for the official announcement and more information about a SLoP ride (hopefully) coming soon!
Check out the video below for two years of Kongstruction is 2-ish minutes. I've been documenting the progress of this project from the very beginning when the land was being cleared, to the ride's soft opening this month. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this photo-journey from start to finish of the new attraction Skull Island: Reign of Kong. And see below for a complete timeline all construction updates and news stories about Kong that we've posted in the previous two years, listed in order. Thanks for sticking with me through this incredible journey!
More Secret Life of Pets merchandise is showing up in the parks. This time we're taking a look at the new stuff showing up at Islands of Adventure, including plush toys and collectors pins, in addition to the many shirts, cups, and mugs we saw over at USF last time. We also take a look at some minor construction going on in Camp Jurassic, and some minor additions to the Skull Island: Reign of Kong area. The roof over the park exit turnstiles is missing while work continues over there as well. Check out the video and image updates below and stay tuned for more updates.
It was only the second day that Skull Island: Reign of Kong had soft opened to the public when I got to ride this magnificent beast! What an incredible experience this has been, not just getting to be one of the first to ride this amazing new attraction, but also covering the story since it was just a pile of dirt and a rumor two years ago. So, Friday I decided to stick it out. As long as it took. To be one of the first to ride this baby! And after 7 and half hours in the hot sun, I got to do just that! It was totally worth it. You can see video from my experience at Friday's soft opening, plus a walk-through of the entire queue below. And there's lot of screenshots below as well with descriptions. Stay tuned for more Kong news as this thing goes from soft opening to grand opening in the coming weeks! And to those of you that have been following this project with me, thank you. I hope you stick around, as we have some amazing new things on the horizon for theme parks in Central Florida, as this time in history has become somewhat of a theme park Renaissance, and we're just getting started!
It's happening! At long last, Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal's Islands of Adventure has begun soft opening to the general public as of 6PM! I will be there tomorrow for my chance of reign, but for now here are a few reports from Twitter. UPDATE: Check out my full soft open report here!
— Orlando United (@Orlando_United) June 9, 2016