The grand opening of Skull Island: Reign of Kong on July 13 marked the giant creature's triumphant return to Universal Orlando Resort. This time he's at Islands of Adventure instead of Universal Studios Florida, and instead of terrorizing mass transit, he's ruling over his very own island.

Massive opening celebration.

An intrepid crowd braved the mysteries of Skull Island to be on hand for the ride's official grand opening, as you can see in the video:

However, the ride's been in soft opening mode for several weeks now, and riders have raved about its trackless vehicles that wend their way through the jungle habitat and the intimidating moment when they come face to face with Kong himself.

See Skull Island in special vehicles.

King Kong isn't the only danger lurking on Skull Island. Island natives and predatory creatures lie in wait to strike at any moment. The wild ride is made possible by state-of-the-art exhibition vehicles that carry up to 70 riders at a time. Its lack of tracks makes for a journey full of wild maneuvers and the ride is a little different each time thanks to five different drivers. You could end up with any of the following:

  • Becky Callahan: She's a wild cowgirl with a taste for adventure and no sense of fear.
  • Will Denham: He's the nephew of well-know movie director Carl Denham, and he's all about venturing forth into adventure.
  • Jinks Costanza: Jinks is a brash New Yorker and an ex-con who knows enough to be cautious about what lurks on Skull Island.
  • Kalana: This mystical descendant of the island natives knows how to navigate Kong's world.
  • Charles "Doc" Jordan: He's taken time off his doctoral studies to do some exploration.

This video has more details about the innovative ride system:

If you'd like a peek at Kong himself, you'll get a glimpse in this video:

Opens in time for peak summer tourists.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is now open at Islands of Adventure, just in time for the peak of the summer tourist season.

Like the rest of the theme park's rides, it's included with your admission ticket. However, if you plan to ride the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade, which is also located in the park, to Diagon Alley in sister park Universal Studios Florida next door, you'll need to buy a two-park ticket.

Universal Orlando Resort is located just off I-4, between downtown Orlando and the Walt Disney World attractions area

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