Islands of Adventure
NBC Universal / Comcast
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(12/16/14) Stunning Aerial Photos of The New Skull Island Building (MORE...)
(12/12/14) Will the Dragons Ever Duel Again? (MORE...)
(12/10/14) The Incredible Hulk Pocket Brigade Is Real (MORE...)
(12/3/14) No Loose Objects Policy on Hulk Heavily Enforced (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Nothing is known to have a scheduled closure at this time...
Hogwarts Express / Wizarding World Expansion - All the details and the official Screamscape review for the new Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express attraction areas can be found here.
General Park News - (12/12/14) While Universal staff has been trying to take on the concept of how best to prevent loose objects from guests from flying into the air while on the coasters over at Hulk and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, I’ve received an interesting rumor regarding Dueling Dragons…errr… Dragon Challenge this week. I’m not quite sure if I buy this rumor myself yet, as it sounds slightly far fetched, but they claim that B&M’s official stance on the ride is that it was designed to duel, and by running the two rides separately on a regular basis the park is running it in a way that it was not designed to run… and that is a no-no. By running the attraction in a way that goes against the way it was designed, it could in theory, put Universal in a hard place if something were to go wrong wit it down the line.
While I can understand the logic of this argument, the thing is that when the coaster was still run in “dueling” mode, it would run the individual sides separately as well if the second track did not dispatch in time to meet up on the lift hill before a certain point. And an E-Stop on one side, would not affect the operations of the other side. With that in mind, the argument that it is violating something to run it the way they are now just does not make much sense.
So anyone in the know, know anything more about this? Anyone else heard this? I suspected that if they could solve the loose object problem, they might be willing to return the ride to Dueling mode once again, but you never know.
(12/10/14) I can confirm the reports about the new army of staffers awaiting all riders at the entrance to the Incredible Hulk coaster based on what I saw first hand myself this past weekend, as well as reports from other readers from over the past few days. At one point it looked as if there was a squad of eight team members, standing side by side, fully blocking the entrance into the Hulk’s queue. At this point, this was late in the day and it looked like these staffers had been through hell and unfortunately it really had an unfortunately toll on how they were responding to the park guests who just wanted to ride. Any question at all, and they were almost snapping into guests “Put it in a locker!”
I’m sure they were more polite when the day started, but with a new zero tolerance policy for loose articles, and after butting heads with upset guests all day long who don’t understand why after 15 years it has come to this, it made sense why by the end of the day they resembled something more like a line of riot police than normal Universal Orlando employees.
The official line is… no object shall pass. Not keys, not a wallet, and certainly not your cell phone. Pull out a couple of pennies out of your pocket and ask if you need a locker just for them, and you will be told to put them in a locker. Have cargo shorts with pockets that button or snap? Not good enough it seems… “Put it in a locker!” Wait… my pockets have a ZIPPER! Nothing will ever come out of my pocket when it is zipped shut… “No, you still have to put all objects in a locker!”
Yes, unfortunately it has come to this… and this last objection also put one thing clearly into focus for me. I don’t think this is about dropping loose articles anymore. This isn’t about someone who got a high end lawyer because they were hit by a quarter… this is one step away from an official police pat-down… which means to me that someone is being NAUGHTY on purpose again.
Clearly my wallet wouldn’t fall from a zippered pocket… but some troublemaker throwing a fist-full of pennies at the crowd below from the top of the coaster wouldn’t have a problem unzipping his pocket as the coaster dispatched. And this sounds a bit too familiar… like those mysterious events that took place at Dragon Challege a few years ago that caused that great ride to forever stop dueling when riders were being struck by foreign objects in mid-ride… usually right at the dueling vertical loops. My theory at the time was that someone was doing it on purpose and I’m wondering if they’ve been up to their old tricks again, but on Hulk this time.
Unfortunately, according to the reports I’m also hearing, this screening is somewhat ineffectual. A friend who rode choose to ask a question was forced to remove his wallet and keys before he could ride… only to end up riding next to a gentleman who managed to smuggle more personal belongings that you could possibly believe onto the ride anyway within the pockets of his hoodie.
In any case, this is the reality for the time being… so be prepared. In the meantime, I wish those in the upper offices making these kinds of calls would step onto the front line for an entire day to confront the guests directly with this new policy just to see how stressful a position it is to be in. There really has to be a better way… even if it means riding with no pants at all. No pants means no pockets after all…
(12/3/14) According to a reader who just returned from the park, there seemed to be a renewed focus on separating riders from their loose articles over at the Incredible Hulk coaster. A squad of team members were on hand at the entrance to the coaster, scanning the crowd as they attempted to enter the building for anyone who appeared to have some kind of object bulging in their pocket. (Oh behave!) Very few things escaped their scrutiny apparently, as they directed anyone with even just coins, keys or a wallet in their pocket to use the free lockers, or to hand-off their goodies to a non-rider before being allowed to enter the queue. Several weeks ago we had heard of a similar style loose article enforcement increase over at the Studios side on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, so I would guess Dragon Challenge would see this added next.
(11/24/14) Great news for fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter… the second coming of Butterbeer is at hand. Yes, according to the word on the inter-webs, Hot Butterbeer is now readily available to all in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
Yes, I said “Hot Butterbeer”… think of it as a Wizarding World version of yummy Hot Chocolate, but made from the same liquid crack Butterbeer sensational formula created by Universal Orlando. Go forth and enjoy it as the temperature begin to drop for the winter.
(11/17/14) With Halloween now over, Universal Orlando’s is now focusing on getting ready for their slate of Christmas Holiday attractions. Grinchmas is back at Islands of Adventure once again, with performances of The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular and a chance to meet the Grinch himself.
2015/2016 - Kong: Skull Island - Rumor - (12/16/14) Get ready for the most mind blowing look at the new attraction building going up on our favorite “Kongstruction” site at Islands of Adventure. JakeAdventure.com has posted aerial footage shot during a helicopter ride over the park and gives the world our best look yet at the entire construction site, as well as a true sense of scale in terms of just how large this new building is, as the work site so far has covered up almost the entire open plot of land for this new giant structure. And if there was still any doubt about this being a Kong / Skull Island themed attraction, compare those odd looking steel protrusions they added to the front of the structure to the entrance of the Kong attraction at the Hollywood park to get an idea of what I think is going on here.
On a possible related note, Universal Pictures has also announced that their new “Skull Island” prequel film to King Kong has seen the release date pushed back from Nov. 4, 2016 to March 10, 2017. The film has a slight name change as well, and is now being called “Kong: Skull Island”.
(12/2/14) The latest picture of the massive new attraction building going up at Islands of Adventure can be found over at OrlandoParksNews this week. If you thought it looked big before… wait until you see it this week.
(11/26/14) It has been a while, but new pictures from Islands of Adventure have been posted to OrlandoParkNews showing off the progress around the park, including a look at the now very large show building constructed for the new, still unannounced, new attraction. While the steel is still going up on one end of the structure, walls to enclose it are going up on the other end already.
(11/11/14) OrlandoParksNews takes another look at the rumored Kong construction site this week, as the attractions large show-building is growing bigger each day.
(11/4/14) OrlandoParksNews ventures out to Islands of Adventure to check out what’s new in the park, as well as check on the latest bit of Kongstruction going on as the metal framework is now rising very quickly into place.
(10/9/14) While the first signs of vertical Kongstruction were just noted the other day, the latest pictures from Islands of Adventure (at OrlandoParkNews) show that they are now moving very quickly, as a steel framework for a large structure is now going up very quickly.
(10/6/14) According to the last pictures on Twitter, they have begun vertical Kongstruction at Islands of Adventure this week. Check it out here.
(9/16/14) The latest update from OrlandoParksNews takes a look at our favorite Kongstruction site where there are an assortment of pipes, rebar bits being twisted together and some actual concrete that has been poured.
(8/28/14) An interesting rumor has been posted to Orlando Parks News this week about what we might expect to see from the rumored new King Kong attraction going into Islands of Adventure. Much of what they’ve posted falls in line with what we’ve posted for months, that it will be a mix of animatronics and a projection effect finale, but they do mention one extra thing. An animatronic that will appear to be running… as in… running after you! “Must go faster! Must go faster!!”
(8/15/14) Orlando Parks News takes a look around Islands of Adventure today, where they spotted some fireworks barges in the lagoon (for a private event, nothing more!) and took another long look at the site prep work going on for the rumored Kong / Skull Island attraction. At this point however, I with no sign of real vertical construction just yet, I have to think that unless they put the petal to the metal (Transformers style) we’re looking at something that will open in Late 2015 to Summer 2016 at this point. I could be wrong… but just something to keep an eye on as it doesn’t look like much has changed from when I passed by the site back in June.
(7/31/14) Interesting news came from Comic-Con last week, as Legendary shared that they would reboot Universal’s King Kong film as a new prequel film called Skull Island that will hit theaters in 2016. Could there be a possible thematic tie in with the rumored Skull Island attraction under Kongstruction at Islands of Adventure. We’ll have to wait and see.
Oh, and while this has nothing to do with this attraction, it’s also worth mentioning that Legendary is also planning on making Godzilla 2 in a few years and that it was confirmed to also feature fellow monsters, Rhodan, Ghidorah and Mothra. Between Godzilla, King Kong, and Pacific Rim, Legendary sure seems packed to the gills with giant monsters lately, which could result in more theme park ties through their partnership with Universal.
(7/24/14) OrlandoParksNews takes a quick look into the Kongstruction zone this week to see what is new. Not much… still just dirt being moved around, but it is interesting to see just how large of an area they are working on.
(7/15/14) I’ve been wondering if this was going to happen, and it looks like today was the day. The top of the Jurassic Park archway on the Toon Lagoon side of the land has been removed according to this picture posted to Twitter. So the question is… will the move it further in, or will they be changing the name of the island? Perhaps both!
(6/30/14) Kongstruction work is progressing at a steady pace it seems, and the latest pictures of the site can be found over at Orlando Parks News. Still a lot of dirt moving only at this point, but they are gathering an interesting assortment of pipes on the site.
(6/16/14) New Kongstruction photos have been posted to OrlandoParksNews this week. Check them out.
(6/6/14) While there is nothing to see yet, it seems anyone can get a good view into the new Kongstruction site clearing while riding the Pteradon Flyers. Pictures have been posted to OrlandoUnited, though it’s just a lot of dirt being pushed around at this point.
(5/28/14) Pixels at the Parks has posted new aerial footage showing off what’s going on in the rumored Kongstruction site inside Jurassic Park.
(5/21/14) Some interesting Kongstruction photos have appeared on the Internet this past week. This one shows off that the area behind the T-Rex photo op has been cleared of all trees while this second set of photos shows off the site clearing itself, as seen from Thunder Falls Terrace.
(5/9/14) A new construction update from Islands of Adventure has been posted this week by OrlandoParkNews.com, which includes on Page 2 a look at the rumored Kong construction site as seen from the pathway. Some of the greenary has been removed, marking ribbons are on some trees and a new green mesh metal fence is being set up to separate the new construction site from the rest of the Jurassic Park area. Earth moving equipment can also be spotted between the trees in just the right spot as well.
(3/27/14) OrlandoParksNews heads into Jurassic Park this week to seek out signs of construction for the rumored new Kong ride project, as well as take a peek at the Hogwarts Express train station.
(3/24/14) Parkscope made a great discovery over the weekend, when they came across new plans on the Orlando Water Management website detailing the site and shape of Project 340… otherwise rumord to be the new King Kong attraction soon to be starting construction. The new attraction building appears to be very large in the plans, taking more up land than the nearby Jurassic Park water pump station tower.
(2/27/14) OrlandoParkNews ventures into the jungles of Jurassic Park to photograph many of the trees near the rumored new Kong attraction site that have colored ribbons wrapped around them. Those with a white ribbon will be saved. They also noticed a number of trees also marked in similar fashion over in the former Triceratops Encounter attraction area.
(2/26/14) Normally I shy away from linking to forum pages where you have to register to see them, but this may be worth it. If you want to see the cleared out future site for the rumored new Kong attraction at Islands of Adventure, create an account at OrlandoUnited Forum and take a look at this aerial picture taken this week.
(2/15/14) Looks like the heavy digging may be nearly ready to begin at the rumored Kong site behind the Thunder Falls restaurant. Screamscape sources tell us that all departments have been notified that they need to clear out anything that they might have had sitting in storage at the site ASAP.
(12/24/13) The rumored King Kong project may possibly get an official public announcement sometime between Spring 2014 and the grand opening of Diagon Alley along with a rumored possible second project / attraction for the Studios park.
(11/24/13) A couple of interesting tweets came out over the weekend from HateToFly regarding possible future Islands of Adventure attractions. One claimed that the rumored Lorax dark ride plans pending for Seuss Landing were shelved, while the other claims that a May 2016 opening date was put on the planning calendar for the new Kong attraction planned to go in next to the Thunder Falls restaurant inside Jurassic Park.
Of course now I’m curious where the rumored JP themed coaster for 2015 may fit (or not) into all this as well.
(10/22/13) Interesting new information has come to light regarding the new proposed Kong attraction from brief chats with HateToFly and another source. Remember everything is subject change of course while they work out the final design and budget limitations, so nothing has been finalized. That said, lets talk about what is envisioned so far.
It looks like they will be trying to fill up the entire available space open to them immediately to the left of the Thunder Falls Terrace restaurant down the pathway towards the current Jurassic Park archway. Speaking of which… I’m not sure if the inclusion of a Skull Island into the Jurassic Park ‘island’ will require this archway to be moved down closer to Thunder Falls or if they are planning on possibly renaming the island to something that might fit the overall theme of the two different IPs (Intellectual Properties). For example, the proposed Universal park in Dubail had a whole land with a Kong style theme to it called Epic Adventures, complete with a clone of Dueling Dragons except the coasters would be themed as giant bats. Anyway… what to rename the island is a headache for another day…
As previously hinted at by HateToFly, the entrance to the attraction will be themed as the ruins to some kind of temple, directing the flow of guests into the dark themed interior space. Much like the interior of the Revenge of the Mummy queue, it appears that the loading platform for the ride will be on a different level from that of the rest of the queue, though I’m unsure if the guests will flow up to it or descend down to the awaiting vehicles.
While I’m unsure of the exact theme to be used here for the vehicles themselves… they will be large in terms of capacity, and linked together in pairs. In terms of capacity only, imagine something the size of the two-car trains used on Disney’s Great Movie Ride, but likely themed up to look more like giant off-road safari trucks. Also, much like the old Jaws ride, the word is that you will be taken into Skull Island by a driver / guide who will help keep you alive.
From the sound of things the initial portion of the ride will take place outdoors, leaving the temple ruins and heading off into the jungle of Skull Island briefly before you come across the giant wall meant to keep Kong and the other nasty beasts inside, which will probably look similar to the one seen in the movie. Beyond this point is still a bit of a mystery however… so we’ll wait and see what else pops up.
(10/16/13) According to a tweet from HateToFly, a possible first sign of Kong dropping into the open land behind Thunder Falls has come to light. It seems that the photospot location of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park is to be relocated to another area of Jurassic Park suddenly. Located just to the immediate left of the Thunder Falls building, there really would be no reason to ever relocate it unless they needed to put up construction walls needed to begin transforming this area into Skull Island.
(10/14/13) Rumors about a possible return of King Kong to Universal Orlando have run wild on and off over the past year or so. You may recall a report from HateToFly at Orlando United in 2012 claiming that Disaster would be updated to become a new version of Kong. This was followed by Screamscape’s own sources telling us the Kong concept was improved in scope and moved to Islands of Adventure back in February 2013… only to have these sources in May 2013 report that the new Kong ride concept was canceled in favor of a new Jurassic Park themed ride instead.
This past week HateToFly has posted another new message regarding the fate of Kong… and this time he pretty much describes (but in more detail) the exact same ride experience I had heard as coming back in February, to be located behind the Thunder Falls restaurant area. According to the HTF report, this new Kong ride will be added along with the new Jurassic Park themed ride expected to go into the closed Trike Encounter spot. Sounds like Comcast has decided once again to double-down on their Universal Orlando budget and is planning to bring Skull Island to life. As we have seen already, survey flags in this location behind Thunder Falls were already been spotted last month.
(9/12/13) HateToFly posted an interesting picture to Twitter earlier today, showing off a new construction survey flag now in place in the empty dirt lot behind the Thunder Falls restaurant inside Jurassic Park. I guess we know the location of where the new Jurassic Park themed ride for 2015 is going to be located. (UPDATE - This may be for a King Kong / Skull Island themed ride instead...)
(5/11/13) I can’t say that I didn’t expect this, but rumor has it that the idea of cloning King Kong 360º 3-D to Islands of Adventure was given a thumbs down in favor of other more favorable project ideas.
(2/11/13) A very interesting rumor was sent my way has could have an interesting effect on the future of Islands of Adventure. Our source comes forward with rumors of yet another interesting new ride concept being pitched to the park… one that would see a new ride added into that big empty space between Ripsaw Falls and the tall Jurassic Park building, running behind the Thunder Terrace restaurant.
The interesting thing is that this new ride is not themed to Jurassic Park, not to Toon Lagoon… and not even to anything associated with Middle-Earth, but is distinctly a Universal creation. Breaking it down, this is essentially a ‘ride’ version of the King Kong 360º 3-D attraction added to the backlot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. Guests would be loaded onto some kind of tram ride vehicle and taken for a tour through the jungles of Skull Island (I assume this part is outdoor) and then they would transition into an indoor building where more fun scenes will take place, ending with an action finale scene using similar projection technology to what they use in the Hollywood park.
What do you think? Would this work in Islands of Adventure? There are dinos in the attraction, but would it fit in next to Jurassic Park? I’ve got to admit, while I’m not sure how they will make the theme work, adding Kong and Skull Island to Islands of Adventure does seem like it might be a good fit. Check out the video below to see what the Hollywood attraction is like, then imagine this as just being the finale to a lengthy new dark ride concept.
???? - New Jurassic Park Improvements / Attractions - Rumor - (7/3/14) It is worth noting that Universal has filed new trademarks to use the name “Jurassic World” in their theme parks, including “entertainment in the nature of a themed area in an amusement park and amusement park rides”. It kind of makes me wonder if they might opt to rename the Jurassic Park area as Jurassic World. Perhaps going hand-in-hand with this was a filing for “Jurrasic World: DNA” to be used for a new piece of game software that can be run on portable game or mobile wireless devices. Perhaps some kind of fun AR program is in the works to enhance park guests visit to this area next year.
Oh… and it wouldn’t hurt to keep the names “INDOMINUS REX” and “DIABOLUS REX” in mind… Universal also filed for trademarks to use those evil sounding names just a few days before.
(6/6/14) Disney & More has some great images to share from the new Jurassic World film that show off the “park map” of the completely functional Jurassic World theme park. Many of the musing do match up with the early rumors I reported last summer, as I can clearly see an Underwater Mosasaurus Feeding Show listed on the map which I still think could make for a fun park attraction in Islands of Adventure. Check it out! We could end up seeing some of the Jurassic World imagery brought to life in the theme park at some point in the future, especially if this new sequel kicks off a whole series of new films and renewed interest in the brand. How would you feel about a possible rebranding of the Jurassic Park “island” into Jurassic World instead in the future?
(9/12/13) Speaking of Jurassic Park, there is no telling what kind of effect this may have on future attraction plans, but Universal announced that the new name for the Jurassic Park 4 film will now be, Jurassic World and set it to drop into theaters on June 12, 2015. Check out the new official logo posted to the JP Facebook page.
(9/5/13) According to the latest rumors, it now seems certain that we will see some kind of new Jurassic Park themed attraction open in IOA for Summer 2015. There have been too many JP themed ride rumors lately to say for sure what this will be, but I’ve got my suspicions. Stay tuned… and scroll down… there is another new surprise in store for 2015.
(8/28/13) ParkRumors has come across a new permit approved for Universal to add a new construction office trailer off Adventure Way for a new project set to last 18 months. The project is labeled “KHS&S OFFICE CONST TRLR” and as they point out, the KHS&S company has previously done extensive work for Universal building the themeing for the Jurassic Park area. Is this a sign that the next major attraction to come to Universal may be in Jurassic Park for 2015?
(6/24/13) Possible good news for those Jurassic Park attraction rumors… Universal Studios has revealed that Jurassic Park 4 is now back on track and will now hit theaters sometime in 2015 instead of June 2014.
According to numerous Hollywood rumor sites, the storyline for the new film may see all the action take place back on the original Isla Nublar site once again, but time-jumped ahead to the year 2015 where John Hammond’s vision for a dinosaur theme park has been perfected and become a major global attraction that hosts 10 million guests each year to the island to see real life dinosaurs in a perfectly safe and worry free environment.
Until in true classic theme park attraction fashion… something goes horribly wrong. From the early buzz it seems that the movie will feature a return of the popular Raptors and T-Rex from the first film series, though the Raptors are rumored to have been domesticated, de-clawed, and muzzled in the interest of guest safety they, “spared no expense.”
They also promise all new dinosaurs the likes of which we have never seen, including a possible encounter with a massive underwater beast of dino similar to a Kronosaurus used as part of an underwater theme park exhibit. Just imagine coming face to face with this monster, with only a few inches of plexiglass between you… followed by cracking glass, gushing water and a lot of screaming. Sounds perfect for a theme park attraction, doesn’t it?
Again… no new rumors about what we might see as far as actual in-park theme park attractions just yet… the above is only my own fun thinking based on the rumors about the plot of the new film. But a new JP film can only be good news for adding a mega new attraction to Islands of Adventure in the future, so stay tuned!
(5/11/13) I’m not sure what effect this may have on those rumored new Jurassic Park attractions, but according to this news report the release of Jurassic Park 4 has been delayed or put on temporary hold for some retooling. Various side reports claim they may have been some creative differences between some of the crew and the studio as well that led to the move. Universal has yet to commit to a new release date at this time, but you can consider the June 2014 date scrapped for now. The good news, from a theme park side of things, is if the movie is delayed until 2015 or later, this will give Universal a chance to try and open a new Jurassic Park themed attraction at about the same time that the new film hits the theaters.
(1/21/13) A fun new bit of insight into some of the Jurassic Park upgrade rumors has been posted to Orlando United. They talk a bit about an Amber Mine Rollercoaster, upgrades to Camp Jurassic and the River Adventure, and early rumors on a possible movie-style dark ride inside the JP Discovery Center building, which could be built in association with another one of the nearby concepts meant to take over the old Triceratops Encounter space.
(1/14/13) Lots of interesting news involving Jurassic Park this week. For starters, it was apparently leaked through various Hollywood sources that Jurassic Park 4 (in 3D) was given the green-light and given a release date of June 13, 2014 with Steven Spielberg confirmed to be returning as Producer.
This does go a long way to explain why I’ve been hearing about a ton of new Jurassic Park ride rumors and leaks for Islands of Adventure over the past week. New rumored variations of old ride concepts are returning to the drawing board for another look, with the only exception missing so far was JP HelicopTours, which was proposed to use the same ride system as Disney’s Soarin’ before Disney bought out the exclusive rights to it.
New rumors about an Excavation Dig Site coaster are back, the old giant Pterodactyl Dome concept that would have enclosed a B&M Flyer coaster is rumored as a new Wing Coaster design. Remember the old Jeep Tour people have been wanting since day 1? Some interesting artwork for a revamped version of the Jeep Tour drawn back in December 2010 were uncovered online this week, but I’m not sure how long they will stay online, so view them while you still can here because I really like this updated look to the Jeep Tour.
Look closely at the layout art for the proposed attraction and you see the tour starts nice and mellow, then things go wrong when what appears to be a Triceratops is blocking the road, forcing your jeep into a wild off-road journey that ends up in what looks like a Raptor Cave full of nastys before you can escape back to the safety of the theme park once again. I don’t believe it’s any mistake that you can see Triceratops on this ride, as it would make a fitting attraction to replace the old Triceratops Encounter, wouldn’t you think?