Universal Studios Hollywood to open new King Kong attraction July 1

He’s big, he’s back, and he’s angry. Universal Studios Hollywood will open King Kong 360 3-D on July 1.

The new attraction will take you to Peter Jackson’s version of Skull Island, right into the middle of a battle between massive dinosaurs and one very misunderstood giant ape.

Following the 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood that destroyed the King Kong attraction, it was rumored that Kong would not return.

However, Universal officials tell me Steven Spielberg was at the studios before the fire was even out, discussing how to improve the King Kong attraction, and Peter Jackson signed on almost immediately for the update to match his 2005 film.

“As a filmmaker, you’re hoping to have the audience step inside your movie and become part of the experience. It’s only within a theme park attraction like this that you have the opportunity to do that,” Jackson said.

King Kong 360 3-D will use technology never before seen in a theme park setting. A pair of seamless, compound curved screens – each 187 feet wide and 40 feet high – will form a complete circle around guests.

The attraction’s film will run at 60 frames per second, delivering significantly more detail than the typical 24 frames per second rendered in a feature-length film. Universal Studios Hollywood promises “visceral special effects” to enhance the experience.

This summer, Universal Studios Hollywood is also opening 13 city blocks of production facilities in area of the Universal backlot that burned in the 2008 fire, including four acres of newly built New York street locations.

Universal Studios will be open and filled with annoying people on Thanksgiving & Christmas

America’s most read and chart-filled newspaper is reporting that Universal Studios Hollywood is going to be open to the public on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It will be the first time since 1964 that the park is open on these holidays and it will now be operating 365 days a year (366 in 2008).

I can think of no better way to work off a stomach full of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce than a scintillating whirl on Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. Nothing says family togetherness more than a day of height restrictions and warnings about people with heart conditions (poor grandma’s going to have to sit out most of the afternoon).

And it’s just not Christmas without a stop at the Waterworld attraction. According to the Universal Studios Hollywood website, “The hit motion picture comes surging to life in a spectacular tidal wave of death-defying stunts, awesome explosions and an ocean of thrills!” Of course, we use the word “hit” quite loosely here.

You’ll being using the phrase “great holiday vacation” loosely, as well, if you choose to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas at this haven for fanny packs and schlocky souvenirs. But hey, who am I to tell you how to celebrate your holidays? If your Turkey Day just isn’t complete without a ride inspired by Backdraft, the 1991 film of moderate success, then, you know, have at it.

As for me, I’ll be home with my family watching football and avoiding large masses of humanity. I prefer to have no one else around me when I vomit.