Orlando

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I have mixed feelings about Orlando.

On one hand, I sometimes dread going there. Traffic. Crowds. All the tourists in the world trying to power through the theme parks and buffet dinners and the endless choices of Things To Do.

But I usually find myself succumbing to the odd magic of the place during each trip, whether I’m there for work or fun. Maybe because I cover theme parks and I see how hard park employees work to create an alternate reality for all those tourists. Maybe because those alternate realities are so damned fascinating. Maybe because Orlando represents everything that’s good and bad about Florida, and I do love Florida.

Anyway, yesterday I went there and visited Disney, talked to an executive at Universal and rode the new Orlando Eye. Stay tuned for my huge, annual theme park summer preview story later this month. In the meantime, here’s a story I wrote about a coming attraction at Universal in 2016.

This isn’t King Kong’s first rodeo at Universal Orlando. From 1990 until 2002, the Kongfrontation attraction was housed at Universal Studios. But that experience centered on Kong in New York.

Mike West, Universal Creative Executive Producer, said the ride takes guests into King Kong’s home on Skull Island. Locating the ride “in Kong’s home” as opposed to New York was a conscious decision on the part of the creative team, he said.

“We want to tell the next generation Kong’s story,” said West. “He’s timeless.”