Science of Universal Orlando Resort™: Skull Island: Reign of Kong™

Air Date: 03/31/2017
Source:
NBC Learn
Creator:
-
Air/Publish Date:
03/31/2017
Event Date:
03/31/2017
Resource Type:
Science Explainer
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
2017
Clip Length:
00:04:23

Skull Island: Reign of Kong™ takes guests on an expedition into the heart of the jungle where King Kong rules. The ride vehicle travels in a specific path that helps blend reality with the virtual world as predators attack from either side. "Science of Universal Orlando Resort™" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with Universal Orlando Youth Programs.

Science of Universal Orlando Resort™ - Skull Island - Reign of Kong™

KEITH MCVEEN (Universal Creative):

Hi, my name is Keith McVeen. I am a senior production designer and show programmer here at Universal Creative at Universal Orlando Resort. With Skull Island - Reign of Kong, it's a complicated attraction. It's new and groundbreaking, and with all attractions like this, we have to make sure that we design the ride appropriately, so that the media and the ride system work together. 3-D simulation is critical when working with theme park attractions. We're building machines that we put people on and we're syncing it with media, and we have to make sure that the machine can do what we need it to do, and we need to make sure that the vehicles' movements match what's going on in the media. So we'll work tightly with the media team. We'll work tightly with the engineers to make sure that the vehicle is doing something. The media is reacting to it and vice versa. And it sort of helps in that immersion to make people feel like they're really in an environment. For the special effects, you know, we have a lot of water effects and wind effects. Part of my job is to sit on that ride vehicle, and during show integration phase, ride the ride over and over again and make sure that the water's timed right. The wind blasts are timed right so that, you know, if a dinosaur roars and opens its mouth at you, you get a little spray from his saliva or if a dinosaur hits the vehicle, you feel the wind from his tail whipping right past the vehicle and you feel everything in the environment. And once we have that down, we work with all of our show set designers to design all the scenes. And we're constantly updating the simulation software to see what the vehicle is doing. So ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to design theme park attractions, rollercoasters. I would always draw my own theme parks at home as a child. But I figured it was just a passion, a hobby, a thing I would do on the side. Never thought I’d still end up here. I always thought you had to be an engineer to design theme park rides. The ultimate payoff for me is when, you know, I ride the ride the first time with a bunch of screaming guests and you see kids get off and they just want to do it again.

ANISHA VYAS (Universal Creative): Hi, my name is Anisha Vyas, and I work for Universal Creative, part of Universal Orlando Resort and I’m a ride and show engineer working on Skull Island - Reign of Kong. We've had engineers working on the structural design that support our scenic elements, to the controls engineers triggering what kind of animations are happening in what time. I've been able to work on the scenic design from rock work and show sets to our animated figures. And then on the ride, I’ve been able to work on the ride vehicle, which is incredibly massive and poses numerous amounts of challenges. It's really a blend of so many different disciplines all coming together to make the ride vehicle possible. The ride vehicle has to travel in the same path every single time that we deliver a show for our guests so it has to travel in certain directions or vectors every time a guest is on the vehicle and it has to do so reliably. Our creative team came up with this really unique track layout, all of which involve very complicated curves. To be able to make those curves and to have the vehicle move in the direction of travel, or move in the correct vector path, we had to essentially implement a front and rear wheel steering to be able to make it. It's not just one discipline bringing it to life. It's a blend of upwards of ten to twenty of them, really coming together to deliver the story of why this ride vehicle exists the way it does. From the time I was a little kid, I always knew that I loved math and science. When I was in middle school, math and science wasn't necessarily the cool thing to do. But as I’ve gotten older it definitely is because now having the tools of a really solid math and science foundation allow you to build on them in so many different directions. With math and science, you can basically become anything. Being an engineer, you can pretty much do anything. I didn't want to have a boring desk job and what better place to come than theme parks? 

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