New Universal attraction is gung-ho for Kung Fu Panda
UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Just an earshot away from the booming sounds of Waterworld and almost directly across from where the Donkey from Shrek spends his day posing with the thousands of visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood is the newest attraction for the Southern California theme park. The all-new DreamWorks Theatre officially opened Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.
Work on the new attraction started 18 months ago, not long after NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation. The work includes a complete refurbishing of the building that was once the home for the Shrek 4D show to make way for the DreamWorks Theatre. Only the shell remains from the Shrek feature and the construction has been fashioned architecturally to pay tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood’s 1920s Art Deco period.
The attraction starts with a boxoffice ticket-seller booth staffed by a three-dimensional Pinocchio character from Shrek who is asleep on the job. This is the beginning of the tribute to the long list of animated offerings from DreamWorks that started in 1998 with Antz and includes Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Boss Baby and many more.
An outdoor garden leads to the theatre waiting area that continues the theme of classic movie houses.
In the lobby’s waiting area, the walls are covered with 36 movie posters and a selection of more than 20 award statuettes are on display that represent a sampling of the Golden Globe, Emmy, People’s Choice, Critic’s Choice, National Board of Review and Annie awards.
A collection of original sculpted scale models of Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest characters will also be on display, along with artifacts embodying magical powers Po brought back from the Spirit Realm.
The success of the new attraction is all on the broad shoulders of Po.
Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest is the story of how on the morning of The Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes, dragon warrior Po must go on a dangerous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace. Park guests will join Po on the trek filled with raging rapids, river pirates, magic and kung fu.
Visitors will make their way to a large theatre that uses state-ofthe-art visual effects. More than 200 fully articulated seats pivot and swivel in tandem with the 180-degree action.
The new attraction is part of the Universal Studios Hollywood movie-based theme park and studio tour experience. Other attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Springfield, The Walking Dead and Transformers.