In a press release issued this morning, DreamWorks announced that its wildly popular animated characters will be coming to the Meadowlands amusement park in New Jersey.
The 14.7-acre indoor theme park—now known as America Dream at Meadowlands—is being developed around the DreamWorkd characters as “a unique retail and entertainment destination”, featuring amenities such as themed rides, attractions, 1.7 million square feet of retail shops, a bowling alley, live theatre and 150,000 square feet of fine dining and restaurants. Other (somewhat odd) attractions include an ice skating rink, a glass-enclosed wave pool, indoor sky diving, and an indoor ski park. The park will be the first North American theme park to exclusively house the DreamWorks characters from films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar.
America Dream at Meadowlands is being developed by Mall of America developer Triple Five and will take over a previously defunct project that has been sitting vacant since May 2009. According to the NY Times, the developers spent $1.9 billion on a five-story indoor complex called Xanadu before running out of money and closing the project. American Dream at Meadowlands is located west of Manhattan, near the MetLife football stadium.
Theme parks have proven to be an important way for animation studios to continue to capitalize on the success of their films and characters. Since Disney and Universal have shunned DreamWorks at their parks (for obvious reasons), DreamWorks has taken matters into its own hands in order to bring its characters to theme parks around the world. Unfortunately, plans for DreamWorks theme parks in China, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have all fallen short. It looks like DreamWorks’ characters will finally find a home in a theme park like their fellow animated counterparts.
DreamWorks CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, commented:
American Dream at Meadowlands is poised to become a one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment destination in North America. We look forward to working with Triple Five Worldwide to incorporate DreamWorks Animation characters, storytelling and technology into a unique and innovative family entertainment experience at the venue.
What do you think about the new amusement park? What DreamWorks characters would you be most excited to see?