After one new land opening in 2023 at Universal Studios Florida, one more brand new land is right on it’s heels, as Universal has just confirmed that a DreamWorks Land is coming to the flagship Universal Orlando theme park in 2024!
Replacing the former Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone in the Northeast corner of the park, Universal’s DreamWorks Land will feature DreamWorks Animation’s most beloved animated characters, including Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, & more. The new land will encompass a total of four acres & will be the second family-centered land to open at the park in as many years, following the opening of Minion Land near the entrance of Universal Studios Florida in August of 2023.
For decades, Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone was the only true family-friendly land in the park, featuring attractions and themes aimed at the younger children in the family. However, the land has been on the chopping block for years as Universal continues to expand and upgrade it’s offerings, all-the-while the Woody Woodpecker IP becomes less & less relevant among the new generations. Now, however, we have a concrete idea of exactly what Universal has in store for the future of this area, & DreamWorks Animation could not be a more perfect fit!
While an official opening date is unknown at this time, we do have a good idea of what mini-lands & characters to expect inside the brand new DreamWorks Land, thanks to in-depth rumors & reporting.
First up on the right side of the land will be Shrek’s swamp, featuring a meet-and-greet with the friendly green ogre himself & his trusty steed, Donkey. This area will likely feature a themed façade for Shrek’s swamp & may feature a children’s play area, as well, in replacement of the former Fievel’s Playland. It would not be a surprise to also see prominent characters show up here from the spin-off “Puss in Boots” franchise, which has been a smash hit at the box office
Next up is the Trolls area, brining us the lively colors & music of the “Trolls” film universe. Located here will be a reskin of the former Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, which is rumored to be re-named Trollercoaster (thanks to Alicia Stella of Orlando ParkStop for this one – a perfectly-fitting name for the kiddie coaster!). This area will also likely feature multiple meet-and-greets with the glitter-loving Trolls.
Just behind the new Trolls area will be the former Barney Theater, which has been used for a temporary “DreamWorks Destination” location for the past few years, as seen in the photo below. It is unknown what may replace the theatre, but Universal does not have any permits to demolish the structure so it’s anyone’s guess what may replace it inside DreamWorks Land. This theatre may be used for a brand new Trolls show, which could be a hit given the fantastic soundtrack from the franchise.
KUNG FU PANDA
The final mini-land in this area will be based on the fan-favorite Kung Fu Panda, replacing the former Curious George play area. This area will likely feature new food offerings, a re-skinned play area, and – of course – a meet-and-greet with the beloved Kung Fu Panda characters! Master Po, the titular character from the franchise, is a massively-loved character by Universal guests, and even has his own attraction across the country at Universal Studios Hollywood, so it would not be a surprise if Universal Orlando has big plans for this area of the land.
Universal has also confirmed that other popular DreamWorks characters can be found inside the land, including Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse, among others. Universal may use the land to bring in character meet-and-greets for other surprise characters from the DreamWorks IP as well, such as How to Train Your Dragon or the Bee Movie. Stay tuned to find out which characters we may be getting soon!
While the official details may be light at this point, there is no denying that this new DreamWorks land will be a welcome addition to the Universal Studios Florida lineup! Previously seen as a park light on family or kids areas, we now have two brand new family-friendly lands to welcome us into the park.
Stay tuned to ThemeParkProfessor to find out more details on the land over the following months, including a potential opening date!