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Universal Details Immersive ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Attraction

Interior projection mapping and seats that swivel with the story mark the new attraction, housed in the new DreamWorks Theatre, opening June 15 at the theme park in Hollywood.

‘Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest’ will premiere at the DreamWorks Theatre when it opens June 15 at Universal Studios Hollywood.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. -- Universal Studios Hollywood has announced June 15 as the official grand opening date of its all-new DreamWorks Theatre, featuring the premier attraction Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.

Inspired by the global blockbuster Kung Fu Panda feature franchise, the attraction will take guests on a journey that fuses storytelling with state-of-the art visual effects for a highly engaging experience. 

Created and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Universal Creative, Kung Fu Panda:  The Emperor’s Quest recounts a plot filled story whereby on the morning of The Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes, dragon warrior Po embarks on a wild and perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace, while enlisting guests to join him on the adventure, which is filled with raging rapids, river pirates, awesome magic and Kung Fu.

With cutting-edge technology at the forefront of the multi-sensory attraction, Kung Fu Panda:  The Emperor’s Quest will introduce the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping designed to engulf guests in 180 degrees of immersive adventure. Developed by Universal Creative, this new technique will depict a series of immersive and visually dynamic scenic designs that will transform within the interior space and enhance the story.

Coupled with seven Christie 4K Boxer Cinema Projectors and 360-degree surround sound audio, sweeping physical effects from water to wind will empower guests to feel more like participants than spectators in the adrenaline-spiked adventure. 

Featuring an original score by composer Germaine Franco, the storyline begins as guests enter the pre-show area of the theatre where they meet an array of DreamWorks characters who kick-off the attraction’s narrative. From there, guests will enter the main theater, complete with ultra-plush, fully articulated seats that pivot and swivel in tandem with the 180-degree action.

The newly constructed building that houses the DreamWorks Theatre is inspired by Mission revival architecture and harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood’s Art Deco period of the 1920s, including a box-office ticket-seller booth reminiscent of the time period and staffed by a three-dimensional usher asleep on the job.

As guests navigate past the ticket booth, through the flourishing outdoor garden and into the theatre queue, they will encounter a series of 36 movie posters that pay homage to DreamWorks Animation films. Within the lobby, a selection of more than 20 award statuettes will be on display, representing a sampling of the Golden Globe, Emmy, People’s Choice, Critic’s Choice, National Board of Review and Annie awards DreamWorks Animation has won from 2008 to 2015.

A collection of original sculpted maquettes of the Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest characters will also be on display along with artifacts embodying magical powers that Po brought back from the Spirit Realm.

Source: Universal Studios Hollywood

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.