Shrek's swamp is coming across the pond! In a new collaboration, Merlin Entertainments has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to create a unique themed visitor attraction based on Shrek and his friends.
This landmark attraction, which will transport visitors through a live interactive adventure featuring Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and other favorites from the beloved franchise, will see an initial roll-out of six attractions over nine years. The first attraction will open in London in the summer of 2015. This will be the first time that Merlin, Europe's largest and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, has worked with a Hollywood studio to create a scaleable branded entertainment experience based on a globally recognized entertainment franchise. This is also the first time that DreamWorks Animation, home to global entertainment franchises including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, will help to produce an attraction of this magnitude by licensing the use of its characters and stories.
The debut of the first Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure comes just ahead of the film's 15th anniversary. The most successful animated franchise of all time, DreamWorks Animation's Shrek films have generated more than $3.5 billion in global box office revenue. The original Shrek won the first Academy Award for "Best Animated Feature Film."
The attraction will be sited at County Hall alongside Merlin's other leading attractions in the South Bank cluster: the EDF Energy London Eye, the London SEA LIFE Aquarium and The London Dungeon. The 2,000 square metre experience will be based on a brand new adventure being written by the DreamWorks team. It will feature a Shrek interactive walkthrough adventure, a character courtyard where visitors will be able to meet Shrek and his swamp friends, along with characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. In addition, there will be a rotating exhibit area supporting DreamWorks Animation film and DVD releases as well as a branded retail outlet. The Shrek attraction will become part of Merlin's successful midway roll-out programme as the sixth brand alongside LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, The Dungeon and The Eye Brand.
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, had this to say in a statement.
"Developing an attraction based on Shrek and his friends is hugely exciting for Merlin Entertainments and the start of what we hope will be a wider collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. Merlin's expertise in delivering memorable days out for visitors and DreamWorks' skill in developing globally recognized entertainment franchises will be a winning combination. Shrek is the biggest animated franchise of all time, and we are delighted that we are going to add Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure to our portfolio of iconic international entertainment brands. We know our millions of visitors around the world will love the interactive Shrek experience that we will deliver."
Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's Chief Executive Officer, offered his own statement.
"We're excited to work with Merlin to build something that we think is going to be a singularly unique way to experience Shrek and his world. This attraction is going to be unlike anything that currently exists and will undoubtedly become a new type of destination for families."