DreamWorks Land opens at Universal Studios Florida this year. This new land promises plenty for families. What does it have to offer your family to consider on their next vacation?


For some time, Universal Orlando Resort has developed a reputation for being a theme park resort with little for families with young children to do. In fairness, this reputation was somewhat trustworthy. Universal Orlando Resort offers two theme parks with far more thrilling roller coasters than Walt Disney World Resort, for example. However, more thrilling coasters come with higher height requirements. Thus, younger children cannot ride those attractions.

Speaking of height requirements, Universal Orlando Resort’s theme park attractions consistently have higher height requirements than other area theme park resorts. This even applies to non-thrill rides. For groups with small children, Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure presented a small number of attractions that everyone could do together.

Change in Direction at Universal Orlando?

Minion Land


However, Universal Orlando guests have noticed a potential direction change in theme park attractions in the last few years. Universal Studios Florida’s former Production Central area has become Illumination’s Minion Land.

Illumination’s Minion Land opened in August 2023, changing the Universal Studios Florida theme park entrance area. Guests of all ages can now step into the world of the Minions franchise like never before at Universal Studios Florida. Developed in partnership between Universal’s award-winning creative team and the acclaimed filmmakers from Illumination, a whole new level of Minion mischief awaits in this vibrant new land.

Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said, “After we visited Villain-Con in the first MINIONS, we all felt that there were many more stories to tell. I am thrilled for guests of all ages to discover our new Minion Land, including the innovative gamified experience at Villain-Con Minion Blast where they can battle our favorite villains featured in the Despicable Me franchise, from the iconic Vector to the most recent supervillain, supergroup, The Vicious 6.”

Minion Land

Minion Land

Guests are welcomed to Minion Land with a fun, photo-worthy “Minion Land” marquee featuring 22 Minions before embarking on more mayhem that awaits along Illumination Ave. This includes the new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. On this attraction, guests can blast their way to supervillain stardom.

In Minion Land, guests can also savor tasty dishes at Minion Cafe, snack on banana-flavored popcorn at Pop-a-Nana, cool off with sweet treats at Freeze Ray Pops, shop exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise and goodies at Bake My Day and the Evil Stuff retail store, laugh alongside the Minions while experiencing absolute Mayhem at the beloved Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and meet lots of fan-favorite characters along the way at Illumination Theater.

This commitment by Universal Orlando Resort to utilize its more family-friendly intellectual properties shows a desire to accommodate every family or group vacation member. This might be seen as an attempt to cut further into the percentage of vacation money that visitors to the Orlando area spend at the larger, more famous Walt Disney World Resort. As Walt Disney World is seen as becoming more expensive, Universal Orlando Resort looks to be more appealing to Orlando visitors. With Universal’s Epic Universe opening in 2025, Universal Orlando Resort can be seen as a week-long vacation option. The addition of Minion Land enhances that apparent plan.

Woody Woodpecker KidZone


Building on this apparent master plan, the former Woody Woodpecker KidZone at Universal Studios Florida closed in early 2023. Now, this may cause you to ask a question. That question asked by many relates to why Woody Woodpecker lasted that long.

Those types of questions would be good ones. We often found ourselves surprised that the Woody Woodpecker KidZone survived so many rumors of being changed into things like Nintendo, for example. However, Woody is finally out. His land is being replaced with DreamWorks Land.

Like Illumination Entertainment, DreamWorks is controlled by Universal Destinations and Experiences. Thus, DreamWorks intellectual properties make an excellent palette for creating a newly revised Universal Studios Florida area primarily for younger children.

DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios Florida

DreamWorks Land


This summer, Universal Orlando Resort will debut DreamWorks Land. This land at Universal Studios Florida theme park promises to be a vibrant new themed environment inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s character. Guests will encounter characters like Shrek, Trolls, Gabby, and Kung Fu Panda. This large, newly revised theme park land will feature plenty of fun for the entire family. Guests should anticipate a family-friendly coaster, multiple interactive play areas, live entertainment, character meet and greets, and a few more surprises.

Universal Orlando Resort stated in press releases that as soon as guests step into the new DreamWorks Land, they will find themselves in a vivid new world. This land promises to be filled with new adventures, and the power of DreamWorks Animation will surround guests as they embark on exciting adventures.

These exciting adventures include exploring Shrek’s Swamp just outside his 35-foot-tall cottage, riding on a newly reworked Trollercoaster, interacting with Po in the Panda Village, and meeting favorite characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse. Guests will also discover unique treats, photo-op-worthy murals, interactive play areas, splash pads, and entertainment offerings themed around popular DreamWorks stories and characters.

More Details About DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando Resort has released more details about DreamWorks Land. Guests can now see some aspects of DreamWorks Land over the construction walls. Thanks to the work of talented theme park media like @bioreconstruct and Alicia Stella, we know more than the basic details shared about this new area of Universal Studios Florida.

DreamWorks Land will have several sections, each built around different DreamWorks character groups. Guests should be able to find a section that they enjoy.

Shrek Area

Shrek DreamWorks Land

As Universal Orlando Resort announced in a press release, “Like ogres and onions, guests can peel back layers of fun in Shrek’s oasis to discover “ogre-the-top” adventures at every turn.” This land promises to have plenty of layers for guests to enjoy. Based on what we can see over the construction walls, the area themed to Shrek’s Swamp will entertain all fans of this DreamWorks franchise.

Shrek’s Swamp Meet

Shrek's Swamp Meet

One of Universal Studios Florida’s best character meet and greet opportunities has long been the Shrek and Donkey one. This started happening initially next to the former Shrek 4-D attraction. That area has become the Illumination’s Minion area.

When Illumination’s Minion Blast started being constructed, the Shrek and Donkey character interactions spot moved to the KidZone area. Of course, that did not last long, with DreamWorks Land announced for creation. So, once again, Donkey was homeless at Universal Studios Florida. At the time of writing, guests cannot meet Donkey at Universal Orlando Resort.

Shre Swamp Meet DreamWorks Land

Original Shrek Meet and Greet Location

However, guests can still meet Shrek and Fiona. Currently, they meet guests just outside the construction area for DreamWorks Land. However, the fan-favorite wise-cracking Donkey has been gone since the construction started. However, fans of Donkey shall rejoice. We know that Donkey is coming back with the opening of DreamWorks Land.

We know more details about this upcoming theme park land. Guests can visit Shrek’s Swamp Meet just outside Shrek’s cottage to interact with the popular characters Shrek, Princess Fiona, and Donkey, the noble steed eager to joke around and converse with guests.

Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres in DreamWorks Land

DreamWorks Land

View of Shrek area behind constuction walls

Of course, the Shrek-themed area contains far more than just a popular meet-and-greet. Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres is one of these additional features. This ogre-sized play area features four fun slides, wet play areas, and a playground where guests can climb, bounce, and splash around and venture into Shrek’s outhouse. Veteran visitors to KidZone at Universal Studios Florida remember all the water play features in that area. For them, we have good news: the water features continue to entertain guests in the new DreamWorks Land.

Mama Luna Feline Fiesta

For those who enjoyed the popular film “Puss in Boots 2: The Last Wish,” a new interactive opportunity related to that comes with the opening of DreamWorks Land. Guests can venture into Mama Luna’s retirement home for cats.

In this area, guests play with Mama Luna’s many cats on vivid interactive screens activated by buttons, bells, maracas, and levers. Those with a keen eye might even spot the one and only Puss in Boots himself at Mama Luna’s.

King Harold’s Swamp Symphony

What would a theme park area focused on young families be without an area to make some noise? Orlando area theme park fans have encountered many versions of drums for kids to play to their heart’s content. Other theme park interactive elements allow kids of all ages to create a song of sorts by touching interactive elements.

King Harold’s Swamp Symphony provides guests with a similar opportunity. Guests can create their own musical masterpiece as they trigger a choir of ever-changing frog ribbits by continually stomping on an array of interactive lily pads. Only time will tell regarding the quality of music created by guests here. No matter what, we suspect many happy kids (and a few adults, too) will show off their musical skills.

DreamWorks Land Serves Up Some Swampy Snacks

A section of a major theme park with so much to do needs food and beverage options, right? In expected Shrek fashion, Swamp Snacks will provide some unique food and beverage offerings.

According to Universal Orlando Resort, visitors can feast like an ogre at this new kiosk, which will serve snacks inspired by Shrek. Based on the names, we are anxious to try some of these snacks. The snacks announced by Universal Orlando Resort so far are the Shrekzel, Far Far A Waffle, and the Frozen Ogre. Some of us wonder if a parfait will be served here also since everyone loves a parfait, according to Donkey.

DreamWorks Land: Trolls

Trolls DreamWorks Land

If your group has been sucked in by the animated “Trolls,” then Universal Studios Florida theme park has a section of this new land just for you. If you are unfamiliar with the “Trolls” movies and think this sounds like a theme park area more fitting for Halloween Horror Nights, let us put those concerns to rest.

“Trolls”: What is it?


DreamWorks created a funny and irreverent animated comedy series of movies about some cute trolls. DreamWorks’ “Trolls”  takes viewers into a wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters. The main characters are the overly optimistic Trolls with a constant song on their lips. Okay, maybe there are a few exceptions within the Troll community, but expect lots of popular songs being sung by these animated creatures.

Also, these movies involve comically pessimistic Bergens. They are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. So, guests to DreamWorks Land should expect some unique usage of the Bergens.

Before you become concerned that this does not sound kid-friendly, any “Trolls” movie or character event will involve music. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake provided their musical talents and voices to bring some of the main characters to life, so upbeat music should surprise no one. Overall, “Trolls” brings a fresh animated comedy filled with music, heart, and “hair-raising” adventures.

A large fountain has been created to make it clear that guests will have entered the area dedicated to this DreamWorks franchise. This grand fountain features favorite Trolls characters, Poppy and Branch. This sits at the center of the Trolls Village, where “fantast amazing” energy flows, and guests can relax and “find their happy place.”

Trollercoaster in DreamWorks Land


Once guests pass the fitting marquee displaying Trolls characters Poppy, Viva, Tiny Diamond, Satin, and Chenille, the Trollercoaster will be available for enjoyment. Guests of all ages can take a ride on the iconic Caterbus. In doing so, they will escape evil spiders as they speed along a bright orange and yellow track aboard this family-friendly rollercoaster.


Testing began on this coaster at the time of writing. We know from a Woody Woodpecker-inspired coaster that sat in the same spot before that this will serve as an excellent kiddie coaster. In fact, some experienced visitors to Universal Orlando Resort might find this coaster very familiar. This looks like fun for groups with young children. We might even hear a version of the song “Rollercoaster” while we ride.

Poppy’s Playground

The previous Woody Woodpecker KidZone was known for some impressive kids’ play areas. DreamWorks Land will not lack those. Poppy’s Playground sits nestled under a giant, 20-foot mushroom. This shaded (yes, shaded; it is Florida, after all) features colorful flowers and bugs with a bountiful array of fun bouncing and climbing structures for the youngest of trolls.

High Five Hideaway

Trolls merchandise

The Trolls area will have a fitting retail location, continuing a pattern of excellently themed merchandise areas at Universal Orlando Resort. High Five Hideaway allows Cloud Guy to bring his own style to guests. This brand-new retail location features the latest merchandise, including apparel, plush, and accessories from Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, Gabby’s Dollhouse, and some more DreamWorks properties.

Trolls Treats

The “Trolls” franchise provides a wide array of food and beverage ideas that could fit within a theme park. Universal Orlando designed a giant boombox for this unique food and beverage location, Trolls Treats. Poppy’s boombox from “Trolls Band Together” has been transformed into a playful kiosk that offers up brightly colored Trolls ice cream treats inspired by Poppy and Branch. Flavors will range from pink lemonade-flavored Poppy-licious Pink and huckleberry-flavored BroZone Berry.

DreamWorks Land: Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda

Guests can embark on thrilling and fun adventures alongside the lovable panda Po from the action-packed world of the Kung Fu Panda movies. Since “Kung Fu Panda 4” performed reasonably well at the movie box office, guests should expect plenty of movie tie-ins with the Kung Fu Panda section of DreamWorks Land.

In fact, we suggest you go back and watch those movies if you are unfamiliar with those characters. Several Kung Fu Panda characters have been appearing at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Island of Adventure theme parks for many years. They do a good job, and we suspect that will only get better as this new theme park land opens.

Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp

DreamWorks Land

A brand new play area inspired by the “Kung Fu Panda” movies provides a fertile playing ground for your little wanna-be warriors. Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp should bring the Panda Village to life like never before.

Within both wet and dry play areas, guests have the opportunity to help the pandas wash and dry their laundry with enormous water cannons, dump buckets, and giant fans. Long-time visitors of Universal Studios Florida will remember the impressive water play elements in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. Po’s Training Camp promises to continue that pattern of theme park fun.

In this area, guests will also encounter some additional fun elements. These include an interactive gong, mischievous baby pandas, and oversized merry-go-round noodle bowls from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop.

Po Live!

Also, in this theme park area, fans of Po can interact with the famous Dragon Warrior himself. Po Live! serves as an interactive meet-and-greet experience. This gives fans a chance to interact in the Kung Fu Panda universe as Po teaches them some cool Kung Fu moves, cooks some delicious stir fry, and babysits his little cousin, Ling Ling…all at the same time.

DreamWorks Land Character Zone

DreamWorsk Land

DreamWorks Land

Guests can enter the DreamWorks character zone near the front of DreamWorks Land. Though we expect plenty of other character interaction opportunities, we see displays for character meet-and-greets behind construction walls in the front area of this theme park land. At the DreamWorks Character Zone, guests can meet, greet, and interact with their favorite DreamWorks characters, like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse.

DreamWorks Imagination Celebration

DreamWorks Land

Popular DreamWorks Animation stories leap off the screen and come to life in DreamWorks Imagination Celebration. This multisensory adventure area combines hit pop songs, high-energy dancing, advanced technology, and more to create an imaginative party atmosphere that will transport guests to the worlds of their favorite characters within the all-new DreamWorks Theater.

Opening Summer 2024

We anxiously await more information about this theme park land. While waiting for it to open, guests can see many promising structures over the blue construction walls at Universal Studios Florida.

The travel advisors at UniversalFamilyVacations can help you plan your next Universal Orlando Resort vacation. Universal Orlando Resort has so many things to offer your group for an Orlando area vacation. With the brand new theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe, set to open in 2025, this might be the perfect time for your group to get used to vacationing at Universal Orlando Resort.

We wish you a wonderful experience as you plan your next Orlando area theme park vacation. As Master Oogway says in the Kung Fu Panda movies, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” May your present be a gift to you!