Universal Orlando’s DreamWorks Land wants to ‘maximize fun’ this Summer
DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios shut down some kid zones in 2023 and replaced them with DreamWorks Land.

Being a theme park fan hits differently as a parent of little children. The miniature train in Epcot feels like an E-ticket attraction. Visitors can appreciate just walking by Fast & Furious: Supercharged. “Look, cars! Cars!”

Parents will certainly appreciate Universal Studios Florida’s new kid-friendly zone that officially opened this month. DreamWorks Land is whimsical and sweet in the same vein of Disney World’s Toy Story Land or SeaWorld’s Sesame Street land that parents and kids alike can enjoy.

“While DreamWorks Land was initially created for families with young kids, I’ve seen folks of all ages in the land having a great time,” said Dean Orion, Creative Director for Universal Creative. “Our design goal for DreamWorks Land was simple: to maximize fun.”

The land features intellectual property from “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Trolls” but it isn’t so heavily devoted that you miss out if you haven’t seen all the movies.

“DreamWorks stories and characters are timeless,” Orion said. “One of my favorite things to experience in the land is to see parents who grew up with characters like Shrek, and who are now as adults watching the movies with their kids, now have a real life place to come experience and enjoy these classic story worlds together.”

The previous kid-focused areas, Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone and Curious George Goes to Town, closed in January 2023 to make way for the DreamWorks Land located in the back of Universal Studios next to the classic E.T. Adventure ride.

Little touches stand out across the land.

The splash pad set in Shrek’s swamp home is decorated with oversized cattails and squirt guns are pointed above to add extra splash.

A 20-foot-tall colorful mushroom serves as the shady place for toddlers and babies to safely climb and plan.

Red lanterns hang in the air, adding to the festive atmosphere.

In a world demanding everyone stay glued to their phones, DreamWorks Land shows some interactive moments where you can move your feet or pull something to get an impressive reaction.

The children who are taller and looking for more thrills, a larger play area and can ride the rethemed Trollercoaster which was formerly Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster,

The land includes new meet and greets as well as two shows.

“Po Live! is an interactive character show in which guests get to learn kung fu from Po. It’s so much fun to see the moment when the audience realizes they can actually talk to Po. It’s like being inside the movie,” Orion said. “Mama Luna’s Feline Fiesta is another interactive experience where guests get to play with the multitude of cats at Mama Luna’s from the recent movie ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.'”

Universal’s reputation has always been for the older crowd — not the little ones — who like thrills, but the Comcast-owned entertainment company is diversifying its audiences. DreamWorks Land is a start. Up next, Universal plans to open the smaller-scaled Universal Kids Resort and 300-room hotel in Fresco, Texas. An opening date has not been announced yet.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704