DreamWorks Theater - Reviews, Photos, & Videos

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,615
Arizona
DreamWorks Theater at USH, has officially begun the process of Soft Openings for "Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest".

To bring this up, soft openings are periods of time that act as "technical rehearsals" for attractions nearing the opening process. The major elements of the attraction are in place, but the period of time will ensure that there can be tweaks, changes, and updates, to ensure that the attraction can sustain itself when it officially opens.

And with that, it needs to be reminded of which that soft openings will not be completely 100% guaranteed for the day of visit to the park. It may open for an hour, the entire day, or not at all, baring on if there are issues that happens. As blunt, there isn't a set time to when the attraction will be operational, until it's June 15th debut.

As best suited, please post all photos, reviews, and videos of your experience with the attraction here on this thread. And that in doing so, the general thread can be used to discuss for more general bits of the attraction.

__

Link to General Thread:

Dreamworks Theatre with Kung Fu Panda - Coming 2018
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,615
Arizona
Hmm...I think we've found our Shrek 4-D replacement!
In all fairness, it was OUR Shrek 4D replacement for us here in Hollywood, so you aren't wrong per-say..;)

From my glance, it seems like a fun attraction, with some gorgeous work on the design of the attraction, externally and internally. But, that's coming from someone looking via a screen (and from someone I'm talking to as they are in the parks now).

EDIT: we have some night shots via by the teams over at CI,

 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,797
No man's land: SoCal
Now that I am at home, in front of my computer, I can express my complete thoughts after two rides/experiences:

The preshow lobby is absolutely beautiful. Night and day different from the tacky style of Shrek. One of the biggest flaws about these kind of theater/simulator rides is that they require a long, drawn out preshow and becomes a total chore by your second experience. With this, however, It's not too long and just short enough to get to the point, be engaging, and not feel drawn-out. While the digital mapping used in the preshow is pretty nifty, there is a really awesome effect that I wasn't expecting with one of the "artifacts" in the room. I won't spoil it unless you really want to know, but it rivals the Rocket AA in Mission: Breakout for the "wow" factor. Don't set your expectations too high, but I think this is the best pre-show UC has ever done. USH took a note from Mission: Breakout and realized they need to keep preshows engaging by adding a cool element to it.

Now for the show itself. Like what everyone else is saying, the seats were rough. Well, IDK if rough is the right word, but very jarring at times. The motion would be smooth and suddenly I feel like I got broadsided by a car. I foresee them toning down the motion just a little bit as I think they're going to get some negative feedback on this. There were very few "4D" effects like Minions had as it was just some water spray, wind, and seat motion. This was really more of "hey, look what we can do with digital mapping!" than a 4D show. I took Wesker's advice and sat in the back....second to last row in the center to be more specific (Nobody wanted to sit back there as they were all pushing for the front!). I'm glad I did. The mapping was used fantastically for the finale. It was so immersive, it was far better than T2:3D's 180 degree finale. This compensates for that shows's loss. Oh, and unlike Supercharged in Orlando where the lack of 3D made the ride worse, the lack of 3D actually helps this a lot. It wouldn't work with the projection effects. Rest assured it wasn't to have no 3D for the sake of no 3D, but it was a good judgement call. One less 3D ride. :)

Overall, this was a surprise hit for me, and I think it will be for everyone. It's a filler attraction, but it's a good filler attraction. Much better than Fallon, Supercharged, or Shrek for a filler. The length is perfect. Not too long like Shrek, but long enough to be engaging and not be drawn-out. We even got the best pre-show Uni has done out of it so there is that. If I had to give this a grade, it would be a solid B. We got the better end of additions for Uni parks. Can't wait to see what JPRA 2.0 will bring!
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,615
Arizona
Now that I am at home, in front of my computer, I can express my complete thoughts after two rides/experiences:

The preshow lobby is absolutely beautiful. Night and day different from the tacky style of Shrek. One of the biggest flaws about these kind of theater/simulator rides is that they require a long, drawn out preshow and becomes a total chore by your second experience. With this, however, It's not too long and just short enough to get to the point, be engaging, and not feel drawn-out. While the digital mapping used in the preshow is pretty nifty, there is a really awesome effect that I wasn't expecting with one of the "artifacts" in the room. I won't spoil it unless you really want to know, but it rivals the Rocket AA in Mission: Breakout for the "wow" factor. Don't set your expectations too high, but I think this is the best pre-show UC has ever done. USH took a note from Mission: Breakout and realized they need to keep preshows engaging by adding a cool element to it.

Now for the show itself. Like what everyone else is saying, the seats were rough. Well, IDK if rough is the right word, but very jarring at times. The motion would be smooth and suddenly I feel like I got broadsided by a car. I foresee them toning down the motion just a little bit as I think they're going to get some negative feedback on this. There were very few "4D" effects like Minions had as it was just some water spray, wind, and seat motion. This was really more of "hey, look what we can do with digital mapping!" than a 4D show. I took Wesker's advice and sat in the back....second to last row in the center to be more specific (Nobody wanted to sit back there as they were all pushing for the front!). I'm glad I did. The mapping was used fantastically for the finale. It was so immersive, it was far better than T2:3D's 180 degree finale. This compensates for that shows's loss. Oh, and unlike Supercharged in Orlando where the lack of 3D made the ride worse, the lack of 3D actually helps this a lot. It wouldn't work with the projection effects. Rest assured it wasn't to have no 3D for the sake of no 3D, but it was a good judgement call. One less 3D ride. :)

Overall, this was a surprise hit for me, and I think it will be for everyone. It's a filler attraction, but it's a good filler attraction. Much better than Fallon, Supercharged, or Shrek for a filler. The length is perfect. Not too long like Shrek, but long enough to be engaging and not be drawn-out. We even got the best pre-show Uni has done out of it so there is that. If I had to give this a grade, it would be a solid B. We got the better end of additions for Uni parks. Can't wait to see what JPRA 2.0 will bring!
Speaking of the Preshow, as I managed to find a video of it in action, I got the similar feeling that you had, but also in that it feels like the next step to how Minion handled it's 2nd Preshow. Was simple and straight to the point, while also engaging and endearing at the same time. Color me impressed, as it seemed to fit in rather nicely to that environment, and kicks the crap out of the previous Preshow.
 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,797
No man's land: SoCal
Speaking of the Preshow, as I managed to find a video of it in action, I got the similar feeling that you had, but also in that it feels like the next step to how Minion handled it's 2nd Preshow. Was simple and straight to the point, while also engaging and endearing at the same time. Color me impressed, as it seemed to fit in rather nicely to that environment, and kicks the crap out of the previous Preshow.
It just occurred to me that Orlando doesn't have any attraction with a cool preshow like this and Breakout have. Like, nowhere over there. Now we have two, and they are for rides that had low-expectation before opening....who would've thought?

EDIT: Forgot about the elevator at Gringott's but even then, I think these two are better. lol
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,615
Arizona
It just occurred to me that Orlando doesn't have any attraction with a cool preshow like this and Breakout have. Like, nowhere over there. Now we have two, and they are for rides that had low-expectation before opening....who would've thought?

EDIT: Forgot about the elevator at Gringott's but even then, I think these two are better. lol
Another thing for me, is that I love how they included other DWA IPs like Trolls, Shrek, and Madagascar, as it gives you a feeling of nostalgia while also winking back to the past of DWA.

Yes, the Shrek is rough, but I do think in this case, his voice is better than the Emma Watson impersonation in HE/Gringotts. I also love how they managed to include that many characters and having them all have a moment to show them as characters.

I hope with a future film, that they continue to do Preshows similar to Emperor Quests, as it gives the attraction a feeling of relevancy and acknowledgement.
 

jtsalien

Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run.
Premium Member
Mar 9, 2011
6,503
T.A.R.D.I.S.
Speaking of the Preshow, as I managed to find a video of it in action, I got the similar feeling that you had, but also in that it feels like the next step to how Minion handled it's 2nd Preshow. Was simple and straight to the point, while also engaging and endearing at the same time. Color me impressed, as it seemed to fit in rather nicely to that environment, and kicks the crap out of the previous Preshow.
Can you share that video? Wasn't able to find much on YouTube.
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,106
Hmm...I think we've found our Shrek 4-D replacement!
USF Shrek Replacement shouldn't be a screen. This looks great though- I'd much rather have it than Shrek. USF has the unfortunate challenge of DM right across from it with literally no expansion room. So that ride will always be a screen based Sim. Same with Fallon.

I'd love Shrek to be this, but it'd be lazy and just hurt the park overall.
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,615
Arizona
USF Shrek Replacement shouldn't be a screen. This looks great though- I'd much rather have it than Shrek. USF has the unfortunate challenge of DM right across from it with literally no expansion room. So that ride will always be a screen based Sim. Same with Fallon.

I'd love Shrek to be this, but it'd be lazy and just hurt the park overall.
I would argue it wouldn't "hurt" USF per-say, but it's not exactly going to improve the park in terms of screens. That said, a Flex-Venue would actually benefit, especially if done like this.

It could be something that can be continually updated, to allow it to become a way for guests to spend time outside the park, especially considering if they'd add more than one film.

That said, there is a more proper area of discussion for that, as we can find here:

Dreamworks Theatre with Kung Fu Panda - Coming 2018

As a thing I look via the photos, it seems with the changes to the external queue, making it more open, it looks more like to me that they are trying to make it more spread out, to maybe make it somewhat more natural? Perhap's that's just me, but it does mesh well with the Theater facade rather nicely.
 
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Ryan

Staff member
Moderator
May 23, 2013
4,386
Interesting that the screen is at floor level and without a barrier between the audience. Don't think I've seen that before in an attraction like this.
 

Ron101

Rookie
Apr 9, 2018
475
California
One complaint I have about the attraction is the queue right behind the Harry Potter stage. When your waiting by the turnstiles right before you enter the preshow hallway, the music from the Harry Potter stage is blasting right into the DWT queue. The walls aren’t high enough to block out the sound from the stage. You also got the DWT queue music playing so imo, it’s quite annoying having to listen to two different speakers.
 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,797
No man's land: SoCal
One complaint I have about the attraction is the queue right behind the Harry Potter stage. When your waiting by the turnstiles right before you enter the preshow hallway, the music from the Harry Potter stage is blasting right into the DWT queue. The walls aren’t high enough to block out the sound from the stage. You also got the DWT queue music playing so imo, it’s quite annoying having to listen to two different speakers.
Nobody can escape the clutches of the frog choir. Everywhere you go, “This is the night” will remain burned into your mind.
 
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Armadillo4

Newcomer
Jan 11, 2014
80
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks to the timely heads up on social media, I've been able to visit the park twice during technical rehearsals and have seen the show 3 times. I also signed up for one of the AP Previews, but will likely skip it since I've seen it enough.

The positives:
The theatre is absolutely beautiful--both on the outside and the interior. It really impressed me. And the technology for the attraction is excellent. From the projection mapping, to the motion seats, the use of this technology for this type of show is really fantastic. The climactic scene with its 180 degree immersive view is truly spectacular. It's very impressive!

The not-so-positive:
The main reason I'm not in any hurry to see the show is again is that I feel the story is fairly weak, with a script that I also found lacking. Obviously, you know the heroes will survive and succeed in their quest--just like in all other film-based attractions. So the journey to the end needs to be compelling. I just didn't find that with Kung Fu Panda.

My thoughts on the story and script are subjective, of course. And many may feel differently. The story just doesn't pull me in, so the main draw for me will be the presentation and technology--which admittedly are very strong. The attraction won't be a must-do personally. But if the wait times are short, or I need a break from a hot day, I'll probably catch a show.

Here are a couple shots, one of the hallway that you immediately enter from the exterior queue, and then the interior of the theatre itself.
 

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Armadillo4

Newcomer
Jan 11, 2014
80
Los Angeles, CA
One complaint I have about the attraction is the queue right behind the Harry Potter stage. When your waiting by the turnstiles right before you enter the preshow hallway, the music from the Harry Potter stage is blasting right into the DWT queue.
I had the very same experience the first time I caught one of the technical rehearsals. Shortly after entering the bland queue area with all the switchbacks, the TriWizard Spirit Rally started and that show music was VERY LOUD. I felt like I was in front of Hogwarts Castle. Now Kung Fu Panda is in technical rehearsals, so I'm curious if they find a way to address this issue before the official opening. I also hope they install some more themeing in that area of switchbacks. Considering the amount of really good work Universal has done with a lot of their newer queues (especially in Florida), I'm hoping they keep that trend going with this attraction too.
 
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Ron101

Rookie
Apr 9, 2018
475
California
I had the very same experience the first time I caught one of the technical rehearsals. Shortly after entering the bland queue area with all the switchbacks, the TriWizard Spirit Rally started and that show music was VERY LOUD. I felt like I was in front of Hogwarts Castle. Now Kung Fu Panda is in technical rehearsals, so I'm curious if they find a way to address this issue before the official opening. I also hope they install some more themeing in that area of switchbacks. Considering the amount of really good work Universal has done with a lot of their newer queues (especially in Florida), I'm hoping they keep that trend going with this attraction too.
They need to build a higher wall because right now it’s a cheap 6ft wooden fence and a tan colored concrete wall. The higher wall could match the Harry Potter buildings so that there would be no visual obtrusions in HP land. If they don’t fix this then that loud music is going to be really annoying for the guests and team members.