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Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest (or simply The Emperor's Quest) is a 4D motion simulator attraction in the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. It is featured in the newly refurbished DreamWorks Theatre, a re-design of the previous Shrek 4-D attraction that will showcase all characters from DreamWorks Animation's various works, starting with those from the Kung Fu Panda franchise.
The attraction opened to the public on June 15, 2018.
Synopsis from NBC Universal:
"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 exciting adventure filled with raging rapids, river pirates, awesome magic and Kung Fu.
Plot description from USA Today:
... Po goes on a new quest — with his adopted duck father Mr. Ping and the red panda Master Shifu — to bring the Liquid of Ultimate Power to the Palace for the Emperor.
Po and his sidekicks battle Kang in this ethereal world, along raging rivers and into the Emperor's Palace.
The attraction features "cutting-edge technology" in its design, introducing "the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping designed to engulf guests in 180 degrees of immersive adventure." This integration technique is said to depict "a series of immersive and visually dynamic scenic designs that will transform within the interior space and enhance the story."
The main ride theatre uses seven Christie 4K Boxer Cinema Projectors behind a 62-foot screen, as well as 360-degree surround sound audio used to enhance the ride experience with elements like water and wind. It also contains 241 "ultra-plush, fully articulated seats that pivot and swivel in tandem with the 180-degree action."
The attraction is featured inside the newly constructed DreamWorks Theatre building, with its design "inspired by Mission revival architecture [harkening] back to the Golden Age of Hollywood's Art Deco period of the 1920s." The ticket booth reflects this by being designed as a "box office ticket seller booth" and staffed by "a three-dimensional Pinocchio character asleep on the job."
An outdoor garden awaits past the ticket booth, leading guests into the main theatre queue with thirty-six framed DreamWorks Animation film posters. In the lobby, twenty statues of various DreamWorks accolades is on display; of these include Emmys, Annies, Golden Globes, Critic's Choices, People's Choices, and National Board of Reviews. The lobby also features original sculpted maquettes of the attraction's Kung Fu Panda characters, as well as magical artifacts obtained by Po from the Spirit Realm.Prior to the main ride, guests enter a "pre-show area of the theatre where they meet an array of DreamWorks characters who kick-off the attraction's narrative." They then move to the main ride theatre.
On June 5, 2017, Universal Studios made the first announcement of renovating the DreamWorks Theatre into a Kung Fu Panda-themed attraction, replacing the previous Shrek 4-D ride with a "brand-new multisensory attraction" featuring Po and various franchise characters on an "adventure of awesomeness". The announcement also included the ride's planned release period of 2018.
In March 2018, Universal narrowed the attraction's release date to summer 2018, providing additional details on the ride's technical aspects. Then in April, they announced its slated opening date of June 15, 2018.
The attraction was created by Universal Creative in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation; the story and animation are presumably done by DreamWorks, while Universal handled the ride's detailed technical aspects. In one visit, a sound technician from Universal Creative "repeatedly played a scene featuring a flaming arrow shot seemingly over the audience's head, making sure the thumping impact sounds had just the right quiver."
On May 29, 2018, the attraction had a soft opening, in which only a handful of invited people sampled the ride.
The attraction had its dedication and opening ceremony on June 14, 2018, and then officially opened to the public on June 15, 2018.
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The guest reception of the attraction's soft opening was very positive.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Top40-Charts.com - "'TAG' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Available June 15th". Published June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 PRNewswire.com - "Universal Studios Hollywood Debuts the All-New DreamWorks Theatre With the Technologically-Advanced, Immersive Attraction 'Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest' in Summer 2018" by Universal Studios Hollywood. Published February 8, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 : “Reviews are starting to roll in, the New #KungFuPanda attraction (featuring Yours Truly) at Universal Studios, Hollywood is a major hit and visually stunning!!”
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 : “The New Kungfu Panda attraction @UniStudios Hollywood is fantastic & visually stunning! ...”
- ↑ Los Angeles Times - "So long Shrek, hello Kung Fu Panda. Universal Studios to turn 4-D theater into DreamWorks showcase" by Brady MacDonald. Published & retrieved June 5, 2017.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 NBCUniversal Media Village - "Universal Studios Hollywood Announces ... 'Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest' Officially Opens on June 15". Published April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 USA Today - "First look: Po kicks again at Universal Studios with 'Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest'" by Bryan Alexander. Published May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- ↑ Universal Studios Hollywood - "Just Announced – New Attractions Coming Soon". Published & retrieved June 5, 2017.