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DreamWorks plans theme park for New Jersey Meadowlands

The park will be part of the long-stalled American Dream development.
Shrek theme park 120711Enlarge
Actress Norika Fujiwara, who was the voice of Princess Fiona in the Japanese version of the movie Shrek, kisses Shrek at the opening of the 'Shrek 4-D Adventure' at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka on 18 June 2003. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

DreamWorks Animation, the Hollywood studio behind Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, has signed a deal to license its characters for an indoor theme park in New Jersey.

The San Francisco Gate says the park is planned for American Dream, a long-stalled and vacant megamall development in the Meadowlands,10 miles west of New York City.

In a statement, DreamWorks' CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, said they wanted to create "a unique and innovative family entertainment experience."

The theme park would be the first to be based on the studio’s animated movies.  Earlier plans for parks in China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai fell through, explains the New York Times, which broke the story.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Canadian finance company Triple Five will be involved in the project.  It quotes Triple Five's president Don Ghermezian as saying: "The theme park will have direct input from the creative talents behind the films to create a park experience that will attract a global market."

In addition to the DreamWorks theme park, American Dream will feature an indoor water park, an indoor ice skating rink, an indoor ski and snowboard park, a movie theater, nearly 1.7 million square feet of retail space, and 150,000 square feet of restaurants, reports an article on the Nasdaq website.

The Washington Post says the project, originally called Xanadu, has been "a white elephant."  It was scheduled to open in 2007 but remains vacant and unfinished, and Gov. Chris Christie has referred to it one of America’s ugliest buildings.

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