The Hollywood studio DreamWorks Animation has struck a deal to bring Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and other animated movie characters to a planned amusement park as part of a revived entertainment and retail mall in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
It would be the first theme park based on the studio’s animated movies since DreamWorks’s earlier plans for parks in China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai failed to work out. ...
In the late fifties, in the same area, a big amusement park named Freedomland was built. Shaped like the original 48 United States, it had dark rides, a choo-choo train, paddle boats and other entertainments.
It died a rapid death.
My thought on FL's demise? The climate in the greater New York area wasn't conducive to year-round fun and frivolity on outdoor amusements. (And still isn't. Anaheim or Orlando is one thing, but sleet, and snow? Even Diz Co. discovered the problems with frigid weather when it launched Paris Disneyland. The French, unlike say, the Japanese, are not necessarily jazzed by freezing their derrieres while waiting in long lines during December, January and February.)
But DreamWorks building an amusement facility someplace? Seems like a natural fit to me. And it is, after all, the way Uncle Walt catapulted himself into higher economic orbit in the middle 1950s, taking the first steps away from small, Hollywood studio to the giant, international conglomerate we know and worship today.
If it worked for Walt, it can certainly work for Jeffrey.