Photo by John Schreiber.

Continuing an end-to-end revamp that has included the addition of themed attractions based on “The Simpsons,” “Harry Potter” and “Despicable Me,” Universal Studios Hollywood announced plans Monday to add a DreamWorks Theatre that will debut with a “Kung Fu Panda” adventure.

The announcement comes on the heels of NBCUniversal’s nearly $4 billion acquisition of DreamWorks last year.

The DreamWorks Theatre is expected to be an upgrade to the existing theater that houses a “Shrek 4-D” film, with the “Kung Pu Panda” film anticipated as the first of several new 4-D films based on various DreamWorks films. The DreamWorks catalog also includes films such as “Madagasgar,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Trolls.”

According to Universal, the new attraction, set to open in 2018, “will take guests on a legendary journey that fuses captivating storytelling with state-of-the-art projection mapping and LED lighting effects for a highly engaging and immersive, unstoppable-awesome experience.”

With DreamWorks now in the Universal fold, animated characters such as Po and Tigress from “Kung Fu Panda,” Alex the Lion and the Penguins from “Madagascar” and Poppy and Branch as “Trolls” will appear as costumed characters wandering the park and posing for photos.

The park next year will also introduce a line of exclusive merchandise featuring pop-culture phenom Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters, with Hello Kitty also joining the cast of wandering costumed characters.

Meanwhile, the park also introduced plans Monday for a Christmas-themed light show that will be presented several times a night at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction during the holiday season.

–City News Service

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