DreamWorks Animation Movie Characters Set for Hotel Tie-In

Dreamworks Animation
'Shrek Forever After'

UPDATED: Shrek, Donkey and Kung Fu Panda are among the characters included in branding deal between studio and Gaylord Entertainment.


Gaylord Entertainment, the company that produced the corny-but-classic TV show Hee Haw and owns the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., will introduce the characters of DreamWorks Animation to guests at the four hotels it runs.

A deal announced Wednesday between Gaylord and DWA will result in character breakfasts and themed events around Christmas and at birthday parties. Plus, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and the rest of the gang will visit hotel guests at poolside.

For Gaylord, the initiative is expected to attract families during times when their hotels aren’t packed with business people and convention-goers.

DWA, meanwhile, gets its brands – and merchandise – in front of more consumers. It’s a strategy that Disney has employed successfully at its hotels and on its cruise ships for years.

While the financial terms of the relationship weren’t disclosed, analysts figure the deal is similar to the one DWA struck with cruise line Royal Caribbean.

DWA chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Gaylord CEO Colin Reed were even vague as to whether the deal was exclusive, though Katzenberg made it clear he wasn’t shopping the idea to other hotel chains.

“There’s only one Gaylord. There’s not a second choice,” he said. “They’re four of the most unique properties in America. They’re almost entire cities under one roof.”

Reed said Gaylord intends to build more hotels and that “The DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Hotels” will be integrated into them, as well.

“DreamWorks Animation reached out to us nine months ago and we frankly kicked ourselves for not reaching out to them sooner,” Reed said. “Not to schmooze Jeffrey, but what this company has done is quite extraordinary.”

The new Gaylord-DWA product goes on sale in July and goes live in November.