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Westchester’s Ridge Hill Launches a Revolutionary Holiday Experience with The North Pole Adventure, a DreamWorks DreamPlace
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Shrek Unveil Thrilling, Interactive New Way for Families to Visit Santa this Holiday Season!
Yonkers, NY–Thursday, November 6, 2014–Westchester’s Ridge Hill today officially launched The North Pole Adventure, a DreamWorks DreamPlace interactive transformation of the classic holiday visit with Santa that will thrill kids and parents alike.
Westchester’s Ridge Hill, home to the region’s only LEGOLAND Discovery Center, is the first of eight DreamPlace locations across the U.S., and the only one in the New York City Metro Area this holiday season.
As the choir from Yonkers’ Lincoln High School sang an arrangement of “Hallelujah” inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek, all eyes were on DreamPlace—a glowing, 40-foot tall, 2,000-square-foot holiday cottage decorated with an awe-inspiring, animated exterior—right in the center of Ridge Hill’s Town Square. Dozens of children from the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, other invited guests and Ridge Hill patrons eagerly awaited the Adventure’s magical debut.
The focus was on fun, and kids stole the show during welcoming remarks—when Yonkers Deputy Mayor Sue Gerry was humorously prodded to get on with the show by her daughter. After being introduced by Kathryn Welch, Executive Vice President of Forest City Ratner Companies, owner of Ridge Hill, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stage to introduce DreamPlace—when Shrek himself and wife Fiona swooped in to signal that the time for talking was over. This crowd was ready for the big reveal!
Santa Claus announced that it would take the energy and enthusiasm of children to bring the house to life, calling the kids in the audience up on stage to push the magic button. With that, preschoolers from the Girls & Boys Club of Northern Westchester embarked upon the nation’s first North Pole Adventure.
As part of the experience, an Adventure Guide will accompany each family on a magical fifteen minute voyage to the North Pole—enlivened by a mix of cutting-edge technology and cheerful encounters with beloved DreamWorks Animation characters. The family adventure will commence with building a custom sleigh before embarking on a fun-filled journey to the North Pole that combines motion-effects to create a thrillingly immersive experience. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa’s Elves help kids gather up “Nice Points” from a handy “Naughty and Nice” machine. For the big finale, children will enter Santa’s study, where kids are treated to a personalized visit with Santa who greets children by name and knows each of their special wishes from his “Hopes, Dreams and Wishes” book. (Photos and video of the family’s visit are available for purchase at the end of the journey.)
“Combining DreamWorks’ history of storytelling and technology, we’ve developed DreamPlace with the hopes of creating a unique experience for the entire family that transports guests to a very special destination up North,” said Katzenberg. “For generations, families have been visiting Santa in the exact same way. We figured the big guy – and all the families in line – deserved something a little better.”
MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, developer and owner of Ridge Hill, said “Westchester families know that here at Ridge Hill, we are committed to being the region’s premier destination to shop, dine—and play. We’re all about creating extra special memories, and it’s the definition of a holiday joy to work with DreamWorks on such an innovative attraction. This enchanting North Pole Adventure is a perfect fit for Ridge Hill, which also includes the region’s only LEGOLAND Discovery Center and family-friendly programming all year-round.”
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “We are thrilled that DreamWorks has chosen Yonkers and its popular Westchester’s Ridge Hill as the site of the first North Pole Adventure. We have so many families in this area and in the entire region—including my own three children— who will be delighted to make a tradition of visiting this attraction!”
Click HERE for photos and video b-roll of the North Pole Adventure!
Throughout the holiday season, Ridge Hill will be sponsoring a Toy Drive with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Westchester, which is celebrating 75 years of service to the community serving approximately 1,500 youth annually. The Toy Drive will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mt. Kisco, plus the Clubs of Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.
The North Pole Adventure will be open seven days a week through December 24, 2014. Families wishing to visit can download the app “DreamPlace” to schedule a convenient time for their family.
About Westchester’s Ridge Hill