Shrekfest! – East Coast surfers believe in the American Dream

It was only a matter of time before getting pitted under the watchful eye of a giant, fiberglass Shrek and Kung Fu Panda became a reality. Rejoice pop-culture shredders, the day is nigh.

Initially set for a late 2019 opening, American Dream announced this week it will launch its DreamWorks Animation Water Park on March 19, 2020. That indoor facility includes a surf park powered by American Wave Machines’ PerfectSwell technology.

“Swirl through your favorite ogre’s swamp on Shrek’s Sinkhole

Slammer; find your inner champion with the Dragon Warrior Po at

Kung Fu Panda’s Temple of Awesomeness”

Located five miles from Manhattan in East Rutherford New Jersey the PerfectSwell technology will pump out surf in one of America’s most densely populated areas, making it possible the world’s most accessible surf park.

“Be among the first to hang-ten in the world’s largest indoor wave pool, the 1.5 acres of Far Far a Bay, inspired by Shrek’s magical kingdom,” American Dream said in its press send out. “Whether you prefer to challenge the waves on one of two themed Surf’s Up Surf Riders, relax meeting more of your DreamWorks Animation friends on the Bubbly Lazy River or discover your own secret operation at the Penguins of Madagascar Play Zone, you can do it 365 days a year at American Dream.”

Tickets for DreamWorks Animation Water Park went on-sale Thursday, February 27, 2020 with limited quantities available. Prices for the waterpark are $99 for the day for ages 10 and up and include the wave pool, but this may be for swimming only.

East Coast big-wave legend Will Skudin will be running surf-focused camps at the wave pool. The SkudinSurf website offers private sessions with coaching and will kick off the season on April 1.

“With plenty of wave settings to choose from this “one of a kind” indoor wave pool is perfect for all ages and abilities,” says the Skudinsurf website.  
“Anything from the A-frame wave, under-the-lip-take-off barrel, or a perfect air section. Advanced surfers will have a field day on a perfect left and right air section. Intermediate surfers can work with our professional coaches and adjust wave settings as they progress through each session. Intermediate sessions will include learning to go down the line and improving on basic surf maneuvers. Beginners can learn to surf from our instructors, focus on riding waves successfully, paddling and positioning into their own waves.”

SkudinSurf offers group surf sessions from 6 am to 10 am and 10 pm to midnight. Prices start at $1,800 for groups of up to 20 surfers. The site says the amount of surfers in the water is at the discretion of the customer, but that fewer surfers equal more waves. The wave pool pumps out between 100-180 waves per hour depending on settings.

Perfect swell waves are powered by air compression. Air sequences are timed and coordinated by sophisticated computer software. Far Far a Bay’s wave very much looks like its PerfectSwell kin at Waco, but doesn’t run along a wall in quite the same way.

“To have a similar wave pool (to Waco) open in New Jersey is a big game-changer,” Jersey local Tim Dinofa told NJ.com. “We don’t have to hop on a plane, fly to Texas, spend money on hotel rooms and a rental car. We can just drive to the Meadowlands.”

The PerfectSwell tech is totally customizable, offering tubes and ramps at the push of a button. This image and top courtesy SkudinSurf

The American Dream mall at the Meadowlands is a $5billion project so huge that it has to open in sections which they call “chapters.” The first chapter opened on October 25th and includes the ice skating rink and stores. The 3-million square-foot center houses 450 shops, services, and heaps more.

First proposed in 2003 by Mills Corp, the original company went into bankruptcy five years later. Then Colony Capital stepped in until they ran out of funds for the (then) $3.7billion project and in 2009 parted ways. Canadian developer Triple Five, the folks behind the Mall of America in Edmonton Canada, also built the indoor, but not-surf-specific Blue Thunder wave pool.