1st Cartoon Network Hotel to open in summer 2019 next to Dutch Wonderland TIM MEKEEL | Staff Writer Oct 30, 2018
If your kids would love to surround themselves with Cartoon Network characters, next summer you can take them to a hotel which does exactly that.
Cartoon Network and the owner of Dutch Wonderland are converting the former Continental Inn into a family resort that’s wall-to-wall Cartoon Network characters, programs and products.
The first Cartoon Network Hotel will open next summer, the network and Palace Entertainment announced Tuesday.
Located at 2285 Lincoln Highway East, next door to Dutch Wonderland, the hotel “will immerse guests in the animation and antics of characters” featured on the network’s programs.
“Through a combination of character animation and creative technology, the entire property will offer fun and unexpected ways to experience the animated worlds of Cartoon Network from the moment of arrival,” the announcement said.
Hotel employees will be dressed as cartoon characters, according to the hotel’s website, cartoonnetworkhotel.com.
New cartoons will make their world debut at the hotel’s outdoor amphitheater and movie screen. Lawn games and fire pits will be modeled after the network’s Summer Camp Island, according to the website.
Dutch Wonderland spokesman Jeffrey Eisenberg said the hotel will employ about 50 people during the peak summer season.
Eisenberg said room rates have yet to be determined, though hotel guests will be able to enter Dutch Wonderland at a discounted price.
He declined to provide an estimate of the cost of the project, though in January, Palace Entertainment paid $4.7 million for the real estate alone, LNP reported at the time.
The Continental Inn was closed immediately and all of its workers laid off.
At that time, a Dutch Wonderland spokesman declined to discuss the future of the property.
Broadening the brand
A Cartoon Network executive told Adweek, a trade publication for the brand marketing and advertising industries, that the hotel is natural extension of its programming.
“It’s critical that we continue to engage with our fans beyond the linear experience,” said Erik Resnick, a senior vice president.
“The hotel will extend the brand in an authentic and relatable atmosphere. Fans today want to interact with our characters wherever they are; and what better way than on vacation.”
Cartoon Network has wanted to open a resort for several years, Resnick said, but needed to find the right partner and location.
Resnick told Adweek that the Lancaster site is “a great fit” because of its proximity to major mid-Atlantic cities.
Adweek noted that the Cartoon Network strategy follows that of two other child-oriented channels.
Most notably, the Disney Channel has Disneyland and Disney World. Nickelodeon has one resort and will add a second in 2019.
The Cartoon Network Hotel will have 165 rooms, as did the Continental Inn, but the similarities will end there.
Each guest room “will feature interchangeable show theming that can be customized around children’s preferences to make each visit a new adventure,” the press release said.
The hotel also will have an indoor pool, game room, play area and Cartoon Network store.
Outdoors, the 8.9-acre site will feature another pool plus a water-play zone, an amphitheater with an oversized movie screen, lawn games and fire pits.
Palace Entertainment owns and operates more than 20 amusement parks, water parks and family entertainment centers in the United States and Australia.
Based in Newport Beach, California, Palace Entertainment acquired Dutch Wonderland in 2010 from Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co.
Cartoon Network, owned by Turner Broadcasting System, was launched in 1992, a year after Turner bought Hanna-Barbera Productions, producer of classic TV cartoons such as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs.
Initially tapping the Hanna-Barbera library for its content, Cartoon Network now relies on its own original creations. Among them are “Adventure Time,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Steven Universe,” “We Bare Bears” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.”
Did anyone else think of the old Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando when they saw this? I hope the characters at this one look a whole lot less creepy and they can keep it up-to-date with the most popular cartoons.
It'll be weird seeing this hotel where that old Continental Inn was. We stayed there a few times when we visited Amish country.
Rai Fox wrote:Don't mind me, just laughing far too much at the forum word filter having its way with the last part of that press release.
Same. Does Steel Vengeance exist in the timeline of that show? Do gems like roller coasters?
If I'm not mistaken, isn't this Cartoon Network's first permanent themed attraction (hotel or otherwise) in the United States? I know they have those attractions at IMG, and that water park in Thailand...
Weird place for it but okay. Guess I know where we'll be staying if we ever actually make it out to Dutch Wonderland, since both of the kids are little Cartoon Network addicts.
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Skyrush. Kiddo's faves: Storm Runner. Banshee. Top Thrill Dragster. Valravn. Apollo's Chariot.
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