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Universal Theme Park, Resort Hotel coming to North Texas – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Universal Parks & Resorts says it’s bringing a family-oriented theme park and resort hotel to North Texas and a year-round horror experience to Las Vegas.

In North Texas, Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney announced Wednesday morning that Universal Parks & Resorts was planning to build a theme park and hotel geared toward families with young children.

“Just another exciting day here in Frisco, Texas, bringing a global brand like Universal Studios here to our community. It’s a great honor; they could have chosen anywhere in the world,” said Cheney.

The 97 acres of land the company purchased are located east of the Dallas North Tollway, north of the Panther Creek Parkway.

Specific details about the park were not released, but officials said it would have traditional offerings like rides, shows and food, as well as include meet-and-greets with characters from Universal properties, movies and shows – like Minions or Shrek.

A rendering of the park was shown on Wednesday morning, including a lush border with a grand entrance that opens onto a pond. From there, guests can head in several directions to visit the park’s themed areas.

The park’s design also included a river with what appears to be a boat ride throughout the park.

Universal Parks and Resorts

Artist rendering showing the plan for a family-oriented resort in Frisco, released on January 11, 2023.

According to Universal Parks & Resorts President and CEO Mark Woodbury, who was in Frisco for the announcement on Wednesday, the park will be unlike any other Universal park in the world and they are “extremely excited” to bring the park for North Texas.

“We literally looked pretty much everywhere you can think of and North Texas climbed to the top and Frisco climbed to the top of North Texas,” Woodbury said. “So it became pretty evident that this is a great place and it’s a big market in itself and everything we want, a vibrant community, a growing community, lots of young families and a central location.”

He said he felt this new theme park concept would fit perfectly in Frisco.

Universal Parks & Resorts announces it is developing plans to bring a theme park and resort hotel to Frisco. Mark Woodbury, president and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts and Page Thompson, president of new developments for Universal Parks & Resorts join Mayor Jeff Cheney in the announcement.

“We are known for creating unique, interactive and innovative experiences for the entire family,” said Woodbury. “We have a portfolio of fantastic attractions that appeal to young families around the world. We had the idea to bring it all together and create a destination specifically designed to appeal to families with young children. That’s what you see in this illustration now and that’s what we look forward to. bring to Frisco.”

The footprint is about a quarter the size of the parks in Orlando, scaled down to be more “intimate and immersive” for younger visitors. The company said the theme park will have a completely different look, feel and scale compared to Universal’s existing parks, but will still have the same quality as larger resort destinations.

“The idea is to create a place in a region like this that people can visit again and again, between their visits to our great vacation destinations like Los Angeles or Orlando,” explained Woodbury.

He said the park should be a one- or two-day experience and that they also plan to build a 300-room themed resort hotel on the property.

Page Thompson, president of new development for Universal Parks & Resorts, said Wednesday that the company purchased 97 acres on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway, near Panther Creek Parkway, for construction of the park and theme hotel.

“Everything about this park is sized appropriately for young children so for example the rides will have no height limitations on what kids can ride on them, all characters will be beloved Universal characters that are very popular with families and kids alike Thompson said. “We’re really looking for all kinds of interactive experiences that kids can have, and they’ll be able to immerse themselves in the lands with their favorite characters from our extensive universal library of kids’ content. In addition, there will be learning activities, games, fun for the kids. can have it in the park. It’s going to be fantastic.”

The theme park will be built near the 2,500-acre Fields development, which includes plans for about 10,000 homes, the PGA headquarters, a golf course and a $500 million Omni resort hotel.

Cheney said the economic impact the new theme park will have is huge.

“It’s going to be a big win for our tax base, local businesses here, small businesses, restaurants, hotels, shopping, you name it, it’s going to be a big economic boom,” said Cheney, who said Universal reached out to them.

At a meeting in the hours following the announcement, Frisco residents who live in neighborhoods near the theme park questioned city leaders about the potential impacts on their community.

After a day of celebration from Frisco’s city leaders, people living in the area surrounding Universal’s newly announced theme park are raising concerns. NBC 5’s Allie Spillyards explains.

Officials haven’t said what the park will be called or when they plan to open it, but it will take years to complete.


Universal Parks & Resorts also announced plans on Wednesday to build a horror theme park in Las Vegas that “will bring Universal’s vast library of classic horror films and today’s most terrifying tales to life.”

The park will be open year-round and will be the anchor tenant in a 20-acre expansion of the Area15 entertainment district near the Las Vegas Strip.

“Universal has long defined the horror genre with its classic films featuring iconic characters like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and the Werewolf Man – and has redefined modern horror and thriller stories through collaborations with renowned filmmakers like Jason Blum, James Wan and Jordan Peele. Only Universal could ignite the excitement and excitement of this genre at full scale and in three dimensions,” the company said in a statement.

Credit: Universal Parks & Resorts.

Universal is currently building Epic Universe, a theme park scheduled to open in the summer of 2025 as part of Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Parks & Resorts is owned by NBCUniversal, which also owns this station. Universal Parks & Resorts currently operates theme parks and resorts worldwide, including two US locations in Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida. The company also operates parks in Osaka, Japan, Sentosa, Singapore and Beijing, China.

Sophia Beausoleil of NBC 5 contributed to this report.