Universal Parks & Resorts says it’s bringing a family-focused 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 and Resorts plans to build an amusement park and hotel geared to families with young children.
“Just another exciting day here in Frisco, Texas, bringing a global brand like Universal Studios into our community. It’s such an honor; they could have chosen anywhere in the world,” Cheney said.
The 97 acres of land that the company purchased is located east of the Dallas North Tollway, just north of the Panther Creek Parkway.
No specific details about the park were released, but officials said it will have traditional offerings like rides, shows, and food, while also including meet-and-greets with characters from Universal properties, movies, and shows — like Minions or Shrek.
A drawing of the garden was shown Wednesday morning that includes lush borders with a grand entrance opening onto a lake. From there, guests can head in a number of directions to visit the park’s themed areas.
The park’s design also included a river that appears to be a boat ride around the park.
According to Universal Parks and Resorts Chairman and CEO Mark Woodbury, who was in Frisco for the announcement Wednesday, the park will be unlike any other universal park in the world and they are “very excited” to bring the park to North Texas.
“We looked literally everywhere you could imagine, North Texas rose to the summit and Frisco rose to the summit of North Texas,” Woodbury said. “So it became very clear that this is a great place, a great market in itself and everything we could want, a vibrant community, a growing community, lots of young families and a very central location.”
He said they felt this new theme park concept would be a perfect fit for Frisco.
Universal Parks & Resorts announced that it is developing plans to bring a hotel and theme park to Frisco. Mark Woodbury, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts and Page Thompson, President of New Ventures for Universal Parks & Resorts join Mayor Jeff Cheney in the announcement.
“We are known for creating one-of-a-kind interactive and innovative experiences for the whole family,” said Woodberry. “We have a bunch of great attractions that appeal to young families all over the world. We had the idea to bring all of those together and create a destination specifically designed to appeal to families with young children. That’s what you see in this illustration right now and that’s what we hope to bring to Frisco.” .
The space is about a quarter the size of the parks in Orlando, and has been scaled down to be more “intimate and inviting” for younger guests. The company said The park will have a completely different look, feel, and size compared to existing Universal parks but will still carry the same quality as the larger resort destinations.
“The idea is to create a place in an area like this that people can come over and over again, in between visits to our big vacation destinations like Los Angeles or Orlando,” Woodbury explained.
He said the park is expected to be a one- or two-day experience and that they also plan to build a 300-room hotel and resort on the property.
Paige Thompson, president of new projects for Universal Parks & Resorts, said Wednesday that the company has purchased 97 acres on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway near the Panther Creek Parkway to build both the park and the themed hotel.
“Everything in this park is sized right for young children, so for example, the rides will have no height restrictions on what kids can ride on, all the characters will be likable universal characters that are very popular with families and kids,” he said. Thompson. “We are really looking for all kinds of interactive experiences that children can have, and they will be able to immerse themselves in the lands featuring their favorite characters from our extensive global library of children’s content. There will also be educational activities and games, which children can enjoy in the park. It will be great.” “
The amusement park will be built near the 2,500-acre Fields project, which includes plans for nearly 10,000 homes, a PGA headquarters, golf course, and $500 million Omni Resort hotel.
Cheney said the economic impact of the new entertainment city would be enormous.
“It would be a huge win for our tax base, local business here, small business, restaurants and hotels, shopping you name it, it would be a huge economic boom,” said Cheney who said Universal had reached out to them.
Officials did not name the park or what they will say when they plan to open it, but it will take years to complete.
World theme parks to open the horror attraction throughout the year
Universal Parks & Resorts also announced plans Wednesday to build a horror-themed theme park in Las Vegas that would “bring to life Universal’s massive library of classic horror films and today’s scariest tales.”
The park will be open year-round and will be the anchor tenant on a 20-acre expansion at District 15 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 Wolf Man – and redefined modern horror and suspense stories by collaborating with iconic filmmakers like Jason Blum, James Wan and Jordan Peele. Only Universal has It can ignite the suspense and excitement of the genre on a large scale and in three dimensions,” The company said in a statement.
Universal is currently building Epic Universe, a theme park that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025 as part of the Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal Parks and Resorts It is owned by NBC Universal, who also owns this station. Universal Parks & Resorts currently operates theme parks and resorts around the world including two locations in the United States in Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida. The company also operates parks in Osaka, Japan, Sentosa, Singapore and Beijing, China.
NBC 5’s Sophia Beausoleil contributed to this report.
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