A Universal theme park, resort hotel is coming to Frisco

Universal Parks & Resorts is bringing family-focused theme parks and resort hotels and horror experiences to North Texas and Las Vegas year-round.

In North Texas, Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney announced Wednesday morning that Universal Parks and Resorts plans to build a kid-themed park and hotel on the Dallas North Tollway that will provide entertainment for families for years to come.

Specific details about the park weren’t disclosed, but officials said it will have traditional offerings like rides, shows and food, as well as meet-and-greets with characters from Universal properties, movies and shows — like Minions or Shrek.

Renderings of the park were shown Wednesday morning that include an elegant border with a grand entrance that opens to a lagoon. From there, guests can go in several directions to visit the theme areas of the park.

The park design also included a river that looks like a boat ride through the park.


Universal Parks and Resorts

An artist’s rendering showing plans for a family-focused resort in Frisco, released Jan. 11, 2023.

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

“We’re known for creating one-of-a-kind innovative, interactive experiences for the whole family,” Woodbury said. “We have a portfolio of terrific attractions that appeal to young families around the world. We thought we’d bring them all together and create a destination that’s specifically designed to appeal to families with young children. That’s what you see in this illustration. Now and what we hope to bring to Frisco We will.”

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

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

Paige Thompson, president of new ventures for Universal Parks and Resorts, said Wednesday that the company has purchased 97 acres on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway near Panther Creek Parkway to build both the park and the theme hotel.

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

Officials did not say what the park will be called or what the plans are for the park to open.

Universal parks open year-round horror attractions

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

The park will be open year-round and anchor tenants on the 20-acre spread. Area 15 Entertainment District near the Las Vegas Strip.

“Universal has long defined the horror genre with classic films featuring iconic characters like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and the Wolf Man – and redefined modern horror and suspense stories by collaborating with high-profile filmmakers like Jason Blum, James Wan and 6. Jordan Peele. Only Universal can ignite the thrill and excitement of this genre in full scale and three dimensions. The company said in a statement.

Credit: Universal Parks and Resorts.

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

Universal Parks and Resorts owned by NBC Universal, which also owns the station. Universal Parks and Resorts currently operates theme park and resort properties worldwide with 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.

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