by Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine
Universal Parks & Resorts announced plans today to bring a family-friendly park to Frisco, Texas, and a new permanent horror-themed experience to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Family Friendly Universal Kids Park in Frisco, Texas
A new Universal Studios theme park for families with young children is planned for Frisco, Texas. Universal purchased 97 acres but will leave a buffer around the park for future expansion. The park itself will be about 1/4th the size of Universal Studios Florida.
Universal Parks & Resorts claims the park will be “a one-of-a-kind theme park, unlike any other in the world.”
According to Universal, the park will have themed lands to engage younger kids. It will include:
- Family-friendly attractions.
- Character meet and greets.
- Interactive shows.
- Food & beverage venues.
- Universal merchandise.
- A 300-room themed hotel.
Universal Parks & Resorts promises that the smaller theme park will carry the same quality as Universal’s larger parks while appealing to a new audience.
“We think North Texas is the perfect place to launch this unique park for families given its growing popularity within this part of the country,” says Page Thompson, President of New Ventures, Universal Parks & Resorts.
The Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, Mark Woodbury, was at Frisco today, taking part in the major announcement (see the video in Explore More section below). Regarding the new park, Woodbury said:
“We have a portfolio of terrific attractions that appeal to young families around the world, and we had an idea to bring all of those together and create a destination that is specifically designed to appeal to families with young children… our dream is to have this place built around a lush landscaped environment, four or five themed lands, each one on them full of attractions, interactive experiences, discovery experiences, exploration, learning opportunities…”
Woodbury believes it will be a 1-2 day experience, and families can stay at the themed hotel at the front of the park with 300 rooms.
The park will be located on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway, just north of Panther Creek Parkway in Frisco.
According to Frisco mayor Jeff Cheney, Universal Parks & Resorts was looking worldwide for the best location for this park and, while scouting through North Texas, came across the perfect area on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway. Cheney stated that the city’s family-friendly atmosphere, combined with its innovation, was a major appeal to Universal.
The park still must go through several local and state approvals for the project before construction can begin.
Although the park doesn’t have a name, the term “Universal Kids” was dropped during the Frisco press conference.
Universal Creative is designing the park.
Las Vegas Horror-Themed Experiences
Universal Parks & Resorts also announced the opening of a new horror-themed experience at Area15 in Las Vegas. The addition is part of a massive expansion by Area15 and plays on the popularity of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Parks worldwide. The new experience will be year-round, however.
The yet-to-be-named horror facility will bring classic Universal horror films to life and will include:
- Immersive horror experiences that are regularly updated.
- A haunted bar.
- A haunted eatery.
- Seasonal events.
“Universal’s decision to anchor their next innovative creation in the city is exciting news for my residents and visitors alike,” says City of Las Vegas Councilwoman Olivia Diaz.
Universal’s new horror-themed experiences will take place in a space that is 111,000 square feet.
AREA 15 Las Vegas Expansion
The Universal horror experience facility will be part of a 20-acre expansion by AREA15, which has seen an explosion of popularity in Las Vegas and an upcoming expansion to Orland, Florida.
“We are enormously gratified to have an extraordinary company like Universal as our partner as we embark on the next phase of growth for AREA15,” says AREA15 CEO Winston Fisher.
A date has not been set for the opening of the new facility. Universal Creative will take the lead in designing the facility and experiences.
Explore More (Videos)
Frisco Coverage of Major Tourism Announcement
Explore More (Resources)
Article: AREA15 Orlando Opening in 2024 (Theme Park Magazine)