Universal is coming to Texas, folks. Having locations already in Los Angeles, Orlando, Japan, Singapore, and Beijing, Universal announced at the start of the year that Frisco, Texas was the destination for its latest theme park.
Upon revealing that they had purchased a near-100-acre development on the Dallas North Tollway for a brand new theme park and hotel residents attempted to push back against Universal’s plans citing concerns about traffic, aesthetics, and crime risks amongst other things.
Yesterday, however, on Tuesday, March 7, City of Frisco council members and the city’s zoning commission officially approved the project meaning the enormous Universal theme park will be coming to Frisco by 2026.
The enormous 97-acre site by Universal Parks & Resorts will be “a one-of-a-kind theme park, unlike any other in the world, specifically designed to inspire fun for families with young children” according to the official release on friscotexas.gov.
Designed to be more intimate and engaging for younger audiences there will be the usual family-friendly attractions, interactive shows, character meet and greets, unique merchandise, and an array of fun food venues as well as plazas, water features, ponds, and an adjacent themed hotel.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the city of Frisco and Mayor Cheney as we work to bring this innovative, new concept to life designed specifically for a younger generation of Universal fans,” said Page Thompson, President, New Ventures, Universal Parks & Resorts. “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.”
Many issues were raised with traffic a particular focus as well as the likelihood of the park surviving if it were to be geared towards families with kids aged between 3 and 11 being the primary focus.
A traffic study revealed the park will have roughly 7,500-week day visitors and up to 20,000 visitors on its peak days while Universal claimed the park would generate $3 million a year in tax money for the City of Frisco.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reportedly recommended a special use permit on Tuesday night which was then approved by the City of Frisco council in a 4-2 vote despite crowds turning up to oppose the move.
City of Frisco staff also announced that the area will be enhanced with lush green landscape including canopy trees, shrubbery, and berming that will screen perimeter fencing. They also hope to connect the city’s hike and bike trail system.
The park will be half the size of Six Flags Over Texas and amount to about a fourth of its expansive parks in the likes of LA and Orlando.
The scaled-back theme park, reportedly, will be the first of many that the company plan to roll out over the coming years. Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, Mark Woodbury stated that he imagines the park to be a one-to-two-day destination for families.
“You have a fantastic town. It’s vibrant and full of energy and full of young families, which makes it the perfect place for what we are doing,” said Woodbury.
The park will be required to open by June 2026.
More information can be found at www.friscotexas.gov.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]