Yet To Be Named
Universal Studios Texas Theme Park
NBC Universal / Comcast
Opening in ????
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/24/2023) Possible Attraction Names Trademarked For New Park (MORE...)
(6/11/2023) Universal Studios Texas Designer Chosen and the Tight Timeline To Open It (MORE...)
(3/17/2023) New Layouts Shown For Proposed Texas Universal Studios Theme Park
(3/10/2023) City of Frisco Votes To Go Ahead With Universal Studios Texas Park Plans
New Park - (9/24/2023) While we haven’t seen much since the announcement about the planned Universal Micro-Park in Texas, we do know that the park will be designed entirely for younger visitors and is expected to use Universal’s various IPs intended for that demographic. While looking into trademarks files for Universal Orlando I came across a couple of other names that could very likely be for Trolls themed attractions intended for a Dreamworks or Trolls themed area(s) at the Texas park.
Both of these names were just filed on Sept. 17th, and both intended for use as the possible name for a future attraction: Dreamworks Dream Runner and Trolls Rainbow Racers. Just something to file away until we learn more about what is coming to this new park project.
(6/11/2023) According to the Dallas Biz Journal, Gensler has been selected to serve as the design firm for the upcoming Universal Studios Texas mini theme park / resort project. The estimated budget for the project right now is said to be $550 million, which will feature four or five mini theme park lands based on various Universal related IPs that would appeal to kids, along with a 300-room hotel and small attached retail/restaurant area.
While neither Gensler, nor Universal, would confirm the relationship, Gensler is already attached as a designer for the larger “Fields development” coming to the area that would include two PGA 18-hole golf courses, an Omni PGA Frisco Resort and the PGA of Americas HQ, along with a high-end master planned community area that will feature everything from single family homes, condos and apartments. Gensler is also involved in a “Fields West” project that will feature a massive retail / restaurant / entertainment development, office spaces, more residences and two more hotels: a Ritz Carlton and Autograph Collection by Marriott.
Oh, and if you need another interesting tidbit about Gensler, in January, just around the time the project was announced, the design firm just hired former head Disney Imagineer Bob Weis.
As of now, I haven’t heard anything regarding activity at the site, but with the estimated timeline, I would expect that to change very quickly. As part of Frisco’s agreement with Universal, the project stands to receive $12.7 million in incentives, provided that the 300-room hotel and theme park are ready to open by June 2026.
That’s just a short 36 months from now to transform an undeveloped site into a fully functional mini theme park resort. With that in mind, I’d expect to see an armada of construction equipment arriving to Frisco very shortly to begin work at a frantic pace, where they will probably spend the next 12-18 months clearing the site and installing all the necessary infrastructure to support it (water, sewer, lay out the roads, etc) and then the next 18-24 months for the actual construction, installation and fine tuning of it all. By contrast, Universal has spent much of the past 12-18 months putting up the buildings and track for the attractions at their new Epic Universe park in Orlando that isn’t expected to open for about another 24 months in Summer 2025. While the Texas project is going to be a fraction of the size of the huge Orlando project, it’s still going to be a bit of a rush to get it all done on time.
While Universal has yet to confirm the theme of any of the lands or attractions coming to the park, don’t be surprised if they attempt to clone a number of their existing family rides in use at their other parks. Installing a copy of a ride system they are already familiar with, or the purchase of some proven “off-the-shelf” rides from well known ride companies with custom theming will also be a key time saver and help with the successful launch of the park.
(3/17/2023) The latest approvals to move ahead with the proposed mini Universal Studios theme park in Frisco, Texas, some new concept artwork of the development have been posted to a city run website for the project. This includes a look at how the project’s roads will tie into the existing highways, as well as the placement of the park, hotel and parking lots. They also show that there will be a small berm with trees planted all around the edge of the development.
According to some details mentions at the meeting, LocalProfile has mentioned that the basic park hours expected right now are 10am to 6pm on most days, but will vary based on demand. This will include extending close to 9pm on some nights, and up to 20 days per year when the park will be allowed to stay open until 10pm for holidays and special events.
(3/10/2023) Good news, the city of Frisco has voted to approve the needed zoning permissions needed for Universal’s plans to build a small theme park resort in the area, allowing the project to move forward to the next phases of development. As one might expect, there are a good number of locals opposed to having this kind of development dropped into their city, but the city stands to gain quite a bit of revenue from having Universal come in, not to mention all the assorted other businesses that will want to develop in the area in support of Universal’s plans.
(2/25/2023) According to a local news update, the leaders in Frisco, TX have announced they were holding off on giving final approval to the proposed new Universal Studios theme park. For now they are looking to address concerns of the neighbors and citizens who live in the area about the project before they meet again on the issue on March 7th, where they could once again vote to approve it and move forward.
(1/12/2023) Universal Studios Texas… who would have saw this coming? In a surprise announcement the leaders of the Universal Studios theme parks announced a deal where they have obtained about 97 acres in Frisco, Texas (just north of Dallas) where they are planning to build a brand new Universal theme park.
This won’t be a studios park like in Hollywood, or anything on the scale of the parks in Orlando, but instead this will be a smaller scale park with experiences that will be more focused on family groups, especially those with smaller children. So in other words, I think it’s safe to say this will be a park focused on many of the more child-friendly IP’s in Universal’s portfolio such as the animated works from Dreamsworks Animation (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls, How To Train your Dragon, etc..) as well as Illumination (Despicable Me, Minions, Secret Life of Pets, Sing), and who knows, given Universal’s relationship with Dr Seuss and Nintendo properties, you may see some of those characters as well.
Looking over the artwork, I can see what definitely looks like a Trolls themed area in the lower right side of the park, and I can see Jurassic Park/World style entrance portal on a bridge in the upper left corner before that part gets cropped out. In the upper right, there is sort of some castle looking structures, which could be for either Shrek or How To Train your Dragon perhaps.
In addition to the small theme park the project will include a 300-room resort hotel. Universal did not give a timeline for this project yet, and it still needs to go through the various approval processes in Frisco, but currently the reaction from Texas seems quite ecstatic about it, so hopefully we’ll find out more soon.