Universal’s New Theme Park Has Finally Been Approved Despite Mixed Feelings

Universal Studios Texas project concept art
(Image credit: Universal Parks and Resorts)

Universal Destinations & Experiences, the new name for the division of the company focused on theme parks, already has a major new theme park project in development with Epic Universe in Orlando. This made it all the more surprising when Universal announced plans to build two additional themed entertainment locations, including a small theme park in Frisco, Texas. That project has now cleared a major hurdle as the city of Frisco has approved the project, though not everybody in town is excited about it.

There are certainly a lot of positives to the new Universal theme park, like the economic boost it will give to the area through tourism, and the both temporary and permanent jobs that will be created for the construction of the park as well as its day-to-day operations. But there are also reasons that residents are less than sure they want a theme park in their backyard. That will of course bring crowds and traffic, which CBS reports some residents don’t want to see.

Several residents asked the Frisco city council not to make a final decision yet, and instead wait and consider more evidence before making a decision on such a significant new addition to the town. In the end, the council voted to approve the park, and that means Universal can now move forward.

It’s perhaps understandable why local residents would be hesitant at best about a new theme park in their neighborhood. It’s one thing if you happen to move down the street of an existing theme park, but another if you discover one is going in nearby. Certainly, it’s unlikely anybody in Frisco, TX was expecting a new theme park.

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Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom/ Universal Parks and Resorts concept art- Frisco, Texas

(Image credit: Disney Parks/Universal Parks and Resorts)

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The new park, which doesn’t have an official name yet, is being described as a theme park specifically geared towards families with young children. It sounds like Universal’s take on the Legoland theme park design. On the complete opposite side of the coin, Universal is also looking to build a new horror-focused experience in Las Vegas, which is being called an extension of the popular Halloween Horror Nights events at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort.

The new family theme park is reportedly set to open in 2025 which is the same year we’re expecting to see Epic Universe open at Universal Orlando Resort, the new horror experience in Las Vegas, being the smallest of the three new projects, could potentially open sooner, but no official dates have been announced.

If there are residents that feel very strongly about the new Universal theme park the possibility always exists that this battle could move to the courtroom, but that doesn’t sound like something that is being considered. While there are reasons residents might not want the park, there are also a lot of benefits to having it, that may ultimately outweigh any downsides.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.