Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Universal theme parks around the world are in the midst of a period of unprecedented growth. The second Super Nintendo World — which is the first in the U.S. — opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in February. In Florida, Universal Orlando is building an entirely new theme park slated to open in 2025 called Epic Universe. You’d think Universal would have its hands full already, but you’d be wrong.
Universal Parks & Resorts announced on Jan. 11 that it plans to also build an all-new park in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The park will be designed for children ages 3 through 9 and their families.
On Dec. 1, Universal announced the park will officially be called Universal Kids Resort.
“Universal Kids Resort will inspire the unbridled creativity of kids through imagination, discovery and most importantly — play. We’re designing the resort so kids and families can feel the thrill of being physically immersed in their most beloved stories and characters,” Molly Murphy, president of Universal Creative, shared in a press release.
According to the press release, the park will feature “family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, unique merchandise, fun food and beverage venues and character meet-and-greets.” Universal also has plans for a themed, 300-room hotel adjacent to the park.
Universal released concept art showcasing a whimsical design with lush gardens, multiple play areas, a splash pad and a collection of land- and water-based attractions that look fun and exciting without being too thrilling for young children. Concept art doesn’t necessarily depict what you’ll see in the park, but it can give you a good idea of the layout and types of attractions Universal plans to build.
Universal acquired just under 100 acres of land to build Universal Kids Resort, meaning this family-friendly resort will have a much smaller footprint than Universal’s resorts in Florida and California. In comparison, Universal Orlando covers 541 acres in Central Florida.
The smaller size adds to the park’s family-friendly nature. Families with young children often can’t (or don’t want to) do morning-to-night, weeklong theme park vacations. Rather, they normally spend half the day at the park and then head back to the hotel for a nap and a swim. This way, they can visit the parks daily without being zonked out.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the city of Frisco and Mayor Jeff Cheney as we work to bring this innovative, new concept to life designed specifically for a younger generation of Universal fans,” Page Thompson, president of new ventures for Universal Parks & Resorts, said in the Jan. 11 press release announcing the project to the public.
Universal’s focus on attracting families with younger kids to this new Texas park gives preference to a demographic somewhat excluded from the epic coasters and thrill rides that dominate at Universal’s other parks. Also, building in Texas geographically means this park sits squarely between its Florida and California park juggernauts.
Along with a year-round horror attraction coming to Las Vegas, this development continues the trend of Universal making big, bold moves to increase the attendance and visit duration at its existing parks by introducing fans to the brand in new ways.
An opening date and more details about the project will be revealed later.
From new lands to new hotels and attractions to entirely new theme parks, Universal’s movie-based resorts are poised to be superstars in the world of theme parks.