Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Universal Studios ... Texas?

Universal Studios Parks and Resorts just dropped a very interesting and surprising piece of news today.  Apparently, the company will be building a regional, family theme park in Frisco, Texas.  They have acquired around 100 acres to build the theme park and hotel.  The park will be east of the Dallas North Tollway and North of Panther Creek Parkway.  The park is expected to focus on the company's Dreamworks properties - Trolls, Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic Park Camp Cretaceous, etc.

This marks the beginning of Universal's regional entertainment offerings.  They also announced a year round haunt attraction space in Las Vegas, spinning out of their popular annual Halloween Horror Nights.  This is a space that expands them out of competition with the destination parks and entertainment like Disney, but also into competition with the Six Flags corporation and other smaller local amusement parks. Disney has tried to enter regional entertainment before, but never to this degree.  Their attempts focused more on a Dave and Busters arcade or VR like approach with DisneyQuest and the ESPNZone, as opposed to the full amusement park offering described here.

This will definitely be something to watch.  While we will still be several years out from park opening, Universal doesn't often drag their feet.  Their third park in Florida will be completed in 2025 and is coming along well at this point.  I would expect to see construction soon in this area, or at least some signs of progress (dirt moving, site prep, etc.)

Hopefully this marks the start of a great expansion in this regional space.  I'd love to see Disney and have even a few suggestions for them if they'd like to take a look.  

Interesting times, for sure.

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