Disney World rival Universal unveils another new theme park

Walt Disney Co.’s  (DIS) – Get Free Report top theme park rival Universal Studios unveiled plans for its new Epic Universe theme park in August 2019, which were stalled by the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Universal in March 2021 restarted its construction plans for the new theme park and has revealed details about the project as it develops.

Epic Universe theme park, Universal Orlando Resort’s third gate, is set for opening in summer 2025. Universal has said that the theme park is developing themed lands, including Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, Super Nintendo World, Universal Classic Monsters and How to Train Your Dragon.

Related: Disney rival unveils world’s tallest, fastest theme park ride

When Universal’s new Florida theme park opens, it will provide added competition for Disney World’s four parks and SeaWorld  (SEAS) – Get Free Report in Orlando. Universal Studios is not only locked into a theme park battle in Florida, but it also competes in California with Disney, Six Flags Entertainment  (SIX) – Get Free Report and Cedar Fair  (FUN) – Get Free Report theme parks. It’s now beginning a rivalry with theme parks in North Texas.

Theme park rivalry heats up in North Texas

Merlin Entertainments in March 2023 said it teamed with toymaker Hasbro  (HAS) – Get Free Report to develop America’s second Peppa Pig Theme Park in North Richland Hills, Texas, which is scheduled to open in 2024. Merlin already operates the country’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park in Winter Haven, Fla. Merlin also operates Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, Texas.

Merlin Entertainments will soon have some competition in North Texas as Universal Studios is developing a new theme park, which is likely to open in the next couple of years.

Comcast’s  (CMCSA) – Get Free Report Universal Destinations & Experiences in January 2023 proposed a one-of-a-kind theme park designed to inspire fun for families with young children, according to a statement. The theme park will be designed to be more intimate and engaging for younger audiences and sized for a regional audience. 

An artist’s conceptual rendering of Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas.

Universal Studios

97-acre theme park includes adjacent hotel

The new venue will include family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, character meet and greets, unique merchandise and fun food and beverage venues on a 97-acre site in Frisco, Texas. The theme park also plans to have an adjacent 300-room themed hotel and room for expansion. The area is intended to have a completely different look, feel, and scale than Universal’s existing parks and will appeal to a new audience for the brand.

The theme park will be located east of Dallas North Tollway and north of Panther Creek Parkway in the North Texas community of Frisco.

Universal on Dec. 1 introduced its first-ever theme park designed specifically for families of young children as Universal Kids Resort, bringing the company’s innovative style of storytelling to a new, younger audience. The theme park will include immersive themed lands celebrating Universal’s brand of entertainment, humor and fun, bringing to life its popular characters and stories in ways that will wow the youngest theme park guests, according to a statement.

The Frisco City Council in March approved Universal’s special use permit for the theme park, and the company broke ground on the project in November. The project is expected to create thousands of jobs, including 2,500 new construction jobs.

Universal, however, has not revealed when the project is expected to be completed or when Universal Kids Resort will open. The company said it will reveal more details over time with latest developments posted on the Universal Destinations & Experiences website.

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