The official name has been announced for the family-friendly theme park being built now in Frisco, Texas. Universal Kids Resort finally broke ground just last month, and permits and plans seem to have been finalized, so vertical construction can begin next year.
Let’s dig into the official information that was released, as well as dissect the updated concept art and see how it lines up with new rumors for the upcoming Universal Kids theme park.See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
Being built now on a 97-acre section of land in Frisco, Texas, Universal first announced the project back in January of 2023.
While construction has been ongoing for nearby roadwork, which is an important element of this project, last month saw the first ground work taking place within the theme park property itself. Now that ground has been broken, Universal says that vertical construction is set to begin next year.
On December 1, 2023, the official name was announced: “Universal Kids Resort.”
The trademark application for this term was only posted publicly the night before the official announcement.
As part of the announcement, the official logo was revealed, as well as an updated version of the theme park’s concept art.
The updated concept art better matches the most recent set plans approved by the county than the original art. This new art is likely more accurate to what will actually be built, whereas the early art was probably still blue sky and contained more vague concepts.
The company fell short of officially announcing what properties each of lands for this family-friendly park will be based on, only saying it will “feature family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, unique merchandise, fun food and beverage venues and character meet and greets.”
Keeping in mind that this new theme park is intended specifically for families with young children, here are the latest rumors for what the lands and areas of the park will be based on.
Working around the park counter-clockwise, and starting near the entrance, the first area is a land rumored to be based on SpongeBob SquarePants. This Bikini Bottom inspired area features underwater and beach theming. And if you look closely, you can see what is clearly the Krusty Krab in the art, as well as a pineapple house-shaped entry into one of the buildings.
The next area, seen at the top-right corner of the concept art, is expected to be a land based on the Jurassic Park or Jurassic World series. While it has been rumored that the land would be based directly on the Camp Cretaceous streaming series, it’s possible the company may keep the land purposely vague to allow it to remain more timeless.
As with the kid-centric play areas at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Beijing, I expect this land to be named Camp Jurassic. What appears to be dinosaur enclosures can be seen in the art, for possible dinosaur meet and greets.
Continuing around the map to the left, the next section appears to be a split-land based on locations from both Shrek and Puss in Boots. The Shrek-themed section includes both swamp areas and Far Far Away areas. What appear to be Shrek and Fiona’s ogre children can be seen on a sign in the swamp section and what could be an onion-carriage themed ride can be seen near Far Far Away.
On the Puss in Boots side, what appears to be Spanish-style architecture as seen in the spin-off films and streaming series, can be seen throughout the area.
The last of the four larger lands for Universal Kids Resort is expected to be based on the DreamWorks’ Trolls franchise. The back of Trolls-shaped cut-outs can be even seen in the art.
This area features what could be an iteration of the Trollercoaster from the upcoming DreamWorks land at Universal Studios Florida.
Continuing around, a small section near the park’s entrance has been rumored to be set aside for Gabby’s Dollhouse. This popular television series may be featured in this small space, but does not appear to be getting a whole land. This space could then be rethemed and reused later for more popular properties in the future.
Zooming out, one last area can be seen in the very center of the park, which will be just for the Minions. This area features the yellow raft water ride which passes by all areas of the park.
The Minions area appears to also contain a flat ride of its own and character meet and greets. In fact, you can zoom into the art and see some wandering Minions.
At the very back of the park we can see that one of the pathways dead ends. This area is expected to be saved for future theme park expansion, and is big enough to add an entirely new land to the park. A smaller expansion plot may be located between SpongeBob and Camp Jurassic.
Plans also show a large expansion space located to the left of the theme park area itself, and outside the view of the concept art. Some have theorized that this area could be used as a small water park, which could be sold later as an add-on to your theme park ticket. So far though, this theory has not been addressed by the company or planning officials.
The resort will open with an on-site hotel. Universal has confirmed that the hotel will have 300 rooms. This aligns with the latest permits, which have been updated to say there must be at least 300 parking spaces, one for each hotel room.
The updated concept art shows the hotel, which is positioned near the entrance to the theme park itself, as having five-stories. This matches what the mayor of Frisco said earlier this year. However, permits for the land say they are allowed up to 10 stories of construction for this particular structure.
Planning officials spoke earlier this year about the hotel possibly being expanded to 600 rooms total in the future, but that was not mentioned during the recent announcement.
What was announced on December 1st, is that the road leading into the park will be named Universal Parkway.
An opening date for this new kid-centric theme park was not revealed during the recent announcement, but planning officials had previously said that they expect the resort to be ready by June of 2026.
Universal has set up a website at the url, universalkidsresort.com, but so far it only includes a small amount of information and a link for upcoming job opportunities, in case anyone within the nearby area is interested in applying to work at the new resort once it is ready.
Universal Kids Resort here in Frisco, along with the Universal Horror Unleashed year-round haunt in Las Vegas, may only be the first such projects as part of new initiatives from Universal Destinations and Experiences. Additional iterations of these concepts may someday be built across the country, and even around the world.
That’s all for now, but be sure to subscribe to the news feed to follow along with the development and construction of this new family-friendly theme park, as well as other new projects like the year-round haunt attraction in Las Vegas, the new Epic Universe theme park in Orlando, and more. See the video version of this story for additional visuals.
Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official Images: Universal Destinations & Experiences | Permit Images: friscotexas.gov & collincad.org | Graphics: Alicia Stella | Other images as captioned