Earlier this year, Universal announced they were trying out a brand new theme park concept and would be bringing a kids-focused park to Frisco, Texas. And now it looks like this new destination finally has a name: Universal Kids Resort!
According to a statement from the company, Universal Kids Resort will include a theme park featuring immersive themed lands that "celebrate Universal's iconic brand of entertainment, humor and fun – bringing to life its beloved characters and stories in ways that will wow the youngest theme park goers." This new resort concept will feature family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, unique merchandise, fun food and beverage venues and character meet and greets all aimed at families with young children.
A small park with timeless character-themed lands
The entire resort will be on just 100 acres of land, but interestingly it was revealed today that the actual theme park area will occupy just 32 acres. This is much smaller than Universal's other theme parks, as Universal Studios Florida is 117 acres and Islands of Adventure is 95 acres. However, with the smaller focus and appeal of the park, it looks like Universal is opting for a much smaller capacity at this initial experimental park, perhaps with an eye towards expansion if it proves popular.
Even though the park will be fairly compact, it will have over half a dozen new lands based on popular Universal, DreamWorks and Nickelodeon properties. Though no specific lands have been officially announced, a quick zoom in on the official concept art of the new park shows a SpongeBob character on the right side of the map where the blue land is, and a building that looks reminiscent of the world of Puss in Boots on the top left side in the orange.
Though no other characters or landmarks are visible, it's not a stretch to think that the green and pink lands will probably be Trolls and Shrek-themed, and Universal rumor expert Alicia Stella reports on X that the blue area near the top of the map will likely be a Jurassic Park area specifically themed to the Camp Cretaceous animated show, and there will also be lands based on Gabby's Dollhouse and Minions as well.
Attractions that are visible in the concept art include a kiddie coaster, a large swing, water rides, and outdoor play areas. Besides family-friendly attractions, Universal has confirmed that guests at this park will also be able to enjoy interactive shows, merchandise, food and beverage venues and of course character meet and greets.
A new hotel is being constructed to support this new park
Though this theme park won't have much in common with existing Universal properties, it will have a similar layout to other Universal resorts, that will include an on-site 300-room hotel for families to stay at. According to the concept art, this hotel looks like it will surround the entrance of the park, which could give on-site guests easier access (and likely early entry) to the park when it opens. The hotel will have themed rooms (likely tied to the different kid-focused lands of this park) but no specifics about what kinds of experiences guests will have in this hotel have been made available.
Though preliminary site work on Universal Kids Resort has already begun, actual construction is set to begin early in 2024, and the project is expected to take about two years to complete making a 2026 opening all but assured. Though this new property will be radically different from any other Universal-owned theme park, it will be interesting to see not only how it develops but if it succeeds in drawing a whole new demographic to a different part of the US for a uniquely kid-focused experience.