Frisco City Council Approves Universal Theme Park

Published by: Maria Guerrero/NBCDFW
Published: March 2023

The theme park, which would be built by the parent company of NBC 5, would be located off the Dallas North Tollway and Panther Creek Parkway.

The proposed park has been the subject of several public meetings and even some pushback from concerned residents including folks who live just down the street from the area.

The joint Frisco City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meeting included a presentation by Jonathan Hubbard, Frisco’s Planning and Zoning manager.

The theme park, he told council members, is designed for children ages 3 to 11. Residents say that is an older age group than they were originally told.

The theme park would have to comply with city noise and lighting ordinances, according to Hubbard. Operating hours vary but the attraction could open as early as 8 a.m. and close as late as 10 p.m.

Height limitations for the theme park and hotel also vary, and could require additional council approval, but could top 100 feet or 10 stories.

The city presented a traffic comparison for what the plot of land is already zoned for as mixed-used commercial residential versus the outdoor amusement theme park. According to the city, the theme park is expected to welcome 7,000 visitors on weekdays vs. 28,000 weekday visitors at high-rise buildings, restaurants and retail space. Weekend theme park visitors would double in number.

The city says H-E-B and Stonebriar Mall experience more weekday traffic than what Universal expects.

The current plan is for construction of the park to begin later this year in what is currently a vacant field on the east side of the Dallas North Tollway, immediately north of Panther Creek Property. The park is expected to open in 2026.

The proposed size of the project is 97 acres. That would put the park at just less than half the size of Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.

Universal Parks and Resorts, part of the parent company of NBC 5, has not released specific details about the park, but company officials id say it would have traditional offerings like rides, shows and food while also including meet and greets with characters from Universal properties, films and shows — like Minions or Shrek.

A rendering of the park that was shown when it was announced in January showed a lush border with a grand entrance that opens to a lagoon. From there, guests can head in a number of directions to visit themed areas of the park.