New Universal Theme Park finds home in Frisco

Shreya Srivathsan and Jacob Turner

On Jan. 11, Universal Parks and Resorts announced that a new theme park will be developing in Frisco. City Council is expecting to decide on whether or not to officially approve the park on Feb. 2. 

Proposed rendering of what the theme park is intended to look like. (Universal Studios)

“Over the next few weeks I will continue to provide ongoing information regarding the Universal Studios proposal,” Frisco mayor Jeff Cheney posted on his official mayor Facebook page

Current zoning would generate close to 30 thousand daily trips, all during peak traffic times. Universal will generate roughly 7,600 scattered throughout the day during non-peak times, according to the data provided below by the City of Frisco. 

(Mayor Jeff Cheney & The City of Frisco)

The surrounding community has growing concerns about traffic within the area and cost increases with the high population growth the community has been experiencing. 

The Frisco-based park is intended for younger children and features play areas, water park, themed spaces, games, character interactions, food courts, and hotels.

Frisco Enterprise

Universal Studios chose Frisco Texas for its growing population and business venture opportunities. 

Frisco ISD in itself currently enrolls more than 67,000 students which includes 12 high schools, 17 middle schools, and 43 elementary schools. This isn’t even counting children who are Frisco residents, but goes to Prosper or McKinney ISD. 

During a meeting last Tuesday, the community voiced concerns about traffic and increased crime rate. In a report by WFAA, journalist Ryan Osborn reveals that Mayor Cheney and other city council members reported that the kids park isn’t expecting any statistically significant changes in crime rate or traffic. 

The mayor commented and had mentioned that, “H-E-B brought more of a traffic issue.” 

Eric Johnson, The Dallas mayor is willing to take on the project as many Frisco continue to voice against the idea of opening the park in Frisco. 

Universal Parks isn’t the only business looking to come to Frisco. More restaurants, franchises, and shopping complexes are coming to the city.

“Many companies and organizations are finding their new home in Frisco,” a City Council Representative said, who chose to remain unnamed.  

Just last week, McAfee Crop. (cybersecurity company) opened its regional headquarters in Frisco, with NRA to follow with its headquarters. The new Frisco public library is to open after construction delays in February.

More information on what the park has in store is to be released by Universal. 

“I’m very excited for this new part of our community,” senior Yasmin Garada said. “[The park] is going to bring our community together, but I’m kind of upset because I’ll be going to college soon and this park is only really meant for younger kids. I’m excited to take [my younger sister] Noura to the park when it opens up and I’m back in town.”

Although it is mainly for kids, older residents find it nice to have something that is family friendly.

“I’ve never been to Universal, so to have it right by my own house is crazy.” ”

— Yasmin Garada

“I’ve never been to Universal, so to have it right by my own house is crazy,” Garada said. “I sometimes hang out with my friends at Stonebriar, Legacy, or local parks so It’ll be good for us to have something new in the area,” Garada said. 

Community members continue to voice mixed opinions as the City is yet to make a finalized decision.

 “It’s definitely going to be negative traffic,” human geography teacher Elise Bruns said. “I don’t think we have what we need to support it at this time. However, it’s commercial property–that’s capitalism. We’ll see how it goes.” 

Since the park is mainly for small children, residents outside the demographic find it hard to see benefits of the park.

“Are small children the only people in Frisco?” Bruns said. “I think not, as a 34-year-old unmarried woman without children. [I] would very much like to go to a normal theme park. I think we’re trying to capitalize on the idea of a young family first in Frisco.”

The city council assures a consideration of both sides in the issue.

“Frisco is doing what it can to better help our community, we would not move forward if there are extreme concerns that residents should be cautious of,” a representative from the Mayor’s office said, who chose to remain unnamed. “On behalf of the mayor, we are looking forward to be in partnership with Universal Parks.”

The mayor has released a statement that this park will be unlike Six Flags or the theme park established in Orlando.

“I think it has a better chance. I personally like Universal more than Six Flags,” senior Pranita Nagavishnu said

“This is going to be a first-of-its-kind, catered towards kids under 12 years old, much smaller in scope and scale,” Cheney said on Inside Texas Politics.

“It’s more of a regional destination that, first and foremost, will be great for the families here in Frisco to create lasting memories.” ”

— Jeff Cheney

The proposed region for this park will be located on a 97 acre land near Dallas North Tollway and Panther Creek Parkway.

“Frisco has a lot more coming it’s way, it’s a reason to celebrate and make the most out of it,” a representative from the Mayor’s office said