Well, the big theme park news keeps coming. One day after Disney announced the return of Happily Ever After, new park pass and resort changes, and the Tron Lightcycle/Run opening date, Universal just announced its plans to open smaller, focused theme parks in new outposts—Frisco, and Las Vegas.
According to Bloomberg, Universal is focusing on a family-friendly destination for younger children. It will be built on a plot in Frisco, Texas, just outside Dallas. “It will include rides, shows and a hotel, as well as character meet and greets tied to the company’s library of film and TV properties, which include Minions and Shrek.”
Over in the desert, Universal will be opening a year-round horror-themed destination. It will be the anchor tenant of a twenty acre expansion of Area15, an entertainment district just off the Las Vegas Strip. With the massive success of its Halloween Horror Nights in both Orlando and Hollywood, Universal is right to create a place where its #spookyseason every day of the year.
As of now, both plans are in their early stages, and no opening dates or budgets are available. This is a curious development, especially considering Universal’s hotly anticipated Epic Universe, a new Orlando-based theme park opening in 2025.
What does this mean for the Orlando-area theme parks? Will this dilute the brand of Orlando as the amusement capital? Will The Walt Disney Company make a similar move?