Amusement park lovers react as Universal Studios announces new theme park in Texas

Universal Studios has announced the location for its next theme park: Frisco, Texas.

On Wednesday, Universal Parks and Resorts revealed its plans for a family-friendly theme park on 97 acres of land outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Much like the Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando, Florida, and Hollywood, California, the company’s newest park will also pay homage to Universal’s brand of movies and entertainment. However, the smaller-sized theme park will be specifically for families with young children.

The announcement was instantly met with praise from amusement park lovers, although some were simply surprised by the theme park’s specific – and somewhat random – location of Frisco, Texas.

“As a resident of North Texas, I’m excited about this!!!” one person tweeted.

“As someone who lives very close to here, I’m beyond excited!!” another user tweeted.

“IN MY HOMETOWN?!” said one shocked user.

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Others expressed their excitement to visit the family-friendly theme park without needing to travel halfway across the country.

“I’ve always been interested in smaller themed experiences spreading to areas outside CA and FL, so super excited for this!” one user wrote.

“Very into this!!! I only occasionally went to theme parks growing up but spent every year at Wisconsin Dells, since it was only a few hours away,” said someone else. “Having projects like these in locations that serve families and guests beyond Orlando and Southern California is a win!”

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Although many people were confused by the theme park’s location, Universal Parks and Resorts explained their decision to build its newest park in North Texas was due to the city’s “growing popularity” within the southwestern region of the country.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the city of Frisco and Mayor Cheney as we work to bring this innovative, new concept to life designed specifically for a younger generation of Universal fans,” said Page Thompson, the President of New Ventures at Universal Parks and Resorts, in a statement. “We think North Texas is the perfect place to launch this unique park for families given its growing popularity within this part of the country.”

“Frisco is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and has been recognised as a great place to plant professional roots and raise a family,” added Jeff Cheney, the city’s mayor. “This new Universal concept will continue to enhance our tax base, expand employment opportunities and bring even more fun to Frisco benefiting our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Despite the excitement, some people pointed out how Texas has been at the centre of an ongoing border crisis as Texas lawmakers continue to make legislation that strips away abortion protections.

“How about we choose a state that isn’t trying to strip away rights from people,” one person tweeted in response to the announcement. “Disney better stay awayyyy. I apologise to my texan friends for saying this :(“

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This week, President Joe Biden made his first visit to the US-Mexico border, as thousands of migrants from Central and South America hope to seek asylum in the US each month. Meanwhile, state-wide abortion rights in Texas continue to be threatened by conservative lawmakers in the wake of the overturning of Roe v Wade.