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Universal announces plan to construct two new parks, including year-round horror experience in Vegas
Universal Parks & Resorts is coming for the American Southwest!
The first is headed for Las Vegas and will be like the annual Halloween Horror Nights at the parks in Orlando and Hollywood...except all year round! “Las Vegas is an entertainment destination unlike any other — and we are thrilled to welcome Universal to our city,” City of Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman, said in a statement. “The Universal experience will bring exactly the kind of high-quality, exciting entertainment our city, our visitors and our residents want.”
“Las Vegas is a vibrant community and increasingly known internationally for the creative arts experiences that we offer,” echoed City of Las Vegas Councilwoman, Olivia Diaz. “Universal’s decision to anchor their next innovative creation in the city is exciting news for my residents and visitors alike. The job opportunities will be invaluable for our community, especially for those interested in the entertainment industry.”
Coming to Sin City's AREA15 entertainment district at an unspecified date, this spine-tingling park is set to draw on the library of classic Universal Monsters — Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and the Wolf Man — and offer up "modern horror and suspense stories through collaborations with such high-profile filmmakers as Jason Blum, James Wan, and Jordan Peele," states the release.
It also promises a "continuously updated experience" with to-be-announced seasonal events and exclusive merchandise. During the day, visitors can munch on the usual food and drinks, but once the sun goes down, they'll have access to a collection of nocturnal bars and eateries.
“Universal is known for our ability to deliver original, highly-themed and terrifying horror entertainment experiences for millions of fans every year,” said Thompson. “We are excited to give our global fanbase yet another way to get scared and have fun with fear in the heart of Las Vegas, the perfect place for this type of unique concept.”
“AREA15 curates a constellation of best-in-class experiences. Universal’s never-been-done-before concept will be a perfect fit because our guests know they can expect fresh, exciting entertainment at AREA15," continued Winston Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, AREA15. “We are enormously gratified to have an extraordinary company like Universal as our partner as we embark on the next phase of growth for AREA15.”
The second park is slated to live in the North Texas town of Frisco and will appeal to families with young children. There aren't too many details available at this time, although it's been confirmed that the Texas venture will be smaller in comparison to the company's famous attractions found in Orlando and Hollywood, while still delivering the same quality of rides, shows, character meet-and-greets, and hotel accommodations. In terms of branded lands found within the park itself, the official release teases "a completely different look, feel, and scale than Universal’s existing parks and will appeal to a new audience for the brand."
“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,” Page Thompson, President, New Ventures, Universal Parks & Resorts, said 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 U.S. and has been recognized as a great place to plant professional roots and raise a family,” added Cheney. “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."
Universal Studios Orlando recently opened its first-ever escape room with two experiences based on the Jurassic World and Back to the Future film franchises. Participants can travel to the dinosaur-cloning labs of Isla Nublar or else solve clues with Doc Brown throughout history. Over on the West Coast, Universal Studios Hollywood is preparing itself for the grand opening of Super Nintendo World next month (its Florida counterpart won't be ready until 2025). SYFY WIRE recently enjoyed an advance visit to the gaming-themed park and spoke with one of its masterminds, Jon Corfino (VP of Universal Creative).
"There’s engagement and interactivity for everybody. There are rewards for everybody," he explained. "We’re adept at putting you inside movie experiences, but this is unique because this is the game. Once you put this [band] on and explore, there’s no order that you're supposed to do anything. There’s no rule about where you go first. If you see something interesting, go there. And everything is connected. For example, if you go meet Mario and Luigi, they’re going to know what your score is. It’s total immersion."
Want to explore Universal's rich catalog of entertainment properties for yourself? Head over to Peacock for Jurassic World Dominion, Nope, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Halloween Ends, Shrek, The Fast and the Furious, and more.