A North Texas town is getting the nation’s second Peppa Pig Theme Park

A North Texas town is getting the nation’s second Peppa Pig Theme Park
A North Texas town is getting the nation’s second Peppa Pig Theme Park

Months after revealing that Universal Parks & Resorts would open a kid-focused theme park in Frisco, another company has announced a family theme park in North Texas, this one featuring a famous cartoon pig.

Merlin Entertainments, the company behind the Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, said Tuesday it will open North America’s second Peppa Pig Theme Park in North Richland Hills in 2024.

The park will be on the 14-acre site of the former Mountasia Family Fun Center adjacent to the NRH20 Family Water Park along Boulevard 26, according to the city of North Richland Hills.

Merlin previously opened a Peppa Pig Theme Park in Cypress Gardens, Florida, last year, which includes attractions such as a family roller coaster, a balloon ride, an indoor cinema and a fairground with games. That park is located near the Legoland Florida Resort in Winter Haven.

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“Merlin’s platform and reach continues to grow in the United States as we build on the success of the world’s first stand-alone Peppa Pig Theme Park in Florida,” Scott O’Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments, said in a statement, adding that North Richland Hills was a “natural next step in our expansion and rollout” given the success of the Grapevine attractions.

Merlin has a licensing agreement with Hasbro to build Peppa Pig-themed attractions aimed at the pre-school market. It previously opened Peppa Pig World of Play, an indoor play center at the Grapevine Mills shopping center, where it also operates a Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium.

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The new standalone theme park will feature multiple rides, interactive attractions, themed playscapes and shows based on locations from the Peppa Pig brand, according to the company.

“North Richland Hills is known for its family-friendly amenities and activities, and we couldn’t be more excited to add Peppa Pig Theme Park to the mix. This will be a great addition to our community,” said North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino in a statement. “Peppa Pig Theme Park is conveniently located next to the NRH2O Family Water Park and will bring more energy to an area already known as a destination for family fun.

“I’m sure it will provide unforgettable entertainment that will keep families coming back again and again.”

The North Richland Hills City Council approved incentives for the project on Jan. 23, including sales and property tax refunds averaging 50% over a 10-year period, with extensions contingent on quality and maintenance, city communications director Mary Peters said in an email. The city also allows Merlin to use an adjacent 3 acres of city-owned property for theme park parking.

Mountasia, another small theme park, closed just before the pandemic when the property was showing some wear and tear and the previous ownership was unwilling to invest in it further, Trevino said in an interview.

At the time, Merlin first started talking about buying and redeveloping the property and was attracted to the site because zoning and infrastructure were already in place and because it was next to the water park, the mayor said. The pandemic put the project on hold.

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NRH20 opened in 1995 as one of the region’s first municipally owned water parks and has 240,000 to 250,000 guests each summer, Trevino said. The city hires about 400 people to work at the water park each summer and has “probably hired every kid that’s in this area” as a lifeguard or concession worker or in other roles, he said.

Merlin operates more than 140 attractions, 23 hotels and six holiday villages in 25 countries on four continents.

The new Peppa Pig attraction is located about 45 miles west of where Universal intends to build a new kid-friendly theme park. Unlike the Universal project, which has had some opposition from surrounding neighborhoods, Trevino said feedback for Peppa Pig has been positive.

The Peppa Pig theme park is a similar use for the property to the park that came before it and is in a commercial corridor with the water park along with shopping centers, restaurants and Tarrant County College’s northeast campus across the street.

“Everybody’s just excited about it,” Trevino said. “It will complement this area dramatically.”

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