The Frisco City Council approved a special use permit on Tuesday, clearing the way for Universal to move forward with its planned theme park at Panther Creek Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway.
Planning and regulation approved the matter unanimously, but the city council approved the SUP by a 4-2 vote. One councilor asked that the matter be tabled. The city announced that Universal had to open by June 2026 as part of a $12.7 million incentive package spanning a 10-year period.
“Dog and pony show”
Numerous residents took the floor during the meeting, the vast majority of whom were against the plan.
In particular, Frisco business owner John Pavle called the meeting a “dog and pony show,” saying the council is “condescending” and it’s an “insult to his intelligence” when city officials say this is a small project.
“The size of the city we’re in and the process this has gone through is embarrassing … this big project that’s been shoved down our throats,” Pavle said.
Two audience members asked that the town board vote on the theme park to continue to address residents’ concerns and provide more information to the town.
“Please give us time,” Cobb Hill resident Lance Taylor said.
Frisco resident Emily Rottenberg also asked for the issue to be brought forward, noting that 95 of the 97 respondents opposed the project on the city’s SUP project form.
Former City Council member and Frisco ISD board member Buddy Minett was one of the few voices in support of the theme park. He called it “a great project for this place”
A unique amusement park
Universal and the city announced in January that Frisco will be home to a unique theme park specifically designed for families and young children.
A release from the city says the park will feature themed areas, Universal’s branding and characters in “ways that will impress even the youngest theme park-goers.”
The park is proposed for a 97-acre site of the Fields development along the Dallas North Tollway and Panther Creek Parkway. Universal executives say the theme park will be small, about half the size of Six Flags Over Texas. The park will be only a quarter the size of Universal’s parks in Orlando and Los Angeles, although Universal has also proposed plans for an adjacent themed hotel and rooms for expansion.