John Deere 8360R pulling a land leveler at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas

Universal Kids Resort May Not Be a Year-Round Park

Last week I reported that Universal Kids Resort will be a year-round park, closing for weather when appropriate. I found a conflicting report from a member of a Frisco forum who attended planning meetings. John McReynolds, SVP of External Affairs at Universal Orlando, told city residents that the park will likely be closed for a long period during winter months. He said that it’s more cost-effective to do maintenance during a longer break rather than each night as they do at the company’s larger parks. I’m sure we’ll get more clarity on this in the coming months.

I once again froze at the Universal Kids Resort construction site on Friday. The temps were warmer than they had been all week (we got down to single digits), but the wind was brutal. My hands could hardly feel my shutter button after just five minutes. But the cold wasn’t slowing down Sinacola’s construction workers that day as they operated in unison to excavate, water, and smooth the 97-acre lot.

Even with the impressive pace, I’m not sure the original estimate of going vertical in January will happen. North Texas has experienced some frigid temperatures and plenty of precipitation lately. I’m sure the weather has affected the timeline. I really hope I see signs of the next phase when I visit on Friday, but I’m doubtful.

What’s new this week?

Tons of earth moved in seven days

One week ago, I watched an excavator carve up the land on the other side of the gate pictured below. This week, all that ground is gone except for a ramp into the site. I’d bet they excavated 15-20 vertical feet.

Gap below the fence at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
Photo taken January 19, 2024.

This photo was taken a week ago while the gate in the above photo was open.

Excavator at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
Photo taken January 12, 2024.

That excavator is now a hundred yards away cleaning up a berm running through the site.

John Deere 870G excavator filling a Bell B45E dump truck at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas

A farm tractor is cleaning up

Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas

You’ll notice a new player on site — a John Deere farm tractor pulling a land leveler. I was surprised to see it applying finishing touches to the ground as dump trucks, dozers, and excavators worked so close by. It looks like that machine has done plenty of work, however. A large area at the site’s northwest corner looks ready for whatever comes next.

General contractor offices were added

General contractor offices at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas

I worked many construction jobs every summer during college. I’ve never seen that many offices on one project. I expect that area to become very busy once the land movers are done.

Universal Kids Resort Construction Gallery: January 19, 2024

Bell B45E dump truck and a John Deere 8360R pulling a land leveler at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
John Deere 8360R pulling a land leveler  at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
John Deere 8360R pulling a land leveler at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
Bell B45E dump truck at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas
John Deere 870G excavator filling a Bell B45E dump truck at Universal Kids Resort in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas
Universal Kids Resort construction site in Frisco, Texas

I took this photo on the way back to my car. The wheel tractor scraper is being used on the road expansion project, not in the park. But it shows just how close these machines are to a very nice neighborhood. I wonder if they’re wishing for a taller wall.

View of the Universal Kids Resort construction site from Cobb Hill neighborhood in Frisco, Texas

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