Early this past January it was announced that Universal would be building a brand-new theme park in Frisco, Texas. While we’re all psyched over here in Houston for the coming park, it’s possible that we’ll be able to get a theme park of a different sort much closer to home.
Lizzy McGee is a resident Houstonian, Stanford Graduate School of Business grad, and sixth-generation Texan. She is also the mind behind TexasLand – a quality, affordable, and Texas-themed amusement park that she hopes to build in Houston.
Rather than busting the bank on rides, McGee plans for the park to be more story-driven – a concept akin to Dollywood or one that mirrors the initial vision that Walt Disney had for his first theme park filled with characters or lore rather than movie stars.
McGee imagines such attractions as an “underground train through Bowie’s Lost Silver Mine“, “venturing beyond the Gulf in Bandits of the High Seas“, “Apollo 11 Mission Control,” as well as regular rodeos, barbecue concessions, Ranch Water handy, and more.
As a former Disney strategist and market analyst, McGee considers Houston an ideal location for such a park:
“I realized that Texas broadly, and Houston specifically, has all the metrics that my team look[ed] for: a massive and burgeoning population, a business-friendly environment, and, from the content side of things, a unique identity,” McGee told Texas Monthly.
As to the fate of Houston’s Astroworld park and how it relates to the viability of theme parks in Houston, McGee contends that the park’s closure was not because it wasn’t profitable but rather that Six Flags’ chose to sell the land – its most valuable – that housed the park.
Recently McGee and her team – Stanford classmates, Nick Blackburn and James Underwood – launched a Kickstarter campaign, where her and her team were able to raise over $80,000. With this, McGee plans to put toward site-selection professional demand study, a process commonplace in the practices of the theme park titans Universal and Disney when planning a park.
“Houston’s the fourth-largest city in the U.S. We should have something like this in our backyard.”
According to Texas Monthly, if everything – absolutely everything – goes smoothly, the park is looking at a summer 2026 grand opening. Stay tuned for more details!