A fresh and distinctive theme park deeply rooted in the history of the Lone Star State is slated to open in Houston in 2026.
TexasLand USA is the brainchild of Lizzy McGee, a sixth-generation Texan as well as a Princeton and Stanford graduate.
Using her expertise acquired while working in theme park strategy for Disney and Madrid-based Parques Reunidos, McGee paired with fellow Princeton alum Gaby Joseph to launch a Kickstarter campaign and raise funds to bring her dream to fruition.
The Kickstarter had raised nearly $82,000 as of August 1 — much more than the $71,212 goal.
The next step is commissioning a demand study to test McGee’s concept.
Afterward, McGee will use the results to gain investors’ confidence and secure the $250 million she estimates is needed for the park.
McGee is sure TexasLand USA will generate interest in the Lone Star State and beyond.
“Texas has a rich history unexplored by popular entertainment, and its families deserve their own place to experience that history brought to life,” she said, according to The Texan.
To integrate authentic Texan experiences, the park also will have different pavilions inspired by various Texan towns from Austin to Fort Worth.
Famous local landmarks and customs will be integrated into each pavilion to give them a very clear sense of place, McGee explained to Texas Monthly.
Some of the attractions she has already envisioned for the park are inspired by Texas’ rich history and lore.
For instance, the TexasLand map names attractions like Apollo 11 Mission Control, Bowie’s Lost Silver Mine, Prada Marfa, Battle of the Alamo, and Beyond the Gulf: Bandits on the High Seas.
Texas, especially DFW, is a prime target for new theme parks.
For instance, a $550 million project will open a Universal Studios theme park in Frisco in 2027, as covered in The Dallas Express.
Moreover, a 14-acre Peppa Pig Theme Park just broke ground in North Richland Hills.
For McGee, Houston is an ideal place to build TexasLand, not only for its unique absence of land zoning laws but for being the fourth most populous city in the country.
“I saw how people in L.A. and Southern California treated Disneyland, like it was in their backyard. They go on a random Tuesday afternoon, or they have their high school grad night there. … We should have something like this in our backyard,” McGee told Texas Monthly.
McGee’s TexasLand might also provide a cheaper alternative to Walt Disney World in Florida, which recently logged a record low in visitors this summer, as previously covered in The Dallas Express.
While McGee’s concept taps into Texan pride, another amusement park planned in Oklahoma attempts to create a similar experience tied to an Americana theme.
As reported by The Dallas Express, the $2 billion American Heartland Theme Park and Resort is set to go up on a 1,000-acre lot just west of historic Route 66.