GLENDALE, AZ — The developers behind Crystal Lagoons, Island Resort — a large entertainment district with a 10-acre lagoon, hotels, and restaurants proposed in Glendale — are partnering with Mattel, Inc. to open an adventure park with a Hot Wheels-themed roller coaster, indoor go-karts, and a Thomas & Friends indoor theme park, among other attractions.
Developers made the announcement Thursday during a ceremonial groundbreaking event in Glendale.
The Mattel Adventure Park will be part of Crystal Lagoons, Island Resort, the 48-acre entertainment district first announced in 2020 and touted to have world-class hotels, restaurants, a concert venue, a beach, a “Fly” theater, and a 4-D theater.
It will be located on the southwest corner of 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way, near the Loop 101, and south of Westgate Entertainment District, Gila River Arena, and State Farm Stadium.
The goal is to open in late 2022 before State Farm Stadium hosts Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2023.
“We are delighted for Glendale to be the flagship location for this resort that will bring technology and globally established partners to create a one-of-a-kind environment,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said in a prepared statement.
“The Crystal Lagoons and the Mattel themed Adventure Park will complement our thriving sports and entertainment district and support our goal of being a premier destination for visitors from across the globe and for Glendale residents,” his statement said.
The theme park is also said to have the first life-sized and electric battery-powered “Thomas The Tank Engine” passenger train. Other immersive experiences are also planned, developers said.
Additional announcements regarding hotels, restaurants, and other partnerships with entertainment brands would be made in the “coming weeks,” said Phelps.
“Mattel shares our vision and sets the platinum standard for the concept of play. We are thrilled to create the country’s first Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale,” said Mark Cornell, president of attractions & entertainment for Crystal Lagoons Island Resort, in a prepared statement.
MORE ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPMENTS PROPOSED IN ARIZONA
Crystal Lagoons is also one of many large entertainment developments that have been proposed in recent years in Arizona, though none of them are to the scale of Six Flags, Disneyland, or Sea World. All of them are in various stages of development.
Dreamport Villages: First proposed in 2016, the developers behind Dreamport Villages envisioned a mega theme park and resort destination in Casa Grande — located between Phoenix and Tucson — with a water park, extreme sports park, Disneyland-style hotels and resorts, entertainment venues, and more. Since then, few, if any, announcements have been made about the project. A developer did tell ABC15 recently that it was moving forward, but was delayed, partly due to the pandemic.
The Strand: The Strand @ Gilbert was proposed as a 25-acre skills-based water park with surf lagoons, swim areas, and beaches. It would be part of Gilbert’s Regional Park, which is home to a play structure, an events area, and several sports courts and fields. It was announced in 2019, expected to break ground in 2020, and at last check, expected to break ground in 2021. No further announcements have been made.
Cannon Beach/Revel Surf: Revel Surf is a three-acre planned surf lagoon in Mesa, part of a larger entertainment complex, called Cannon Beach. The developers said the lagoon would create artificial pro-level waves for surf competitions, but would also be open to beginner surfers. Hotels, restaurants, and retail stores are also part of the vision. A groundbreaking ceremony was held early in 2021.
PHX Surf Park: Located in Maricopa, which is about 30 minutes south of Phoenix, a developer has proposed building a 71-acre water park with two wave pools, a lazy river, a bike track, restaurants and stores, an RV park, and other amenities, according to conceptual renderings. This development is still in its early stages. It’s unclear when, if at all, it could come to fruition.
Santan Adventure Park: This was not proposed as a major theme park or a theme park in general. Santan Adventure Park was proposed — and approved — as a small family entertainment center with go-karts, mini-golf, and a splash pad. A second phase has also been proposed, which could include other attractions, but those have not been announced. While approved by the Town of Gilbert, nearby residents have appealed the approval. The timeline is currently unclear.
Unnamed theme park in northern Arizona: A brokerage firm in Arizona recently announced the potential sale of 500 acres of land in northern Arizona, near Williams, which is slated for home development. Of those 500 acres, 85 acres are being reserved for the potential building of a theme park attraction described conceptually as a “western-themed story park.” A potential timeline wasn’t known. The land sale was expected to go through by the end of the year.