Start your engines: New Arizona theme park to include Hot Wheels roller coaster

Jun 14, 2021

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Glendale, Arizona, will soon feature a Mattel-themed amusement park with rides based on some of the popular children’s brands for which the toymaker is best known.

Perhaps the most noteworthy are Hot Wheels, which will have its own roller coaster at the park, and Thomas & Friends, on which an indoor children’s theme park will be based, complete with an electric battery-powered Thomas the Tank Engine passenger train ride.

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In addition to the Mattel attractions, plans include an 11-acre lagoon that’s up to 10 feet deep and surrounded by white sand beaches. Within the lagoon, seven islands will offer retail and dining venues; a 4-D theater; office space; more than 600 hotel rooms; and Aerophile’s Aerobar, a 130-foot-tall watering hole with sweeping views.

Local developer ECL Glendale, LLC, will head the project, dubbed Crystal Lagoons Island Resort. It will be built in the city’s Westgate entertainment district.

“We’re excited for this project on many fronts, but two really stand out,” said Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps in a statement. “Not only will this be a great example of experiential retail, which is the only area of growth in brick and mortar development over the past 10 years, but this project further cements Westgate as the largest sports and entertainment district in Arizona.”

“An amenity of this magnitude adds to Westgate’s mega event appeal and will generate significant revenue to support residents, businesses and the state as a whole,” added Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.

Located 30 minutes west of Phoenix, Glendale already boasts more than a dozen hotels and resorts, a drive-in movie theater and plenty of opportunities for antiquing.

It is also home to the Arizona Cardinals NFL team. Crystal Lagoons Island Resort’s construction, which was first proposed in 2019, is slated for completion in 2022, prior to the city’s hosting of the 2023 Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium, where the Cardinals play their regular-season home games.

After a year of shutdowns and restrictions, theme parks are back and booming. Check out our coverage on the latest mask rules, the hottest new rides and attractions and upcoming expansions at Disneyland and Universal for more information.

Featured screenshot courtesy of the City of Glendale.

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