$2 billion theme park, resort proposed for Grand Lake area
Oklahoma state and local officials joined American Heartland leadership to announce American Heartland Theme Park and Resort, a more than $2 billion entertainment destination development in northeast Oklahoma, just west of Grand Lake on Route 66.
The American Heartland Theme Park and Resort development will be built in phases starting with a large-scale RV park with cabins scheduled to open phase one in spring 2025 and a "world-class" theme park and resort scheduled to open in 2026.
“We are thrilled to make Oklahoma the home of American Heartland Theme Park and Resort,” American Heartland CEO Larry Wilhite said. “At the crossroads of the heartland, Oklahoma is an attractive location for a family entertainment destination. The state’s business-friendly approach and innovative partnership efforts have helped make this possible. We look forward to bringing unforgettable generational experiences to Oklahoma.”
American Heartland will be a 1,000-acre development with a 125-acre theme park, which is comparable to the size of Magic Kingdom Theme Park and Disneyland Park. The park will feature an Americana-themed environment with a variety of entertaining rides, live shows, family attractions, waterways as well as restaurant-quality food and beverage offerings.
“Oklahoma is excited to welcome American Heartland Theme Park and Resort,” Oklahoma State Rep. Rusty Cornwell said. “Located on historic Route 66 just west of Grand Lake, the development will attract visitors from around the world to experience and celebrate the rich cultures and hometown values America has to offer.”
The adjacent 320-acre Three Ponies RV Park and Campground, designed by Oklahoma architects ADG Blatt, will be the largest campground in the central U.S. with 750 RV spaces and 300 cabins plus amenities.
“There’s no better place to represent the heart of America than northeast Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma State Sen. Micheal Bergstrom. “This $2 billion investment in our state will create more than 4,000 jobs and introduce a new category of entertainment to the region, and its long-term economic impact will be transformative. Tourism is already one of Oklahoma’s top industries and this project will elevate our state even further. Since tourism is a doorway to economic development, American Heartland Theme Park and Resort will draw new businesses not only to the surrounding area but also throughout the region and state.”
The developer is American Heartland whose leadership has deep Oklahoma roots. American Heartland is an affiliate of Mansion Entertainment Group, LLC, Branson’s leading performing arts, animation and studio brand.
Led by Executive Producer Steve Hedrick, the design team is made up of the world’s best theme park designers including 20+ former Disney Parks builders and Walt Disney Imagineers. Design firms include THG, FORREC and Cuningham, whose portfolios feature the world’s foremost theme park brands including Six Flags, Disney Parks and Universal Studios.
“We are pleased that American Heartland Theme Park and Resort has taken the first step and chosen Oklahoma to build a world-class entertainment destination,” said Hopper Smith, interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “We look forward to assisting with this project as it develops.”
American Heartland Theme Park and Resort is a family-friendly park promising timeless fun and boundless adventure. The 125-acre theme park will feature a collection of six distinctly American lands to welcome guests on a journey through the best of the American story. Families will find thrilling rides and heartwarming shows as they discover Great Plains, Bayou Bay, Big Timber Falls, Stony Point Harbor, Liberty Village and Electropolis.
“American Heartland will be a place families can come together to create lasting memories, experience joy, laughter, imagination and wonder,” American Heartland Founder and Chief Creative Officer Gene Bicknell said. “There is so much to celebrate about our country: its landscapes, its cultures and most importantly, its people. No matter where you’re from, you’ll feel right at home at American Heartland.”
The development will also include a top-tier 300-room hotel and modern indoor water park.
“American Heartland will be an anchor tourist destination on Route 66 set to attract more than two million out-of-state visitors to Oklahoma each year,” Kristy Adams, senior executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mansion Entertainment Group, American Heartland and Three Ponies, said. “The scale and quality of the development will be unlike anything else in the region, making Vinita, Oklahoma a can’t-miss destination for families around the world.”