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Universal Studios Super Nintendo World Scheduled to Open This Summer

Super Nintendo World

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Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios beginning this summer. The amusement park has just served up a major promo for the new land with a music video produced by Galantis, and including musician Charlie XCX. The video, “We Are Born to Play,” offers a tantalizing look at attractions scheduled to open this summer at Universal Studios Japan, with Hollywood and Orlando scheduled to open later.

The music video gives viewers a first look at some of Super Nintendo World's components, including a new “Power Up” wristband that allows visitors to track scores in the park with Nintendo Play online. The wristband, like the wands in Universal's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be purchased as an additional, optional item. The wristband will also feature the iconic Mario red logo.

It will store a score that allows players to collect coins and other items, such as stamps or iconic game elements. Universal Parks & Resorts CEO Tom Williams says that it will additionally connect to game consoles at home “so you can build on it and come back again.” Interfacing with an app, it will essentially turn Super Nintendo World in a live, real-life videogame.

Senior VP and Chief Creative Office for Universal Creative, Thierry Coup says that the Power Up Band will also “connect guests with dozens of iconic Nintendo items throughout the land in a truly seamless and innovative way—and the app will keep track of their adventures…”

There are also brief looks at Mario Kart and Yoshi rides that will be the world's anchor attractions, and at a mobile app that allows the game-playing experience in the park. Also visible: Hatena blocks that can be enjoyed realistically. These physical blocks, like those in the video game, will reward guests with items when they successfully “punch” them.

The video invites viewers to see themselves playing Mario in real life, eliminating the barriers between themselves and video play. Just how this will unfold remains deliberately mysterious.

Opening dates beyond Japan are now pegged at 2023 in Orlando, according to Brian L. Roberts, Comcast Corporation's chairman and CEO. The date at Universal Studios California remains more elusive, however.

In Orlando, Universal is making use of a 2018-purchased 400-acre lot, which will contain Super Nintendo World within its Epic Universe expansion.

According to Stephen B. Burke, senior EVP & Chairman at NBC Universal, the land will be “up there with Harry Potter, which in some of our parks, Harry Potter drove incremental attendance of about 2 million people. So, Nintendo is in very rarefied air.” He adds “From a creative standpoint, it's really unbelievable, and that opens sometime midyear this year in Osaka and then we're going to bring it to Hollywood, and we're going to bring it, obviously, in the fourth gate in Florida.”

This statement appears to mean that the Hollywood location will open prior to Orlando's, here in the U.S.
Regardless of opening date, Burke asserts that “Nintendo is going to be potentially a big accelerator of growth in the theme park business.”

Company press releases describe Super Nintendo World as “an expansive, highly themed and immersive land featuring Nintendo's legendary worlds, characters, and adventures. Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite Nintendo video games–in real life.” The land will feature attractions such as Bowser's Castle, Peach's Castle, and Super Mario Kart and Yoshi's Adventure rides. Super Mario Kart itself is predicted to include ten different seeds on the track ride, including Piranha Plant Pipeline, Twisted Mansion, and the Rainbow Road. The exterior of the ride will be in the shape of Bowser's Castle, with the first part of the track taking place in its dungeon. The queue for the ride will include a tutorial segment for the augmented reality glasses that are rumored to be part of the experience, and designed to alter the appearance of speed during it.

Along with the major rides, there will be shopping experiences, a restaurant, and interactive gameplay.
Universal Studios Orlando park will be adding other attractions soon, during 2020: a Pokemon-themed area that will open at the KidZone, and a Jason Bourne-themed live-action stunt show. The location will also add over 2,000 hotel rooms. In Hollywood, Universal Studios will also get a new Secret Life of Pets-themed ride.

Already opened in Florida is a pop-up Mardi Gras-themed attraction with a distinctly ghostly tribute store that marks 25 years of Mardi Gras celebrations at the park. It is a retailtainment attraction, leading guests through a New Orleans setting. Located near the park's French Quarter, there are photo ops and special Universal Orlando Mardi Gras merchandise for guests to purchase. Guests will enter the experience through a dusty jazz hall to the tune of eerie trumpets, then move on to other settings such as a cemetery-style room with tombs and statues, resembling New Orleans' famous Lafayette Cemetery, before moving through a bayou of swaps and shacks, before leading guests into a shopping experience that includes masks, themed apparel, voodoo doll charms, hand-painted skulls, skull walking sticks and collectible cups. The elaborately themed attraction/shop will only remain open until April 2nd, when Mardi Gras ends.

When Super Nintendo World opens, it is just the beginning of the Epic Universe. Rumors abound as to additional attractions based on The Legend of Zelda, an action-packed video game from Japanese designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka centering on an elf-like character. What's certain however is that Epic Universe will include attractions based on Secret Life of Pets and How to Train Your Dragon.
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