Something to look forward to: Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan was supposed to open just ahead of the Olympics this year. Sadly, the pandemic ensured both those events joined the canceled/postponed list, but the park is set to start welcoming visitors next Spring, and it looks pretty amazing.
Universal Studios Japan broke ground on the Nintendo theme park back in June 2017, and we heard more about the experience of being inside a real-life video game earlier this year. There was even a music video for the attraction; a catchy tune from Galantis featuring Charli XCX.
A photo in The Saneki News (via Kotaku) shows the park in its full, non-CGI glory. People enter at the bottom left by walking through Peach’s castle. Once inside, they can try out a variety of Nintendo-themed fun, including a life-sized Mario Kart where four people race against each other. Riders also get AR headsets to bring them even closer to a fully-immersive video game. Other activities include more “child-friendly” karting and the ability to ride around on Yoshi’s back.
The park will feature wearable, Nintendo character-themed wrist bands called “Power Up Bands” that work alongside a smartphone app, offering “interactive experiences” such as collecting digital coins, battling bosses, and competing with others. The app also includes an overhead map of the location, and visitors can create profiles and unlock achievements.
Visiting the park when it opens does mean traveling to Japan, but the good news is that other Super Nintendo Worlds are being constructed in the US. LA’s Universal Studios Hollywood will get its version between 2021 and 2022, while Mario and friends arrive at Universal Orlando Resort in 2023.