Fans of Super Mario and theme parks, in general, have been patiently waiting for the opening of the new Super Nintendo World (SNW) theme park in Universal Studios Japan. The park was initially set to open alongside the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo however due to COVID-19 it has been delayed. While the Olympics have been rescheduled to next year, SNW is still on pace to open this summer though no dates have been provided as of yet.
Universal Studios Japan recently went through a ‘soft’ opening for the residents of Osaka prefecture (similar to the ‘greater area’ of a US municipality) with annual passes. The park has completed this transitional phase and has now opened fully to the residents of the Kansai area (similar to the US a state). No word yet on a broader re-opening. But with the rest of Universal now open people have snagged a few cool ground and air images of the almost complete SNW.
Nintendo also has plans to open the park in Universal Studios Hollywood and Singapore as well as Universal’s Epic Universe in Orlando. No dates or time frames are known at this time.
As for the current SNW, the park appears to be blocked off from the rest of the park much like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. This gives the guests the feeling like you’re truly in a different world. Currently, we only have information on two rides that will be ready at launch. The first is a Mario Kart racing ride which Universal promises to utilize ‘cutting edge technology’ and be an attraction ‘unlike any the world has ever seen’. My hope is that they can somehow incorporate the items/weapons from the game somehow. The other ride is called Yoshi’s Adventure and the only info we have on this one is that guests will be able to explore the park on Yoshi’s back.
Universal is also promising ‘interactive gameplay throughout the land’. This will be achieved via a wristband called a Power-up Band which comes in six different designs. The Power-Up Band will be linked to an app that keeps track of your score and stats. The park itself will become a game of sorts and guests are encouraged to collect digital coins and items such as keys and stamps which can be used to unlock additional experiences such as boss fights. So far the only known boss fight announced is one against Bowser Jr.
So who’s up for a trip to Japan when international travel becomes safe again? I know we want to!