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Everything We Know About Super Nintendo World

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Construction is underway on Universal’s new Super Nintendo World, which will showcase Mario and other classic Nintendo characters.

Courtesy of Universal Studios Japan

Construction is underway on Universal’s new Super Nintendo World, which will showcase Mario and other classic Nintendo characters.

Yoshi, punchable question blocks, and a life-size Mario Kart ride are coming soon to a Universal park near you.

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It’s official: Universal is opening three versions of Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Orlando. Rev your Mario Kart engines and get ready to rack up as many virtual coins as possible: The theme parks promise to transport visitors to a real-life video game experience with question blocks straight out of Super Mario World, co-op key challenges with collectible rewards, an attraction that lets guests take a ride on Yoshi, and boss battles that we can only hope take place at Bowser’s Castle. Here’s everything we know right now.

When will Super Nintendo World open?

Super Nintendo World will open this summer in Universal Studios Japan. The exact opening date has not yet been announced, but since executives have stated that the theme park will be operational in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, doors will need to open by July 23.

Super Nintendo World is expected to open next in Universal Studios Hollywood, possibly as soon as 2021. Super Nintendo World will open as part of the new Epic Universe theme park in Universal Orlando in 2023. There have been rumors of Super Nintendo World opening in Universal Studios Singapore as well.

Where will Super Nintendo World be in Universal Orlando?

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Super Nintendo World will be one of four lands in Epic Universe, which Universal first announced in August 2019. Epic Universe will be the fourth (but probably not final) “gate” in Universal Orlando. The existing three gates are Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure (home to the Jurassic Park River Adventure, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and other thrilling rides), and Volcano Bay water park. Epic Universe will be located a 15-minute drive south of Islands of Adventure.

The other three lands in Epic Universe have not yet been announced, but some of the suspected themes include classic movie monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein), the How to Train Your Dragon films, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from the Harry Potter universe. Universal has, however, unveiled a hub-and-spoke layout for Epic Universe, meaning a central hub will branch out into the four different lands.

What will Super Nintendo World look like?

Construction photos show a heavy emphasis on Super Mario theming with question blocks and a flagpole flying a red M pennant. Count on seeing the best of the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Nintendo World, including Bowser’s Castle and Princess Peach’s Castle. Based on early concept art, there may also be areas with palm trees, bananas, and thatched roofs to match a Donkey Kong attraction.

Which rides will be at Super Nintendo World?

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Rides have not yet been announced for Orlando or Hollywood, but Universal Studios Japan executives have confirmed that the Osaka theme park will open with a Super Mario Kart ride and a family ride called Yoshi’s Adventure. Mario Kart fans may have to wait until opening day to discover whether blue shells and banana peels will be part of the ride at Super Nintendo World, but we do know that Yoshi’s Adventure will feature vehicles shaped like Yoshis in various colors—not just the iconic green—and a slow-moving looped track that will be in constant motion. Imagine something along the lines of Disney’s Haunted Mansion or Spaceship Earth but with green warp pipes, red mushrooms, and a mix of indoor and outdoor portions of the track.

What else will be in Super Nintendo World?

Super Nintendo World in Japan will open with shops, a restaurant, two rides (Super Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Adventure), and interactive elements that allow guests to compete with each other as they would in a video game. That includes collecting stamps, tackling boss battles, and watching a leaderboard to see who has the most virtual coins.

How will Super Nintendo World feel like a real-life video game?

Guests will be encouraged to download an app on their smartphones or tablets and link the app to a Power Up Band that can be purchased inside Super Nintendo World. Power Up Bands will be themed after classic Nintendo characters, such as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Yoshi.

While wearing the Power Up Band, visitors can punch question blocks to gain virtual coins, which are expected to be tracked both in the app and on a leaderboard on display in Super Nintendo World. Guests can also collect digital keys and character stamps by participating in challenges and cooperative gaming opportunities such as boss battles at the theme park. 

Thierry Coup, a senior vice president and chief creative officer at Universal Creative, said in a January 14 statement, “Think of Super Nintendo World as a life-size, living video game where you become one of the characters. You’re not just playing the game; you’re living the game, you’re living the adventure.”

Which Nintendo games will be represented in Super Nintendo World?

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Universal Studios Japan has revealed that Super Mario will be very present with elements of the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser’s Castle, and Peach’s Castle in Super Nintendo World. There is not yet word on the inclusion of other classic Nintendo properties, such as the Legend of Zelda or Kirby, but early concept art hinted that a Donkey Kong–themed mine cart roller coaster may be in the theme park’s future. 

This article will be updated as additional details about Super Nintendo World are released.

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