Each year, hundreds of millions of visitors walk through the gates of one of the dozens of exciting theme parks across the world. Often the source of countless hours of family entertainment, these parks are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to upgrade their customers' park-going experience. Universal Studios has theme parks located all over the world - Orlando, Hollywood, Japan, Singapore (South Korea opens in 2020) - making changes, adding new areas and rides in each of them.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong opened this past summer at Islands of Adventure, with plans to unveil Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon in Summer 2017 and Fast & Furious - Supercharged (which first debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2015) opening at Universal Studios Florida in Summer 2018. Not a company to rest on its laurels, Universal announced a few weeks ago that it would be partnering with Nintendo to bring themed lands and attractions to each of their four parks.
Not much was known how the Universal Creative team would incorporate the thirty-plus years of Nintendo history into their parks. However, now that they've released some details and concept art on the first land, fans can get a brief glimpse of what to expect. Super Nintendo World - opening first at Universal Studios Japan - will be largely Super Mario-based and include, but not be limited to, the following: Bowser's Castle, Princess Peach's Castle, character interaction with Princess Peach and Toad (among others), multiple-Super Mario themed gift shops, and restaurants. There's no word yet on what type of ride will be included in the new land, but expectations presume it will be a 3D motion-based simulator-type ride.
For fans of both Nintendo eager to eat mushrooms with Mario and Luigi at a Universal Studios theme park, they'll have to wait. Super Nintendo World in Japan won't open to guests until 2020, with other subsequent parks opening similar lands shortly thereafter. Developing all-new, heavily-themed lands is not new territory for Universal Studios. Springfield, USA (the famous home of The Simpsons) opened in 2013, while Diagon Alley (from the Harry Potter books) opened in 2014 - the latter costing well over $250 million to develop.
It'll be interesting to how deep into Nintendo and Super Mario lore the Universal Creative team decide to delve while developing the ideas for each of these Super Mario World theme park areas. From kid-friendly rides based on Lakitu's Cloud, to vegetable carts selling various fried tubers and other tasty morsels, to midways that allow you to "jump" on Koopa Troopas for prizes, to Mario Kart Racing, to hidden secrets within the games - there's really no shortage of ideas which could be pulled from the dozens of Super Mario-based games Nintendo has released over the years.
Super Mario World opens at Universal Studios Japan in 2020.
Source: Universal Studios