Nintendo fans were excited when the company announced back in 2015 that it had signed a deal with Universal to open a Nintendo-themed area in its parks.
This would bring characters like Mario and new rides themed around Nintendo’s video games to Universal’s parks worldwide. Super Nintendo World (the name of the new area or land) would be opening first at Universal Osaka, and from the start it was clear this would not be a simple licensing deal: as Nintendo exec Shigeru Miyamoto told the press in 2017, Nintendo would be actively involved in the design of the rides to be seen at the Osaka park.
And things seemed to be progressing nicely as seen in fan footage which emerged last year, making people eager to step into the Universal park at Osaka to enjoy the Super Nintendo World area. The park was scheduled to open its doors in the summer of 2020, just in time for the Olympic Games which were to take place this year.
However, since COVID-19 struck this year, and the Summer Olympics were postponed, Nintendo and Universal were forced to change their plans, announcing earlier this year that Super Nintendo World’s opening had been delayed, with no new opening date given.
But now a new opening date has finally been announced for Super Nintendo World. In a recent tweet (via fox13news.com), Universal Orlando Resort has revealed that the Super Nintendo World land in Universal Studios Japan will be opening its doors in early 2021.
Sadly, Universal is not willing to provide a more concrete date just yet, but in the same tweet (see below) also revealed that a Mario café and store will be open for business (outside the land itself not within) very soon – on October 16 to be exact.
Here we go! #SUPERNINTENDOWORLD, featuring attractions based on iconic Nintendo characters, is coming to Universal Studios Japan in early 2021.
Take a look at the key visuals for the Mario Café & Store, opening outside the land on Oct. 16! pic.twitter.com/5DUr78KL2L
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) October 7, 2020
This means that visitors to Universal Studios Japan can enjoy a taste of what the Super Nintendo World land will be like before its formal opening sometime next year.
The land itself will feature “attractions based on iconic Nintendo characters” according to Universal. We earlier covered that the park will feature a ride based on Nintendo’s Yoshi’s Adventures game, plus another one based on its mega popular Mario Kart game. This won’t be like an ordinary theme park, as it appears visitors can wear magnetic wrists bands which will allow interaction with the rides.
It remains to be seen whether Universal and Nintendo can stick to his early 2021 opening date, though, or whether a worsening of the COVID-19 crisis will derail their plans. Hopefully things will go according to plan, and Super Nintendo World will be greeting its first guests next spring.
Super Nintendo World (Universal Studios Japan / Nintendo)