Universal Studios Japan's 'Super Nintendo World' Breaks Ground
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Universal Studios Japan broke ground for its anticipated "Super Nintendo World" theme park addition on Thursday in Osaka. Fans came out to see Mario, Universal Studios Japan CEO Jean-Louis Bonnier, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, and Universal Creative president Mark Woodberry run, jump, and crush some Goombas on a special scrolling stage.
The planned park in Japan will include rides, interactive areas, shops, and restaurants. The cost for the park has now ballooned past 60 billion yen (US$545.2 million). The park had originally been announced as costing 40 billion yen (about US$346 million) and should be completed in time for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Blueprints for the theme park show a harness to enhance riders' jumping ability, a tube sledding ride, a minecart-style ride, and racing track ride. Theme park visitors could be in a for a Mario Kart and Donkey Kong experience.
Universal Studios Japan is also streaming a conceptual video of what the area might look like. The video shows Bowser and Princess Peach's castles, a main square, and a potential obstacle course topped with a level ending flag.
Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Professor Emeritus of Kansai University, estimated that the expansion will bring in approximately 6.2 trillion yen (about US$53.7 billion) in economic benefits for the Kansai region of Japan where the park resides, and 11.7 trillion yen (about US$101.3 billion) for Japan in general. He also predicted the park will create approximately 1.1 million jobs in Japan within the first 10 years of its opening.
Super Nintendo World will feature characters and themes from Nintendo's Super Mario series, as well as other popular Nintendo characters.
The Japanese park will be the first one to open, before it eventually opens at Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.