Universal Studios Japan Establishes Virtual Website for Super Nintendo World

posted on by Alex Mateo
Virtual tour highlights new Nintendo park area opening on February 4

Universal Studios Japan opened a virtual website for its Super Nintendo World area. The website offers a virtual tour of the area, with animated videos of rides in motion and the ability to interactively move around the park by scrolling down on the website.

The tour previews various attractions including Mario Kart: Koopa's (Bowser's) Challenge, Yoshi's Adventure, and the playground. The website also highlights and lists menus for Kinopio's (Toad's) Cafe, Pit Stop Popcorn, and Yoshi's Snack Island. There is also a page for the 1-Up Factory gift shop and the merchandise for sale.

Super Nintendo World will open on February 4.

The park had originally planned to open the area in late July in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but delayed the opening to prevent crowding, as a countermeasure against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (The Olympics event itself has been delayed until next year also.) The management decided that the park could open next spring due to preparations beforehand, such as staff training and the completion of construction.

Universal Studios Japan as a whole reopened last June, after being closed since February 2020. A cafe where people can buy original Mario goods will open in the middle of this month, before the larger Super Nintendo World area opens.

The first phase of the Super Nintendo World area will open with two rides named "Mario Kart ~Koopa's Challenge~ (Bowser's Challenge)" and "Yoshi's Adventure." The Mario Kart-themed attraction attraction will include a stone statue of Bowser and a large staircase. Visitors can see icons and trophies from the Mario Kart series before getting on the ride. The attraction will feature augmented reality, projection mapping, screen projection video, steam and other special effects, and scenes from the games reproduced as stage sets.

Visitors to the attractions will be given magnetic Powerup Bands which allows visitors to interact with the attractions, such as hitting real-life "? Blocks." The wristbands will be able to keep track of scores (including a park-wide ranking board), coins, and stars from various rides, and they will be able to interact with a "game console." According to NHK, the park is investing over 6 billion yen (about US$56 million) in the new area to raise attendance to record levels. Construction began in 2017.

The effort is part of the larger planned Nintendo-themed initiative that Universal is adding to its theme parks. Comcast had said in January 2020 that it would open a Super Nintendo World area in a new Universal Orlando theme park named Universal's Epic Universe in 2023. It was also planning to open a Pokémon section as part of the Universal Orland Resort theme park's KidZone area this year. The Universal Studios Hollywood park would add its own Nintendo area.

Sources: Super Nintendo World's website, Oricon via Otakomu

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