Universal Studios Japan Delays Super Nintendo World Area Due to COVID-19
posted on by Egan Loo
The Universal Studios Japan theme park is delaying its upcoming Super Nintendo World area to prevent crowding, as a countermeasure against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The park had planned to open the area in late July in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, although the Olympics have been delayed until next year.
Universal Studios Japan as a whole reopened on June 19, after being closed since February 29. However, it is limiting visitors to just annual passholders and residents of the local Kansai area, as well as reducing overall attendance to about half the usual numbers.
The first phase of the Super Nintendo World area will open with two rides named "Super Mario Kart Ride" and "Yoshi's Adventures." 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.
The effort is part of the larger planned Nintendo-themed initiative that Universal is adding to its theme parks. Comcast had confirmed in January that it would open a Super Nintendo World area in a new Universal Orlando theme park named Universal's Epic Universe in 2023. It would also 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.
Universal Studios Japan previously posted a music video featuring the "WE ARE BORN TO PLAY" song by producer duo Galantis featuring singer Charli XCX: