Universal Studios Japan's Super Nintendo World Opens Next Spring After COVID-19 Delay

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Originally slated for this past July; cafe to also open this month

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Universal Studios Japan theme park aims to open its upcoming Super Nintendo World area in spring 2021.

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 on June 19, after being closed since February 29. 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 "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. 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 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.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun via Hachima Kikō

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