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Universal Studios Japan Postpones Super Nintendo World Opening

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
New theme park area was scheduled to open on February 4

Universal Studios Japan announced on Thursday that it is postponing the planned opening date of its Super Nintendo World area due to the new state of emergency declaration for Osaka prefecture on Wednesday. The new theme park area was planned to open on February 4.

Universal Studios Japan stated it will reveal the new official opening date after the state of emergency is lifted. The park will also restrict the number of people allowed to enter from January 17 through February 7.

The Japanese government extended the state of emergency declaration to a total of 11 prefectures on Wednesday, after initially declaring a state of emergency in four prefectures in the Tokyo area on January 8. The state of emergency is currently slated to last until February 7.

The park had originally planned to open the area in late July 2020, 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 this year also.)

Universal Studios Japan as a whole closed last year from February 29 through June 19.

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 that allow 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.

Sources: Universal Studios Japan, Cinema Today (倉本拓弥)

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