Universal breaks ground on Super Nintendo World, confirms Mario Kart plans
Mario Kart plans were officially confirmed as a signature attraction during the groundbreaking ceremony
Universal has shed more light on its upcoming Super Nintendo World in Japan, hosting a groundbreaking ceremony and confirming that Mario Kart will be brought to life as part of the highly-anticipated immersive attraction.
Scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the ¥60bn (US$544m, €486m, £428m) Mario-themed addition to Universal Studios Japan will feature zones filled with modern rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants.
A Mario Kart ride – which had been at the top of many Nintendo fan’s wish lists for the attraction – was confirmed by the operator during the groundbreaking.
Nintendo’s creative team has joined forces with Universal Creative to create Super Nintendo Land, which has been touted as feeling as though fans “are playing inside their favourite Nintendo games”.
“The Universal creative team has been a talented and reliable partner in bringing the world of Mario out of video games and into real life,” said Shigeru Miyamoto, director and creative fellow of Nintendo. “I have many plans and ideas that will make you feel like you have set foot into a Nintendo video game.”
Mark Woodbury, who is president of Universal Creative and vice chair for Universal Parks and Resorts, called the creative partnership between Nintendo and Universal “revolutionary”, promising big things for the Mario Kart attraction.
“Our common vision is to bring the remarkable characters, stories and worlds of Nintendo to life in ways the world has never seen before,” he said. “One centerpiece will be the revolutionary Mario Kart experience – a new kind of attraction that takes theme park entertainment to entirely new levels.”
According to Universal estimates, the economic effect created by Universal Studios Japan during the 10 years following the opening of Super Nintendo World will be about ¥6,200bn (US$56.18bn, €50.2bn, £44.2bn) in the Kinki Region of Japan.
Universal Japan has enjoyed phenomenal success since the opening of its Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014, enjoying its third record year in a row, welcoming almost 15m visitors in 2016 – an increase of 700,000 on the previous year. According to Universal, the Nintendo attraction in Osaka will exceed the size of its existing Harry Potter attractions. Universal also confirmed plans in November to expand its Nintendo presence beyond Japan, by building similar attractions at its Orlando and Hollywood theme parks, which will open separately over “the next several years”. back