Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World will open on February 4th, following delays due to COVID-19.
The attraction is build upon the existing Universal Studios Japan site, and is a life-sized recreation of the Super Mario franchise, featuring thing such as Mario Kart ride within Bowser’s castle. Visitors can collect virtual coins via a wristband, and can interact with park features via a Nintendo Switch.
Super Nintendo World was originally intended to open earlier this year, in time for the Summer 2020 Olympics, however it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as . notes, the $578 million attraction could still see its opening delayed, as Japan is facing another COVID-19 outbreak and Osaka (where the park is based) is one of Japan’s worst-affected cities.
Japan's #SuperNintendoWorld will open on Feb. 4, 2021 in Osaka.@rumireports gets a world’s first look at @USJ_Official's real-life #Mario Kart. More: https://t.co/T9nUMnB1UB #任天堂 pic.twitter.com/oZku1gwQTj
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) November 30, 2020
A brief video of the park from Bloomberg reporter Kurumi Mori does blow my tiny inner child’s mind – But also raises questions about the safety of the attraction. Mori notes that Super Nintendo World feels small, and notes the park’s interactive elements. Given the crowds that a park based on such a popular franchise is likely to attract, it begs the question of how Universal Studios Japan will manage social distancing and sanitisation to prevent the spread of the virus.
Of course, Universal Studios Japan has a lot riding on this attraction. As well as the significant investment, and the years spent developing the attraction, Super Nintendo World has the potential to tackle the theme park industry’s falling revenue and boost Japan’s tourism industry.