A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 8 for the world’s first Nintendo theme park zone. The ¥60 billion+ ($540m) project at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka is set to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Super Nintendo World will be an expansive area featuring Nintendo’s video game worlds and characters, originated in Japan but now hugely popular around the world. A Mario Kart attraction will be the centrepiece of the themed zone, it has been confirmed by Universal. It will bring the popular game of the same name to life “in a way that takes theme park entertainment to an entirely new level and goes beyond what Nintendo fans and theme park fans have ever seen.”
The character Mario from the Super Mario series took centre stage at the groundbreaking ceremony in Osaka alongside Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative and vice-chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. Also there were JL Bonnier, CEO and representative director of USJ Co Ltd.
Setting foot into a Nintendo game
“The Nintendo creative team and I are taking a fully collaborative approach towards this project,” said Miyamoto. “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. Their love and passion for Mario transcends words and language. I have many plans and ideas that will make you feel like you have set foot into a Nintendo video game.”
“Super Nintendo World builds on the success of everything we have done [at Universal Studios Japan] including Universal Wonderland, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Minion Park,” noted Bonnier and the groundbreaking. “The new Nintendo themed area, with a multi-level structure, will offer guests a unique experience that includes multiple entertainment experiences through attractions, restaurants and shopping areas.”
Teams from Universal and Nintendo are also working on Nintendo themed zones for Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, more details on which have yet to emerge.
Image courtesy Universal Studios Japan