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Fans of the Super Nintendo Universe can rejoice because the beloved video game world—and all its iconic characters, from Mario and Luigi to Link and Zelda—will soon have its place at Universal Studios in Orlando.
You may want to hang on just a second before rushing to schedule your next family vacation, though. Here’s everything you should know about Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios before jetting off to Orlando next summer.
The Park Will be Three Years in the Making
That’s right, we’ve got some time before we can add Donkey Kong and Princess Peach to our autograph books.
Thomas Williams, CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, announced that the Mario-themed world is going to be a member of Universal’s new theme park, Epic Universe. The studios’ latest addition is scheduled to open in 2023, and fans couldn’t be more excited.
Epic Universe will be situated just below the founding parks of Universal Studios, such as Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. The new park will kick off a south campus to the studios, which we’re sure will have tons of fresh adventure for park-goers.
Universal Parks has a lot of ground to cover—750 acres of it, in fact, so you better bring your best walking shoes on your first visit to the new campus— in this new development, so they’re understandably slating the grand opening for three years in the future.
Orlando’s Super Nintendo Park will Follow Two Other Debuts
The most die-hard fans of the Super Nintendo Universe could travel to two other debuts of the park if they truly can’t wait to walk alongside Yoshi and Bowser: Super Nintendo World in Japan later this year, and Super Nintendo World in Hollywood in 2022.
If you’re a dedicated fan or live in the western half of the United States, these park grand openings may work better for you. The rest of us will be anxiously waiting for Orlando’s ribbon-cutting three years from now.
Super Nintendo World May Squash the Diagon Alley Legacy
Move aside, Boy Wizard, because a funny little Italian plumber is in town.
Universal has exhibited significantly more excitement when sharing their updates about the up and coming park, and we believe that they are really working to surpass The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s theme thoroughness and immersion techniques.
The company is reportedly spending an extra $90 million on average per location of Super Nintendo World, so we’re excited to see how the new addition will surpass earlier projects in Orlando.
Teasers of “Cutting Edge Technology” Attractions
While we aren’t sure how Universal could possibly mimic the banana-peel-dropping, turtle-shell-launching world of Mario Kart realistically, the studio has promised to do just that with “cutting edge technology” to introduce an attraction the likes of we’ve never seen.
Next enters Yoshi’s Adventures which is still, for the most part, hush-hush from Universal, but we know that it’ll be a kid-friendly ride where guests can traverse the world of Mario on Yoshi’s back.
Even once you’ve gone through both of these rides, Universal promises that the land of Nintendo will be an attraction in itself, with novel features from the games such as Question Blocks and Gold Coins.
Conceptual video of the Japan location show live piranha plants—the Nintendo take on Venus flytraps that lurch out to snap at unsuspecting passersby—responding to humans coming into proximity.
We’re not sure how that’ll be possible, but we suspect that some very expensive robotics are going to be involved.
Patrons can Expect Interactivity Unlike No Other
If you’ve enjoyed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s portion of Universal Studios, you’re probably familiar with the notable interactive wand available for purchase when visiting the park.
Universal Studios has further developed this interactive function and released the promise of something called the Power Up Band, a magnetic bracelet of sorts that snaps onto the wrist and allows visitors to keep tabs on their scores and stats as they wander through the highly interactive game infrastructure of the park.
You can pick your variation of the band based on your favorite Nintendo profile, including Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Toadstool and Yoshi. Once you’ve linked the bracelet to a smartphone app, you can collect digital coins by hitting Question Blocks and gathering character stamps.
All visitors to the park on a given day will vie for the high score of coins collected, and your stats can even transfer from one visit to another.
Battle Bosses Just Like on Your Console at Home
The last big reveal that Universal has released so far is the concept of Key Challenges, where visitors gather virtual keys when they explore the park and complete tasks.
Thanks to the innovation “wheel and spoke” design of the new park, visitors can expect tons of games and interactive features even when they’re not at a major attraction. The completion of these games, Universal says, earns players keys.
Once you reach a certain number of keys, you can team up with other park goes to engage in boss battles against classic Nintendo villains. (One of which Universal has already revealed: Koopa, Jr. Robs a golden mushroom and hides away three of its keys. Can’t the park just open already?)
Speaking of your console at home, the studio has also suggested that the smartphone app will transmit your scores and stats to your Switch console back home, opening up the potential for a constant Nintendo experience.
Stay Tuned for Exciting Updates on Super Nintendo World
We’re all impatiently watching for each bread crumb that Universal will throw us on the path to Super Nintendo World, and the studio has promised a steady stream of teasers leading up to the grand opening three long years from now.
Keep a watchful eye out for more updates from Universal Studios, and be sure to mark your calendars for a vacation to a land that promises nostalgia and surrealness like no other.
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