Nintendo Theme Park to Open in Japan Ahead of Olympic Games

The plan to open a Nintendo theme park at Universal Studios Japan was revealed this week

Super Nintendo World
A still from the Super Nintendo World promotional video
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Universal Studios Japan announced its plan to open a new theme park, Super Nintendo World, where visitors will have the opportunity to play in a “life-size, living video game.” Super Nintendo World will open this summer in Osaka in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The announcement was made at a conference earlier this week and was accompanied by a promotional music video featuring a song by Galantis and Charli XCX. While not giving much away, the video gives people a bit of an idea of what they can expect on a visit to the theme park.

According to Thierry Coup, Chief Creative Officer of Universal Creative, the new attraction will blend “the physical world with the world of the video game” and allow guests to “feel as if they are playing inside their favourite Nintendo video games.”

Development of Super Nintendo World

The Mario series was first launched in the 1980s and is still a big money-maker for Nintendo. The diversification of the brand in recent years is ensuring the series continued success. It was back in May 2015 when Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s late president, first announced the company’s theme park plans.

The project was developed in partnership with “Super Mario” creator Shigero Miyamoto and will house familiar games locations including the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Fortress.

Super Nintendo World is also planned to feature at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Orlando and Singapore, though no dates have been released.

Visitors will wear “Power Up Bands” that allow them to choose which Super Mario character they want to be

Guests to play in Mushroom Kingdom

The park will be filled with fun rides, shops, restaurant and interactive gameplay throughout.

Visitors will wear “Power Up Bands” that allow them to choose which Super Mario character they want to be and a smartphone app allows them to track their progress through the park.

They can then take part in a virtual experience based on Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom Universe, engaging in “boss” battles and earning points along the way. “While wearing the band guests can collect digital coins just like Mario does in the games” and keep score while competing with all the other people playing the game.

Like the video game, guests will have to recover a golden mushroom stolen by Bowser Jr. as they make their way around the park.

Popular mobile app and Nintendo store success

The company launched its latest mobile app “Mario Kart Tour” last September with great results. The app was downloaded more than 90 million times in its first week making it Nintendo’s most successful mobile game app to date.

In addition to that, Nintendo’s Tokyo store, which opened recently, has been a huge draw for Japanese and foreign gaming fans. However, the company underestimated its popularity when it opened its modest 300 sq. metre store. In the lead up to Christmas customers were queued out the door of the building, with some waiting up to an hour to enter the store.

Are you a fan of Mario? Have you added Super Nintendo World to your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below.

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

Nintendo is diversifying further with its new, real-life video game theme park.

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Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and Journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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