Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Thanks to the lifting of the state of emergency in Osaka Prefecture, Super Nintendo World is set to open on March 18, after much delay. Here is what you can expect from the new addition to Universal Studios Japan.
Originally slated to open in summer 2020, and then again this past February, guests will finally be able to immerse themselves in Super Nintendo World. As a Covid precaution, visitors will be staggered at designated times for the duration of the pandemic. In other words, they will be encouraged to book their “Area Timed Ticket” in advance, offered with an express pass used to beat the crowds. There will also be an “Area Timed Ticket” available for purchase on the day of visit through the Universal Studios Japan mobile app.
To enter Super Nintendo World, visitors travel through a “warp pipe” featuring flashing green lights. Once beyond the pipe, guests will find themselves in Princess Peach’s Castle. This area has music and level portraits. (Fans will recognize these elements from Mario 64.) Exiting the castle will bring people to the main circle.
The entirety of Super Nintendo World hosts iconic scenes from the Mario franchise that people can interact with.
The area’s attractions are enhanced by a mobile app which can be downloaded by scanning a QR code found on Power-Up Bands. The app tells the story of how Bowser Jr. has stolen a golden mushroom. Players must complete challenges and collect keys. When three keys are collected, guests unlock a “boss battle” with Bowser Jr. to retrieve the stolen golden mushroom. There are two additional keys that fans can also collect.
Keys can be found in Goomba Crazy Crank, Koopa Troopa POWer Punch, Piranha Plant Nap Mishap, Thwomp Panel Panic, and Bob-omb Kaboom Room.
The Super Nintendo World app also features a map of the park. On the map you can find the locations of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Guests can meet their favorite characters and take photos with them.
Besides the interactive story, the Power-Up Band can be used at various touch points to unlock secrets and activities. Visitors can collect virtual coins and stamps, and they can beat challenges to increase their scores. The app features scoreboards that track daily and all-time high scores. The app also contains a scoreboard for the Mario Kart course.
The grounds of Super Nintendo World consist of thematic areas representing key characters and locations within the games. These areas include the aforementioned Peach’s Castle, Toad House, 1UP Factory, and Bowser’s Castle. There is a multi-leveled area with a flagpole on top reminiscent of a traditional Mario level design. There are desert, forest, and ice areas, reminding fans of the variety of “worlds” that the titular character visits in his quest to save Peach.
Besides the interactive story and collectible opportunities, Super Nintendo World also features two main rides. The first is the Mario Kart ride, housed inside the threatening Bowser’s Castle. This ride, which took six years to develop, features AR headset technology and a story titled “Koopa’s Challenge.”
The course was supposedly designed by Bowser himself to finally beat Mario. Riders will race as part of Mario’s team and use items to defeat “koopas” sent by Bowser to ensure his victory. Carts will hold groups of up to four. While waiting in line, patrons can see the inside of the castle adorned with a massive Bowser statue and Mario Kart-themed decorations. Each AR headset is sanitized after use.
The second ride is the more family-friendly Yoshi’s Adventure. People ride on top of a Yoshi as they search for Captain Toad. Using the Captain’s Map, visitors can also search for three mystery eggs. The ride offers a panoramic view of Super Nintendo World.
The area has a gift shop inside the 1UP Factory where Super Nintendo World exclusive merchandise is offered for purchase. There is also the Mario Motors gift shop as another option for merch, especially for Mario Kart-related items.
For food, guests can order mushroom-themed dishes at Kinopio’s Cafe inside Toad House. The interior of the cafe features screens where you can watch as toads prepare your food. Among the available dishes are Mario’s Bacon Cheeseburger, the Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl, and the Piranha Plant Caprese. If guests want dessert, Toad House offers the ? Block Tiramisu. Those just wanting a snack can stop by either Yoshi’s Snack Island or Pit Stop Popcorn.
Universal Studios Japan is in the midst of constructing a Donkey Kong-themed area based on the more recent Donkey Kong Country game series. Once it opens, this area will be located directly adjoining Super Nintendo World.
Finally, Universal Studios is planning to open Nintendo areas in Singapore, Orlando, and Hollywood. The Orlando area has reportedly been delayed until 2025, while the Hollywood area is under construction. This latter area will be smaller than the others and will likely open sooner.