New area planned for Epic Universe theme park
Universal Parks & Resorts chairman and chief executive officer Mark Woodbury announced on Wednesday that the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida will add a new Super Nintendo World area. The area will be part of the upcoming Epic Universe theme park, which is scheduled to open in 2025.
Comcast had confirmed during an earnings call in January 2020 that it would open a Super Nintendo World area at Epic Universe. Universal Orlando purchased a 400-acre lot across the street from the main Universal Orlando Resort park in 2018. The new park was initially scheduled to open in 2023 before construction delays took place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction crews have restarted work at the park.
Super Nintendo World opened at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park on Friday. Attractions include Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, Toadstool Cafe, 1-Up Factory, character meet and greets, and interactive features using special Power-Up Band wristbands:
The park had originally planned to open the area in late July 2020, in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but delayed the opening to prevent crowding, as a countermeasure against COVID-19. (The Olympics event itself has been delayed until 2021 also.) The park then planned to open the area in February 2021, but this was again postponed due to the second state of emergency declaration for Osaka and other prefectures.
The first phase of the Super Nintendo World area opened with two rides named “Super Mario Kart Ride” and “Yoshi’s Adventures.” Visitors to the attractions are given magnetic Powerup Bands that allow visitors to interact with the attractions, such as hitting real-life “? Blocks.” The wristbands are able to keep track of scores (including a park-wide ranking board), coins, and stars from various rides, and they are able to interact with a “game console.”
The effort is part of the larger planned Nintendo-themed initiative that Universal is adding to its theme parks.
Source: Deadline (Tom Tapp)