Super Nintendo World Opening Day Revealed

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Justin Peters, Entertainment and Arts Editor

Ever since childhood, we’ve all wanted to actually be like Super Mario, running around cartoon landscapes, collecting coins and items, and all while trying to save Princess Peach and defeat the evil King Bowser. Now the dream is about to become reality because on February 4th, 2021, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan will finally be open to the public after years of build-up and anticipation. 

The opening was originally planned for the summer of 2020, just in time for the Summer Olympics. In fact, Nintendo was planning a whole bunch of events to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from a hyped-up reveal trailer and a Super Mario-themed reskin of a pre-existing restaurant in the regular park, we could only gather a small amount of information on what the park was going to feature. The area of the park is called Super Nintendo World, but it primarily features Super Mario when many fans were hoping to see The Legend of Zelda or even Kirby. In fact, concept art of a Donkey Kong themed area of the park leaked that had straw bungalows from the game and a minecart themed roller coaster based on the iconic Donkey Kong Country levels. However, these additions didn’t seem to come into fruition when developing the Japan park. Despite the lack of other characters, Super Nintendo World looks insane, so let’s take a look at all of the exciting new ways to play… for real this time.

The land itself seems to be themed after Super Mario 3D World, which makes sense because it’s probably the most faithful evolution of the first Super Mario Bros. game, retaining most of the original characters and assets that everyone knows, and with its forthcoming port to the Nintendo Switch, it makes perfect sense to have this be the main basis of the park. To get into the park you will have to travel through a warp pipe, where you will emerge in Peach’s Castle. Walking outside you will see the classic Mount Beanpole from 3D World (which houses the Yoshi’s Adventure attraction) with spinning coins, smashing Thwomps, and snapping Piranha Plants. 

Once you’re inside the park you’ll have the option to purchase a Power-Up wristband, which links to an app on your smartphone. With the band you can experience key challenges, collect virtual coins and items, and if you can find all three keys, you can experience an exclusive boss battle with Bowser Jr. to reclaim the stolen Golden Mushroom.

The Yoshi’s Adventure attraction seems to be a treasure hunt/dark ride inside and on Mount Beanpole. Guests will step aboard their own Yoshi ride vehicle and help Captain Toad find three mysterious eggs while getting an awesome view of the Mushroom Kingdom  from the mountain.

The main attraction of the park that has everybody talking is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, housed inside of Bowser’s Castle. The ride is a rollercoaster/dark ride that utilizes never-before-used, interactive Augmented Reality (AR) technology headsets that allow you to see things on the ride that aren’t really there. You’ll be able to throw shells at enemy karts as you zoom through iconic Mario Kart courses. One thing I noticed in the official pictures of the park is that there seems to be a gift shop themed after the in-game company “Mario Motors” that you’ll be able to visit before or after the ride.

Super Nintendo World looks to be the most ambitious addition to a theme park since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, filled with things for kids and adults alike to experience the joy of playing Nintendo games. With plans for similar parks opening in Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore in a couple of years, we’ll all have the opportunity to truly feel like Mario.