Welcome to this week’s episode of Theme park news! Now that 2020 draws to a close, we look forward to (hopefully) a bright future – especially the one hot coming from Osaka, Japan.

During the Nintendo Direct presentation last Friday, we ultimately seen the unpublished images inside Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World. The guided tour by Shigeru Miyamoto, video game designer and self-proclaimed Mario daddy, was simply delicious. (Hey, you know a glimpse of the pitch will be good when Miyamoto comes out of a green tube shouting “yahoo!” To throw it.)

USJ Theme Park grounds officially open to the public on February 4, 2021, but will begin to allow annual pass holders who won the lottery inside from this evening. Don’t expect 4K ride footage aboard the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and virtual tours streamed to your TV for watching at home, however – videos and photos won’t be allowed during preview, and unlike American parks, guests historically (and almost universally) abide by the rules.

Since we won’t be able to enter the country on our own until the end of 2021, here’s a look at every new newsworthy detail that just dropped, including how the interactive features will immerse you in a Nintendo game. real:


First things first: Super Nintendo World is not an entire theme park, but an expansion of Universal Studios Japan. Yet, as the first themed theme park in Nintendo’s successful character franchise, it’s no surprise that Super Nintendo World is packed with the very best in Mushroom Kingdom.

Enter via a life-size chain pipe to Peach Castle and step into a multi-level world you won’t believe to be real. We shared photos and details of inland as they were released a few weeks ago, but the footage from Nintendo Direct proves just how intricate the details of the terrain really are.

Super Nintendo World is filled from top to bottom with attention-grabbing features like spinning coins, sliding turtle shells, Thwomps, Goombas, and Koopa Troopas against a background modeled on Mount Haricot, a location of World of Super Mario 3D. Elsewhere you’ll find sliding Yoshi’s Adventure vehicles and plenty of interactive boxes for guests to play with (more details below).

Want to virtually plan your future trip? Here’s some of what you’ll find in Japanese Super Nintendo World:

  • Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, the main attraction of the country, which recreates the famous game Mario Kart using augmented reality headsets that allow cyclists to race in mario team for a multisensory experience that is about to establish a new bar for theme park attractions.
  • Yoshi’s Adventure, a side merry-go-round where guests will come to Captain Toad’s aid in locating a missing golden egg, while riding on Yoshi (really!).
  • Kinopio coffee, the country’s main restaurant run by Toad, with video screens of his team working hard in the kitchen like The French Laundry live streams or Per Se. Mushrooms are the name of the game here, with items like a Mario Burger and a Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl topping the offerings.
  • 1-UP Factory souvenir shop with oversized plush character headdresses, similar to the ones Universal Studios Japan guests are known to wear in the park, as well as exclusive toys and take-out gifts.
  • A popcorn stand selling mushroom and caramel peach flavored varieties in a Super Star shaped popcorn container.
  • An “underground level” cave-like with Bob-ombs, interactive actions and a shrinking effect that will make guests feel like “Mini Mario”.

But it’s not just the attractions that consolidate this expansion as one of the biggest. Even the exteriors, like Bowser’s Castle, look incredibly real. And then, of course, there’s the way you’ll interact with the spaces around you.


Perhaps the most remarkable part of Nintendo Direct’s 15-minute Super Nintendo World tour was how we finally, finally, got to see the interactivity of Earth in action.

All of Universal Studios Japan’s “activities”, as they’re called, require a Power Up Band (available for purchase) themed around characters like Mario, Luigi, and Peach, among others.

This Power Up Band syncs with your smartphone and the Universal Studios app to check coin status and view your ranking.

How to collect coins? Well, acting like Mario would in one of his video games. Type a “?” Block, really! hit him physically! – or scan your party in certain places, such as inside Kinopio’s Cafe, which can earn coins. More in-depth activities, called Power Up Band Key Challenges, will require more action, like trying to break through a Pow Block at the right time to send a shell through the correct warp tube to retrieve a key. (These activities take place all over the country as well as in spaces like the aforementioned labyrinth-shaped underground cave.) Once you’ve obtained three keys, you can begin the final activity: a battle with Bowser Jr. there are no details yet. on how it goes, but first works of art, it looks … intense.

There are many more details to come, as so far Nintendo and Universal have only teased a few of the features of the park, including a challenge with a huge Piranha plant and the apparent ability to “search for secrets.” hidden “in the country.

Sounds wild, right? If you are also disappointed to miss the opening, know that there are even more on Rainbow Road. While dates are currently unconfirmed, Super Nintendo World will eventually open at all Universal theme parks around the world in Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore. You might be able to take a future winter break playing Mario Kart and typing “?” Blocks like you did when you were a kid, only in real life this time.


It’s not a tweet but it’s … so much more. Walt Disney World has removed the clown slide facade at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn earlier this summer and replaced it with, well, all of the above, but not before announcing it with a huge spelling error. Yeah, the surprise revelation of the new front of the slide had a loud cry of a spelling mistake that was quickly fixed before the big reveal, but hey – that’s called a pain in the ass.


– We are only a few weeks from the end of an era: more free MagicBands.

This story has it all – PPP Loans, a bogus company, and the upscale Disney area called Golden Oak.

– A name change is not the only update for Disneyland’s Snow White Scary Adventures attraction.

– The Adventures by Disney trips were suspended until March.

Disney and Universal Florida theme parks have reached their maximum capacity before the holidays.

The Orlando Sentrypiece on how the theme park capital of the world could recover is a must read.

-Disneyland hosted a holiday food bank for actors and other local residents in need.

SYFY, SYFY WIRE and Universal Parks are properties of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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