Universal reveals more Super Nintendo World land details

January 13, 2020, 9:07 PM · The world's first Nintendo theme park land is coming this summer and Universal is kicking off the promotion with a new music video.

Universal and its partners at Nintendo have brought together Swedish producers Galantis and English singer Charlie XCX for the new production, called "We Are Born to Play." Watch the video for some first looks at features in the new land, which opens this summer at Universal Studios Japan, then in Hollywood, Singapore and Orlando at later dates.

At first glance, the video might look like just another synth-pop creation. But it actually gives us our first look at several elements of Super Nintendo World, including the "power up" wristbands that will enable visitors to track their scores and link their in-land experience with their Nintendo play online. (The wristbands will be an optional merchandise item, like the wands in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.) The video also shows us the mobile app that will be part of the gameplay experience within the land, as well as the Hatena blocks that Universal promises can be played realistically.

And we also get glimpses of the experiences on the Mario Kart and Yoshi rides that will anchor Super Nintendo World, including the four-person Mario Kart ride vehicles. The real question posed by the video is... what is going to be a real part of the land and what is just video fluff?

Mario Kart ride vehicle

With so much detail in the video, it would seem to be creating an impossible standard for Super Nintendo World to meet. Surely people can't just run around jumping up and chasing coins like that, right?

But Universal's not foolish. There's enough real stuff in here that it seems Universal very much intends for this video to set some expectations. With a this video and its promoted hashtag #WeAreMario, Universal and Nintendo want fans to envision themselves breaking the wall between themselves and video play in order to play like Mario in real life.

Now we just wait for the land to open to find out exactly how we will be doing that.

Update: Universal just posted a highlight video of its kickoff event, including Universal Creative's Thierry Coup describing more of the detail from the land.

And don't miss our 2017 interview with then-Universal Studios Japan creative director Steve Tatham about the Nintendo project. (Steve's now back in Orlando on the Epic Universe park.)

Replies (5)

January 14, 2020 at 5:31 PM

Hmmm.... whilst there's some nuggets of reality in there there's loads that can't genuinely translate into actual experience, even down to the area of grass they are all dancing on (no theme park can use grass as a surface medium - it just can't cope with traffic).
This strikes me as more akin to concept art in video form than actual deliverable product. I can see elements of the play translating but it depends who this is aimed at. Theme park geeks are savvy enough to set their expectations at a realistic level, even when fed this sort of fluff. But if this gets out into the 'real' world and is seen by ordinary theme park visitors they might genuinely think they will be able to do all the stuff in the video.
On one hand well done Universal for teasing in a different way but I think it's a risky play as I just don't see the reality being anything like what we see in this promo....

January 14, 2020 at 12:08 PM

I don't know - I didn't really see anything in this video to indicate what spending time in Super Mario World is going to be really like. I think the new land holds a lot of promise, and Universal is obviously optimistic that it will be "Epic", but I think the success will come down to how the land can react to unpredictable human behavior. Attractions and shows are more or less static installations that may have some variability that is predetermined. However, video games (and some of the aspects foreshadowed in the video here) are almost completely dependent on user feedback. I think programming the land to react to gamers and Nintendo fans will be easy, but how will it work for guests not as familiar with the IP or even the notion of playing video games? That's kind of where Disney is struggling with Galaxy's Edge and how much interaction is needed to satisfy every level of guest.

Nothing presented in the video shows how the land will work or what guests will do aside from riding in a Mario Kart. This is a very large chasm that UC will need to bridge in future promotions for the land.

January 15, 2020 at 8:26 AM

David says if the video gets out into the real world , well it has , it’s been watched by over 1 million people so far , I think UNIVERSAL has def struck gold again with this IP . It’s colorful it’s fun , it’s worldwide and has endless merch opportunities, I already want a Mario Hat and my 10 year old wants to go right now

January 15, 2020 at 11:01 PM

I can't be the only one thinking this do everything on your phone thing has spiraled out of control. I just watched a video on youtube about the Raiders new stadium and the guy spent the entire video talking about how much you can do from your phone. He was talking about how sometime soon the stadium will have 10G...what good does 10G do at a football game?? (or anywhere else for that matter).

I'm all for theme parks having the infrastructure and trip planning stuff but the way the Nintendo land is presented in the video is a major turnoff. Hopefully none of that phone stuff is necessary to actually experience the attraction.

January 16, 2020 at 8:41 AM

@the_man - I think integrating mobile devices (and hopefully AR) is almost a necessity for a land based on Nintendo. We're talking about video games here, so guests who are invested in the IP are going to expect to have some sort technology integration and it's way easier and more efficient to have guests bring their own devices than the park having to invest in custom hardware that would periodically need to be upgraded. It's way cheaper to upgrade software and ask guests to make sure they have the most updated versions on their personal devices than trying to keep in-house hardware up to date (and manage those with guests).

I think integration of personal mobile devices is going to become more and more common in theme parks, and guests are going to have to accept that using your cell phone in the park will be unavoidable to get the best experience. As it stands right now, you're at an incredible disadvantage to ride RotR at DHS if you don't have your own cell phone (and broadband connection to avoid the overtaxed Disney WiFi). Disney is trying to bridge the gap with CMs signing guests up for boarding groups with tablets and other mobile devices, but it's a much slower process with limited CMs available to help guests without their own mobile devices, which can leave some guests stuck in boarding groups because they are not able to sign up with a CM fast enough (main boarding groups are full within 10-15 minutes of park opening).

Guests need to start embracing technology, and realize that it will become an increasing part of the theme park experience, particularly at destination parks.

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