Super Nintendo World confirmed for Orlando's Epic Universe

January 23, 2020, 11:53 AM · Universal theme park owner Comcast reported increased revenue from its theme parks in 2019... and confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be one of the themed lands at its new Epic Universe theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.

That the Nintendo land would be coming to Orlando wasn't really news... Universal announced that way back in 2016. But it never officially announced where that land would go into the Universal Orlando Resort. When Universal announced its Epic Universe park last August, its concept art for the park strongly suggested that Super Nintendo World would be one of the lands, and Universal team members have all but confirmed that privately. Still, it's nice to get the information officially out there for fans.

On the theme park business, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said during this morning's earnings conference call, "this year, we will open Super Nintendo World in Japan, which launches in the US to follow in the coming years. Super Nintendo World combines one of a kind right technology with iconic IP, for a remarkable guests experience and we believe it has the potential to drive substantial incremental attendance at Universal Studios Japan. On top of that, we are also investing for long term growth with two amazing brand new parks. We'll open Beijing in 2021, the largest park we have ever built. And have started construction on Universal's Epic Universe, a new world class park in Orlando, opening in 2023. The parks business is set up for growth for years to come."

Another executive added, in response to a question from a Wall Street analyst, "If you look out, I think the next big thing on the horizon is Nintendo. Nintendo, based on our research, is one of the biggest potential drivers of attendance that you could have for any IP. It's up there with Harry Potter, which you know, drove incremental attendance of about two million people, so Nintendo is in very rarefied air, and the attraction that we're building in in Osaka is spectacular. From a creative standpoint, it's really unbelievable, and that opens sometime mid-year this year. Then we're going to bring it to Hollywood and we're going to bring it in the fourth gate in in Florida, so I think Nintendo is going to be potentially a big accelerator within the theme park business."

As for the numbers, Comcast reported a 3.2 percent increase in revenue at its theme parks in the fourth quarter of 2019, to $1.562 billion. Earnings were down 4.5 percent in the quarter, though, to $636 million, with "some softness" at Universal Japan in the quarter.

Replies (14)

January 23, 2020 at 12:36 PM

Cue comments from boomers that don't care about Nintendo....

January 23, 2020 at 12:49 PM

Here's one from a Gen-Xer who was never into Nintendo. That said, I'm still curious to see what they'll do with the land. If a ride is good, it's good -- I'm not much into superheroes, but I still love Spiderman.

So now that they've confirmed the one land that everyone was almost 100% sure would be included at Epic Universe, can they please let us know about the rest? Fingers crossed that Classic Monsters really happens :-)

January 23, 2020 at 1:46 PM

I think Classic Monsters are cool, but I wonder if this wouldn't be a situation where Universal would have to replace or retheme the land in short order. For one, I don't think it's something that would appeal to families with younger children but also it seems like Universal is steering towards IP with recent box office success.

January 23, 2020 at 1:58 PM

Classic monsters are "classic" for a reason :-). And, if done right, I think it's something that could appeal to people of all ages -- think of the Munsters. Not everything in the land would have to be scary. Though, heck -- there are quite a few kids at Horror Nights.

Plus, if they definitely go with one of the other rumored lands, DreamWorks including How to Train Your Dragon, then there should be plenty in the park for families with younger kids.

January 23, 2020 at 2:09 PM

I can't say I care if you don't get why this IP is good...

I Nintend-Do.

>>Classic monsters are "classic" for a reason :-). And, if done right, I think it's something that could appeal to people of all ages -- think of the Munsters.

Showing your age much?

January 23, 2020 at 2:21 PM

I've already admitted to being Gen-X :-)

And, hey, while Elsa and Anna may be the princesses of the moment, Disney's still making plenty of money off of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and they're HOW old?

January 23, 2020 at 2:38 PM

I grew up when Nintendo was first popular, and although we didn't have an NES, most of my friends did. I've played Mario Kart with my kids now, and it's a blast. What I like about Nintendo is it's focused on simple fun and appeals to a wide audience. Nothing violent or complex about the games, just something easy to understand and enjoy. A land staying true to that should also have a wide appeal.

Classic Monsters land would be awesome. If Halloween Horror Nights is R-rated, and Mickey's Not Too Scary is G-rated, I think the land could be PG-rated scary and maybe PG-13 for the rides.

My one concern with doing Classic Monsters is would it become a land most guests would only want to visit at night? Could they open the land later in the day (say noon) and keep open later (maybe ending in a show at midnight)? I guess if you have awesome rides and a great restaurant (like a Bavarian-style brew haus), that would help bring guests regardless of time of day. Please Universal make this happen.

January 23, 2020 at 2:41 PM

"And, hey, while Elsa and Anna may be the princesses of the moment, Disney's still making plenty of money off of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and they're HOW old?"

Cinderella is most recently from 2015, while Aurora most recently appeared in Maleficent Mistress of Evil last year.

And while we're queuing comments from Boomers that don't care about Nintendo (like they never played Donkey Kong), go ahead and queue "Universal = screens" haters.

January 23, 2020 at 2:45 PM

@Jeffrey: Boomers are an aging demographic that will be holding less and less influence in the upcoming years. Future attractions will not be made with them in mind. It’s that very reason that I’m not convinced that much time will be wasted with original attraction concepts for a classic monster area. If the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy would have been a success (as it was to be the starting point for an interconnected series of monster films) then I can see Universal spending a lot of time and money to make it “Epic”. But it wasn’t successful, so it won’t happen.

@Melanie: Universal is not Disney. Disney has some of the same attractions in their parks since the 50’s designed for young kids. Universal has tried to appeal to teens and older, and have changed their attractions frequently. Remember, there is only one attraction at Universal that was open on Day 1 that is still running today (E.T.)

January 23, 2020 at 2:45 PM

@Jeffrey: Boomers are an aging demographic that will be holding less and less influence in the upcoming years. Future attractions will not be made with them in mind. It’s that very reason that I’m not convinced that much time will be wasted with original attraction concepts for a classic monster area. If the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy would have been a success (as it was to be the starting point for an interconnected series of monster films) then I can see Universal spending a lot of time and money to make it “Epic”. But it wasn’t successful, so it won’t happen.

@Melanie: Universal is not Disney. Disney has some of the same attractions in their parks since the 50’s designed for young kids. Universal has tried to appeal to teens and older, and have changed their attractions frequently. Remember, there is only one attraction at Universal that was open on Day 1 that is still running today (E.T.)

January 23, 2020 at 3:02 PM

@TwoBits: True that Universal does changes things up; still, allow a girl to dream :-)

@Russell: I hadn't even thought about Donkey Kong... I forgot that's Nintendo. Like I said -- I'm not hating on Nintendo land; I'm just not as excited about it as other possible parts of the park. But, again, a good ride is a good ride -- the more, the merrier!

January 23, 2020 at 3:07 PM

@NCPete said it perfectly with Nintendo being simple fun.
And it really, is especially for what they seem to be putting into the area. But it also has great appeal for kids.

Not because kids play games, but the colours are generally bright, characters are simply designed, everyone is largely cheery. Kinda like Mickey Mouse, and many classic cartoon characters.

I do think there needs to be something else in there to be a huge draw. I like HtTYD and Nintendo, but on their own, they aren't enough to get me into a new park.

January 23, 2020 at 7:55 PM

I remember the great Universal monsters maze (in 3D and black and white!) at Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando.

Do we know if Jurassic World will be in Epic Universe?

January 24, 2020 at 10:32 AM

From NCPete
---
My one concern with doing Classic Monsters is would it become a land most guests would only want to visit at night? Could they open the land later in the day (say noon) and keep open later (maybe ending in a show at midnight)? I guess if you have awesome rides and a great restaurant (like a Bavarian-style brew haus), that would help bring guests regardless of time of day. Please Universal make this happen.
---

I think it would be cool to have a classic Monster land that is in perpetual darkness- maybe a Dracula castle style one with a Bavarian village. A PG13 Haunt would be great there. You could also do a day/night flip so have a peaceful village during the day with more kid-friendly stuff that re-themes into a more haunted village at night with classic monsters and even Beetlejuice- if you like.

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