Universal Announces Super Nintendo World Opening Date

November 29, 2020, 11:44 PM · The long-awaited Super Nintendo World land at Universal Studios Japan will open on February 4, 2021, the Osaka theme park announced today.

The land first was scheduled to open last summer but was delayed due to the pandemic. However, fans soon will have the opportunity to enter the land designed to evoke real-life video game, including riding a Mario Kart.

Universal Studios Japan also released some new photos of the land and from inside the main attraction, Mario Kart Koopa's Challenge. The highlight of the land is Bowser's Castle.

Super Nintendo World

Inside, fans will find "a mysterious atmosphere with stone walls, spiked fences and heavy iron doors along with a massive stone statue of Bowser at the center of a grand staircase," Universal said in its press release.


Also inside the castle, the new Mario Kart ride "is brought to life through a powerful story and characters, advanced technology in augmented reality, projection mapping, and screen projection combined with a physical set that recreates iconic environments in fantastic detail," Universal said.

Mario Kart ride vehicles

Mario trophy

Mario Kart Koopa's Challenge will be a five-minute ride for four riders, who must meet a minimum height of 36 inches. Also in the land will be Yoshi's Adventure, which Universal calls "a treasure hunting adventure."

Yoshi's Adventure

"Guests need to find the three colored eggs that lead the way to the Golden Egg that Captain Toad was seeking. Guests will encounter a spectacular view of the Mushroom Kingdom from Mount Beanpole while having fun on this ride that's perfect for the whole family," Universal said. The five-minute ride will carry two riders on each Yoshi vehicle and have a height restriction of 34 inches.

In addition, Super Nintendo World will feature an upcharge "Power Up Band Key Challenge," in which guests will try to retrieve a Golden Mushroom that Bowser Jr. has stolen. "Work your way through the games located throughout the area to collect three keys! Waiting for you is a dramatic boss battle with Bowser Jr. Jump, punch and use your entire body and all your instincts to win," Universal said. You must purchase one of Universal's new $31 (¥3200) Power-Up Bands to participate. However, you also can link the Power-Up Band to the official Universal Studios Japan app to "collect virtual coins and check your ranking, collect stamps and... experience the world of the games in real life," according to Universal.

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Replies (19)

November 30, 2020 at 12:53 AM

This can be a help to Japan as the Olympics delayed was a big blow to the economy and tourism still tricky. Hopefully, it works out.

November 30, 2020 at 12:58 AM

Looks amazing so far. I suspect Universal is about to change the game and blow minds once again!

November 30, 2020 at 12:58 AM

This is looking amazing. If it wasn’t for the Covid restrictions, I would’ve gone in time for my now cancelled Japan vacation. Sigh...

November 30, 2020 at 2:22 AM

WOW there is so much going on in the land, all those moving components. Those piranha plants for example STUNNING! A lot of maintenance to keep everything animated and those colours BRIGHT.
Love the fact the ride is still under wraps and the Karts didn't show what AR tech they are using, but each player does have a steering wheel!

November 30, 2020 at 4:04 AM

Universal really screwed the pooch on this one.

Just want to remind everyone i've been saying for years that Epic Universe was a stupid project that is a waste of space, and they should add Nintendoland to USF where Kidzone is instead of building a whole new park just to upsell another ticket with one strong IP and whole lands dedicated to lackluster IPs surrounding it (that are already outdated and no one cares about).

But instead of adding it to USF and having a huge draw for attendance in 2021, now Orlando is behind the curve and won't even start construction on this land, which will probably be at USF anyway, probably for a long time. And they wasted all that time and money on a project that was stupid to begin with.

November 30, 2020 at 4:23 AM

I know this is likely to feature a ground-breaking ride in the Mario Karts experience but this is the first major development that I just can't build up any enthusiasm for. Having never been into the video game phenomenon the IP holds no interest for me so therefore I'm left comparing this 'landscape' with that of TWWOHP or the new Jurassic coaster and all I can see is a bunch of plastic looking things that bounce up and down a bit. The omni-mover ride looks like a real plodder and I suspect the whole land is going to be full of noise. It's kind of my worst nightmare.
I dunno - I'm sure I'm out of touch and I have no doubt this will be a huge success for Universal but honestly they've lost me on this one.

November 30, 2020 at 10:27 AM

It's just shocking how good the finished product looks compared to the concept art and it doesn't stop there. From the small piek we get into the ride building it looks amazing. I'm looking forward to see this whenever Epic Universe opens.

November 30, 2020 at 11:01 AM

This looks really good! I look forward to when it makes its way to the states!

November 30, 2020 at 11:06 AM


November 30, 2020 at 11:19 AM


November 30, 2020 at 2:22 PM

I am with you Dave Brown. I'm from the generation where Atari home video games were on the top of our Christmas lists, but I just never got into it. This holds no interest for me, but I absolutely respect the excitement of others and it looks like Universal Creative has once again raised the bar of what the experience can be for a themed environment. Can't wait to hear from people who love the games and get to go on the rides.

November 30, 2020 at 3:20 PM

As someone who grew up playing Nintendo games, this looks absolutely awesome! I don't want to get expectations too high, but this could very well displace Diagon Alley as the best themed land Universal has ever created. However, as good as this area looks, I do wonder if it will be able to appeal to non-gamers, as much of it just seems outright bizarre without any preexisting exposure to the material.

November 30, 2020 at 4:41 PM

the_man: "Just want to remind everyone i've been saying for years that Epic Universe was a stupid project that is a waste of space ..."

Me: If only they hadn't canceled IAAPA, you could have autographed photos allowing us all to enrich our lives.

December 1, 2020 at 1:54 PM

The theming does look pretty amazing, but I absolutely get how this will only really appeal to a very niche market. I saw a preview report, and the journalist said that the land itself felt quite small and cluttered, and wasn’t sure how crowd levels would be managed, during this pandemic. I’m also still confused as to how Mario Kart is actually going to work. Obviously it’s all about the driving, but with 4 separate steering wheels to one ride vehicle, how can each person have control and play the game? Also, it’s on a rail, so you can’t go anywhere you want, on the track. Does anybody have any details on this?

December 1, 2020 at 2:24 PM

If by "niche" you mean millennials (the world's most powerful consumers) then yes it will appeal to a "niche" market. This looks absolutely amazing and can't wait to experience it.

December 1, 2020 at 7:33 PM

@AndrewL no, I don’t mean millennials. I mean, gamers. On top of that, not every gamer is necessarily a Nintendo fan. A lot of people view their IP’s as too ‘kiddy’. Though I bet, secretly, they’d never turn down a Mario Kart session!

December 1, 2020 at 11:13 PM

I think Nintendo is in the same league as Star Wars and Toy Story in that parents who grew up with it will enjoy it as much as their kids. The original Harry Potter series will have the same evergreen appeal.

December 2, 2020 at 1:19 AM

I really think many people here underestimate the appeal of Nintendo properties at Universal parks. Go to any store and see how much merchandise Nintendo properties have in your local Target or Walmart. Hot Wheels, Lego sets, you name it. Plus, Illumination is making a Mario movie.

Now think about how many already dated or waning properties Universal uses as the basis for theme park attractions. Unlike some of those films, you have to know little to nothing to get what's going on in Mario games. Nintendo has actively tried to minimize any story developments in Mario games since the original NES games. Princess gets kidnapped. Mario saves Princess from Bowser. End of story. That simple narrative gives Universal and Nintendo great leverage and creative flexibility to do whatever they want.

At the end of the day, this is a land aimed at kids. The height requirement is 36 inches. If you happen to enjoy it, then double win for Universal. Also, if you somehow missed out on Nintendo...you might be getting on in years. Super Mario is celebrating it's 35th anniversary. Pong does not make a compelling Universal attraction. Nintendo properties may be one of the very few gaming franchises that have cross generational appeal.

December 2, 2020 at 1:40 PM

For the record, I am a gamer. Have been since the days of the Colecovision and Commodore 64, and I probably always will be. I grew up with Nintendo, and have owned several of their consoles. I love a decent Mario game and am very curious to find out what they’ve done with the ride, but that’s about as far as it goes, for me. To be honest, I’m more excited to see what they do with Donkey Kong. If the rumoured ride concept turns out to be accurate, then that could be something very special.

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