Universal Studios Japan. And that is our Theme Park of the Week here on Theme Park Insider.What is Universal's most popular theme park? Whether you argue Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure, you're wrong. Universal's most visited theme park (at least before the pandemic scrambled everything) long has been
Opened in Osaka on March 31, 2001, Universal Studios Japan is the world's most-visited theme park not branded to Disney. It's the fifth most-visited theme park in the world but the third most popular in Japan, trailing the two Tokyo Disney theme parks. If you are wondering, the top two parks in the world are Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in California, but the Japan parks take the next three spots, giving the country a majority of the world's top five.
The big draw here is the first installation of Universal's Super Nintendo World, which opened officially in March last year.
The "real life Mario Kart ride," Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge, claimed a spot on our list of the world's top 25 theme park attractions last year and is joined in the land by the Yoshi Adventure track ride and Kinopio's Cafe restaurant. But everything in this land is an attraction, as the land is filled with interactive elements that invite you to play. A Donkey Kong expansion of the land now is under construction.
Universal Studios Japan also offers three roller coasters that fans will not find in its US parks, including Bolliger & Mabillard's Hollywood Dream: The Ride, the Mack Rides spinning coaster Space Fantasy The Ride, which usually gets a VR overlay for the park's Universal Cool Japan event, and the Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster, Jurassic Park The Flying Dinosaur.
Elsewhere, Universal Studios Japan includes several Universal theme park favorites, including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. But it also offers several blasts from the past for US theme park fans, including Terminator 2:3D, Shrek 4D, Backdraft, and Jaws The Ride.
But the real mind-bender for American visitors is Universal's license for the Peanuts and Sesame Street characters in Asia, which means a bunch of kiddie rides, play areas, and character meets themed to these franchises, plus Hello Kitty, in its Universal Wonderland area.
For more information on the park, please visit our Guide to Universal Studios Japan. And if you've visited the park, we would love to hear about your experience, in the comments.
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