Universal delays Donkey Kong roller coaster

April 19, 2024, 10:23 AM · Universal Studios Japan's Donkey Kong expansion will not be opening this spring, after all.

The Osaka theme park announced today that it is delaying the opening of the Donkey Kong Country expansion of its Super Nintendo World until "late 2024." The expanded land, with its first-of-its-kind Mine Cart Madness roller coaster, was scheduled to open this spring.

"Although the development work of this expansion area is in the final stages of completion, USJ would like to ensure a positive experience for our guests and has determined that additional time is needed for the final period of preparations and adjustments," Universal Studios Japan said in a press release.

"We will announce a definitive date for opening as soon as it is determined and we sincerely apologize to our guests who have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the Super Nintendo World expansion."

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Replies (10)

April 19, 2024 at 10:29 AM

So they finally noticed that they were missing part of the track on that coaster? ;-)

April 19, 2024 at 10:47 AM

A prototype ride system needing more time to test and adjust than anticipated is akin to water being wet. I'm guessing that the 2 teams in Japan and Florida are working together so that any issues identified at one installation are also found and corrected in the other, even though the Epic Universe version isn't slated to open for over a year.

However, it is disappointing that Universal appears to have underestimated this one pretty dramatically, and is probably deserving of criticism often levied at Disney for missing deadlines.

April 19, 2024 at 11:04 AM

Yeah, you hate to see it. I do wonder if Universal could open the actual land (with it's shops, restaurants, and mini-games) before the marquee ride. Similar to what Disney did with Galaxy's Edge.

April 19, 2024 at 11:08 AM

When Galaxy's Edge opened at Disneyland, RotR wasn't ready, but MFSR was in addition to Savi's, Oga's, and Droid Depot. I don't think there are any other real attractions slated for Donkey Kong Country, so it probably would be a massive tease for them to open the land if the only attraction wasn't available.

April 19, 2024 at 11:25 AM

@Robert: take a bow sir, you earned it

I’m curious if the Disney haters will heap the same level of vitriol on Universal that they do when Disney delays something. I for one have no problem with the delay. Take the extra time and get it right. I’d rather have a reliable working awesome attraction then a tantalizing attraction that breaks down often because of a rushed rollout.

April 19, 2024 at 12:19 PM

While I would not consider myself a Disney "hater," I have admired the speed at which Universal has constructed new attractions when Disney has languished. Universal has also put together a series of innovative, creative, and world-class rides and attractions in recent years. (Not you F&F.)

I agree with Russell that this is akin to water being wet. When you are building new and innovative ride, this is the by-product. However, with that being said, Universal does deserve derision for for badly missing the opening date. (Just like many piled onto Disney for missing the opening for Rise and continually pushing Tron Lightcycle Run, which was a clone of an existing ride.) The hope is that they work out all of the kinks before Epic Universe, because if there are still issues when DK opens in Orlando, there will be he!! to pay.

April 19, 2024 at 1:00 PM

I knew that King K Rool was up to something….

April 19, 2024 at 3:58 PM

So apparently everything was 100% on schedule to open this land next month except the coaster, which has encountered some significant technical problems during testing that will take a few months to resolve. Rather than open an incomplete area, USJ opted to postpone opening to the fall. It's definitely an unfortunate development, but not too unusual given that they're dealing with a one of a kind prototype ride system for the attraction. Hopefully the issues they've discovered are addressed preemptively in Florida so that Epic Universe doesn't open with an incomplete Nintendo area.

April 20, 2024 at 1:29 PM

Even an incomplete Nintendo area at Epic Universe will be more fully realized than the one at Hollywood.

April 22, 2024 at 8:40 AM

lots of anticipation with this coaster. now it just got longer.

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