Long-awaited Super Nintendo World theme park opens in Japan

Long-awaited Super Nintendo World theme park that features a ‘Mario Kart’ ride opens in Japan

  • Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan amusement park in the western city of Osaka
  • Its bright, block-like surroundings look like they are straight out of the classic ‘Super Mario’ games
  • Augmented reality goggles are used in the ‘Mario Kart’ ride that promises to bring the racing game to life 

Here we go! After months of pandemic delays, Nintendo’s first-ever theme park, featuring a ‘Mario Kart’ ride in a real-life Bowser’s Castle, opened in Japan on Thursday to delighted fans.

The attraction, whose bright, block-like surroundings are straight out of the classic ‘Super Mario’ games, is part of the existing Universal Studios Japan (USJ) amusement park in the western city of Osaka.

‘We perfectly recreated the world of the game… You’ll find life-sized piranha plants and Bowser, and you’ll see what it is like to be Mario,’ said Ayumu Yamamoto, USJ’s marketing communication manager.

Mario and Luigi greet visitors in front of Yoshi’s Adventure attraction inside Super Nintendo World, which opened in Japan today

The attraction is Nintendo’s first-ever theme park. It features a ‘Mario Kart’ ride in a real-life Bowser’s Castle

The attraction, whose bright, block-like surroundings are straight out of the classic ‘Super Mario’ games, is part of the existing Universal Studios Japan amusement park in the western city of Osaka

Super Nintendo World had originally been scheduled to open last year. Its launch was pushed back to February, and then delayed again as Japan’s government declared a state of emergency in early 2021 to curb spiking cases. Pictured is the Yoshi’s Adventure attraction 

The much-anticipated park cost more than 60billion yen (£394million/$550million), according to Universal Studios Japan

‘It took almost a year longer than we had expected to open this place, and we are really glad,’ he told reporters at a preview on Wednesday.

The new zone, called ‘Super Nintendo World’, had originally been expected to draw big crowds last year ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was also postponed by the coronavirus.

But its launch was pushed back to February, and then delayed again as Japan’s government declared a state of emergency in early 2021 to curb spiking cases.

Music from the popular Mario games plays throughout the park and a smartphone-linked wristband allows visitors to collect virtual coins by punching blocks, just like the Italian plumber.

The new park boasts a ride based on the cute green dinosaur Yoshi, pictured, Mario-themed restaurants and life-size characters from the Mushroom Kingdom

Peach’s Castle at Super Nintendo World. Music from the popular Mario games plays throughout the park

The ‘Mario Kart’ ride, pictured, follows a track around the foreboding castle of Mario’s enemy Bowser, an evil turtle, but each seat has a steering wheel and players can collect and shoot items at opponents

A smartphone-linked wristband, pictured, allows visitors to collect virtual coins around the park by punching blocks, just like Mario

Augmented reality goggles attached to a red plastic visor are used in the ‘Mario Kart’ ride, one of the park’s main draws that promises to bring the racing game to life.

The ride follows a track around the foreboding castle of Mario’s enemy Bowser, an evil turtle, but each seat has a steering wheel and players can collect and shoot items at opponents.

The zone also boasts a ride based on the cute green dinosaur Yoshi, a Peach’s castle, Mario-themed restaurants and life-size characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.

Fans told AFP they were thrilled about the much-anticipated opening of the park, which cost more than 60billion yen (£394million/$550million), according to USJ.

‘I’ve been playing Mario since I was a boy. I didn’t expect that I could enter the world of Mario, so I’m very excited,’ said Hiroki Kono, a 19-year-old university student in Osaka.

Fans were thrilled about the much-anticipated opening of the park, pictured. Hiroki Kono, a 19-year-old university student in Osaka, said: ‘I’ve been playing Mario since I was a boy. I didn’t expect that I could enter the world of Mario, so I’m very excited’

Similar Super Nintendo Worlds are planned for Universal Studios parks in Orlando and Hollywood

Visitors walk towards the entrance of Super Nintendo World. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of ‘Super Mario Bros’, took a tour of the park in a promotional video released in December. He said: ‘At last, it’s complete! It makes a big impression, seeing the park in real life’ 

Rows of stuffed Mario toys are displayed at the 1Up Factory inside the new Super Nintendo World 

Office worker Rei Higashimoto, 25, was also delighted about the launch. ‘I have an annual pass, so I knew this Mario world was being created, and I have waited from one year ago for this day to come,’ she said.

Similar areas are planned at Universal Studios parks in Orlando and Hollywood.

The first ‘Super Mario Bros’ game came out in 1985 for Nintendo’s NES console.

The platform game, in which Mario runs and jumps past obstacles to collect coins and save Princess Peach from the evil Koopa turtles, was based on the ‘Mario Bros’ arcade game released earlier.

Since then, Mario has appeared in myriad formats including games featuring racing, football and golf.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of ‘Super Mario Bros’, took a tour of the park in a promotional video released in December.

The first ‘Super Mario Bros’ game came out in 1985 for Nintendo’s NES console. The platform game sees Mario run and jump past obstacles to collect coins and save Princess Peach from the evil Koopa turtles. Pictured is the entrance to the park 

‘We perfectly recreated the world of the game… You’ll find life-sized piranha plants and Bowser, and you’ll see what it is like to be Mario,’ said Ayumu Yamamoto, USJ’s marketing communication manager, pictured 

‘At last, it’s complete! It makes a big impression, seeing the park in real life,’ said Miyamoto, describing himself as Mario’s ‘Dad’ as he popped out of a giant green pipe.

‘There are smaller activities like the coin block, as well as bigger ones… If you manage to get three keys from various activities, you can take on the final activity – a battle with Bowser Jr.’

He added: ‘I’m very excited for all of you to experience the park on your own.’

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