A big budget Nintendo theme park is one of those things I used to dream of as a kid, along with the ability to stop time, and a movie where Spider-Man teams up with The Avengers. I have to say, two out of three ain’t bad.
As Super Nintendo World – a collaboration between Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts – edges ever closer to completion at Universal Studios Japan, we’re starting to see and hear more details on the park, and it’s shaping up to be everything a Nintendo fan could ever want.
Back in February, a bunch of mockup images for the currently under-construction park were released that really started to get my nerd juices flowing. Now, a selection of scale models from 2016 have leaked online, and it gives us a good look at what the park’s layout could look like.
Obviously, given these models were first made three years ago, a lot could have changed, but they do seem to match up with the much more recent mockup images, so I’d say we’re looking at a pretty good indicator of the finished product – and it is beautiful.
In the images below, you can see Bowser’s Castle, which looks like the entrance to the Mario Kart ride. There’s also a Yoshi ride called Yoshi’s Adventure parked just behind an adorable little Toadstool Cafe. You’ll also notice that everything in the layout looks like it could have come straight from the Super Mario games, so I’m expecting impressive levels of immersion from the park when it’s finally finished.
Peach’s Castle isn’t pictured, but previous leaked images seem to suggest that it’ll be to the South of the Toadstool Cafe. Other images give us a glimpse at a previously unheard-of Donkey Kong Country-inspired area, complete with a jungle aesthetic and some kind of mine-kart ride. Given this area hasn’t been discussed at all, I’d imagine construction on this part of the park will begin after the Mario area.
Leaked images of a model of Super Nintendo World, posted by @UUOPodcast! Looks to be the EXACT cancelled KidsZone plans, which means it should be the same as Japan, minus Donkey Kong. Notice the line of Yoshis on the right for the omniomover ride! pic.twitter.com/VycW5lrwvG
— Alicia Stella (@AliciaStella) July 7, 2019
Construction on the park began in earnest back in October 2018, and we know we can expect a number of rides and attractions based on various Nintendo properties. Based on the images above, I’d imagine that the vast majority of these will be based on Super Mario and Donkey Kong – though I’m hoping Zelda gets some love somewhere down the line.
The current plan is to have the Japanese branch of the theme park completed in time for the 2020 Olympics. A Super Nintendo World should then arrive in Orlando sometime after the Japanese launch. I don’t suppose anyone wants to petition for a Manchester branch?
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.