The first Super Nintendo World theme park has finally opened in Universal Studios Osaka, Japan.
Following more than a year of postponement due to COVID-19, the first visitors have been allowed inside Super Nintendo World. Situated on the edge of the Universal Studios Osaka complex, Super Nintendo Land is packed with lifesize Mario characters, enemies, and areas from the Mushroom Kingdom. Originally planned to open in Spring 2020, the opening was repeatedly pushed back as the ongoing pandemic introduced new safety issues to contend with.
With COVID-19 still a major concern in Japan and worldwide, the park is currently operating at a reduced capacity, with strict measures in place to ensure safety according to CNN. Visitors must have their temperature checked at the entrance, masks are mandatory in all but a few specific zones, and hand sanitizer is present throughout the park.
Beyond those measures, however, it appears that the park is fully operational. Along with punchable coin blocks and staff dressed as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach to take a photo with, attendees can also hop on an augmented reality Mario Kart ride titled Koopa’s Challenge. Wristbands allow anyone in the park to link their activities to a smartphone app which tracks their performance and the coins they collect while exploring.
The opening ceremony saw Nintendo legend and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto in attendance, welcoming those who could visit now, and sending wishes that the whole world could attend in the future.
If you’re interested to see how the park is laid out, there’s an online tour available to drool over while planning a distant holiday. The good news for anyone who doesn't’ expect to make it to Osaka is that Super Nintendo World parks are planned for several other spots across the globe, including Universal parks in the United States.
While the Mario sections is already complete, it appears that there could be more in store for Super Nintendo World, with plenty of rumors pointing towards a Donkey-Kong-themed expansion being constructed in the coming years.