Expansion to include roller coaster, interactive experiences, merch, food
Universal Studios Japan announced on Tuesday it will launch a Donkey Kong-themed expansion to its Super Mario World area in 2024. The new area will feature a roller coaster, interactive experiences, themed merchandise, and food.
With the addition of the Donkey Kong-themed area, the Super Nintendo World area of the theme park will increase by about 70%.
The Super Nintendo World area of the theme park officially opened on March 18. The park had originally planned to open the area in late July 2020, in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but delayed the opening to prevent crowding, as a countermeasure against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The first phase of the Super Nintendo World area opened with two rides named “Super Mario Kart Ride” and “Yoshi’s Adventures.” Visitors to the attractions are given magnetic Powerup Bands that allow visitors to interact with the attractions, such as hitting real-life “? Blocks.” The wristbands are able to keep track of scores (including a park-wide ranking board), coins, and stars from various rides, and they can interact with a “game console.” According to NHK, the park is investing over 6 billion yen (about US$56 million) in the new area to raise attendance to record levels. Construction began in 2017.
The effort is part of the larger planned Nintendo-themed initiative that Universal is adding to its theme parks. Universal Studios‘ Epic Universal theme park in Orlando is scheduled to open in early 2025. Epic Universal is slated to include Super Nintendo World.