Announced in 2015, Japan’s much-anticipated Super Nintendo World is currently under construction. It is estimated that the project will cost between $350 and $550 million USD. The park is set to open in the spring of 2021 as part of Universal Studios Japan (USJ) – the tenth “land” of that theme park. This video game inspired theme park is located in Osaka, and Nintendo fans are hungry for pre-grand opening details.
Japan’s Super Nintendo World will be the first of several such attractions in Universal Studios theme parks around the world. After USJ’s grand opening, Super Nintendo World attractions will be opening in Orlando, Hollywood, and Singapore Universal Studios, although the timelines for these projects have not been announced.
You can experience the wonderment of your first video game at Super Nintendo World. What can you expect, and when can you expect it? Get all the details you need to plan your Universal Studios Japan vacation.
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When will Super Nintendo World open?
At the groundbreaking ceremony in 2017, it was announced that the park would be operational in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. However, the Games have now been pushed back one year because of coronavirus, and Nintendo World is now expected to open in Spring 2021.
Nevertheless, Nintendo has also installed a Mario-themed café and store at Universal Studio Japan’s Hollywood area, which opened on October 16th, 2020.
What we know so far
Much of what is known about the specific elements and attractions of the park are speculation or are based on “leaked” photographs. What is certain is that the attractions, shops, and restaurants will feature iconic moments from the Nintendo games and characters such as Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong.
Photographs have revealed some elements of the park, including the castle tower scaled by Mario in many of the Super Mario games, complete with the goal pole that resides on top. This structure appears to be the largest constructed to far. It is brightly colored and closely resembles on-screen visuals from the original games. Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle are thought to be integral elements.
What about the rides?
Two known rides include Super Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Adventures will be available at the time of opening. This is considered the park’s first phase, with more rides to come.
The entire environment is designed to be immersive, with decorative elements such as question mark blocks and piranha plants that will delight avid gamers young and old. Costumed characters will also be available for meet and greets. Other rumored yet unconfirmed attractions include a Toadstool Cafe and a future minecart-themed Donkey Kong ride.
Smart Mario-themed wristbands
Additionally, guests will be able to interact with the park via magnetic bracelets that can be scanned at various locations, such as at the rides and castles. These interactions will result in a score and sent to your Nintendo game console, allowing you to build on this score with each successive visit to the park – truly bringing the game to life. The bands will feature a “big red Mario symbol,” according to Universal Parks chairman Tom Williams.
— Kurumi Mori (@rumireports) January 14, 2020
While we wait for more news, you can take a look at this special music video, the official Super Nintendo World theme song, a collaboration between Galantis, Charli XCX and Universal Studios Japan. The theme is called We Are Born to Play.
How to get there
You can easily reach USJ using your Japan Rail Pass. The park is located about 7 kilometers from Osaka. You can therefore take the Osaka Loop Line from Osaka Station City to Nishikujo Station. Then, transfer to the Sakurajima Line to Universal-City Station.
This trip takes about 13 minutes, and trains depart about every 15 minutes. You can walk from the station to the park in under five minutes.
Hours and admission fees
USJ’s hours vary by the season, but opening time is typically between 8:30 and 9:30 am, and closing time between 7 and 9 pm. Extended hours are implemented on some weekends and on public holidays. The park remains open every day of the year.
Tickets typically cost between 2,500 yen and 7,315 yen. Express Passes and VIP wristbands are also available, allowing you to bypass the long lines that are sure to follow this new attraction.
Other USJ attractions
In addition to Super Nintendo World, you’ll likely want to spend time in some of the park’s other themed zones. These include:
- New York
- San Francisco
- Jurassic Park
- Minion Park
- Amity Village
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Universal Wonderland
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At Universal Studios Japan, your favorite entertainment and childhood dreams come to life to make for an unforgettable vacation.