It’s cool to be Nintendo again, in no small part thanks to the success of the Nintendo Switch. Perhaps it would have been a different story if the Switch became an embarrassment instead. Perhaps Nintendo would have shelved its plans for theme parks then. But since that gloomy scenario didn’t come to pass, it’s full steam ahead for the first Super Nintendo World. And, unsurprisingly, it will center around the company’s most iconic character and his crazy driving antics in Mario Kart.
It has been three years since Nintendo and Universal Studios Japan broke ground in Osaka to start the construction of the theme park. Although it might take another three years to fully open the park, the two companies set up a stage recreation of the Mushroom Kingdom to tease more details of the upcoming theme park. Super Mario also made an appearance but, this time, it wasn’t Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in disguise. Or so they say.
Although it was expected that the park would be themed around Mario, it wasn’t clear until today which of the many incarnations of the franchise will take center stage. Then again, Mario Kart does seem to be the best fit for a theme park ride, and so it will be the centerpiece of the park. Of course, it will be a child-friendly version.
Universal Studios Japan also shared a video ad that may or may not give a glimpse of how Super Nintendo World may look. It is definitely appropriate if the entrance will be the equally iconic green pipe.
Universal Studios has reportedly poured in 60 million yen ($548,000) into the project, which is planned to open in 2020, right before the Tokyo Olympics start. After that, and depending on the initial park’s success, other Nintendo theme parks will be built in Universal Studios’ Hollywood and Florida locations.