While Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, has the same wide variety of rides and attractions based on several American-originating media and entertainment franchises, it also stands uniquely on its own with many other exclusive licensed properties, all Japanese. From as cute as “Hello Kitty” to as magical as “Sailor Moon,” and from adventurous as “My Hero Academia” to grim as “Death Note,” manga and anime hits give USJ a character all its own. But none can perhaps compare to the scale of videogame giant Nintendo, which is getting its own themed area set to open 2021. But several features of this “Super Nintendo World” are already undergoing motion tests.
WDW News Today has it that Universal Studios Japan’s upcoming expansion area, the Super Nintendo World, has caught plenty of attention from theme park fanatics lately following the footage of certain animatronic features being tested that has since spread on social media since the beginning of July last week. The short video, which can be seen on platforms such as Twitter, shows a long shot of one of the tallest points in Super Nintendo World, a plateau reminiscent of the environment from “Super Mario World” on the SNES game console.
As seen in the shot, the high plateau area features animatronics in the form of three iconic “Super Mario” collectible coins all spinning in one place. But the money shot has got to be the massive “Thwomp,” a gray animated block with a mean-looking face “hovering” in midair before periodically falling down swiftly, like it would on Mario and Luigi should they pass under it. Also visible is what appears to be a “Super Mario” enemy going in a slow circuit below and to the right of the Thwomp. The animatronics look to have been activated to test their operation for a length of time.
Super Nintendo World has been one of the most hotly-anticipated new theme park areas for Universal Studios. Construction was supposed to have been completed in time for a grand opening to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the Games back a year, along with the debut of Super Nintendo World, which would feature attractions, games and shops based not just on the long-running “Super Mario” game series but also other titles and characters created and developed by Nintendo. Construction of the themed area ran to a cost of about 60 billion Yen ($559.5 million).
A new estimated opening time for USJ’s “Super Nintendo World” is said to be for as early as this coming autumn. Stateside versions of the area are also now currently under development and construction at two Universal Studios theme parks in California and Orlando, Florida.
Image courtesy of The Verge