Very few videogame development companies can claim to be iconic and familiar enough to warrant building an actual area of attractions in a theme park after them. Japan’s Nintendo happens to be such a company, inking a deal with Universal Parks and Resorts to build Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. Opened this past March, with a copy soon to follow next year in Universal Studios Hollywood, Super Nintendo World treated guests to a vibrant Nintendo experience. But despite being called “Super Nintendo World,” the only features and attractions were from one Nintendo franchise, “Super Mario.” Thankfully, even that detail is about to change.
The Verge tells us that Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan is getting ready to expand its offerings less than a year after it launched. The Japanese gaming and entertainment giant revealed that they have already started work on an expansion in the new area of the Osaka-based theme park. The expansion will feature locations and characters from another classic Nintendo IP, “Donkey Kong.” Where the terrain motif of Super Nintendo World’s Mario attractions is rolling hills and grasslands, the Donkey Kong area will feature jungle aesthetics from the “Donkey Kong Country” game series.
Nintendo chief creative Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of both Donkey Kong and Super Mario, is only too pleased with both franchises soon to be represented in Super Nintendo World. “I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal,” says Miyamoto. “It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games, but for all guests.” Much like the Super Mario area, the Donkey Kong area will feature interactive experiences, merchandising shops and dining facilities. Its principal attraction will be a roller coaster.
While Universal Studios Japan has taken great effort to open Super Nintendo World this year, the fact that the world remains shrouded in the pandemic has understandably hobbled visitor numbers. It is hoped by Universal Parks and Resorts that by the time the Donkey Kong expansion is opened to visitors in 2024, COVID will be even more under control and travel restrictions will be relaxed. It is not known whether the Super Nintendo World under construction in Universal Studios Hollywood will have provision for the same expansion, or if it will come later after opening.
Image from Nintendo Official Website