Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan was scheduled to open this year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for the park’s inauguration were scrapped. Now, Super Nintendo World will open to the public on February 4, 2021.
In the meantime, a Nintendo-themed café and shop have already opened in the Universal Studios Japan park. Eventually, the park will be expanded to include a Donkey Kong-themed area. When it opens, the park will feature numerous attractions, including a Mario Kart rollercoaster which traverses Bowser’s Castle. Throughout, riders will wear AR goggles to simulate an actual Mario Kart game.
In addition, there will be Mario Kart rides that feature race cars on rails in which riders can power-up from item boxes, affording a new experience each time you race. Each kart will have four seats, a steering wheel, and an AR headset for each rider. Meanwhile, the station will feature Warp Pipes hanging from the ceiling, metal chains, and huge gears, adding to the atmosphere.
The park will also showcase Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. According to executive producer Thomas Geraghty, “We will bring the story to life with Nintendo’s very compelling characters – Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach – and we will immerse our guests into the world of Nintendo with this augmented reality headset. Guests will join their favourite characters immersed in augmented reality, steering their way through the Mushroom Kingdom, throwing shells at Koopalings, as they race to the finish.”
Although Japan still has a significant number of coronavirus cases, with 2,585 new infections recorded on November 29, Super Nintendo World is hoping to coincide with the launch of COVID-19 vaccines. The park is currently working with health administration officials to guarantee the safety of visitors and staff. When it opens, the park will operate at 50% capacity. So far, Japan has eschewed strict lockdown measures.; they have engaged in aggressive contact tracing and mandated universal mask-wearing to lessen the impact of the pandemic.
The opening of Super Nintendo World in Osaka may set new standards for other parks, which been severely impacted by COVID-19. Last week, the Walt Disney Company announced it would lay off 32,000 employees, most of whom work in the parks division. For those outside Japan, Super Nintendo World is planning a park in Orlando’s Universal Studios in 2023.
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