“Soon, we’re going to add another Super Nintendo World to Universal Orlando Resort,” announced Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Woodbury on Wednesday night at the grand opening event for the same-named attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. He then admitted that the news may have been “the worst-kept secret in history.” You can watch the moment below.
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood officially opens Friday, roughly coinciding with the April 7, 2023 release of Universal and Illumination’s Super Mario Bros movie — the voice of Mario himself, Chris Pratt, was at the grand opening event Wednesday night. A larger Super Nintendo World opened last year at Universal’s Japan park with its own Mario Kart attraction, one is planned for Singapore and now, officially, there is confirmation that Orlando will also get a version of the attraction.
The Orlando build will be a part of that resort’s larger, much-anticipated Epic Universe park expected to open in 2025.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts announced Epic Universe in 2019, calling it “the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business. Then-Universal Parks & Resorts head Tom Williams described the “vision” for Epic Universe as “historic.” He said the new park would be “the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.”
Given those adjectives, anticipation among fans has been intense, with some combing through building permits for the 750-acre site and others sending up drones to survey the build in order to divine coming attractions based on photos.
It’s all part of an aggressive expansion by Universal that involves regional parks and attractions like those recently announced in Texas and Las Vegas, as well as big, new attractions at its existing properties.
Late last year, Universal Orlando Resort announced the closing of at least five attractions to make way for what it termed “new family entertainment.” Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet would permanently close at end of day on January 15, 2023.
While not Mario related, some educated guesses about what will fill the space include a possible Pokémon attraction, or concepts based on DreamWorks or Illumination IP such as Trolls or The Secret Life of Pets — Illumination’s Minions already have their own zone coming next year. Universal promised more details “in the months ahead.”
Watch legendary Mario franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Universal Parks boss Woodbury count down the debut of the West Coast Super Nintendo World at last night’s grand opening event below.
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