Super Nintendo World, the Universal Studios theme park in Osaka, Japan that brings the world of Mario and his friends to life, finally opened to the public today. An opening ceremony was held at the Super Star Plaza, the entrance to the new district.
The ceremony included an appearance by Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary Nintendo designer who created Mario, alongside USJ CEO JL Bonnier and life-size mascots Mario and Luigi.
60 photos from our Super Nintendo World tour
“I’m very happy that we were able to open the world’s first fully realized Super Mario experience to coincide with Super Mario’s 35th anniversary,” said Miyamoto.
“I felt that if Nintendo was to work with Universal Creative, we should aim to do something the world has never seen before. With this as our motto, we have implemented the latest technology with every ounce of experience Nintendo and Universal have accumulated so far, to deliver the true heart of Super Mario. “
He concluded, “When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, I hope people from all over the world come to visit USJ.”
Super Nintendo World Merch
Currently, Super Nintendo World offers attractions based mostly on characters from the Super Mario and Mario Kart games, with Easter eggs reminiscent of franchises such as Pikmin that can also be found in the park. Bloomberg previously cited USJ that a region of Donkey Kong would follow but USJ has not mentioned it elsewhere. That said, theme parks tend to expand their attractions over time, and the USJ has been particularly aggressive in this regard, regularly adding new permanent and temporary attractions. Future attractions featuring other Nintendo characters seem like a reasonable possibility.
When asked if there are any plans to add Nintendo characters from series other than Mario games and their spinoffs, USJ CEO Bonnier said, “I can only really talk about what we currently have, but I will say that USJ and our parent company have a “long term plan” for Super Nintendo World.
Grand opening of Super Nintendo World! Mario, Luigi and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto will also be present at the opening ceremony! pic.twitter.com/ZNpTDDRUIK
– IGN Japan (@IGNJapan) March 17, 2021
To learn more about Super Nintendo World, check out our photo gallery of IGN Japan’s visit to the new park, a gallery of over 150 photos of park food and merch, and how the development team used virtual reality to create the Mario Kart ride.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, entry into Japan of foreign passport holders is currently on hold until further notice. Super Nintendo World is expected to be a part of other Universal Studios locations around the world, including Orlando, Hollywood, and Singapore, but the opening of the Orlando attraction has would have been delayed until 2025.
Yukiyo Tan is a writer at IGN Japan.