Nintendo and Universal’s partnership has just been announced, and there are plans in place for three new Nintendo-themed worlds at Universal Orlando, Universal Hollywood and Universal Japan. Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury has described their plans as ‘immersive, colourful, exciting and interactive’, aka all the ingredients that make a great theme park world, and Mario is set to take centre stage. So, we’re hoping to be kicking Koopa Troopa shells, diving into warp pipe worlds, chowing down on mushroom power-ups and cruising down Rainbow Road in a Mario Kart – we don’t ask for much.
If you’ve had the chance to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you’ll already know how the epic theme park can bring a fantasy world to life and truly immerse you in all the attractions. There’s everything from interactive rides and shop recreations to Butterbeer and Fizzing Whizzbees – and you can buy a wand and perform magic in designated areas, too. Even cartoon worlds have been given a real-life makeover. At Springfield, the Simpsons-themed land at Universal Studios, you can drink a Flaming Mo at Mo’s Tavern, eat a Krusty Burger and pick up souvenirs at the Kwik-E-Mart. The new Nintendo land is likely to be even bigger and better.
Currently, we know that there will be attractions for all ages in the new Nintendo land. There will also be enormous piranha plants and life-size question blocks from Super Mario Bros, plus rides with interactive gaming components built-in like Toy Story Midway Mania at Walt Disney World. It’ll feel as if you’ve just walked into a genuine game platform, and in addition to rides, there will be multiple attractions, shops and restaurants, too.
When it comes to characters and games getting the real-life treatment, Super Mario Bros is the only confirmed franchise. However, Zelda, Starfox, Kirby and Donkey Kong are all rumoured to be included, as well as Pokémon which is now a Nintendo-owned franchise. So, after you’ve collected all the Pokémon on your Pokémon Go app, you’ll be able to see them in real life, too.
Nintendo land isn’t the only new attraction in the pipeline. Universal Orlando has so much more up its sleeves, starting with the new Volcano Bay waterpark opening in spring next year. The tropical-themed water park is inspired by postcard-perfect islands and features huge vertical drop slides, family raft rides and lagoon-like surroundings. It’s located within Universal Orlando Resort and is really near to the equally tropical-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort. There’s also a new 3-D motion capture ride called ‘Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon’ opening in Universal Studios in spring 2017, which will take audiences on a journey through the iconic sights of New York.
New dining experiences come in the form of a Willy Wonka-style dining experience called the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. Definitely one for the sweet-toothed fans.
Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort makes you feel like you’re by the seaside and puts on special Thanksgiving buffets.
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando boasts a Mediterranean-style harbour full of eateries.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando brings a taste of Polynesia to America's Sunshine State.
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