Super Nintendo World is opening at Universal Studios Japan in February. Here’s a sneak peek

Get ready to slap on your Mario Kart racing gear and toss some Koopa Shells.

The world’s first Super Nintendo World is set to open inside the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka on Feb. 4, 2021.

Executive producer Thomas Geraghty of Universal Creative — the innovation and creative arm of Universal Studios — announced the opening date during a press conference on Monday inside the park’s newly revealed Bowser Castle.

He says the new addition to Universal Studios will offer an experience that “can be found nowhere else in the world” and includes attractions based on the popular Mario series of games, which was first launched in the 1980s, as well as restaurants and gift shops.

In addition to conventional rides, the entire Super Nintendo World will be an immersive game in which guests can compete against other gamers in the park.

“It will provide the first-ever ‘Asobi’ (play) experience for our guests,” says Geraghty, adding that visitors will be able to jump up and punch “question blocks” and collect virtual coins.

Guests can purchase Power-up Bands, a wristband that can be linked to a smartphone app, where they can store these virtual coins and keys.

Real-life Mario Kart

But Bowser Castle, with its stone walls, iron fences and a large statue of the Mario antagonist is what will really get fans excited.

Here’s where guests will find the world’s first officially recognized Mario Kart ride, called “Koopa’s Challenge.”

Wearing a headset, players will be able to dive into the popular racing game with the help of some advanced technologies like augmented reality, projection mapping and special effects.

“Guests will race through the Mushroom Kingdom, steering their way around the track, throwing shells at Koopa Lane, racing alongside Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach,” says Geraghty.

Other main attractions revealed on Monday include Princess Peach’s Castle and Yoshi’s Adventure.

The park is the result of more than six years of work between Universal Creative and the Nintendo Creative team, led by Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and representative director of Nintendo.

It was originally scheduled to open in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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