Super Mario World is finally gearing up to open its gates to the people of Japan. And hopefully, soon enough, the world. The theme park's opening was delayed earlier this year due to health and safety concerns. But now, Nintendo has revealed that the theme park is set to open on February 4, 2021. To commemorate the announcement, they have revealed new photos and details about the Mario Kart ride, which will be one of the main attractions.
The announcement was revealed by the official Nintendo Japan website. Super Mario World is part of Universal Studios Japan and has been in the works since 2015. A short video promo was also released online which not only confirms the opening date, but gives fans a taste of what's to come. It looks very much like visitors will be stepping inside of a Super Mario Bros. video game.
One of the highlighted rides is called Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge. It is billed as "the world's first interactive Mario Kart theme park ride." The photos showcase the inside of Koopa's castle, including a gigantic Bowser statue. We also get a look at the karts themselves, as well as the VR headsets that riders will wear during the race. Journalist Kurumi Mori got a first-hand look at the Mario Kart attraction and shared some of her findings on Twitter, saying the following.
"The Mario Kart attraction is called Koopa's Challenge and is located inside Bowser's castle. The castle was really cool with themed walls, doors, banners, ceilings, lights and a giant statue of Bowser. Visitors see all this and a trophy room while lining up for the ride. Every rider is given a slim headset with a visor, presumably for AR. Each Mario Kart has 4 seats and each seat has a steering wheel. The kart is definitely on rails but riders are given some control. They also collect items and 'throw shells' at other karts. We saw two side-by-side rail tracks, suggesting your kart could be racing a competitor. Universal said each ride will be a unique experience and visitors aren't guaranteed to win. Riders set off from Bowser's castle and race through different scenes including a lava level, underwater, a spooky area, Rainbow Road and more. The course uses AR, projection mapping and other tech for immersion."
Japan would be far away for many theme park goers in normal circumstances. But ongoing health and safety issues will further complicate any plans being hatched by Nintendo superfans. But the good news is the park will be open soon. So, once things cool down, people will finally have the chance to experience this Mario-themed wonderland in real life.
The big question is whether or not Universal will bring this concept to other theme parks around the world. Namely, Universal Studios in the U.S., in either Florida or California. One has to imagine if it goes well in Japan, that could be on the table. For now, be sure to check out the photos and promotional video from yourself. This news comes to us via Nintendo Japan.