While the theme park world has come to a bit of halt, Universal Studios Japan has not slowed construction at all! In fact, Super Nintendo World appears almost ready to open. Thanks to @imaiko02 on Instagram, we got these incredible shots of the upcoming land.
The last time we looked at Super Nintendo World, we could only see a glimpse of the detail and color. Thanks to close-ups, we could guess how the park may look. But now, we have these two full shots that reveal not only the land, but its stunning new entrance.
This first image is something we haven’t seen before: the land’s entrance. This entrance is so simple, yet perfectly sets up what guests can expect to find inside. Universal famously used the hidden entrance method with Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. By hiding most of the land until you’re in it, guests become overwhelmed and incredibly immersed in the story. This tunnel entrance is built to do just that.
While you can’t read it in the aerial photo, the sign is clearly going to read “Super Nintendo World,” much like it does in this concept art. Super Nintendo World is located near Hogsmeade, the Harry Potter-themed land, and the WaterWorld show, which is next to the Jurassic Park land. These two paths extending out will join the Super Nintendo World entrance to these sections of the park.
Looking back up at the aerial photo, it’s easy to see that guests will be entering from Peach’s Castle. The tunnel to get there is purposely curved so as not to reveal the land until the last possible moment. This trick is used in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and in both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Looking again at the large image, you can see how close this new land will be to Hogsmeade and the WaterWorld show. You can also slightly compare the size of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey show building to that of the Mario Kart attraction show building. We have a different angle of these buildings in an older article, which you can check out here.
Secondly, note the immense use of color and contrast compared to anything else in the park. Bright whites, vibrant greens, warm tans, and pops of yellow will truly set this land’s beauty apart from others. Super Nintendo World seeks to immerse guests in a video game and the color usage here is truly working in Universal’s favor.
Before we zoom into the actual land, we also need to note this large back area. Strong rumors suggest that this is an expansion pad for an upcoming Donkey Kong-themed area. We spoke about this rumor in detail, with land models, in a previous article. Looking at large steel supports already in place, plus a clear temple entrance archway leading to it, it seems that Universal is just waiting for the go-ahead to begin the next portion.
This image above is perhaps the most stunning glimpse we’ve ever seen of this land. This close-up gives us so much to be excited for, and there are a couple of places here we have to mention: On the left is Bowser’s Castle, which will be the entrance to the Mario Kart attraction. On the right is Peach’s Castle, which will be the entrance to the land. The land is also separated into numerous levels (pun intended) that will help sell the immersion and size.
Near the top of the image, you can’t miss the Yoshi ride vehicles for the family-style dark ride. It appears that the connection points between each ride vehicle will be green; this small detail is so important. While, yes, this is technically just a covering for the connection pieces, it also showcases a passion for storytelling. Any park could just show the tracks, but Universal has taken the effort to cover ride tracks and use green to illustrate the ground that Yoshi is running on. This seems small, but Universal has continually shown off with minor details like this.
Zooming in on the Yoshi attraction, we can see Piranha Plants, numerous POW! blocks, floating clouds, and much more. The red block with the green tube near the bottom right seems to called the Factory. This is most likely the largest merchandise store in the land. It could also be where guests purchase their Power Up Bands. Power Up Bands will connect to an app and allow guests to get even more immersed in the land.
Guests will use the Power Up Bands and the Universal Studios Japan app to virtually get coins from “?” blocks, find keys in the land, and fight in boss battles.
“Think of Super Nintendo World as a life-size, living video game where you become one of the characters,” said Thierry Coup, senior vice president and chief creative officer of Universal Creative. “You’re not just playing the game; you’re living the game, you’re living the adventure.”
Looking farther left, we can see the tallest point of the land: this hilltop. This hilltop has been a reference of ours for a while. It’s packed full of moving parts, many of which can be seen from this image. Look at anything that is gray or made of steel and you can probably see a moving part. It even appears the large tree is a on a moving track to make it come closer and farther away from guests’ view. The top, smaller yellow circle points out a Yoshi on a spinning track. Previous images showed us that it appears Yoshi will hop along around the tree.
The second yellow circle, in the middle near the pipe, is most likely the entrance to the Yoshi family-style dark ride. The signage seems to really pop and the round object is probably a Yoshi egg. Yoshi is known for his ability to eat and plop out eggs, so this is a safe guess as to the location of the ride entrance.
The circle at the bottom points to a Toad House. These huge mushroom structures are iconic buildings in Mario games. The area above this entrance is quite large, so this may be a dining location located on the first floor with guests exploring above on the second floor. A close look will also reveal numerous other Nintendo details, like a Shy Guy figure, green pipes and more Piranha Plants.
Looking closer to the entrance we can see some other noteworthy objects, with the biggest being the large structure in the center of the land. This area has a pipe and a “?” block. The addition of a small background and the large hilltop behind it will make a perfect photo-op.
Next, we have the large Piranha Plant, which appears to be on the second floor of the land. If this element is like so many others in the park, expect it to move or make noise in some way.
I left the truck in this image to help demonstrate size. Obviously it is outside the land, so there are slight sizing differences because of its distance to the camera. But, this truck does give a great first impression of the scale of objects in the land.
Using this truck, we can begin to understand how large each area of the park will be. This is the truck, in comparison, to the possible Yoshi ride entrance, Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle.
Lastly, lets look at Bowser’s Castle. This area is the darkest of the entire land and will be the entrance to the main attraction for Super Nintendo World, the Mario Kart ride. Above the castle is an archway with a sign, which may be the exit and gift shop for the attraction. On the right side of the image, there is plenty of room to walk around. There also appears to be numerous blocks to punch and interact with.
This image also reveals numerous spinning coins hidden in the hilltops. The Super Mario video games are full of color, sound and movement. This kinetic energy seems to be fully realized in the immense amount of props that are scattered throughout.
Universal Studios Japan currently does not have a reopening date, but it appears this land will open when it does or soon afterward.
What do you think of this energetic and vibrant new land coming to Universal Studios Japan? Let us know in the comments below.