theme parks

Mario Kart IRL? Universal's Nintendo Theme Park Is Coming.

At Super Nintendo World's groundbreaking ceremony, a Nintendo president promised "a world of excitement."

by Beckett Mufson
13 June 2017, 3:29am

Image: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The groundbreaking ceremony for Universal Studios Japan's upcoming Super Nintendo World theme park late last week revealed the equally groundbreaking news that yes, there will be IRL Mario Kart.

"We've been working to make Mario Kart Experience an attraction unlike any the world has ever seen," said Universal Creative president and Vice Chairman of Universal Parks and Resorts Mark Woodbury. He described it as, "the most immersive and cutting-edge technological attraction that we could have imagined." Hopefully Universal Studios' budget and Nintendo's notoriously strict quality control will result in an experience even more rad than Waterloo Labs' DIY Mario Kart with RFID powerups.

The news was announced in a bizarre, very entertaining video in which Woodbury, Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto, and Universal Studios Japan CEO J.L. Bonnier dress in Mario hats and gloves. With panache that recalls Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Nintendo-themed performance at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, they hop on one foot with a life-sized Mario mascot on a brick and Pirhana Plant-decked stage. Confetti and fireworks abound.

The celebration matches the level of hype the trio are building around the park. "Here, Nintendo games will come to life," Miyamoto says in the video. "Guests will be able to enter a world of excitement where they will feel as if they are playing inside Nintendo video games."

On the same day, Universal Studios Japan release a largely CGI teaser of what Super Nintendo World might be like—sort of.

Super Nintendo World is set to open in 2020, the same year as Studio Ghibli Land will open to the public and the Olympics come to Tokyo. You can sure as hell bet we've got a Google Alert for "Japan Tickets 2020."


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Super Nintendo World