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You'll Soon Be Able to Race Your Way Around Multiple Nintendo Theme Parks

And yes, a real-life 'Mario Kart' experience is on the cards.
By Sarah Ward
April 20, 2019
By Sarah Ward
April 20, 2019

When Super Mario Kart first rolled onto Super Nintendo consoles back in 1992, it came with 20 inventive courses and endless hours of fun. Nearly three decades later, the game has become a beloved phenomenon — not just speeding through desert tracks and rainbow roads, but into reality, through Google Maps and now into theme parks.

Come 2020, you'll be able to enjoy a real-life Mario Kart experience as part of Super Nintendo World, which is joining Universal Studios in Osaka. First announced back in 2017, the park is due to open before next year's Tokyo Olympics, with the racing component described as "a new kind of attraction" by Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative and Vice Chairman Universal Parks & Resorts. Exactly what the ride will entail is yet to be confirmed; however it's safe to assume that fans will be able to strap into some kind of moving kart.

Osaka's Super Nintendo World will also take over multiple levels — fitting for a gaming-themed space — and recreate the brand's popular characters and themes, complete with other rides, restaurants and shops. Again, specific details are sparse; however given that Nintendo's stable includes everything from Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong to Tetris and The Legend of Zelda, there's plenty to play with. Our suggestions: a tunnel and brick Mario maze and a Donkey Kong water ride that uses the game's iconic aquatic music. Based on the park's adorable groundbreaking ceremony, the first idea mightn't be too far-fetched.

Can't make it to Japan? Universal Studios is also planning Super Nintendo Worlds for its other parks in Hollywood, Orlando and in Singapore. The latter was just announced this month, and is set to open by 2025.

When Super Nintendo World launches at Universal Studios Osaka next year, it'll join Japan's growing list of pop culture-themed attractions — including the towering Godzilla and Gundam statues, the existing Studio Ghibli Museum, the forthcoming Studio Ghibli theme park, Tokyo Disney Resort in general and the Japanese park's upcoming Toy Story hotel, to name just a few.

On the international theme park scene, it's also a great time to live out your love for your favourite films, shows and games. As well as all of the above, both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in the US are about to gain Star Wars theme park zones, a Star Wars hotel is also coming to Walt Disney World, and a Marvel hotel is slated for Disneyland Paris.

Published on April 20, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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