Universal Parks & Resorts know they have a good thing with Nintendo. The theme park company previously announced plans for multiple Super Nintendo World lands in its different parks around the world. And while only one of those new lands has actually opened, it's already planning a massive expansion, themed around the classic Nintendo character Donkey Kong. The as yet unnamed land expansion will increase the size of Super Nintendo World by 70% and is set to open at Universal Studios Japan in 2024.
Super Nintendo World only opened to guests earlier this year, so we're getting the announcement of an expansion a lot earlier than we might otherwise expect. Clearly this is a sign that despite the pandemic delays, and there were several in both construction and in opening the new land, Super Nintendo World is a hit with guests and Universal is ready to build on what's working.
Details are obviously scarce on this new land as it was just announced. It has no official name, simply the Donkey Kong theme. The new land is set to include a roller coaster, as well as "interactive experiences," along with the expected food and merchandise areas. A roller coaster is obviously a perfect addition to Super Nintendo World. The coaster has been rumored before today, and so assuming that the rumors prove accurate, the coaster design will be based on the mine cart levels from the Donkey Kong Country series of games.
What the interactive experiences will be are even more up in the air, but Universal states guests will "take a walk on the wild side through the lush jungles where Donkey Kong and his friends live." One can imagine some sort of walk through attraction, or possibly a jungle themed playground for kids, or maybe both.
Super Nintendo World is currently under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood, expected to open some time next year. The land will also be part of the new Epic Universe theme park under construction at Universal Orlando Resort. It seems likely that the Donkey Kong expansion will come to Epic Universe, it may even get built as part of the new theme park at the start. Universal Studios Hollywood has always had to deal with a significant lack of available space, which makes it less likely, though certainly not impossible, that the expansion could happen there as well.
One also has to wonder how the Donkey Kong expansion will tie into the existing Mushroom Kingdom part of the land, and if all this will be connected in some way to the new Super Mario Bros. movie. That project will also include Donkey Kong, and is being produced by Illumination Entertainment, which is owned by Universal. Several Illumination franchises are already part of Universal theme parks all over the world and one wonders if Super Nintendo World will ultimately tie in only with Nintendo's classic games, or with the fledgling film franchise.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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