Super Nintendo World logo

It’s-a-happening: Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has set an opening date for February 2021, revealing the first proper look at the new attractions, including a Mario Kart ride and a Yoshi omnimover, as well as cool features like wearable techaugmented reality binoculars, and more. See the Super Nintendo World first look images and videos below.

Super Nintendo World First Look

Following the October opening of the Mario Cafe and adjoining merchandise store in the Hollywood area, Universal Studios Japan has pushed up the official opening date for Super Nintendo World for February 4, 2021.

The Mario Kart attraction, according to Bloomberg reporter Kurumi Mori, is called “Koopa’s Challenge” and is located inside Bowser’s castle (Koopa is Bowser’s name in Japan, which suggests the ride may have a different name when it opens in Florida and California). The castle is described as being decorated 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,” Mori writes. We can see that giant statue in one of the above photos released by Universal Studios Japan, at the top of an intimidating set of red-carpeted stairs, as well as the aforementioned trophy room. The released photos also show a concept image of the completed theme park expansion.

Mori’s report also confirms the use of AR headsets on the Mario Kart ride, with every rider “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.”

The ride takes guests through Bowser’s castle and through different levels straight from the video games, including a lava area, an underwater area, a spooky area, Rainbow Road, and more. The course uses a combination of AR, projection mapping, and other tech for a completely immersive experience. You can see see more images of the attraction below.

Super Nintendo World has been in the works for years, and has faced many setbacks and delays, the latest of which is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The expansion, which evidently cost around $560 million, was initially planned to open in time for the Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to kick off on July 24, 2020. But in late March, the Olympics were pushed back to the summer of 2021, removing some of the urgency for the new land to open in that window. The opening was then pushed to spring 2021, but it appears that construction of Super Nintendo World — which includes attractions and restaurants, including a slow-moving, kid-friendly Yoshi attraction — has been speedy enough that the land can open in early February.

The Super Nintendo World expansion is set to open at Universal Studios Japan on February 4, 2021.

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