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Nintendo Attractions Coming to Universal Theme Parks

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Nintendo characters and attractions are coming to Universal parks world-wide.

Universal might not have shocked anyone with yesterday’s long-awaited confirmation that King Kong is coming to Islands of Adventure, but today’s surprise announcement has certainly caught many observers off guard. A joint press release revealed that Universal has teamed with Nintendo to bring the Japanese company’s iconic video game characters to life at theme parks around the world.

The official statement, which we’ve reproduced below, is very vague, with no specifics on which resorts or intellectual properties are involved, nor a timeline of when the promised attractions might open:

Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks – creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.

The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.

Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters – using powerful storytelling and innovative technology. Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks.

The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games. More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.

While we’ll have to wait a while to learn exactly what Universal and Nintendo have in store, rumors are circulating that Japan and Orlando will be the first two destinations for the new partnership, with Universal Studios Florida‘s Kidzone a likely candidate for a Nintendo overhaul. We do not expect Nintendo to replace Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure (as some online have suggested) since that area appears on the verge of a upgrade which will retain the Disney-owned comic theme.

We have no idea yet what Nintendo games might eventually get the Universal treatment. But with over a generation worth of worlds to draw from, the possibilities of a Nintendo-based theme park land are almost endless:

  • Legend of Zelda dark ride?
  • Pokemon interactive shooter?
  • Mario Kart racing simulator?
  • Smash Brothers stunt show?
  • Super Mario bounce house?

Leave your blue sky ideas in the comments below!

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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

5 thoughts on “Nintendo Attractions Coming to Universal Theme Parks

  • I would love a Zelda or MarioKart ride. I hope Universal does something awesome with this.

  • I’ve been saying for years Disney needs be the first to make a video game attraction or land

  • This is a great pickup for Universal. I thought Kong was an odd addition and not something that would be likely to get people in the Universal demographic out to the parks, but Nintendo? The people in the age range that Universal markets to grew up with Nintendo. Great fit…

  • Donkey Kong would be fun!
    A nice compact footprint with a multi level ride track with shoot em ups perhaps to the very top!

  • My son is already freaking out about this. I can definitely see them doing some sort of Mario Kart ride (can you imagine something like Test Track, but with Mario?) 🙂 It’s going to be so cool to see what they come up with. I’d love to see a Pokemon meet and greet too.


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