Construction and development are ongoing on the planned "Super Nintendo World" section of Japan's Universal Studios Osaka. Initially, the park, which embodies the colorful world of the Mario franchise, was planned to open this summer during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. However, the opening (as well as the Olympic Games themselves) was delayed due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
While an official opening date for Super Nintendo World has not yet been announced, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa estimates that the park will debut in late 2020 or early to mid-2021. Construction, although delayed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, is still ongoing.
Recently, Nintendo fans and Universal Studios Japan enthusiasts alike have been capturing and sharing sneak previews of the park in the form of both pictures and videos. In June, Instagram user @imaiko02 shared a stunning aerial photograph of Super Nintendo World. Eagle-eyed fans can spot areas themed around Bowser and Princess Peach's castles, as well as fun elements to explore and interact with, such as shells and Question Blocks.
There's even an adorable park entrance where attendees will cross a plaza decorated with a Super Star and walk through a giant green Warp Pipe!
Later in June, a Universal-themed Instagram account, @LCASTUDIOS_USJ, posted images taken from the ground near the Super Nintendo World area. While a wall hides most of the park's structure, Bowser's Castle is shown to tower majestically above the other elements of the city — an appropriately intimidating fortress worthy of the Koopa King!
But pictures were not nearly enough to satisfy Nintendo fans eager to get a peek at Universal's newest attraction. On June 29, Twitter user @29QuP2, while staying in the Park Front Hotel just outside of USJ, was able to record their excellent view of Super Nintendo World. They captured an entire minute of footage that features spinning coins, careening green shells, and sinister Piranha Plants peeking out from their pipes. Accompanying the Piranha Plants is a host of classic Mario enemies, including Goombas, Koopas, and even a slightly menacing Thwomp.
In addition to both Bowser and Peach's castles, the park features areas based on classic Super Mario levels, with coins and question blocks galore. 29Qu's video shows off a frigid frozen area, a rolling green field, and a lush forest complete with absolutely adorable looking trees. Not to mention, Bowser's Castle is revealed to feature an enormous entrance gate in the shape of the iconic villain himself — of course, bearing his signature snarling expression!
— 29Qu (@29QuP2) July 1, 2020
The first video, unfortunately, did disappoint some fans by apparently showing Thwomp remaining entirely still. However, a more recent video, taken by Twitter user @chizuoo, confirms that the enemy will indeed move up and down regularly. Unfortunately, the angle at which the video is filmed does not reveal whether or not visitors to the park will be in any danger of being crushed!
Another Universal Studios fan on Twitter, @ayato0222usj, managed to catch a glimpse of the park at night from their room at the Universal Port Hotel. This brand new video once again shows Thwomp in motion, but this time, the big guy's eyes have taken on an eerie red glow. Bowser's Castle is also glowing rather brightly, and it seems that the snarling entrance decoration will also feature lit-up eyes, although only one eye is visible in the video.
— AYATO (@ayato0222usj) July 4, 2020
So far, we know surprisingly little about what features will be present in the finished version of Super Nintendo World. Furukawa has confirmed that it will feature "numerous attractions, shops, and restaurants," and visitors will be able to obtain a unique interactive bracelet that will allow them to collect "points" throughout their time in the park. Hopefully, with so many Osaka hotels granting folks a peek into the park, we'll be seeing even more exclusive footage throughout the rest of the year as we eagerly wait for Super Nintendo World to open.
What features and attractions would you like to see featured as part of Super Nintendo World? Let us know!