After the planned February 4th launch was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Super Nintendo World will open on March 18th, Universal Studios Japan has announced. The park, located at Universal Studios in Osaka, will welcome a limited number of visitors and operate with strict COVID-19 hygiene measures in place, including a mandatory mask requirement.
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) March 8, 2021
The attraction was first set to open in the summer of 2020, but that date was pushed back to February 2021 as the pandemic worsened in Japan. It was later postponed “indefinitely” after a state of emergency was declared across several Osaka prefectures due to record high hospitalizations. Since then, the number of new cases in the nation has fallen, with 1,038 daily cases over the past week — about a sixth from the peak in January.
Super Nintendo World’s key attraction is the Mario Kart: Kuppa’s Challenge rollercoaster, set inside Bowser’s castle. It uses AR and projection-mapping tech, with each rider donning a Mario cap-shaped AR headset. The other main attraction is Yoshi Adventure, a slower ride taking place on Yoshi’s Island.
The park will also feature interactive experiences, including a “Power-up Band” that lets you take on enemy characters and collect coins (to a smartphone) that can be used on the rollercoaster and other attractions. There’s also a gift shop, “Kinopio Cafe” restaurant and more.