Universal Studios’ Super Nintendo World Orlando Delayed Indefinitely
Nintendo fans hoping to visit the Super Nintendo World expansion at Universal Studios Orlando will be disappointed to learn that the theme park is experiencing another opening delay. The park was originally set to open in 2024 but has experienced even further setbacks due to the pandemic.
As one of the biggest gaming studios in operation, Nintendo is one of the first to expand into theme park entertainment. With so many iconic characters and fans around the world, it makes sense for Nintendo to partner with Universal Studios to create a dedicated theme park hub based on its hit franchises. With planned expansions in Universal Studios parks in California, Orlando, and Japan, Nintendo is going all in on its ambitions to immerse fans further in the Nintendo world, including attractions for iconic games franchises such as Super Mario.
In a quarterly earnings call, executives from Universal Studios announced that plans for the Epic Universe hub, which contains Super Nintendo World, at the Orlando park have been delayed indefinitely. The projected opening date has already been pushed once this year to 2024 due to the coronavirus, but considering the pandemic is showing little sign of slowing down, the decision has been made to put the project on hold until further notice.
CEO of NBC Universal, Jeff Shell, said in a statement “We are continually adjusting our cost base and capital, including pausing development of our Epic Universe project in Florida, for example, until the future becomes more certain.” The Epic Universe expansion will be Universal Studios’ Orlando’s fourth park expansion, alongside Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay and the main park. Continuing the Studios’ trend of partnering with popular IP, such as Harry Potter and Marvel, Epic Universe would also bring a Super Nintendo World to Florida, but when or if that will happen is now uncertain.
Theme parks have been steadily reopening around the world, but with varying results. Universal Studios in Orlando opened to the public with a COVID-19 safety plan earlier in June, but reports from within the park said that attendance was substantially low. With the pandemic impacting earnings all around the world, Universal Studios parks’ loss in revenue from this past quarter is clearly enough to put new park developments on hold for the foreseeable future.
In positive news, the first Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is close to completing construction, with an original opening date set later in 2020 which has also since been delayed. Pictures surfaced recently showing a full scale Bowser’s Castle and a Yoshi themed ride that may bring fans’ Mario Kart dreams to life. Considering the attention to detail that Universal Studios’ has taken with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s sure to be a dream come true for Nintendo fans when Super Nintendo World does eventually open in Japan.