Universal Studios could be planning to further utilize its partnership with Nintendo by looking to another franchise outside of Super Mario for ride concepts. As early as 2020, Universal Studios Orlando theme park goers could see Pokémon in the mix.
According to one of Orlando’s local news channels, WFTV, Universal Studios plans to incorporate Pokémon attractions into all of its theme park locations, with Orlando kicking it off. Theme Park University blogger Josh Young reportedly spoke to several inside sources and learned Pokémon-themed rides will be added to the KidZone area of the Florida theme park.
The report also stated the previously revealed Nintendo-themed attractions in Orlando, such as the Mario Kart attraction and a Donkey Kong rollercoaster, “will be moving across the street to the 400 acres Universal recently bought near Kirkman Avenue.” However, the new Nintendo lands will be added to Japan and Hollywood’s theme parks first, with Orlando set to unveil its video game area in 2023.
Of course, Universal and Nintendo have not officially confirmed the use of Pokémon in its theme parks, so fans should wait for official word before planning their journeys to Orlando. However, Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, which would make it a believable concept for theme parks attractions. While the report revealed the rides themed after the pocket monsters will only be relegated to the kids’ zone, it’s possible Universal could include more of the franchise in the main Nintendo lands for all ages.
Of course, with the possibility of Pokémon now in the mix, it’s only a matter of time before Universal starts to mine the depths of all that Nintendo has to offer. We’d certainly love to see rides themed after Metroid, Splatoon, and The Legend of Zelda arrive down the line.