Super Nintendo World, the Nintendo-themed land coming to Universal Studios theme parks, has officially started construction.
Universal Studios Japan recently posted a video of the groundbreaking ceremony, featuring a person in a Mario costume and three executives—including Shigeru Miyamoto—decked out in Mario hats, puffy white gloves, and business suits.
The most significant announcement, however, was that the previously rumored Mario Kart Experience is real.
Details on Mario Kart Experience were slim, but Mark Woodbury, vice chairman of Universal Theme Parks and Resorts, promised that it would be “an attraction unlike any the world has ever seen—the most immersive and cutting-edge technological attraction that we could’ve possibly imagined.” Sounds a little more fun than go-karts.
Universal Studios Japan CEO J.L. Bonnier noted that Super Nintendo World will have multiple levels and will include “attractions, retail, and restaurants.” We’re guessing there will be a lot of dishes with mushrooms in them.
Super Nintendo World will be opening at Universal Studios Japan sometime in 2020 before the Tokyo Olympics. But don’t worry if you don’t live in Japan: The opening in Osaka will be followed by expansions in Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando in the future.
A CGI trailer was also released, showing Mario jumping and block-punching around what some are calling a mock-up of Super Nintedo World’s layout. Locales featured in the trailer include Princess Peach’s castle, Bowser’s castle, and miles upon miles of pipes and primary-colored blocks.
The only disappointment is that Mario characters seem to be the only Nintendo property represented. The stocky plumber is arguably Nintendo’s most recognizable property, but The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, and more recently Splatoon are all extremely popular first-party franchises. Pokemon, which is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, is owned by The Pokemon Company, a joint venture between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc., who produce Pokemon trading cards and toys, and is therefore less likely to be represented in Super Nintendo World.
It’s possible that the $351 million deal to bring Nintendo to Universal Studios Parks only included Mario characters, but we’re still holding out hope that there will be a Lon Lon Milk Bar in the food court.