Mamma mia! Could this be our first look at the full layout of the new Super Nintendo World theme park, headed to Universal Studios Florida?
A map and concept imagery obtained by Theme Park University (opens in new tab) show how Universal's park planners and the creative minds at Nintendo are looking to team up to bring some of their biggest characters to life in all new attractions. With construction already underway (but shrouded in secrecy) at Universal Studios Japan, this may be our best look yet at what to expect.
For those familiar with the Florida tourist attraction, the map below gives a sense of scale to what's likely to be attempted at the park. Super Nintendo World would take up a gigantic chunk of the park, replacing the existing Animal Actors Stage, Barney and Fievel’s Playland attractions.
Whether you're a Mario fan, into Pokemon or obsessed with Zelda, there should be something for all Nintendo fans.
Princess Peach's Castle looks to be getting built on a large scale, along with Hyrule Castle and The Ocarina of Time's Deku Tree. A Zelda "puzzle theater" attraction has been teased by a patent filing, and there's artwork pointing to a real-life Mario Kart course:
Well, almost real. It's been suggested that the attraction will be a VR simulator, letting you ride alongside Mario and co, rather than using actual go-karts and red shells in physical races against your friends.
That may be a small misstep in what's otherwise seemingly shaping up to be a very attractive park. There's signs of real invention at work, too – a Donkey Kong mine cart roller coaster concept points to riders sitting in cars elevated slightly off the track by a mechanical arm, giving the illusion that they're racing along the track, but affording the designers the license to introduce frightening sections of broken track along the way.
It's worth pointing out that the plans here haven't come directly from a source at Nintendo or Universal, so it's worth treating them with some skepticism. But at the very least they point to the amazing potential for the parks, and it's a great time to be a theme park fan – with VR rollercoasters turning stomachs and big name movies like Avatar and King Kong being turned into huge attractions too.
There's a bit of a wait yet until the Nintendo park opens, with the sites opening "over the next several years (opens in new tab)". In the meantime, here's an official look at what Universal has planned for the Nintendo properties at its Japanese and two US parks: