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The grand opening was held this morning (March 18) in Osaka, where Miyamoto was joined by USJ CEO Jean-Louis Bonnier to appear in front of the cameras and lead the attraction’s first ‘official’ guests inside.
Mr. Miyamoto told attendees: “The day we’ve been looking forward to has finally arrived! It’s been six years since we started development, and it’s gone so fast. The world’s first real Super Mario world. We’re happy to be able to release it in time for the 35th anniversary.”
He added: “There are activities here for people of all ages to experience, using all of their senses… Once the pandemic subsides, I hope everyone around the world will come and visit us. We are waiting for you!”
USJ boss Bonnier said that the park’s interactive elements meant that visitors could enjoy its attractions with family, friends or strangers. “In times like these, we need experiences that can energize us,” he said.
Super Nintendo World’s opening had been delayed more than once by the coronavirus pandemic. The park was originally due to open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games last summer, but its grand opening was eventually delayed to February 2021, and then again due to the State of Emergency in Osaka.
The park features shops, a restaurant and two rides; Yoshi’s Adventure and an AR-powered Mario Kart attraction, which has estimated wait times of up to three hours.
Nintendo World Japan puts an emphasis on the interactivity of its experiences, with each visitor using a wearable wristband in conjunction with a mobile phone app to gamify the park. According to Kyodo News, Super Nintendo World cost around 60 billion yen ($550 million) to build.
Super Nintendo World will follow strict health and safety guidelines, according to Universal Studios Japan, including a cap on the number of people allowed into the park (capped at 10,000 for all of USJ) and numbered tickets with specific entry times.
VGC was recently able to visit the park early for three days as part of a technical rehearsal. Critic Robert Sephazon wrote that the interactivity powered by Super Nintendo World’s Power-Up Bands was “undoubtedly” its most unique aspect, but “also shows that the park definitely wasn’t designed with the current pandemic in mind.”
He wrote in VGC’s Super Nintendo World review: “The biggest problem is how nearly everything encourages visitors to touch: from question blocks to mini-games, there’s a lot of physical interaction in Super Nintendo World, which could in theory result in easy spread of coronavirus.
“Thankfully, during our visit (admittedly ahead of the official opening) staff were visibly wiping down surfaces after each interaction, while hand sanitiser stations are everywhere around the park and in queues.”
Mask use is required to get into Universal Studios Japan, and people may be ejected for not complying. Furthermore, your temperature is taken when entering the theme park.
Following the Japan opening, Super Nintendo World is scheduled to come to Universal’s Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore parks.
Florida’s version of Super Nintendo World has reportedly been delayed until 2025, while construction has resumed on the Hollywood version, which is said to be smaller in scale than the others and will likely open sooner.