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Super Nintendo World Is Happening and Ready to End Friendships With Real Life Mario Kart

A Nintendo theme park is the stuff gamer dreams are made of.

Super Nintendo World still doesn’t sound real to me. It sounds like a fantasy park my kid self would try and manifest into existence because a classmate’s uncle worked at Nintendo and swore it was real. Turns out that classmate was right several decades later (about the park, not the uncle) because Nintendo’s theme park is ready to let’s a go!

This theme park is something that’s been talked about for several years, back when reports came out revealing that Nintendo was set to team up with Universal Studios. Of course, no one had a clue what a Nintendo theme park would even look like, but that didn’t stop our imaginations from running wild. What worlds would be recreated? What kind of rides would there be? What would the merch shops carry? Would the food stands have actual foods from Legend of Zelda or 1-Up mushroom-shaped cookies … or be something simple like “Koopa Burgers”?

Full disclosure: I’d still be excited about a Koopa Burger.

Thanks to Kurumi Mori, a reporter for Bloomberg, we got a sneak peek at what one of the attractions looks like and how park visitors will be able to interact with it.

The fact that Bowser’s castle has been meticulously recreated speaks to my Mario fangirl heart. They could’ve easily left it at interactive karts, but the fact that you get to walk into Bowser’s lair, see the various Mario Kart cup trophies, and immerse yourself in the world in real life and in the game is ridiculously cool.

From the looks of it, you’ll be able to sit in the karts and race against your friends via AR headsets decked out with Mario caps. Mori points out that the karts are on a rail, so it’s not like you’ll actually be able to drift around those sharp corners, but I’m assuming that’s what the AR is for. I also get the feeling that the karts will move a bit once you’re in them, similar to that classic Jurassic Park arcade game where the jeep moved around while you shot at dinosaurs.

Mori goes on to talk about what we’re all probably thinking: how is Universal gonna handle this during a pandemic? The opening of the park has already been delayed (it was supposed to happen this year), will it really be safe to open by February 2021, especially with these units being so interactive? I’m assuming there’s already a plan for crowd control and keeping everything sanitized, after all, other entertainment industries in Japan (ie: movie theaters) seem to have a handle on things if these Demon Slayer box office numbers are any indication.

Still, an entire theme park is a much bigger task in regards to dealing with the pandemic, all we can do is hope that things can proceed by February, and if not, hope that the opening is delayed until folks can lob blue shells at each other safely. It’ll definitely be some time before I can ever dream of checking this place out, but I can at least watch this video on repeat and dream.

Apparently, there are still attractions in progress, as Mori talks about a Donkey Kong area in the works next door to Mario Kart. Now, what the heck would THAT look like? I imagine a giant, jungle-themed obstacle course with that sweet Donkey Kong Country soundtrack playing in the background.

What other Nintendo themed worlds would you like to see be brought to life? Are you excited for real-life Mario Kart and the chance to curse out your friends and family in front of a crowd of people?

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)