Super Mario theme park to open in California ahead of new film

Super Mario is getting its first theme park outside of Japan by way of the US state of California. The Nintendo-themed park is set to open next month just weeks before the old-school characters grace the Hollywood big screen.

According to Japan Today, Super Nintendo World will be part of Universal Studios Hollywood- an amusement park that has seen the likes of “Waterworld” and “Harry Potter” rides.

The attractions will largely mirror the design of its larger sister park in Osaka, Japan, which was recently opened. Such features include a “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” ride that will use augmented reality goggles.

The ride will take passengers along a real-life track surrounded by actual set pieces, with the ability for riders to shoot virtual shells at virtual villains.

Other features of the theme park include mini-games which visitors can use interactive wristbands to accrue coins and stamps to qualify for a fight with Bowser Jr.

Universal Creative vice president Jon Corfino, says the new park is the ultimate playground.

“We are known for our film franchises, which are terrific, and they’re very immersive. Games are a different thing. How we even engage with entertainment is evolving in and of itself… entertainment is not static.”

As Nintendo fans flock to the new theme park for its “soft opening,” many say it is like their childhood dreams have came true. One fan, Carlos Moctezuma, even wore a Mario outfit to the park.

“I’ve known Mario since I was in second grade. That was one of my first games on the Game Boy. It’s a dream come true.”

The official opening is set for February 17th and will feature actors dressed as the game’s main characters greeting visitors.

Orlando, Florida is rumoured to be the next location for a third Nintendo theme park, but no date has been set for its opening.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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