Several months ago Nintendo divulged a little information about their new partnership with Universal Theme Parks in North America. This news certainly was met with lots of excitement and enthusiasm from fans and media alike. From the guesses and speculation to the delight of the basic possibilities, this announcement was nothing short of huge.
With the amount of attention Nintendo is giving to their Intellectual Property (IP), we fans are definitely in store for a wonderful ride (no pun intended). Where, outside of games, we may have only seen Mario series characters as novelty items, or toys, we will now be able to proudly see many more series’ characters represented in theme park attractions, possibly movies, in smart phone apps, and so-on and so-forth.
Now, a speculative article from the Orlando Business Journal has shared some very plausible imaginings on the coming attraction at the Orlando-based property. According to reports, Universal Orlando is likely in the market for more land; more than 450 acres worth on nearby University Blvd.
The following is a collection of thoughts from Richard Bilbao of the Orlando Business Journal on possible attractions, and how Universal Orlando could use that land, if they are indeed looking to purchase it.
So here it goes:
Nintendo Land entrance: A homage to all things video games. Mario and Luigi characters are at the gate welcoming guests and posing for pictures; Yoshi is wearing a chef hat in his bakery where he makes Yoshi Cookies fresh each day; and guests browse at shops like Princess Peach’s Wardrobe where T-shirts, sunglasses and plenty of Mario hats can be bought.
The Mushroom Kingdom: This could be the centerpiece of Nintendo Land dedicated to the Super Mario Bros. series and all its spin-offs. The shops, restaurants and overall area look like Princess Peach’s kingdom, filled with mushroom homes, warp pipes and more. Super Mario Kart: Rainbow Race, a dueling roller coaster, speeds by with guests choosing to support Mario or Bowser in this friendly — yet thrilling — race on the Rainbow Road. Luigi’s King Boo Battle sits inside the haunted mansion from the Luigi’s Mansion series where guests help Luigi with their Poltergust 3000s to suck up ghosts in a 3-D dark-ride midway shooter.
Nintendo Galaxy: Welcome to the universe defended by Star Fox, Metroid’s Samus Aran and F-Zero’s Captain Falcon. Take pictures sitting in the cars from F-Zero as the musical tunes of Mute City and Big Blue stages fill the area. Metroid: Escape from Zebes is a Kuka arm coaster where the rider has joined Samus in her rescue mission to save the last living Metroid from space pirates. Star Fox’s Space Academy lets younger kids meet the Star Fox team, play in flight simulators and learn about the galaxy of Star Fox.
World of Pokemon: Walk into the Kanto region of Pokemon. You are greeted as new Pokemon trainers on your road to battle the Elite Four. Standing over the top of the buildings are the larger-than-life Pokemon like Onix, Snorlax and Mewtwo. Others like Pikachu, Charizard, Jigglypuff and more are taking pictures with guests. A daily show starring Jessie, James and Meowth of Team Rocket has guests laughing as they repeatedly fail at being bad guys. In Pokemon Stadium Showdown, you choose a Pokemon and stand in front of a screen as you are set against another guest and their Pokemon ready to engage in battle. Do you have the skills and knowledge of Pokemon to defeat your opponent? Here’s the test.
Hyrule Kingdom: Travelers are welcome, but heroes are needed. Hyrule is the land of the Legend of Zelda series. Hyrule Castle can be seen in the back of the area much like Hogwarts Castle. Zora Falls is a log flume ride that takes guests through the realm of the aquatic Zora with the big soaking drop and then by the volcanic — and drying — region of the Goron. Want a challenge? Try to find your way out of the dense Link’s Lost Woods while trying to avoid being hit with puffs of air from Octoroks, Dark Dekus and Stalfos.
Donkey Kong’s Jungle: This tall jungle area would be scary to walk through if you weren’t under the protection of Donkey Kong and his crew. However, in Big Banana Breakout, Diddy Kong has been kidnapped — monkey-napped? — by King K. Rool, and Donkey Kong needs your help to save him. Hop into Cranky Kong’s old Banana Bus and help take out K. Rool’s underlings in this mobile simulator/shooter that uses the Nintendo Wii’s technology to interact with a screen.
Kirby’s Dreamland: This adorable land of cuteness and fluff is home to Kirby. But looming up ahead is King Dedede’s Revenge: An inverted, looping and corkscrewing roller coaster where villainous King Dedede has stolen the Rainbow Shards, and now Kirby and Meta Knight have to battle through his minions to retrieve them and keep them safe. And for smaller guests, Kirby’s Dreamland Dash is a 4-D motion ride where Kirby and Waddle Dee are racing through Dreamland not to miss the annual picnic thrown by Dreamland’s inhabitants.
Animal Crossing Village: Enter a world for the little ones, where there are playful houses to run in and out of or take part in Tom Nook’s Scavenger Hunt to find hidden objects throughout the area. Collect seashells for the mayor of the town and just explore.
Now, of course, this is just speculation and imagination, but the wonderful thing is it’s highly plausible, and that is fantastic! Have you allowed your imagination to think of what Nintendo and Universal could come up with? How big do you think the project will be initially? Do you expect there to be major surprises in what they eventually offer in attractions? I know that I am extremely excited about the possibilities, and I am certainly longing to keep on imagining!
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!