Universal Studios Hollywood Is Building a Nintendo World

Mario, Zelda, and maybe even Pokémon are coming to a theme park near you
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First, the NES comes back. Then, in an opaquely worded press release and video, Nintendo announces that they’re bringing themed lands to Universal Studios parks in Hollywood, Orlando, and Japan in the next several years. In terms of rekindled video game nostalgia, it’s a great time to be alive.

“You will enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains,” Nintendo’s release reads. “All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you—in breathtakingly authentic ways.”

Having parsed through all the filler text about “excitement” and “adventure,” here are the facts we know so far: basically nothing. The only semi-concrete details provided are that we can expect “gigantic Piranha Plants” and life-size question blocks and power-ups scattered about the land (like those in the background of the video below). There will be Nintendo characters. There will be rides—presumably with gaming components built into them, a la Toy Story Midway Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure.

Mario-related iconography features prominently in the scant promotion thus far, so you’ll likely be able to visit some iteration of the Mushroom Kingdom. Characters and attractions based on Zelda, Animal Crossing, Starfox, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and maybe even Pokémon (fingers crossed—Nintendo only owns a third of the Pokémon Company) are also possibilities.

The individual Universal parks will each begin revealing specific details soon. In the meantime, pray to, like, Rosalina (she’s basically a deity, right?) that this means we get a real life Mario Kart ride to fulfill our collective childhood dream of actually racing on Rainbow Road.

Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote “The Vintage Santa’s Village Theme Park Is Back, and It’s Quaint as All Get-out.”

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