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Universal Studios Japan (USJ) Discussion Thread

p. 44 - Super Nintendo World now opening March 18th, 2021!

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Here are a few photos that ran in a variety of Japanese newspapers last month.  The new Opening Date is Spring 2021

I feel like it looks very 'Men in Black' ish.

Yes, I'd like to see that, too, but I can also understand why they would like to keep things under wraps and build the anticipation a bit more.

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To me, it looks like a smaller less spread out version of Disneyland's Toontown....with the entry and exit being one and the same. I wonder if they're going to have to deal with "crowd control" jamming into that corner of the park....

...Unless they've announced a Timed kind of entry system, already?

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yeah. . was thinking that it looks like it would get very crowded very quickly with the one entrance/exit.

I wonder if maybe that's "Entrance Only". . and there's an Exit Only on the side from the main ride, that puts folks OUT of the land?

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^ Don't think so.  The Mario Kart Ride has it's exit thru a gift shop on the lower level. There's also the extension spot on the right of it, and that's supposed to be for the Donkey Kong Coaster. Other than that, I haven't seen any indication of a separate exit from the Land.

Of course, I could be wrong, and they're just not revealing everything there.... including a separate exit. 😉

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Super Nintendo World has an official opening date of February 4th 2021. This Twitter account who was given a lot of access for her report has more details:
 Link

 

  • Mario Kart ride is called Koopa's Challenge
  • AR Headsets themed to Mario's cap
  • Vehicles are on rails/ not trackless
  • 2 rails side by side
  • Ride visits multiple areas including a lava area, underwater and Rainbow Road.

 

 

 

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Source Source Source Source Source

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I was about to post similar info and photos Yahoo News picked up from engadget after the press release

YahooLink

Other Key Takeaways:

Although small to open a Donkey Kong area is under construction

Osaka is a COVID hot spot again

Super Nintendo World, the much anticipated “life-size, living video game” theme park will open on February 4th in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan has announced. The opening date is a welcome surprise, as Universal and Nintendo last said that the park would open in the spring of 2021.

To get folks revved up, Universal Studios Japan (USJ) has provided a preview of a key park attraction, the Mario Kart rollercoaster. Set inside Bowser’s castle, it uses AR and projection-mapping tech, with each rider donning a Mario cap-shaped AR headset. Though the ride itself is on rails, each car has a steering wheel and the AR tech will allow visitors to “compete” against each other. To gain an edge, visitors can collect virtual coins via a wristband while roaming the park with a Switch console.

“During the race, guests can throw the swords they get from the item box to repel the enemy and will compete for first place with Mario and Princess Peach to advance in the course,” the translated PR reads. The experience changes for each ride and it sounds like there’s a strong element of chance when it comes to winning or losing.

Bloomberg noted that the Super Nintendo World park section seemed a bit small, which is not ideal if it hosts a lot of visitors in the middle of a pandemic. However, it will eventually expand via a Donkey Kong area that’s already under construction. USJ also promised “hygiene enhancement measures,” being created in partnership with health officials, and plans to operate at half capacity. All that said, things could also change depending on what happens with the pandemic, as Osaka has become a COVID-19 hotspot over the last several weeks.

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I'm excited to see what this AR tech actually looks like when this thing opens. I'm pretty impartial to the Nintendo brand in general but the tech sounds interesting enough that it could be a game changer for the entire industry or a massive let down, we'll see.

 

Looks great though, I agree with Elissa that it looks a bit Men in Black ish but that might not be a bad thing (Men in Black is amazing). With that style of lap bar I'm hoping there's some more intense maneuvers than what Men in Black is capable of. 

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6 minutes ago, KBrylczyk said:

Everything looks fantastic, I just wish they'd give us a taste of Mario Kart in action.

Yeah I was curious about that, a little strange to have this massive media dump and not throw in an on ride clip or something. I know there's a great deal of strategy that goes into what information gets released and when and all so I'm sure there's a reason for just some static images and a video of the station. Maybe the complete experience is difficult to capture in a video so there's no point in showing any of it.

(or it could look kind of underwhelming or something)

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31 minutes ago, KBrylczyk said:

Everything looks fantastic, I just wish they'd give us a taste of Mario Kart in action.

Yes, I'd like to see that, too, but I can also understand why they would like to keep things under wraps and build the anticipation a bit more.

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It does look very Men in Black ish and I'll reserve final judgement until we see the ride but I'm curious why they went with this style. With something like Radiator Spring Racers it makes sense that two cars would be side by side. But when I think of Mario Kart, I think of swerving side to side around other cars as they spin from a shell. Something about 2 cars side by side seems so static for this I.P. Maybe the AR will make the track seem full of cars but with so many rides or even roller-coasters that have 2 cars coming first/second it's a shame with all the advances in trackless technology, they couldn't have pushed the bar a bit and have 4 trackless cars racing around each other.

 

I'm not really a big fan of VR/AR over seeing actual physical props and cars so maybe that clouds my opinion a bit. Here's hoping the AR makes me a believer.

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I am the biggest AR/VR hater out there, and all of the crap that they've done to roller coasters the last five years is INCREDIBLY dumb...but...I'm going to trust them on this and I do believe AR has made some big strides lately so I will reserve judgement. 

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Keep in mind they just released an AR version of Mario Kart for the Switch, and I'm sure some of the tech that went into that is going to make its way to the ride. With the combo that they're using I'm pretty sure it's going to be amazing! I have very high hopes for this as a huge Mario fan :)

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^ I showed some pictures in my class to my high elementary/low middle schoolers and some of them have that game. It's easy as enthusiasts to focus on the Mario Kart ride but as one of the elementary students said 'You get to ride a Yoshi!' 

 

And yeah he's got a point.

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58 minutes ago, Garet said:

^ I showed some pictures in my class to my high elementary/low middle schoolers and some of them have that game. It's easy as enthusiasts to focus on the Mario Kart ride but as one of the elementary students said 'You get to ride a Yoshi!' 

 

And yeah he's got a point.

Oh I get it, I realize this IP isn't my thing but it's still an absolutely massive global brand that a ton of people are going to love no matter what so I'm excited that it's coming to life in multiple locations so that the fans get to experience it. And yeah the Yoshi ride is super cute, nice addition to the land.

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4 hours ago, coneyislandchris said:

Keep in mind they just released an AR version of Mario Kart for the Switch, and I'm sure some of the tech that went into that is going to make its way to the ride. With the combo that they're using I'm pretty sure it's going to be amazing! I have very high hopes for this as a huge Mario fan :)

Yeah I have that game and the tech does not work as well as we’d hoped so I’m hoping the ride is better! :)

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The preview video was pretty cool to see. Are the USO Men In Black "tandem" ride vehicles set up the same way, i.e. separation fences where you can't see who you are "playing against", etc. before the vehicles take off?

Definitely what I saw, in this attraction's loading station. Just curious about that comparison.

The ride's VR helmets look pretty cool, too!

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Love this shot of the load station! I am SO THERE! ...... In a few years ....... eventually. (o;

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Is this the first time they've talked about what type of ride the Mario Kart ride is?

I did not expect this to be a "shooting" ride, and if I'm being honest the AR thing makes me a bit nervous. But these gaming franchises are part of my childhood nostalgia, so I look forward to seeing how all this turns out.

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8 hours ago, aueft said:

Is this the first time they've talked about what type of ride the Mario Kart ride is?

I did not expect this to be a "shooting" ride, and if I'm being honest the AR thing makes me a bit nervous. But these gaming franchises are part of my childhood nostalgia, so I look forward to seeing how all this turns out.

I’ll hold my judgements until I actually ride the ride but the A/R makes me nervous as well. When I think of a ride that’s supposed to be racing I think of actually going fast(radiator springs racers), not simulated fast. We know how that turned out with another Universal ride (fast and furious). If this is a slow moving ride like MIB with A/R and other gimmicks to make you feel like you’re going fast I think it will be a huge disappointment. I could be totally wrong and I hope I am but when I heard Mario Kart ride and saw how massive the show building is, I had something completely different in mind. Here’s hoping I’m completely wrong and eat my words!!!

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