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Universal Studios Japan (USJ) Discussion Thread

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

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^ Yes, especially Japan. I've seen people sit down ready for Fantasmic at TDS almost 4 hours before and people show up almost an hour early just to try the lottery for show tickets for night-time or theater shows at both the Japanese Disney parks.

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On 1/13/2021 at 10:55 PM, KarlaKoaster said:

Super Nintendo Land, has been delayed due to the state of emergency in the Osaka prefecture. It was due to open on the 4th of February and they will decide on a new date once this has been lifted.

https://www.usj.co.jp/company/company_e/2021/0114.html

It was inevitable.

 

I think the Tokyo Olympics will end up getting axed this year too. I feel bad for Japan as I know they would have been great hosts and would have been prepared for it unlike other countries in the past. I don't know if they will push each host city's date back four years and let Tokyo host in 2024, but if not then the Olympic committee needs to give the next open Olympics to Tokyo. I know Tokyo isn't Osaka but I think the Olympic tourism would have trickled more people in Osaka and USJ. Not that USJ needs any more people to visit, they are plenty crowded already. 

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I think they're still hoping to host it, hence the state of emergencies being used around Japan. I also don't see it happening but with all the money already invested and jobs promised they'll try everything they can before it gets cancelled. There is insurance but there have been estimates that a cancellation could cost Japan up to $50 billion.

 

Even taking the next slot or next open slot causes a lot of issues in terms of maintaining everything, having to redo all the logistics and planning especially since the next open slot is 2032, but it's hard to gather how much a delay would cost until a date is decided and after the games have finally happened. One of the reasons it's still called Tokyo 2020 is because of the cost of re-branding, merchandising etc.

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  • 1 month later...

The mario kart ride is certainly going to divide opinions! 

SPOILERS BELOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

====================================

From watching the POV it's certainly less coaster and more physical sets than I was expecting! I was surprised at how much stuff they'd actually made real, I was assuming the AR would be carrying a lot and leaning more towards VR but it's really well integrated with the sets. You could easily ride this without the glasses and still have a passable experience no worse than some regional dark rides 🤣 The Magikoopa corridor is a favourite, although the AR kinda masks a lot of it!

It's slower than I thought, but the projections and AR will certainly make it seem a lot faster than it really is. The projections are well done and, aside from the obvious screens, fairly subtle. The rainbow road floor looks particularly swish and I adore the way the winner glides almost seamlessly between the AR glasses and the projection screen beyond at the end of the ride.

Got to say that going for a tracked ride based on mario kart seems an odd choice given the trackless masterpieces we've seen elsewhere?

====================================

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOILERS ABOVE

Overall the area looks really nice, the powerbands are a really interesting idea especially with locations all round the area to collect points.

 

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I've probably been the most negative one on this board at the Mario Kart ride, but even I'm not going to judge an AR ride until I've rode it. I think it's one of those rides where a POV just can't accurately convey what you are seeing.

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3 hours ago, Garet said:

I've probably been the most negative one on this board at the Mario Kart ride, but even I'm not going to judge an AR ride until I've rode it. I think it's one of those rides where a POV just can't accurately convey what you are seeing.

For sure, I was trying to avoid making any judgements about the experience as whole and just focus on what's there and what you can see in the POV. :) I just mentioned dividing opinions because I know some people were expecting a coaster of some kind rather than a tracked dark ride, and they're probably gonna be a bit miffed 😛  

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I gotta say, I think the absolute lack of discussion about anything Nintendo-world related, rides or otherwise, in the weeks since it has opened says much more than any forum ever could.  Overall it seems to be going over like a big, wet fart.

Then again, us westerners are much more vocal in our opinions than the local Japanese population, so it could be amazing and we're just not hearing it because of Covid preventing worthwhile travel.  Judging by what I've seen, though, I'm leaning hard into the big, wet fart option.

Edit - So I've been away from everything for over a month due to family issues and it looks like it never actually opened to the public yet?  It was just videos taken during the press preview that were posted on the original opening date, per their media restrictions, I guess?

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^ I honestly believe, that with all the publicity that USJ started putting out in the world, they got very carried away with the "racing" theme of this attraction. Then, as opening day approached, they started pulling back on that description, and went into more of the tech for this ride. The VR overlay, etc.

The fact that it was/is basically, another dark ride, I guess a lot of Western Universal Fans put Way More Expectation into it. than they should have.

IMhO. My 7 (?) cents worth. 😀

By the way, has anyone asked the general local population about this new land, and told the rest of the world how they like it? Or not? Thought I'd ask. 🗻

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I'm not sure we'd see much discussion anyway 🤷🏾‍♀️ I think even at the best of times western forums are an echo chamber and there is never normally that much discussion about parks in the east compared to those in America. International borders are closed, Osaka is still in a state of emergency, the land isn't even officially opened and so I am not sure from where else we'd be hearing about it. 

East rarely meets west in the world of enthusiasts and the few Japanese forums/channels I follow seem to be loving the land. I can't bring myself to ignore all that and dismiss the land as a wet fart. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:36 PM, KBrylczyk said:

I gotta say, I think the absolute lack of discussion about anything Nintendo-world related, rides or otherwise, in the weeks since it has opened says much more than any forum ever could.  Overall it seems to be going over like a big, wet fart.

Then again, us westerners are much more vocal in our opinions than the local Japanese population, so it could be amazing and we're just not hearing it because of Covid preventing worthwhile travel.  Judging by what I've seen, though, I'm leaning hard into the big, wet fart option.

Edit - So I've been away from everything for over a month due to family issues and it looks like it never actually opened to the public yet?  It was just videos taken during the press preview that were posted on the original opening date, per their media restrictions, I guess?

Most of the world can’t visit, so it’s not surprising there isn’t much theme park nerd discussion on it yet. There’s only a few English speaking theme park blogs/YouTubers out there.  It’s still in soft opening phase right now too. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Super Nintendo World will now officially open on March 18:

image.thumb.png.8e73bf4c847e1ac663cf5f0f87dcabd4.png

"WE ARE MARIO!"
Guests will Unleash their Passion to Play at the World’s First New Expansive Nintendo Theme Park Area
"SUPER NINTENDO WORLD"
GRAND OPENING MARCH 18, 2021!

https://www.usj.co.jp/company/company_e/2021/0308.html

Universal Studios Japan will hold its grand opening of the world’s first SUPER NINTENDO WORLD on March 18, 2021*2 – bringing to life a highly themed and immersive land featuring Nintendo’s legendary worlds, characters and adventures where guests will be able to play inside their favorite Nintendo games. The grand opening of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will kick off the park’s year-long 20th Anniversary Celebration.

SUPER NINTENDO WORLD will make its debut as the first multi-level land at Universal Studios Japan where Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle tower over the area. It will feature Mario Kart- and Yoshi-themed rides and attractions, as well as restaurants, shops and other experiences that can only be found at Universal Studios Japan.

It also provides guests with an all-new type of "Asobi" play experience where they will jump, punch ? Blocks and collect virtual coins. Guests can purchase a Power-Up Band in the land and sync it to their smartphones to keep track of their score and compete with other park guests. At Key Challenge attractions around the land, guests can collect keys, gather character stamps and more using their entire bodies in dynamic activities. Families and friends will unleash their passion to play in the new SUPER NINTENDO WORLD.

Edited by A.J.
Updated with official press release and image - A.J.
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  • 1 month later...
Quote

Today, Universal Studios Japan has decided to temporarily close our park due to the substantial business shutdown request to operate with no spectators which was issued under the state of emergency for Osaka prefecture. The temporary closure will start from April 25th, 2021 and remain until the request has been lifted.

We sincerely apologize for causing any inconvenience to our guests who were looking forward to visiting us. Detailed instructions regarding previously purchased tickets will be listed on our official website tonight.

Universal Studios Japan Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/

We will announce the re-opening date once decided

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

The Precaution Measures at Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan was temporarily closed from February 29th through June 7th last year to support the prevention of the Covid-19 spread. Since then, we have participated in organizing and updating the “Novel Coronavirus Spread Prevention Guidelines for Theme Parks and Amusement Parks'' together with various corporations and related organizations.

After the initial temporary closure, our park had moderately re-started its operation from June 8th, 2020. The health and safety of our guests and team members continue to be our top priority, we have thorough sanitization enhancement measures such as controlling the attendance capacity within the park in accordance with the said guideline and guidance from the government and local authorities.

Even though we are now closing temporarily for the second time to follow the request from the government and the local authorities, we are still willing to work towards supporting the quick recovery of the economic activities and the tourism and entertainment industry.

Source

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this made news here in Texas even.

 

hopefully can get back under control quickly. . but I was sad to read, since I was still hoping to perhaps make it to Japan in 2021.

but thinking now, it's likely looking like 2022 :(

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I'm assuming they're being extra-cautious because they don't want to have to delay the Olympics again.  Japan, a country of 126 million people, has only had around 560,000 COVID cases (0.4% infection rate) and under 10,.000 deaths (0.17% death-from-infection date).  Compare that to 9.7% and 1.7%, respectively for the US.  I predict they'll be a lot more open after early August and the Olympics are over.

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^ I don't even think it's that. Anti-Olympic feelings are quite high in Japan lately, with more and more seeing it as an unnecessary risk so it's a bit of a political hotspot right now. Damned if they do cancel for all the money wasted, damned if they don't because if the numbers spike during the event people will say it shouldn't have gone ahead.

I think it's more a case of each area has an acceptable limit and if that limit is passed they go into instant shutdown since this is what they did for the previous waves and the numbers went down, it's more a case of if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Osaka's passed that limit so USJ has shut down. If this was a case of being extra cautious before the Olympics, like they said was the reason for the last big lockdown, they'd have shut down nationwide to err on the side of caution and currently places like Tokyo Disney, Fuji Q and Nagashima are all still open.

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Obviously numbers are subjective.  We would KILL to have the numbers Japan has, and yet they're shutting down certain prefectures because of them. They're approaching their highest numbers ever and they're supposed to host a giant international event soon.  It's really a no win situation.  They're not going to be able to get any of the benefits of the olympics and only have extra costs and drama. 

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^ Yep and a lot of Asia was super late to the vaccination race so for places like Japan and Korea (Japan is sitting at 2% vaccinated and Korea 5% right now) who are fighting to not have their 4th waves be bigger than the initial outbreak, while also watching other countries slowly reopen places and relax restrictions, 2021 is looking worse to them than 2020.

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  • 1 month later...
Quote

Due to the State of Emergency, Universal Studios Japan has been temporarily closed since April 25, 2021. Universal Studios Japan will reopen on June 1, 2021 and will operate at a reduced capacity on weekdays only until further notice.

Universal Studios Japan will continue to implement enhanced health and safety protocols and capacity control measures while Osaka Prefecture remains under a State of Emergency and thereafter. Universal Studios Japan will encourage guests to depart the theme park at varied times to avoid congestion. Indoor dining dividers were also installed at restaurants throughout the park.

In support of Universal Studios Japan’s commitment of the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, all team members other than essential operational team members will continue to work from home.

◼Park Reopening information:

Reopening date: Weekdays only beginning June 1st, 2021 until further notice.

Operating hours:10 am to 6 pm

* For safety measures and ticket information, please visit our official website(https://www.usj.co.jp/)prior to your visit.

* Please follow the guidelines issued by the local authorities of your residing areas and carefully consider your visit.

* Wearing face masks is required at all times inside the park. Please bring your own face masks when visiting the park.

Safety Measures at Universal Studios Japan

Since April 2020, Universal Studios Japan has participated in organizing and updating the “Novel Coronavirus Spread Prevention Guidelines for Theme Parks and Amusement Parks'' together with various corporations and related organizations.

The health and safety of our guests and team members continue to be our top priority. Universal Studios Japan has thorough sanitization enhancement measures and capacity controls in accordance with said guidelines and guidance from the government and local authorities. Universal Studios Japan will continue to work towards supporting the quick recovery of the economic activities and the tourism and entertainment industry.

Source

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^ I'm amazed that for now, they're still going ahead with the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

And I hope that Universal Osaka gets better and improves with each passing week. For all concerned.

⛩️

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  • 1 month later...

It appears construction is moving at pace on phase 2 of Super Nintendo World which is expected to include a Donkey Kong coaster. It will be located between the Mario Kart and Forbidden Journey showbuildings to the top right of the existing land.

I do love Universal's 'get s*** done' approach to expanding their parks, especially with the pandemic ongoing.

PUSJJJJ.thumb.jpg.8717b160899e9479fdd72725197dc218.jpg

Source: @PUSJJJJ on Twitter

LCASTUDIOS_USJ.thumb.jpeg.68457556ba9ccb4042d0027eb7805d1f.jpeg

Source: @LCASTUDIOS_USJ on Twitter

LCASTUDIOS_USJ-2.thumb.jpeg.24e86fc77d223b853f5400d397be7218.jpeg

Source: @LCASTUDIOS_USJ on Twitter

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  • 4 weeks later...

Some Goomba's fell over on the Yoshi ride. Thankfully it missed the riders because they look heavy: 

In any other country this probably wouldn't be a big deal, but considering how safety conscious Japan is, it'll be interesting to see if they return. It happened August 9th and we did have a typhoon in the area so potentially that could have been a cause. The ride did apparently close for safety checks but is open again now, minus Goombas.

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