If you’re in the theme park business, how do you compete with Disney’s beloved collection of characters? Maybe by adopting another set of beloved characters. According to rumours reported by VentureBeat, that’s exactly what Universal is doing with its third Orlando theme park, which will apparently lean heavily on Nintendo IP.
On one level, that’s not surprising: the two companies have had an agreement in place since 2016, but the scale of this may be beyond what people were expecting. The site says that although it’s likely to include other franchises such as Fantastic Beasts, How to Train Your Dragon, Frankenstein and Dracula, the Nintendo section will be the “cornerstone of Universal’s Orlando expansion.”
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“The Nintendo area is expected to be the most important for the new park, and I expect it will be utilised heavily in marketing going forward,” Alicia Stella of Orlando ParkStop – which has been tracking rumours and trademark filings for the park – told VentureBeat. “It’s strongly believed that the brand new theme park will open with Super Nintendo World, including the Mario Kart ride, Yoshi’s Adventure family ride, and Donkey Kong’s Mine Cart Madness roller coaster.”
In any case, we shouldn’t have to wait too long for official confirmation, with Universal teasing a big reveal later today:
“Universal has lots of ideas for more attractions based on several other Nintendo properties, but they are hesitant to green-light them until after waiting to see how the initial Nintendo lands perform in Japan next year, and in Hollywood soon after,” she added, noting rumours of Zelda, Pokemon, Smash Bros. and Kirby rides.
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Though, frankly, if there’s not a Luigi’s Mansion haunted house, complete with park workers dressed as King Boo who stop in their tracks when you look at them, then what really is the point?
Would you do a round trip to Orlando to take on Nintendo-themed rides? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.