The Mushroom Kingdom is sprouting up in key places around our world thanks to Nintendo’s partnership with Universal.
The game publisher announced today that Nintendo-themed areas will open at Universal Studios resorts in Osaka, Japan, and in the U.S. cities of Orlando, Florida, and Hollywood, California, over the next several years. The idea is to give visitors the sensation that they are walking around inside games like Super Mario Bros. in real life. Nintendo and Universal first announced their partnership in May 2015 after the game company revealed it was going to get more aggressive about licensing its characters to generate revenue. Now, that is manifesting as a three-park plan, and it should give fans around the world an opportunity to experience Nintendo properties like never before.
Nintendo and Universal did not say anything about the specific properties they plan to incorporate, but — unsurprisingly — the announcement press release and video made references to Mario and Zelda.
“These will be expansive, immersive and interactive [attractions],” reads a Nintendo press release. “They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops, and restaurants.”
GamesBeat’s resident theme-park expert/nerd, writer Mike Minotti, already shared ideas for some of his fantasy attractions and rides that he hopes Nintendo and Universal work on together — but I’m going to add that I would like to go to a Mario Bros. Italian restaurant where Luigi is a pasta chef. I bet that plumber knows how to make a mean risotto.
All three parks will announce their Nintendo-related plans on their own at some point in the future — although the first of these announcements should happen soon.