“The worst kept secret in history.”
That’s how Universal Parks & Resorts chairman and CEO Mark Woodbury described the announcement that Super Nintendo World would soon be coming to Universal Orlando Resort. He shared the news during the grand opening celebration for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood on Feb. 15 — two days before the land officially opened to the public.
Super Nintendo World made its worldwide debut at Universal Studios Japan on March 18, 2021, and its first stateside appearance at Universal Studios Hollywood on Feb. 17, 2023. It’s no surprise that fans suspected it would also be added to Universal Orlando’s fourth park, Universal’s Epic Universe, when it opens in 2025.
Why was this secret so tough to keep under wraps? First, it’s difficult to hide theme park construction on a 750-acre tract of land in the middle of Orlando. Universal’s Epic Universe is being built under the watchful eyes (and camera lenses) of theme park fans everywhere, many of whom have kept tabs on construction updates. Even without thematic elements like Piranha Plants and Warp Pipes, it’s pretty obvious what Universal is up to.
Second, Universal more or less already confirmed Super Nintendo World would be coming to Orlando in a 2019 Comcast Corporation (Universal’s parent company) fourth-quarter earnings call meant for Comcast investors. During the call, Comcast executives stated that after opening Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan, at Universal Studios Japan, the company was “going to bring it to Hollywood, and we’re going to bring it, obviously, in the fourth gate in Florida.”
Though Universal Studios Hollywood’s grand opening celebration for Super Nintendo World marked the first public confirmation that the Mushroom Kingdom would be coming to Central Florida, it was easy for the Yoshi to prematurely get out of the bag.
The land’s existence is the only thing about Super Nintendo World that has been confirmed for the Orlando version at this time. However, it looks as if it will be the first Super Nintendo World to open with three rides.
Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan both have versions of an augmented reality Mario Kart ride that puts guests in the driver’s seat of a Mario Kart race. Universal Studios Japan also has a slow-moving Yoshi’s Adventure ride and plans to open the world’s first Donkey Kong roller coaster in 2024.
Eagle-eyed theme park news sites like Orlando ParkStop have been keeping up with the aforementioned construction at Universal’s Epic Universe. It appears that all three rides will be part of Florida’s Super Nintendo World on its yet-to-be-announced opening day in 2025.
What else will you be able to do in Orlando’s version of Super Nintendo World? Based on what we know of the two iterations that have already opened, you’ll be able to dine on Nintendo-themed fare at Toadstool Cafe, compete in interactive challenges to earn points within the land and shop for Nintendo merchandise.
It’ll be two more years before you can join the ranks of Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach in Orlando. However, stepping through the Warp Pipe into the two-dimensional video game world come to life will be worth the wait.