As we rapidly approach the first anniversary of Super Nintendo World's grand opening to the public at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Nintendo has announced (on this most blessed of Mario Days) that the Los Angeles version of its theme park will open next year.
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood will be the first version of the attraction to open in the west (a second US park is planned for Universal Orlando Resort's Epic Universe expansion, reportedly opening in 2025), and will loosely follow the exuberant, Mario-themed design of the existing Japanese park.
Don't expect a carbon copy, however; photos of ongoing construction work at Universal Studios Hollywood, as documented by Inside the Magic, have pointed to some key difference in layout thanks to the reduced space available in the Los Angeles park. Recent pictures, for instance, suggest a more prominent position for Bowser's Castle compared to Osaka, with the Japanese park's centrepiece, Mt. Beanpole, situated off to one side.
While Nintendo hasn't yet revealed the Hollywood park's ride roster, it seems reasonable to assume Osaka's AR-goggle-enhanced Mario Kart ride will make the cut given Universal is replicating its Bowser's Castle show building in LA. Inside the Magic previously reported the genteel Yoshi's Adventure wouldn't be transplanted for space reasons, however, which, if true, would bring Super Nintendo World Japan's grand ride total of two down to one in Hollywood.
Expect plenty more news on the park as its 2023 opening approaches - and for those that find themselves in Universal Studios Hollywood before then, Nintendo says it'll soon be selling exclusive Mario merchandise in the park's Feature Presentation store.
In other Super Nintendo World news, last year saw the park's long-rumoured Donkey Kong expansion finally confirmed to be coming to Universal Studios Japan in 2024, boosting the overall size of the attraction by 70 per cent and introducing a new roller coaster in the process.
Nintendo's first foray into the world of theme parks hasn't been without incident, of course; last August, Universal was forced to suspend several rides at Super Mario World Japan when a stack of Goombas plummeted the ground, and November saw the park temporarily forced to close following a Yoshi's Adventure ride fire.