Mario, Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot, is supposed to be from Brooklyn, but he lives in the fantastical Mushroom Kingdom with Peach and Bowser. It’s unclear where, exactly, Mushroom Kingdom is supposed to be, but the Japanese gaming giant just announced that it’s bringing parts of the colorful fantasy land to life at three Universal Studios theme parks around the world.
“I think Mario will feel like he finally came home,” legendary creator Shigeru Miyamoto says in a video accompanying Nintendo’s announcement on Tuesday.
Nintendo and Universal Studios announced a partnership way back in the spring of 2015, but the announcement today was confirmation of what everyone suspected: They’re going to bring some of Nintendo’s most iconic franchises to life. Exact details haven’t been revealed yet, but Nintendo attractions are coming to Universal Studios theme parks in Osaka, Orlando, and Hollywood.
“You will enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains,” a press release promises, teasing would-be visitors with tales of “gigantic Piranha Plants [springing] to life.”
“Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite games — this time in real life,” the release continues.
In the video, you can see Mario props behind Miyamoto and Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury. They look pretty good, though it’s unclear if Universal Parks will feature attractions from other Nintendo franchises, like the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, or Pokémon. (Seems like a safe bet that they’ll branch out, though.)
It’ll be a damn shame if there isn’t a faithful, full-scale recreation of World 1-1 at least one of these parks, since it’s arguably the most iconic obstacle course of all time. I, for one, would like to stomp on a Goomba.
There’s no hard opening date for any of the three attractions. “Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway,” the release explains, adding only that the parks will “open separately over the next several years.”