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Welcome to this week's Theme Park News roundup! We're tackling the biggest story of the week — Los Angeles sitting on the verge of becoming the theme park epicenter of the state — and also... the grossest! From Disney dining news to Universal rumors, here's everything you need to know...
NINTENDO IS LANDING IN L.A. NEXT YEAR
Mario and Luigi are about to become your favorite faces to see within a theme park, because Super Nintendo World is officially opening at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023.
The land, which debuted at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in 2021, will bring an all-new ride, Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge, along with themed dining, shopping and, oh yeah, one of the coolest theme park land designs we've ever seen when it opens at the California theme park next year.
Unlike traditional theme park lands, this one appears as though you're inside a self-sustained Nintendo universe, right down to the punchable question mark boxes, sliding turtle shells, Thwomps and Koopa Troopas, just like the classic video games.
There are plenty of details to come about if California's iteration of the land will include Kinopio's Cafe, a popcorn stand with collectible containers, and the “underground” level with Bob-ombs and interactive activities that opened with Super Nintendo World overseas, but Yoshi's Adventure, the secondary attraction at Osaka's version of the land, will not be brought to Universal Studios Hollywood.
We've known the land was coming for a while — anyone who's taken the “Starway” escalator down to Universal's lower lot knows what's in the works — but having a solid date to look forward to is confirmation that California will be getting this special land before Orlando, and that things are chugging along.
When in 2023 will Super Nintendo World open, exactly? That's the big question. An announcement confirming next year points towards confidence and perhaps a wink-wink to stark earmarking those Spring Break dates, though. There aren't quite enough recent opening dates to pinpoint something specifically — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in April 2016, while Jurassic World - The Ride debuted in July 2019 — but an announcement nearly a year in advance feels like we could get this sooner than later. (And one can only hope!)
Uniquely positioned as the only major theme park land with global appeal to debut during a pandemic, Americans have been unable to see Super Nintendo World in its full glory, but some portions will arrive sooner than later. Universal Studios Hollywood will convert its Feature Presentation store on the theme park's lower lot into a temporary souvenir shop, offering a selection of plush toys, themed clothing and whimsical accessories that'll let you rep Mario or Luigi months before the gates to this video game paradise even open.
Still, it's only the beginning of the global expansion of Nintendo's most iconic characters.
Super Nintendo World is scheduled to open as part of Epic Universe, the forthcoming Universal Orlando Resort theme park slated to open in 2025. (There's a rumor going around that it could open prior to the rest of the new park, but that's still a ways away.) Another version of Super Nintendo World is also set to open at a not-yet-announced date at Universal Studios Singapore as well.
DISNEY INTRODUCED A NEW HORROR AND IT'S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN
First things first, I need to apologize for what I'm about to unveil to you: a St. Patrick's Day Disney corn dog. This grotesque tube of horror is, thankfully, only available for one day — March 17 — but frankly, has been put on this earth for one day too long.
This abomination isn't even channeling peanut butter and jelly macaroni and cheese or “frozen guacamole” levels of intrigue, but a nightmare of epic proportions. Haven't we been through enough in these past two years? Either way, you know there's going to be a line around the corner for these hot dogs wrapped in green corn dog batter (ick) and even the green cheese stick (gah!), so a tip of the cap to Disney who clearly know how to play the game.
If you choose to celebrate the holiday, why not indulge in, say, a fun Mickey-shaped donut? Or a whoopie pie? No one deserves the indigestion that this will surely follow this neon tube of nightmares. No one!
LINKS! LINKS! LINKS!
- Festival of Fantasy has returned to Magic Kingdom.
- Due to weather on the East Coast, there are loads of flights being canceled through Orlando.
- Looks like Epcot's Connections Cafe is getting ready for an opening.
- This lemon blueberry bread pudding looks…incredible.
- Victoria & Albert's restaurant will reopen at Disney World this year.