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SYFY WIRE Theme Park News

Theme Park News: Super Mario invades the NYC subway and throws a party

By Carlye Wisel
Mario Kart Tour

There are plenty of ways to spend a mid-week morning in New York City — grabbing a coffee from the corner bodega, eating avocado toast at one of the seemingly endless Australian cafes, desperately trying to find where your Uber is pulled over because they say they're on 6th Ave but most definitely are not — but today was a bit more magical for anyone passing through midtown's Grand Central Station.

And, in particular, for the folks who got to live our their Mario dreams in a Super Nintendo World stunt that saw them punching cartoon blocks in an effort to collect coins to win a trip to Japan for the Universal Studios land opening later this year.

Super Nintendo World Grand Central

The big winner? Someone in this photo who I cannot identify because no one's coverage is up yet. No idea who, but I'm guessing not the two off-duty plumbers standing front and center:

Super Nintendo World Grand Central

The all-new land, which has fans excitedly monitoring every Bowser horn and thwomp installation, has not yet announced its opening date but should in the coming months. Stay tuned for more, because we're obsessed with every development coming out of this land and should become even more so in the coming months.

Cinderella's New Digs

With everyone on Instagram sporting the same filler-face now anyway, it was only a matter of time before Cinderella Castle herself got a bit of work done. It was reported earlier this week that Magic Kingdom's emblematic structure is undergoing a glimmering makeover this year, and it's going to become — shocker! — somewhat pink.

As my friend and fellow reporter Deanne expressed so well on her Instagram stories earlier this week, pink is the designated color for Sleeping Beauty Castle, which was recently refurbished to pop with even more color and static twinkle than before. To make Cindy's crib the same color around the same time is somewhat odd, no?

The final product for Cinderella Castle looks beautiful, of course — the gilded touches around the turrets is extremely regal, of which I'm a fan — but I'll miss that grey-blue hue standing tall within the Magic Kingdom's center. Still, I know well enough to admit that in the end, my feelings are wrong.

In the Los Angeles Times' profile of Kim Irvine, who headed up Disneyland's reimagination of Sleeping Beauty Castle last year, Todd Martens wrote that the new and saturated paint job was "a re-iteration that Disneyland must remain a place where fairy tales can flourish."

He goes on:

"When people come to Disneyland, they want it to be more fantastical," she says, repeating a lesson passed down to her from John Hench, one of the park's original designers, who would routinely tell Irvine to "push the color."

It wasn't until re-reading that story (which is super interesting, by the way) that I remembered the original castle was, in fact, somewhat beige. It's seemingly baked into the parks' history that it morphs towards a new, more majestic color palette as time goes on. It's happening at Hong Kong Disneyland with their castle refurbishment, which will add major height as well as a dusty beige-pink tower honoring different princesses on its spires, and Tokyo Disneyland's castle, which is currently under construction and is likely to be along these same lines.

Perhaps it's intentional to link each castle's colorways with that of Shanghai's massive structure and Paris' imaginative fairy tale castle, both of which pop with pink and blue. Perhaps not. Either way, it's likely for the best, even if my surprisingly nostalgia-fueled gut says otherwise.

Just a photo of Steve Martin working at Disneyland

A shelf full of skulls, harlequin-printed shirt and one metric ton of ventriloquist dummies eerily reminiscent of the one from Toy Story 4? Man, Disneyland in the '60s was COOL.

Tweet of the Week

Via Jambo Joe, naturally.

There's been some previously painful cuts of the streetmosphere that once packed Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, but when it comes to this suggestion that would change their existence completely, we have to stan?? I love the idea of someone brazenly asking my opinion about Disney's Hollywood Studios in such a manner that I can't stammer out anything but the truth, like how everyone loves Rock 'n' Roller Coaster when everything after the launch is boring. (How is the music so good yet the interior is just DayGlo cardboard!?) Also love commenter @ruthemilyg responding that it won't be for a dollar, it'll be for a FastPass — which is straight-up brilliance at its fullest potential.


- Jeff Bezos goes to Disneyland and weirdly doesn't try to buy it.

- Swan & Dolphin announced dates for their 11th annual food festival, hitting WDW in early November 2020.

- Put these backpacks into production, you cowards!

- Last week's perfect episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine featured more Disney references than my brain could process. (Just keep swimming!)

- This thread of my buddy and fellow reporter Shay Spence's theme park ~lewks~ is my personal Fashion Week.

- If Disney makes a disembodied human spirit wrapped in sweatpants into a plush toy, it is our responsibility to buy it!

- Hoping this essay on Spaceship Earth's mega-mural means it'll survive the ride's forthcoming refurbishment.

- Move over, Minnie Mouse: Betsey Johnson is coming to Disneyland!

- HQ Trivia is dead, but I'll always have these memories.

- Sangria… University?!


- Disneyland and Disney World both increased the price of admission and annual passes respectively last week.

- Texas is seriously upping its coaster game with SeaWorld's new wooden behemoth, open next week.