Super Nintendo World, the Mario-themed area of Universal Studios Japan, is getting ready to welcome a new addition: Donkey Kong Country. The expansion, which will feature a roller coaster, interactive experiences, and themed merchandise and food, is set to open in 2024, according to a press release by Nintendo.
The new area will immerse guests into the lush jungles where Donkey Kong and his friends live, and offer them a chance to experience the thrill of the Donkey Kong game series, which has sold over 65 million units worldwide. The expansion will increase the size of Super Nintendo World by approximately 70%, making it one of the largest and most immersive theme park attractions in the world.
A Collaboration Between Nintendo and Universal
The Donkey Kong expansion is the result of a collaboration between the Universal creative team and the Nintendo creative team, including Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario. Miyamoto expressed his excitement about the project, saying:
I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games, but for all guests.
J.L. Bonnier, the president and CEO of Universal Studios Japan, also praised the partnership, saying:
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD creates a whole new level of theme park entertainment and has quickly become an exciting, must-do experience for our guests. We are thrilled to continue working with Nintendo as we fulfill our vision to bring their characters and stories to life. Our new Donkey Kong themed area will bring even more excitement and fun to the SUPER NINTENDO WORLD experience.
A Roller Coaster Ride Through the Jungle
One of the main attractions of the Donkey Kong expansion will be a roller coaster that will take guests on a wild ride through the jungle, passing by the golden temple and other iconic locations from the games. The coaster will feature barrel-shaped cars that will simulate the feeling of being launched from a barrel cannon, as well as twists, turns, and drops that will keep guests on the edge of their seats.
The roller coaster will also incorporate interactive elements, such as buttons and levers that guests can use to trigger effects and sounds, as well as collect virtual bananas along the way. The coaster will be integrated with the Power Up Band, a wearable device that allows guests to interact with the environment and track their scores and achievements.
A Variety of Themed Experiences
In addition to the roller coaster, the Donkey Kong expansion will offer a variety of themed experiences that will appeal to fans of all ages. Guests will be able to explore the jungle, meet Donkey Kong and his friends, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Donkey Kong world. Some of the experiences that guests can look forward to include:
- A photo opportunity with a life-sized statue of Donkey Kong, as well as other characters and props from the games.
- A shop that sells exclusive merchandise, such as plush toys, clothing, accessories, and souvenirs, inspired by the Donkey Kong franchise.
- A restaurant that serves delicious food and drinks, such as banana-themed desserts, tropical fruits, and jungle-themed dishes, based on the Donkey Kong games.
- A stage show that features live performances by Donkey Kong and his friends, as well as music and dance numbers from the games.
A Must-Visit Destination for Nintendo Fans
The Donkey Kong expansion will be a must-visit destination for Nintendo fans, as well as anyone who loves adventure and fun. The expansion will join the existing attractions of Super Nintendo World, which include:
- Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, a ride that lets guests race against Mario and his friends in a realistic simulation of the Mario Kart games, using augmented reality and projection mapping technology.
- Yoshi’s Adventure, a ride that takes guests on a journey through the colorful world of Yoshi, where they can meet various characters and creatures from the Mario games, and collect eggs and hidden surprises along the way.
- Bowser Jr. Shadow Showdown, an interactive game that challenges guests to defeat Bowser Jr. and his minions, using their Power Up Bands and physical movements, in a series of mini-games and puzzles.
Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan in March 2023, after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park has received rave reviews from fans and guests, who have praised its immersive and innovative design, as well as its faithful recreation of the Nintendo games. The park is also planned to open in other Universal Studios locations, such as Orlando, Hollywood, and Singapore, in the future.