Since Nintendo's collaboration with Universal Parks and Resorts, we've all been waiting the theme park of our dreams. It seems that they are excited too, as a press release reveals more about concepts and their intended audience. Locations will include Kyoto, Japan, and Orlando and the concept is described as “stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure. Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world. You will enter an entire realm filled with iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains.” But will it work for all audiences? There's a clear focus on Mario, which certainly makes sense to me. It's a game that easily lends itself to a theme park section full of rides and games, as most Nintendo games are. Heck, Nintendo has made entire series that would be a mini game in any other genre, which is essentially what Nintendo Land is dedicated to.
The main goal with this apparent dream come true is “to bring the characters, action and adventure of Nintendo video games to life within Universal theme parks. And to do so in new and innovative ways that capture what makes them so special. All of the adventure, fun and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around you – in breathtakingly authentic ways. These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants. Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite games – this time in real life. There will be something for everyone – regardless of their age or gaming experience level.”
Well, that all sounds fairly promising, but it's nothing specific. The project is in planning over the next several years but one day, I really think this will work out. I'm only a little doubtful about the park being for everyone, as Nintendo is very focused on children. I can't imagine they'll make a real life Mario Kart where you can actually throw banana peels at each other. But that doesn't mean the kids can't have an absolute ball driving in circles with their favorite characters. Or better yet, warp pipes could turn into very wicked slides – even parents can get behind that. The Nintendo Universal park section might not be too dedicated to adults, but I think there will be plenty of places where we can secretly indulge ourselves.
In addition, Nintendo has a lot of IP's that are never going to die. There will always be new games, and likely movies, to keep the franchises alive and well, unlike Harry Potter and a few other parks within Universal. Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, these are going to be around until Nintendo collapses as a company and even then, someone will buy them and take over. There will be customers for this park lining up out the door and down the street, simply because the IP is so old and firmly established across the world. This theme park will undoubtedly be wildly successful, for kids or not.
A Nintendo theme park would be a dream come true for a lot of people and it is good to know both Nintendo and Universal are working hard on it. With a plethora of material within Nintendo's games to choose from that could easily be translatable to real life, like Mario, there is hardly any doubt that even adults will be able to have as much fun as the kids. Indeed, Nintendo will be around until the end of time and there will be no shortage of people who want to experience their favorite games in real life.