Recent rumors in the theme park industry suggest that Universal Studios plans to add a third theme park to its Universal Orlando Resort in Florida featuring rides and attractions based on World of Warcraft and Nintendo properties.
Orlando theme park enthusiast site This Is Infamous reports the rumored addition to the Universal Studios lineup, suggesting that a video game-focused theme park could serve as a rival to Walt Disney World.
This week’s rumors follow up on a recently established partnership between Nintendo and Universal that will introduce “major attractions at Universal’s theme parks [featuring] Nintendo’s most famous characters and games,” according to a Nintendo-issued press release.
This Is Infamous reports that a Mario Kart-themed ride “is certainly in the works,” and hints that attractions based on Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda are also likely.
The site additionally states that the park will feature attractions based on Activision Blizzard’s popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. Universal is currently co-producing Warcraft a Duncan Jones-directed feature film set to debut in 2016.
A major expansion for Universal Orland Resort is possible, given that the company is rumored to be replacing its Wet N Wild Orlando waterpark with a sixth on-site hotel, upping visitor capacity. A new waterpark, Universal’s Volcano Bay, will open in 2017.
Recent successes with the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-themed areas of Universal’s parks in Orlando and Osaka may also spur the company to take its Nintendo partnership in a similar direction. Universal now specifically targets Disney’s Florida parks with Wizarding World and The Simpsons-themed expansions to Universal Orlando Resort.
Nintendo’s expansion into the realm of theme parks coincides with its recent shift into mobile development via a newly established partnership with publisher DeNA. The first Nintendo-licensed mobile game is due to launch later this year.