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Universal and Nintendo’s real-life ‘Nintendo Land’ to debut in Japan in 2020

The Vision for Nintendo at Universal Theme Parks
A real-life version of Nintendo Land appears to no longer be a crazy dream. Universal theme parks will be introducing Nintendo-themed areas to three different locations around the world, finally giving you the chance to live out your Mario and Zelda fantasies outside of the confines of a game console.

Over “the next several years,” Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort, and Universal Studios Hollywood will be opening new Nintendo-themed areas described as “expansive, immersive, and interactive.” Each will feature attractions designed for a variety of ages — no video game knowledge or experience required — and will include not just rides, but also restaurants and gift shops. If we’re finally able to taste the cake promised to Mario in Super Mario 64, we’ll be on the next plane down to Orlando.

“All of the adventure, fun, and whimsy you experience through a screen will now be all around — in breathtakingly authentic ways,” read the official announcement.

This doesn’t appear to be a project simply given Nintendo’s “go ahead,” either. Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto appeared in an announcement video, praising Universal’s involvement while also stressing that Nintendo is committed to the project.

“Together, we are building it with an eye for what guests will actually experience,” Miyamoto said. “We are working very hard to create attractions that can be equally enjoyable to anybody regardless of age.”

Just what Nintendo games Universal plans to bring to life at these new areas remains to be seen. Mario is featured prominently in the video and is an obvious choice for inclusion, but the attractions don’t look like they’ll be the same at the three locations. Each Universal park will announce “details of its specific Nintendo areas” in the future, and the first, located in Universal’s Osaka, Japan, location, has received a name: “Super Nintendo World.” It’s scheduled to arrive by 2020, and early concept images showcase Princess Peach’s castle, Bowser’s castle, and grass-covered area that looks straight out of one of the 3D Mario adventures.

But please, Universal: just give us real-life Star Fox.

Updated on 12-12-2016 by Gabe Gurwin: Added details of Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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