Universal Studios Theme Park will always find itself playing catch-up with Disney’s parks, no matter which way you slice it. Disneyland in California has 9 years on Universal Hollywood, and Universal Orlando is about as old as we are, opening in 1990. Despite having arguably more badass rides and themes, like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Marvel Comics superheroes, Jurassic Park, and an entire recreation of Springfield from The Simpsons, they’ll never be able to compete with “It’s A Small World” and the fucking Teacups.
After all, what could be more iconic than that lovable, high-pitched mouse? An Italian Plumber with a red hat, badass mustache and a penchant for stomping out motherfucking turtles, that’s who.
Nintendo announced today that they’ll be taking their talents to Orlando (and Hollywood, Japan, Singapore and future properties), bringing their timeless games and beloved characters to Universal theme parks. Feel that pit in your stomach? That’s your 10-year-old self’s balls dropping in excitement.
“The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games,” stated an official release.
Now, this isn’t going to be a straight-up standalone Nintendo theme park, at least not at first. Universal said they’ll create “spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.” So, what that sounds like to me is a dedicated “Nintendo Island” at Universal Orlando’s “Islands of Adventure,” at least.
If I had to venture a guess as to where they’ll put this, and just putting on my speculation hat, this could serve as a replacement for Universal’s “Marvel Super Hero Island,” which has been rumored to be closing since the Walt Disney Company bought Marvel in 2009. The two sides are rumored to be in ongoing talks, which makes sense considering as Marvel attractions exist at every Disney park except for Disney World, and Disney can’t even use the word “Marvel” to promote Marvel-themed events at Disney World. Replacing Marvel with Nintendo would certainly soften the blow for Universal and could be a win for both sides.
Either way, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Maybe a Mario Kart roller coaster? A Squirtle-themed water slide? A Star Fox or Metroid-themed shooter ride? A 3D Zelda adventure? The possibilities are endless.
Shut up and take my money, Nintendo and Universal. Just shut up and take my money.