The global coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, has stricken again: with cases exploding across Japan, and with states of emergency being declared in regions from Tokyo to Osaka (the home of Universal Studios Japan), Universal has made the decision to delay the opening of Super Nintendo World once more.
This is, of course, the second time that the new themed land has been postponed; originally, the addition was to have debuted in the summer of 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics, but the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent months-long closure of the Japanese theme park pushed that back until February 4, 2021 (an announcement that itself took several months to arrive, having just landed on November 30). This new delay is following the very same pattern, with only a pronouncement that the opening date has been indefinitely cut and a promise that a new date will be revealed sometime in the (near) future.
When, exactly, might that future be? Universal didn’t say in its press release today, but it did clarify that it wouldn’t let its new expansion bow until after the state of emergency in Osaka Prefecture has been lifted – we wouldn’t expect a new opening window to be given until then, at the earliest, when these huge numbers of medical, political, and social variables start to become resolved.
The timing, of course, comes right at a moment when the company was starting to ramp up its marketing campaign for Nintendo World’s imminent arrival, with video walk-throughs and team-member previews (which, in turn, generated their own videos [and tons of photos]) materializing over the past several weeks. And, even before that, back on October 16, the Mario Café & Store debuted in the Hollywood section of Universal Studios Japan, offering guests early access to a number of Super Mario Bros.-themed snacks and goodies.
The theme park itself hasn’t announced any further closure plans, but the company did reveal that it would be enacting additional capacity limitations “in accordance with the government and the local authorities’ guidelines.”
You can read all about Super Nintendo World’s attractions, interactive experiences, food, and merchandise in our in-depth insider’s guide.
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