Nintendo working with Universal on theme park attractions

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2015 9:49 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Parks & Resorts will create theme-park attractions based on Nintendo video games, the companies announced this morning. Nintendo is the creator of games such as Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. The theme-park division of NBCUniversal owns both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Read more from Kotaku and The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:07 AM
LostKause's avatar

I've dreamed of this for a very long time. I remember building Nintendo themed parks in RCT many years ago.

Let's look at other Universal news... What if Marvel Super Hero Island became Nintendo Island? The only problem I see there is that Nintendo's characters are more suited for a younger audience than the rides are for. You can't rename the Hulk coaster "Yoshi's Escape" or "Donkey Kong's Jungle coaster." ...Or can you?

What if Spiderman was transformed into "Luigi's Mansion?" Complete with blasters to shoot ghosts with!

The music surrounding the island would be familiar. It just sounds epic!

...Or does it? lol

Do 40-year-old parents still like Nintendo characters? Is Nintendo only for kids? Or are kids too young to appreciate Nintendo characters anymore? Has Nintendo outgrown their popularity? Are they still popular? Is it nostalgia, or is it current?


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Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:14 AM

I wonder if this is what they can use to re-theme that mess of a land in Toon Lagoon. I think that's more likely than Marvel, unless less Disney writes a GIANT check.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:45 AM
Vater's avatar

LostKause said:

Or are kids too young to appreciate Nintendo characters anymore? Has Nintendo outgrown their popularity?

Not at all. My son has been a Nintendo fanatic most of his short life. Between the Wii and his 3DS, he has several Mario & Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Zelda games, and his walls are plastered with Mario decals and posters. He's almost 9 and his fanaticism has shifted to other things over the last year or two (Minecraft, ugh), but he still enjoys the Nintendo stuff.

I would think Universal would use the Nintendo licensing in addition to the Marvel IP, not as a replacement. While it's owned by Disney, Marvel is huge and still must be a massive draw for Universal.

Last edited by Vater, Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:45 AM
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Thursday, May 7, 2015 11:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

Nintendo is at a real crossroads, however. I think they've been riding the wave of nostalgia for awhile. I bought a Wii like everyone else, but played it so little. It's still plugged into a TV, but hasn't been turned on in more than a year. The WiiU isn't compelling to me either. Handheld systems seem "quaint" in the mobile world. I really worry that they just haven't evolved enough. They just reported their first profitable quarter in four years.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 11:31 AM
koolcat1101's avatar

I always thought this would be cool. Star Fox Air Race anyone?


(Insert funny signature here.)

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 11:32 AM
kpjb's avatar

I've gotta think that YoshiFan is pretty excited about this.


Hi

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 12:52 PM

Well, if there's a Pokémon game, they can go ahead and take my money right now.

Also, the problem with US talking about Nintendo and their IP and what they'll develop is that we aren't the target demographic for current Nintendo games.

There are all kind of popular Nintendo games on their newer systems (some of which have older versions as well!) - Pokémon, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, Nintendogs, not to mention Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Zelda, etc.

There are A LOT of possibilities that will have cross-generational interest, and I think it's a brilliant plan if it's done correctly.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 1:12 PM

LostKause said:

I've dreamed of this for a very long time. I remember building Nintendo themed parks in RCT many years ago.

Let's look at other Universal news... What if Marvel Super Hero Island became Nintendo Island? The only problem I see there is that Nintendo's characters are more suited for a younger audience than the rides are for. You can't rename the Hulk coaster "Yoshi's Escape" or "Donkey Kong's Jungle coaster." ...Or can you?

What if Spiderman was transformed into "Luigi's Mansion?" Complete with blasters to shoot ghosts with!

The music surrounding the island would be familiar. It just sounds epic!

...Or does it? lol

Do 40-year-old parents still like Nintendo characters? Is Nintendo only for kids? Or are kids too young to appreciate Nintendo characters anymore? Has Nintendo outgrown their popularity? Are they still popular? Is it nostalgia, or is it current?

Travis, the game is called "20 Questions" You only have 10 here.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 1:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

If there's a real-life Mario Kart track, with bananas and power-up 'shrooms, I'm in.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 1:42 PM
rollergator's avatar

I have but one recommendation (and it's one I've made before):

Futurama, Anthology of Interest II: Raiders of the Lost Arcade ("what if life were more like a video game")

It may not be news, but it's good, everyone.... :~P

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 1:50 PM
bjames's avatar

maybe a simulator ride more along the lines of this new movie coming out


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 4:11 PM
LostKause's avatar

Jeff said:

I bought a Wii like everyone else, but played it so little...

I gave mine to a friend in need of entertainment a few years ago. I played everything that interested me in just a few months, and then I got very bored with it. The WiiU looked interesting when it first came out, but Wii burned me so bad that I have my doubts that I would enjoy the new one.


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Thursday, May 7, 2015 5:14 PM

This is definitely a very exciting announcement, as the attraction possibilities are practically endless.

To answer LK's question in the 1st post; no, this is not replacing Marvel (in fact, expect to see it get a facelift and new attraction(s) in the next few years), it will be replacing/expanding the current KidZone section.

Imagine how much they could sell interactive Pokeballs for as part of an interactive experience around the area where you collect and battle Pokemon in a similar fashion to, say Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. The merchandising opportunities are just as big with this as with Potter, maybe even bigger. So many cool things they could do! Rainbow Road, Donkey Kong mine cart, Starfox...


Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 5:28 PM

kpjb said:

I've gotta think that YoshiFan is pretty excited about this.

Yes I am really looking forward to this and have wanted to see a park add Nintendo attractions for years and I didn't think it would happen outside of Japan.

I think it will be popular with a lot of age ranges. I got the NES when I was a kid and even now still prefer Nintendo's games to any other game company and most of my friends also feel the same way and then there are the kids and teens now that grew up with Wii, Wii U, DS and 3DS.

Amiibo also seems to indicate there are still a lot of Nintendo fans in their 20's and 30's. It looked like it was going to be something mainly for kids like Skylanders and ended up having a huge following of adults wanting to buy what are basically toy figures to the point where pre-orders for the newest figures are selling out in 15 minutes at 3 a.m.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 5:30 PM
LostKause's avatar

Not that I don't believe you, MaXairMike, because your answer makes sense, but how do you know it will go into Kidzone and not Marvel. And how do you know that Marvel will get a facelift and new attractions in the next few years? The rumor is that Marvel will change into another themed island altogether.

I do like the idea of Toon Lagoon getting the Nintendo makeover! I'd want to see more attractions there tough. Toon Lagoon has two of the best water rides around, but that's all.


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Thursday, May 7, 2015 9:20 PM

Hence the name "Lagoon".

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 9:32 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I'm no fan of video games. Not even RCT. A friend gave me the game some years back, figuring it would be a sure-fire gift for a coaster geek. I played a few times, but it taxed my patience.

That said, redoing Toon Lagoon with a Nintendo would be interesting. As much as I love IOA, Toon Lagoon has always seemed the weakest link. I can't imagine that the majority of guests rushing through TL en route to Jurassic Park or Potterland even know about Nemo in Slumberland or Gasoline Alley.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Thursday, May 7, 2015 9:55 PM
LostKause's avatar

Ripsaw Falls could turn into Donkey Kong's Ripsaw Falls, and you could ride barrels through Donkey Kong Island to retrieve the missing bananas. Oddly enough, it would be located right beside right next to the King Kong ride. lol


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Friday, May 8, 2015 1:27 AM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Marvel has never been hotter than it is right now. If anything, the potential of Marvel Island is vastly *under* used. Iron Man, Thor, Howard The Duck, Captain America, Guardians, etc, could all support their own rides. The possibilities are endless.

Unless Disney barges in with a Cease and Desist, (could they do that?) I don't see the current theming going anywhere. If anything, it needs to be updated to bring it more in line with the current line of movies.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Friday, May 8, 2015 1:27 AM
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