A lot of businesses around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but some of the biggest casualties have been in the hospitality, tourism, and entertainment industries. Regulations against mass gatherings and large social events have pretty much forced theme parks to remain closed until recently. But while some are starting to slowly resume operations, Universal Studios Japan has decided to put on hold the opening of its newest attraction, one that would have gathered masses of kids and adults that will want to escape the worries of the real world into one straight out of a video game.
First announced barely four years ago, Super Nintendo World would have been the first of its kind, a whole theme park dedicated solely to one gaming company’s franchises. Developed by Universal Studios Japan, the park was scheduled to open in July to coincide with the start of the 2020 Olympics season. Of course, the Olympics isn’t happening this year and neither is Super Nintendo World.
Japan’s NHK reports that Universal Studios decided to scrap plans for opening the theme park next month even while the studio’s own theme park in Japan has tentatively re-opened its doors. That said, it has cut down on the number of visitors it allows in USJ but it might not be able to handle an increase in human traffic should Mario and friends descend into the real world. After all, what Nintendo fan can resist the allure of a real-world Mario Kart race?
Super Nintendo World’s Osaka theme park is almost complete, the report says, a construction that cost an estimated $560 million dollars. Now the fate of that attraction hangs in the balance as USJ doesn’t know when it will be opening Mario’s Land to the public.
Around the world, however, theme parks are starting to warm up their engines in hopes of restarting even with half the usual customers in order to practice physical distancing and other COVID-19 countermeasures. Disney is planning to slowly reopen its many facilities in the US but promises to implement new systems to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors.