The long-awaited Universal Studios attraction finally opened on Thursday in Osaka, Japan.
Initially announced in 2015, the park’s opening was delayed from last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The park has implemented new safety protocols including mandatory masks, temperature checks, quick access to hand sanitizers and social distancing in lines. Visitors are also encouraged to “scream in their hearts” instead of aloud on rollercoasters, according to CNN.
Capacity limits are half of what would be permitted pre-COVID at 10,000 guests.
Visitors are transported into the park through one of Mario’s green warp pipes, where they are greeted by life-size replicas of popular Nintendo games.
For an additional fee, the park offers the option of a Power-Up Band which connects to a smartphone app. The band adds to the virtual experience by allowing its users to collect points by punching “question blocks” located throughout the park. The band also enables users to participate in a separate challenge.
Mario and Luigi stand by for pictures in a carefully monitored mask-free zone. Visitors can interact with the characters but won’t be allowed to touch them.
There are also speculations that a locked door hints at a possible expansion of the park featuring the world of Donkey Kong.
For now, visitors outside of Japan will have to wait to visit Nintendo World as the country’s borders still remain closed. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, was present at the opening and says he hopes that the world can visit the park one day.
Though there are still concerns about large gatherings at the park, one visitor told CNN, “The park seems to take safety protocols, cleaning the rides and wiping surfaces every time people touch them, so I feel safe.”
Grace Kim is a New York-based Entertainment Contributor for NextShark
SHARE THIS ARTICLE:
RELATED STORIES FROM NEXTSHARK
Support NextShark's Journalism
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.