Originally scheduled to be released sometime in 2023, Universal Studios Orlando has delayed their upcoming Nintendo Themed park expansion due to complications from COVID-19. According to NintendoLife, this indefinite delay was supposed to be home to the long-awaited (and highly anticipated by Nintendo fans) Super Nintendo World. As this is due to the cost-saving measure because of the pandemic’s impact on the entertainment industry, construction for this area of the park has not even begun yet.
This announcement came soon after Comcast’s Q2 2020 Earnings call, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said, “We are continually adjusting our cost base and capital, including pausing development of our Epic Universal project in Flordia, for example, until the future becomes more certain.” In that same quarterly earnings call, Universal Studios announced future plans for the Epic Universe Hub, which was initially supposed to contain Super Nintendo World. The Epic Universe Hub (which is the park’s fourth expansion since its opening) is set to contain Super Nintendo World, Island of Adventures, Volcano Bay, and other attractions set to take place in other popular Disney IP titles.
The plans for Super Nintendo World were to have it replace the KidsZone at Universal Orlando after planners scrapped the original idea to build an entirely new theme park dedicated to all things Nintendo. Even with the announcement of the delay, this still makes Nintendo one of the first gaming studios to expand into the realm of theme park attractions. Even though Universal Studios Orlando has opened with added precautions (along with the cancellation of Halloween Horror Nights), there is still no definite date for Universal Studios in Hollywood to open up as well.
As this is not the only delay in video game-related attractions for Nintendo, Universal Japan has also seen it a halt in their development of Super Nintendo World as well. With the plans for this park’s opening to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the reasons for the Tokyo park’s delays are due to the same reasons as the one in Flordia. But even then, the park’s construction is almost set to be completed.