Since seeing the first concept art for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, many have been asking the question, “When will we find out an opening date for Nintendo at the domestic parks?” Well, sources have informed us that new information, possibly containing an opening timeframe, may be imminent. Buzz around Universal Orlando right now is that high-level executives from Nintendo are in Orlando in order to prepare for the official announcement on the location and opening timeframe for the highly anticipated expansion.
For those of you who don’t follow the DIS Unplugged: Universal Edition podcast, we discussed on last week’s show that Universal is preparing to shut down most of Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone for the expansion. Animal Actors on Location!, A Day in the Park with Barney, Curious George Goes to Town, Woody Woodpecker’s NutHouse Coaster, and Fievel’s Playland will all be meeting bulldozers potentially starting this summer. Unlike Disney, Universal is very good at giving fans advance notice of when attractions will be closing so you can sneak in one last ride or show. As most of you know, E.T. Adventure is also in KidZone, but we are being told that the opening day attraction will survive through Nintendo and be absorbed as part of Hollywood.
While our sources are very reliable, this is still a rumor and must be handled as such. Nintendo executives will be visiting the domestic parks regularly to assist in bringing Nintendo to life at Universal, and that doesn’t mean an announcement will be made regarding the expansion every time they show up. Still, if this announcement doesn’t happen, maybe Universal will finally fill us in on which musical acts will be performing at this year’s Mardi Gras?*