Back in May, one of the most exciting announcements regarding the Orlando parks was Universal’s partnership to bring the Nintendo brand their parks. Immediately after the announcement, ideas started flying from all angles as to what Universal could build and design with popular Nintendo characters like Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, Pokemon and Donkey Kong.
There are a lot of great ideas out there involving those properties, but what about some of the other franchises that we know and love that aren’t getting as much of the attention?
Here are some of my ideas for how Universal could bring some of the less popular, but still beloved, characters to their parks.
5. Star Fox
This is still a very popular Nintendo franchise, but not quite to the level of Mario or Pokemon. It could easily be turned into an incredible new attraction. A 3D simulator type attraction would be the best fit – think Star Tours, but maybe a bit more intense. I mean, wouldn’t it be really cool if the whole vehicle could “do a barrel roll”?
Another fan-favorite; Kirby is a very recognizable character, but the franchise as a whole kind of gets forgotten. This could be the perfect character for an innovative new meet & greet. If they could come up with a character suit that inflates, I could see that drawing a good crowd. Another idea could be some sort of parachute-type ride to simulate Kirby’s floating ability. The character can definitely bring some possible fun rides for the smaller kids.
This one is not quite as “main stream”. The futuristic racing franchise doesn’t have any well known characters outside of Captain Falcon – but it has been around for quite some time, and could potentially make for a great attraction, something akin to Test Track. Just maybe a bit more “danger” and “thrill”.
While Samus may not be as popular as Kirby or Fox, she is still a well-known Nintendo icon. This one is a bit tougher to turn into an attraction though. Do you try to make some sort of dark ride? Maybe a 4D show? The elements of this franchise could make either of those interesting, but nothing really stands out as the obvious choice. It also would be great to see a strong, heroic female character represented.
This one is a risk. Nintendo recently released this new game, and it has received plenty of attention and positive reviews. The game has players control “Inklings” as they try to cover the stage in their teams representative color against their opponent. This seems like a great opportunity to come up with an interactive game-like ride, along the lines of Toy Story Midway Mania. Interactive rides like that have proven to be very popular and this could be a very exciting opportunity. It could also make for a rather messy water play-area.
As of right now, it seems likely that we won’t see anything outside of Nintendo’s core 4. It could be possible we can see something as simple as a playground or a grand E-Ticket attraction themed around the Nintendo franchises that we love. Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a theme park fan!