The next few years are shaping up to be good ones for fans of video games who are planning to travel. First, there was the announcement for an Atari-branded hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Now comes news of a Nintendo theme park opening in Orlando, Florida.
Mario, Luigi, Zelda and the rest of Nintendo’s line-up of characters will be calling a 750-acre site home in 2023 when the park becomes the fourth major attraction at Universal Orlando alongside Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park. The addition effectively doubles the size of the resort, and is expected to draw millions of visitors each year.
Once they enter, guests will be able to buy a “power up” wristband, enabling them to download an app that transports them to an interactive-experience version of Mushroom Kingdom, the main setting of the Mario franchise. There, they’ll be able to play with other visitors in the park, collecting Mario “coins” that reward points for higher scores, as well as earning extra chances to get back into the game after being eliminated.
The Orlando park follows one that’s already underway in Osaka, Japan which is scheduled to throw open its gates this summer. Similar plans are also afoot for California, though a location has yet to be announced.