Home of Orlando’s Nintendo theme park delayed by 2 years

March 4, 2021, 7:37 PM UTC

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You’re going to have to wait a couple more years before you can visit the Mushroom Kingdom.

Construction on Super Nintendo World, part of the latest Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, is substantially delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Universal, which is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, is pushing the opening date from 2023 to 2025, it said in a blog post.

Construction on Epic Universe, the park that will contain Super Nintendo World and other themed areas, is resuming after being paused on July 2020. Universal says the operation will take several months before it reaches full capacity since the company needs to restaff the construction crews and vendor and contractor teams.

“The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida,” said Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast in a statement. “It is our single largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate.”

The new attraction will span 750 acres, nearly doubling the size of Universal’s footprint in Orlando, and bring 14,000 permanent jobs to the area, the company said. The two parks will not be directly connected, though, as they are separated by a few miles.

Plans are for Epic Universe to include a theme park, hotels, shops, restaurants, and an entertainment center. Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, calls it “the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.” At the park’s 2019 reveal, the company said its plan was to take guests on “a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands.”

Nintendo’s presence is a big part of the park. The video game company previously said the two main attractions for its zone would be Mario Kart Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure. A third attraction, Donkey Kong–themed, has been rumored as well. The park is expected to include Nintendo-themed food stands and restaurants, and various other playable elements.

A similar park at Universal Studios Japan was set to open last year but was delayed because of the coronavirus’s spread. The park has since undergone a “soft” opening that is more limited in scale.

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