‘Nintendo Land’ Becomes Reality As Universal Theme Parks Inks Deal With Game Maker

Think you can handle Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda-themed rides and entertainment? That’s what Nintendo is banking on as it announced a partnership with Universal Parks & Resorts to bring its game characters to Universal Theme Parks.

There’s no word yet on when the Nintendo-themed section of Universal Theme Parks will open or what will fill its attractions. There’s certainly a vast catalog of characters to choose from, including Mario, Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Link, Kirby, Samus, and many more. Whatever concepts that Nintendo and Universal work out should be interesting.

Nintendo Land (Wii U)
Nintendo Land for the Wii U

“Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters – using powerful storytelling and innovative technology,” the Nintendo press release stated. “Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks.”

Universal Parks Resorts currently has Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks operating in Orlando, Florida. The latter park currently hosts Marvel, Jurassic Park, and Dr. Seuss-themed attractions while the former is home to Harry Potter and Transformers, among others.

Universal Studios - Diagon Alley

The partnership with Universal is another example of Nintendo relaxing control over its video game franchises. The company reversed itself in March by announcing a mobile game partnership with mobile publisher DeNA after years of dismissing any need to bring support to smartphones and tablets.

Perhaps the success of the amiibo figures has helped spur Nintendo to try new avenues of promotion. The Wii U and Nintendo 3DS characters have been in high demand and short supply since their release last year. A Nintendo financial report released today revealed plans to expand the use of the toy characters with new compatible software devices and by releasing an NFC accessory for the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 3DS.

Yoshi Yarn Amiibo (Wii U)

Nintendo’s characters are still incredibly popular with kids despite lagging Wii U console sales. Bringing them into a top-of-the-line theme park setting will only enhance and improve their reach. And, of course, you have to expect that Nintendo will have final say in all rides and attractions that use their franchises.

While you can bet on costumed characters walking around, what theme park rides would you like to see for Nintendo? A Mario Kart roller coaster? A Metroid-themed laser gun adventure? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Nintendo, Universal]