It was confirmed by Universal this month that the long rumored partnership between them and Nintendo would actually come to fruition (after years of rumors and speculation). Their parks across the world will start to see various Nintendo owned properties arriving in the coming years. It was later confirmed this week that starting with Universal Studios Japan the company will bring to life Super Nintendo World that is due to open sometime before 2020. Other lands or attractions are also due to appear in Singapore, Hollywood and at Orlando, though what they are and their timeframes have yet to be been announced.
The whole project in Japan is set to cost over $400 million, which is twice what they spent on Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. This level of investment and close working partnership shows that Universal are very keen to get these Nintendo properties into the parks in ways that we’ve never seen before (so do not expect a Frozen at Epcot styled refurb, we’re talking major projects here).
It was also heavily rumored by many including Orlando Informer in this excellent post HERE that the first Nintendo addition could be to the KidZone area of the main Studio park. The attractions are all old with most kids having no clue who Curious George is, let alone, dare I say Barney the Dinosaur as well. Though we at HHNU shed no tears for their eventual demise of these characters as after all, they technically lead to the destruction of movie history when the Psycho 4 set was torn down for them back in 1998. RIP Norm.
So the chances of a Nintendo themed land or any kind of major refurbishment to this area in the coming years is highly likely, with only E.T. – the one sole remaining original attraction for this park – missing the eventual wrecking ball. So this begs the questions, how will this affect Halloween Horror Nights?
Currently, though it does change up ever so slightly year on year, KidZone is used as a means to allow entry to one or both of the Sprung Tents along with entry and discharge of guests from the Parade Building House. So that’s a possible 3 houses that rely on this thoroughfare to ensure the smooth operating of everyone’s favorite Halloween event. So if the whole area is closed for demolition, omitting the loveable 80s alien, this could have serious consequences to the enjoyment of the event. So what could happen and how can Universal get around this?
Universal are sure to offer the same number of houses again; the magic number now being 9. They’ve recently taken on the Shrek theater as a staple of the event and will probably need to look around for other venues. The addition last year of the new MIB tent that housed Chance’s house this year could always be on the cards, likewise, the same kind of building could be sourced and dotted somewhere else in the park. The soundstages, though bottlenecks, could also be used to house additional houses (subject to production requirements), though this would be tough, seeing how AHS had to use an empty soundstage to house it’s mammoth queue this year. Some say the Sprungs could be moved, though I would imagine this is cost prohibitive seeing as they are hurricane proof. There is also the possibility of a dual park event, not seen since 2005, where the event could be spread across both Universal parks; though this is unlikely at this time due to the operational issues of opening both parks for the nightly event.
All of which, I am sure, will be figured out when the time comes to eventually delete the KidZone area of the park. The one thing we can all be sure of is that the construction of which can’t surely come as soon as to affect #HHN27 what with the newly opening Jimmy Fallon just coming out of construction and the current Fast and Furious ride taking up a huge chuck of space in the old Disaster area (which itself knocked out the old Earthquake queue as a former haunt space for HHN). This being said, though not likely to be imminent, the area will surely have a bearing on a future HHN, for which new house locations will surely need to found within the park.