Super Nintendo World, located at Universal Studios Japan, is about to get bigger. The amusement park has announced that the upcoming Donkey Kong zone will open sometime in Spring 2024 (via Business Insider Japan), with an expected land size that’s 1.7 times larger than the entire Super Mario area.
Officially known as Donkey Kong Country, it invites visitors to “play wild” and enter the world of the popular game franchise. It can be accessed through a warp pipe in Super Nintendo World, and features a state-of-the-art roller coaster attraction, interactive experiences, and of course, a wide spread of exclusive merchandise.
Fans can expect many familiar sights and sounds, including the lush forest setting, DK Bongos, Funky Kong’s plane, and a golden temple towering above the space. Guests will also be able to participate in interactive mini-games and collect the letters K, O, N, and G using their power-up bands and smartphones.
A key attraction of Donkey Kong Country would be Minecart Madness, the roller coaster developed in collaboration with Nintendo veteran Shigeru Miyamoto. The ride is built to create the illusion of minecart vehicles jumping across gaps, and will include barrel blasts and a unique track design. Sweets and other souvenirs will go on sale before the grand opening as well, with more details about the land to come in due time.
The expansion of Super Nintendo World Japan comes at a time where the tourism is booming in Japan. According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), the estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in October was 2.5 million (as of 15 November), which is 100.8% higher than the visitor count in the same month of 2019. In view of the weakening yen, next year’s numbers are only likely to increase.