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Super Mario Nintendo Universal

One of the most anticipated new lands originally set to debut in 2020 was Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the opening of this new land was put on hold indefinitely, even as the theme park was able to open back up several months ago. And though the land is mostly complete, NBCUniversal executive Jeff Shell has revealed via an internal email that Super Nintendo World is now delayed until “early next year.” Interestingly, Shell also confirmed that the still under-construction Universal Beijing project is also moving right along, and will also open sometime in 2021. 

Image: Universal

Right now, the only project that is still in a holding pattern is Universal's Epic Universe, which was announced last year, but has stalled since the spring shutdown of Universal Orlando Resort. Though Universal has not cancelled this project outright we have not heard any updates about its progress recently, which has made many wonder about its future. The fact that Universal is taking time to confirm opening dates for other projects, but is continuing to omit any mention of Universal's Epic Universe seems like a bad sign, and we'd guess this project may either be hit with major revisions from its initial concept, or could just be scrapped altogether. 

In addition to the news about the openings of Super Nintendo World and Universal Studios Beijing Shell's message also revealed that though attendance is down across the Universal family of parks, guest satisfaction scores have never been higher with many reporting that it is actually a great time to go to a Universal Theme Park with safety measures in place and low numbers of guests due to attendance management. However, Shell also mentioned that "The financial impact at our parks has been significant and given the state of the broader tourism and travel market, it will take time to regain our momentum." 

Though many were hoping that 2020 would be a big year for Universal, it looks like the family of parks is looking for a big reset it 2021, with the opening of Universal Studios Beijing and Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. 

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