Nintendo has finally officially confirmed the Donkey Kong expansion for Super Nintendo World.
It’s long been believed that the Mario-themed area in Universal Studios Japan was set to be expanded to include a Donkey Kong-themed world, and now Nintendo has released a press statement confirming it for a 2024 opening date.
While the Super Mario area contains relatively gentle rides suitable for all ages, the Donkey Kong area will include a rollercoaster.
Like the Mario area, it will also feature interactive elements and themed merchandise and food.
Nintendo states that with the addition of the new Donkey Kong area, the overall size of Super Nintendo World will be expanded by 70%.
The Universal creative team and the Nintendo creative team — including Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario — will bring the new Donkey Kong themed area to life.
“I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario,” Miyamoto said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games, but for all guests.”
The existence of plans for a Donkey Kong area for Super Nintendo World has been something of an open secret for some time, with information alluding to the plans circulating as far back as 2019.
Images showing a concept model for Super Nintendo World included a Donkey Kong area. The images showed a new world themed on the more modern Retro Studios Donkey Kong Country games, including a mine cart rollercoaster ride.
Then last year, Bloomberg’s Kurumi Mori claimed that Universal was “already building” the rumoured Donkey Kong world next door to Super Nintendo World. This report was seemingly corroborated by the existence of a locked, DK-themed door at Super Nintendo World, in addition to Donkey Kong-related assets that were datamined from the Universal Studios Japan mobile app in December 2020.
As reported in our Super Nintendo World review, which we covered during three days of early access to the Osaka-based attraction, the park’s mobile app also occasionally refers to the Mario area as Super Mario Land, separating it from Nintendo World itself.
Super Nintendo World officially opened in Osaka, Japan on March 18, and is due to open at Universal Studios’ Hollywood and Florida locations too, though the former looks likely to be the first US park to open, with construction already underway.
The Hollywood park has also started selling Super Nintendo World merchandise ahead of its opening, marking the first time theme park-related items have been available outside of Japan.