The world has suffered economically due to COVID-19, but Japan in particular had two major events that have now been delayed due to the pandemic. The first was the summer Olympics, which have been pushed back to summer 2021, and the second is the opening of the Universal Studios Japan theme park, Super Nintendo World. The theme park, which is heavily based on the Mario franchise, is nearly complete, but the Osaka-based attraction will have its opening postponed indefinitely due to COVID.
IGN reports that the park was due to open in July, but now Universal Studios likely wants time to find a safer way to open in the midst of a pandemic. The delay likely has nothing to do with construction efforts since the park is nearly finished. But because this is the world’s first Nintendo theme park, interest is expected to be sky-high, which means Universal has to figure out the logistics of how to match this increased interest with public health and safety. Because of these hurdles, Universal Studios Japan is unsure when Super Nintendo World will open.
Personally, while I would love to visit Super Nintendo World (a pipe dream considering the cost and distance), I don’t think any theme parks should be open during a pandemic. The risk of a super-spreader event (in which an asymptomatic person ends up infecting numerous people at the same location) is too high. I get that we’re all feeling cooped up and we want to go back to doing fun things, but COVID is no joke. Even if you survive it, it could end up having long-term health effects that we haven’t even begun to understand yet. There’s no entertainment destination that’s worth that risk. I hope that Universal Studios Japan will keep Super Nintendo World shut down until the coast is clear.