State of Emergency halts grand opening
Universal Studios Japan has announced that it will postpone the opening of its Super Nintendo World theme park. Yesterday saw Osaka – alongside 10 other prefectures of Japan – placed into a state of emergency following a surge of COVID-19 infections, which has halted Universal Studios’ plans to open the gates on February 4.
Super Nintendo World – a near $600 million venture which features Super Mario-themed rides, diners, sideshows, and other attractions – has been in construction since early 2017 and was originally expected to being open to the public last year, in order to capitalize on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Olympics themselves would also ultimately be postponed, and are now tentatively scheduled to take place summer 2021.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is yet to reach a controllable stage where it is safe for the public to congregate en masse. Locales such as theme parks would be veritable hives of transmission. As such, the decision to delay the opening is an unavoidable one. No rescheduled date for Super Nintendo World’s grand opening was announced, with the state of emergency expected to remain in place until February 7 at the earliest.