Universal Studios Japan wants to get guests riding that Mario Kart roller coaster very quickly.

A small miracle occurred this week, as the fourth and final Rebuild of Evangelion movie, after nine months of coronavirus-related delays, premiered at theaters in Japan. Now comes news that another long-awaited event for fans of Japanese pop culture is finally about to happen.

Universal Studios Japan has announced a new opening date for Super Nintendo World, the park’s expansion that recreates the world of Super Mario and his friends and foes. Originally slated to open sometime before midsummer 2020 (when crowds of foreign tourists were supposed to be coming into Japan for the Tokyo Olympics), Super Nintendo World’s opening day has been delayed time and time again, but now the park says it’s for-real-this-time opening to the public next week, on March 18!

Prior to this, the most recent plan was to open the expansion on February 4, only for the government-declared nationwide state of emergency to be reinstated in January as coronavirus infection numbers spiked. Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures remain under the state of emergency, but Osaka, where Universal Studios Japan is located, is among the parts of Japan where the emergency status was lifted on Monday, and so USJ seems to be taking a page out of Evangelion’s playbook and looking to swiftly start welcoming guests before the situation has a chance to change again.

However, Universal Studios Japan isn’t completely ignoring the realities of the pandemic, and the park has instituted a number of policies to limit the chance of infection. Guests will have their temperatures taken prior to being granted admission to the park, and are required to wear masks while on the premises. To help prevent close-proximity crowding, daily admission is being capped, and guests wanting to enter the Super Nintendo World area will be given a pass with a specific entry time for that part of the park, since it’s likely to be the one everyone would pile into immediately if no such limitations were put in place.

In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed at all attractions, markers put in place to maintain guests’ distance from one another when lining up, and staff will regularly disinfect ride seats and safety bars. That may mean the line for the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge AR coaster and Yoshi Adventure move a little slower as the karts and dinosaurs get cleaned, but please bear with it, since in the absence of invincibility-granting Super Stars in the real world, precautions like this still remain necessary, especially with Japan just starting its coronavirus vaccinations.

Source, images: PR Times
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