There's more news stirring around the Nintendo/Universal partnership that would bring several Nintendo-themed attractions to the Universal Orlando Resort. WFTV out of Orlando reports that plans for new Nintendo-themed rides are supposedly planned for multiple properties at the Orlando, FL park with rides planned for Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, and Pokémon spreading between the existing flagship Universal Studios park and an upcoming new fourth park much like the company split Harry Potter attractions between the Studios and Islands of Adventure. The downside is that the Orlando attractions aren't slated to open until 2023.
Along with Josh Young, a blogger with Theme Park University, Holmes spoke to numerous sources inside Universal who say Pokémon is indeed coming to Universal Orlando. The incredibly popular video game and franchise will be added to the KidZone section of Universal, where Woody Woodpecker and Barney are located now.
Originally, that area was slated to be home to Mario Kart and a Donkey Kong roller coaster, but now we've learned those rides will be moving across the street to the 400 acres Universal recently bought near Kirkman Avenue.
The KidZone area of Universal has to be aging poorly by now since it's headlined by characters that are unfamiliar to today's children. I can understand replacing it with Pikachu and friends, particularly if the new area encourages trading Pokémon in games. As for the new unbuilt park across the street, Floridians have heard many different plans for that plot of land over the past few years and while I'll believe it when I see it, building Nintendo attractions there makes a lot of sense and would allow Universal to spread out more than trying to shoehorn, say, Princess Peach's castle into an existing park. And just think: by 2023 we'll all be enjoying the Super Nintendo Switch or Switch U or whatever the company's next console is called.