It's been a few years since Nintendo and Universal Studios announced their plans to build a Nintendo-themed area in Universal's parks, but it looks like that project has made some serious progress, as new photos of the ongoing construction reveal.
The Super Mario World inspired area in Universal Studios Japan is scheduled to open next year, just in time for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics. This collaboration was first announced back in 2015, with Nintendo and Universal saying they wanted to launch a variety of "immersive experiences" based on Nintendo properties at Universal Studios parks around the world, with the first of these being built in Osaka, Japan.
Since then there have been several updates of the Nintendo-themed areas progress over the years, ranging from leaked concept art to official CGI videos of what the park would look like when complete. However, these have all been early development leaks. Reveals of what was actually being built have been almost entirely nonexistent.
That all changed recently, though, when a Universal Studios Japan fan page on Twitter shared photos of the Mario-themed portion of Super Nintendo World. Though most of the area is still hidden under construction, a very tall hillside in the style of Super Mario 3D World is clearly visible. It's likely this building will house part of the omnimover-style Yoshi's Adventure ride. This ride had been previously announced to include both indoor and outdoor scenes and will circle the zone's upper levels (most likely in the building featured in these pictures).
Yoshi's Adventure is only one of two rides confirmed to be featured on Super Nintendo World's opening day, with the other having been revealed to be a Mario Kart inspired ride. This has lead many fans to speculate as to what other rides could be available at Super Nintendo World and other Nintendo-themed areas in the future. Maybe some based on Mario Party minigames like Train in Pain and Bumper Brawl would be neat, or some areas from the near forgotten Nintendo Land (which is, coincidentally, based on the idea of a Nintendo-themed amusement park). Of course, Nintendo could just recreate any of the on-the-rails levels from Pokémon Snap, seeing as each one is already built like a ride.
Thought it's been announced that other Universal Studios parks will get Nintendo-themed areas in the future, no dates or details have been firmly confirmed.
Super Nintendo World Osaka's Mario-themed area is due to open in spring next year in Universal Studios Japan.