UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/20/22) Universal Studios Japan Closes Ahead of Typhoon
(8/27/22) Donkey Kong Coaster Construction Pictures (MORE...)
(7/25/22) USJ Delays No Limit! Parade Until Next Year
(7/24/22) Universal Studios Japan Brings Early End to Attack on Titan XD Ride (MORE...)
(7/23/22) Universal Studios Japan Released Halloween Horror Nights 2022 Lineup (MORE...)
Park News - (9/20/22) Batten down the hatches! Universal Studios Japan reports that they will be closing the park on Sept. 20th as Typhoon Nanmadol appears to be on track to impact the Osaka region. While the park was open on Monday, they also reported online that they were closing down early at 3pm.
(7/23/22) Universal Studios Japan has announced their lineup for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event, taking place on select nights from Sept. 9 through to Nov. 6, 2022. So far the list includes a “Street Zombies” scare zone, Biohazard: The Extreme+ (aka: Resident Evil), Universal Monsters: Legends of Fear, Cult of Chucky: Chucky’s Hospital Ward of Madness, Zombie de dance, Sherlock Holmes: The Curse of the Rose Sword (a stage show) and an special edition of the Hollywood Dream coaster “Rat-tat-tat” featuring the Ratata Dance song.
Ok… I had to look that last one up… I still don’t get using it for a roller coaster, but whatever, I’m not the target audience for that. LOL! When in Japan, just go with the flow.
(4/28/22) Universal Studios Japan will be promoting the new “One Piece Film: Red” later this year from July 1st to Oct 2 by adding a number of One Piece themed additions to the theme park. The list includes a new live show, a restaurant with One Piece themed food called “Sanji’s Pirate Restaurant” and a themed roller coaster ride.
The coaster in question will actually be the park’s Hollywood Dream coaster, which will be renamed “One Piece X Hollywood Dream the Ride - Departure! Mini Merry II”. (Now that is a mouthful of name! Phew!) During the One Piece celebration in the park the coaster will take on new theming based on the Merry II ship. The on-board audio soundtrack will also be replaced with a new One Piece inspired soundtrack featuring voice clips and sound-effects from the show.
(12/20/21) For the Demon Slayer fans out there, a video was posted to YouTube showing off some of the new Demon Slayer XR ride footage, including the pre show, queue and some sections of the ride experience.
(11/26/21) Universal Studios Japan guests hoping to ride the Yoshi’s Adventure ride in Super Nintendo World may have to wait awhile, as the attraction is now closed following a fire that broke on the night of Nov. 23rd. According to this report, a small fire was discovered on the ceiling of an indoor portion of the ride at night after park close and emergency crews put it out very quickly. The following morning the park kept all of Super Nintendo World closed, but did open the land to guests on Nov. 25th, but without the Yoshi ride. For now it isn’t known how long Yoshi’s Adventure will remain closed.
(10/23/21) Guests on the Hollywood Dream at Universal Studios Japan got a little extra thrill for their money when the coaster came to a stop at the top of the lift on Friday. Based on the images, this was one of the trains that the park runs backwards, so the guests in the back row were probably wondering just how close to the edge of the drop they really were while waiting to see what happened next.
All said, apparently the 35 riders were stuck for about two hours for some reason, until workers opted to evacuate them down the lift-hill staircase. The cause of the outage was actually due to a temporary power outage in the area that affected the theme park as well as thousands of homes and other businesses in the area. Of course, no one was in danger at any time and the coaster has a full staircase on both sides of the coaster train, making for an easy evacuation. For local safety reasons, it looks like all riders also had to put on a hard-hat to make the journey down the stairs. Follow the link to see a video of the evac.
(9/18/21) Who’s ready to ride a Flying Car to Universal Studios Japan? According to a local news article the Governor of Osaka has signed an agreement with SkyDrive Inc, a developer of new flying cars that was formed by former engineers from Toyota. The goal right now is to get the technology ready for use to transport riders between Universal Studios Japan and the Osaka Expo site in 2024, in time to have it ready in time for the OPsaka-Kansai Expo 2025.
(8/16/21) Trouble has struck at Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan this past week. I’m told that currently the Yoshi themed slow ride is closed indefinitely after some “Goomba” figures fell near the Yoshi ride track from the nearby fake tower structure over the ride. No one was hurt, but it is enough of a concern that they will likely have to inspect the tower and any other scenic props on or near it to ensure that everything is secure and unable to fall in the future before they can reopen the ride.
Universal Cool Japan 2022 - (7/24/22) According to this report Universal Studios Japan has decided to end the run of the Attack on Titan XR overlay on their Space Fantasty roller coaster five weeks early. The overlay was part of this year’s return of the Universal Cool Japan 2022 event featuring a number of temporary attractions. According to an email sent to passholders this Attack on Tital XR Ride is closing weeks before the scheduled August 28th finale due to ‘technical problems’ with the attraction that caused the ride to close on July 19th for repairs. Rather than repair the ride and reopen it for a short time before the scheduled closure, they will instead move on to begin work installing the next planned overlay planned for the attraction.
This next installation hasn’t been announced, but there has been some speculation that it could be Pokemon themed. Universal Studios Japan announced back in Fall 2021 that they entered a long-term partnership with The Pokemon Company that would see Pokemon themed attractions coming to the part starting in 2022 and right now they’ve got five months left to follow through on that announcement.
Another possibility is that it could be used as an additional Jujutsu Kaisen themed attractions coming to the park starting on Sept. 16th through to July 2, 2023. So far we’ve only heard that a “Jujutsu Kaisen The Real 4D” attraction has been confirmed for this next wave of temporary attractions.
(6/22/22) Universal Studios Japan will offer a variety of “Jujutsu Kaisen” themed experiences this fall, starting on Sept. 16, 2022 in this first collaboration with the Japanese Manga series. “Guests will be immersed in the ultra-realistic battle between the Jujutsu Sorcerer and a Cursed Spirit that unfolds in front of them,” and “They will encounter the cursed energy and embody the strength of popular characters such as Yuji Itadori.”
(1/8/22) According to an updates from Universal Studios Japan we’ve got some information about more attractions coming to this year’s Universal Cool Japan 2022 event. According to the report the park will bring back 2020’s Attack on Titan XR Ride experience as well as deluxe version of 2019’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D: Moon Palace experience. Also coming back will be Detective Conan’s Case Closed attractions and the previously mentioned “Monster Hunter World: Iceborne” and “Hunter x Hunter” attractions.
Monster Hunter World opens first on Jan. 21, and the rest are supposed to be open from March 4 through to August 28, 2022. Currently the park is still running the Demon Slayer XR ride experience that will continue through to Feb. 13, 2022 at which point they will probably close it to convert it over to the Attack on Titan XR experience to reopen on March 4th.
(11/28/21) Just as rumored, Universal Studios Japan has confirmed that a temporary Hunter x Hunter themed attraction is coming to the park in 2022. Even better, I’m hearing that this is just one piece of a larger puzzle that will mark the return of the Universal Cool Japan event for 2022, with Hunter x Hunter joining the previously announced Monster Hunter World: Iceborn XR Walk attraction, and likely include the addition of Pokemon themed content as well.
(11/26/21) While there has been no official statement regarding this year, a rumor is going around claiming that Universal Studios Japan’s next attempt at bringing an Anime and Manga titles to life may for the Hunter x Hunter series. It’s just a rumor, but the tweet even posts the launch date as March 4, 2022.
In the past most of these special projects were part of the Universal Cool Japan event series which used to take place only in the early part of the year, but in later years seemed to divide the event into two halves that would take place separately. Since the arrival of COVID-19 however, the park hasn’t held the official event, but rather has brought in individual attractions as limited-time promotions on and off throughout 2020 and 2021. The next such promotion upcoming on the books is said to be for Monster Hunter World Iceborne that would run from Jan. 21, 2022 to Aug. 28, 2022, and currently the park is still featuring an attraction themed to the Demon Slayer anime with XR headgear used on the park’s Space Fantasy indoor coaster that is expected to run through to Feb. 13, 2022. Various Detective Conan attraction were also in use at the park throughout 2021, so it would not be uncommon for the park to offer more than one such experience at the same time.
(11/2/21) According to this report Universal Studios Japan is preparing to open a new temporary Monster Hunter themed attraction. It is called “Monster Hunter World Iceborne XRwalk”, a new free-roaming VR attraction themed to the Monster Hunter video game series. Teams of four arm up with a selection of Monster Hunter weapons and go on a hunt that promises a showdown with the elder dragon Velkhana. Look for Monster Hunter World Iceborne XRwalk to open to guests in limited form on Jan. 21st, 2022 ahead of a grand opening sometime in March, and to remain open through to August 28th, 2022.
2023 - No Limit! Parade - (7/24/22) Universal has officially delayed the premier of the new No Limit! Parade until sometime in 2023.
(10/19/21) Universal Studios Japan has announced their first use of the Pokemon characters will be in a new parade coming to the park in 2022 called the “No Limit! Parade”. The new parade will open in the Spring and feature characters from Nintendo, Minions, Snoopy, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street and Sing in addition to the popular Pokemon characters.
2024 - Donkey Kong Country - (8/27/22) I believe the layout should be exactly the same as the one I broke down that is coming to Universal’s Epic Universe, so I’m going to copy all that information below from that report. In addition to that however, a few construction pictures of the new coaster project being added onto Super Nintendo Land in Japan can be seen over at ThemeparX.
Construction in Japan is obviously much further along than what we’ve seen for the Orlando version, but visually the layout does appear to be the same. The basic Golden Temple structure is up, along with the lift hills, the enclosed second structure that will be home to the dark cave-like section of the ride, plus you can see the concrete poured that will hold the water splash near the end of the ride across the way.
For now, if you want to see a full breakdown of what the ride’s experience may involve, scene by scene, make the jump over to Screamscape’s official report about the version going up at Universal’s Epic Universe in Orlando, FL.
(12/15/21) In a set of new photos posted to WDWNT, you can see the yellow supports and track pieces for the new Donkey Kong coaster being put together at Universal Studios Japan.
(9/29/21) Universal Studios Japan has confirmed our long standing rumor that an expansion to Super Nintendo World themed to Donkey Kong is officially on the way and set to open in 2024. “To further immerse guests into Nintendo’s well-known series of games, Universal Studios Japan will expand the land to include a new area themed after Donkey Kong. The new area will bring to life the world of one of Nintendo’s most beloved games and feature a roller coaster, interactive experiences, themed merchandise and food –and all the fun and excitement of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. Guests will feel like they are playing inside the world of Donkey Kong as they take a walk on the wild side through the lush jungles where Donkey Kong and his friends live. The new area is set to open in 2024.”
They released one new piece of concept art that shows off a small version of the Donkey Kong themed jungle area next to the existing Super Nintendo World and it looks pretty much just like the artwork and model photos that have been leaked thus far.
(8/1/21) Phase 2 of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has begun construction it seems. A closed door was already placed into the existing land that will lead into the new expansion area, and unless the previous plans have changed, this should open into a new Donkey Kong Country. Even better, the Donkey Kong Country area will feature an amazing new coaster experience that promises to offer some great visual thrills and new tricks we haven’t seen on a roller coaster before.
You can see some pictures of the new progress taking place in Japan right now at OrlandoParkStop this week.
(5/30/20) Who’s ready to see a fantastic aerial shot of the nearly complete Super Nintendo World? Thanks to a tweet from ThemeparX we get a look at the whole land from the air where guests will enter the land from the right side of the photo through Princess Peach’s castle. You can see the Bowser’s Keep themed entry to the Mario Kart ride on the bottom left side of the photo, the Yoshi omnimover ride just above that, and a gateway on the ground level in the top left that will eventually be used for the Donkey Kong Country themed expansion in the future.
(4/18/20) While we don’t know when Super Nintendo World in Japan will be ready to open, I’m told that you can expect it to have a Phase 2 added on in a few years that will include the Donkey Kong Country coaster project we’ve seen in concept art. While I’m not sure of the timeline, I think there may be a good chance that we won’t see the Donkey Kong expansion open until about the same time that they are ready to open it as part of the whole land at Universal’s Epic Universe park in Orlando, expected in 2023.
???? - Pokeman Dark Ride - (10/8/21) According to press release, Universal Studios Japan has officially entered into a long-term partnership with The Pokemon Company “that will immerse guests into the world of Pokemon with with innovative technology and creativity beginning in 2022.“
So what exactly does this mean? If you recall, back in May we posted a report that the park was likely preparing to retire their popular Adventures of Spider-Man dark ride, and if the rumors hold true, it would evolve into a new Pokemon themed attraction. While 2022 is to fast of the timeline to transform the dark ride into something Pokemon themed, especially since it hasn’t even closed yet, I suspect we’ll see Pokemon added to the park in some other new way as a slow build up to the eventual announcement of the Pokemon themed dark ride project. Given how rapidly the park has been able to add various highly themed temporary attractions over the years as part of the Universal Cool Japan series of events, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of this magic put in place throughout 2022 to add several temporary Pokemon attraction, possibly including an VR overlay on the park’s Space Fantasy indoor coaster.
In the meantime, if you love Spider-Man in Japan, get your last rides in now, before it’s too late!
(5/2/21) Could the days of The Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal Studios Japan be numbered? According to an insightful article from ThemeParkUniversity, there is a chance that a new attraction with a Pokemon theme could possibly replace this Japanese clone of what is easily one of the best dark rides ever created.
Unfortunately, Universal may not have a choice when it comes to keeping your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in Japan. According to TPU, unlike the deal Universal has in Florida to keep Spider-Man and his Marvel brethren in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park as long as Universal is willing to pay the licensing fees, the deal in Japan is not so broad. We don’t know all the terms of course, but we do know that the deal was only to allow the Japanese park to use Spider-Man and the associated villains as part of the existing Adventures of Spider-Man ride.
Typically when these kind of theme park IP licensing deals are made, they typically come in 10-year terms, almost always with a clause that will allow the park to automatically renew the deal for a second 10-year term at a pre-determined price. We are talking about the construction of a multi-million dollar attraction that is meant to have a lifespan of at least 20 years or more, so this only makes sense. There is then usually verbiage to allow the park to negotiate terms for further expansions as needed, but only if the park and IP-owner can come to an agreement.
In the years that have followed since the creation of the attraction, the IP-owner of Spider-Man (aka: Marvel Comics) has been bought up and swallowed whole by the mighty Disney empire. As such, it is safe to say that Disney is not looking to allow Universal to use the Spider-Man IP any longer than necessary. With the opening of Disney’s first “Avengers Campus” land in California this Summer, that includes Disney’s very own Spider-Man themed dark ride attraction, one that they could very well clone for the Tokyo Disney Resort in the future.
Returning our eye to Universal Studios Japan, the Adventures of Spider-Man dark ride opened in that park in January of 2004, which means the park’s IP license for the character and ride is likely to expire around 2023/2024. So with only 2 or 3 years of life left in it, it does make sense that they would be trying to finalize plans to repurpose the popular attraction, especially one with an expensive and re-programmable ride system that could be repurposed easily for virtually any new theme.
While previously, a popular line of thought was that Universal Studios Japan could possibly retheme the Spider-Man ride to become Transformers themed, I’m not so sure that the Transformers brand is as popular in Japan as it has been in the rest of the world. Meanwhile Universal’s new relationship with Nintendo is definitely one they would want to expand upon, and finding a way to “transform” the ride to become a new Pokemon adventure ride only makes sense.
Regardless, the loss of Spider-Man in Japan will still be a very sad day indeed.