Universal Studios Japan has announced new details for the Donkey Kong expansion for Super Nintendo World opening next year. The official name for the area and ride, along with new ride information, the reveal of two new Power-Up Bands, and more were just announced today.
Let’s dig into the announcement, and see how the official details line up with what has been rumored—as well as how the ride may be different for Epic Universe—in today’s news update. See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
First announced in 2021, the Donkey Kong expansion is being built behind the existing Super Nintendo World area at Universal Studios Japan. The company claimed that the new area would increase the size of the Nintendo-themed land by 70%.
Today, the company has released additional details for the new mini-land, which will officially be called Donkey Kong Country.
The area, along with its centerpiece roller coaster attraction, is now set to open in Spring 2024. As has been rumored, the official name for the ride will be Mine Cart Madness.
The ride’s official description reads:
“The fun starts when you get blasted out of a barrel cannon at the Golden Temple! Hop into a mine cart and go for a thrilling ride through the jungle! You’ll even leap across a collapsed track! This series of unpredictable thrills will make you scream with excitement! Join Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong in this race through the jungle on a wild adventure to protect the Golden Banana from the Tiki Tak Tribe!”
Universal says Mine Cart Madness is a first of its kind attraction, that is full of innovative and unexpected surprises. As we’ve discussed in the past, the ride uses a new type of technology patented by Universal, called the “Boom Coaster.”
This unique ride vehicle appears to run along a regular track, but in actuality glides along a sideways track that is hidden beneath. This design allows the mine cart to appear to jump over gaps in the track.
Just last week we saw our first glimpse of an actual mine cart train testing on the track. This blink and you miss it clip was shared on social media, and features the train pass by in front of the golden temple facade.
— 𝑴𝒂𝒔𝒂𝒕𝒐🦡 (@Kyle_0310) December 1, 2023
The video embedded above, along with the renderings and official commercial from Universal Studios Japan, show a mist coming from the mouth of the golden statue. It is rumored that the version of the ride in Orlando’s Epic Universe will feature an actual waterfall here, but due to space restrictions, this mist effect is being used in Universal Japan’s version instead.
Two new Power Up Bands will be introduced as part of the new land, based on Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Guests will be able to collect K O N G letters around the area, just like in the games. What could be an interactive experience, using drums, is featured briefly in the official commercial for the land.
New Donkey Kong merchandise and branded snacks were also revealed as part of today’s announcement, most of which will go on sale around the park beginning tomorrow.
A new park map illustration, as well as the official commercial, confirm the Funky’s Fly n Buy airplane-shaped retail location for the land, as well as a snack stand, and Donkey Kong’s treehouse-themed meet and greet space. Even the interactive drums game can be seen on the official map.
We posted a story last year with a rumored scene by scene breakdown for the entire ride if you’re interested in learning more about Mine Cart Madness. I believe it is still accurate, although scene two is now rumored to feature a Dixie Kong animatronic, and not a Diddy Kong figure as reported!
The Donkey Kong Country area and Mine Cart Madness ride are set to open at Universal Studios Japan in Spring 2024. Epic Universe is expected to open with its own version of the Donkey Kong land and ride when it debuts in 2025.
That’s all for now, but check out our full rumored breakdown of the ride, or our latest Epic Universe construction update, for more information! And be sure to subscribe to the news feed to never miss an update.
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