Universal Studios Japan’s Donkey Kong Country Delayed to Second Half of 2024

The hugely popular Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is gearing up for an exciting expansion featuring a brand-new Donkey Kong Country area inviting guests to “Play Wild” and enter the world of the popular video game franchise, complete with a state-of-the-art roller coaster attraction, interactive experiences, and of course, a tonne of exclusive merchandise.

While the much-anticipated Donkey Kong Country area was initially slated to open in Spring 2024, Universal Studios Japan announced on April 19th that they have postponed the opening of the expansion at Super Nintendo World to late 2024*.

*Edit: A more accurate translation from the USJ announcement is “second half of 2024” rather than “late 2024.”

Donkey Kong Country

Entering through a warp pipe in Super Nintendo World, Donkey Kong Country will transport guests into the lush jungles featured in the popular games, with many familiar sights and sounds including DK Bongo’s, Funky Kong’s plane, and a golden temple towering above the land.

Universal Studios Japan has released a sneak peek 3D concept rendering of the land which highlights the lush landscaping of the new area and provides hints as to the exciting adventures to come.

Super Nintendo World Area Map

The expansion is placed adjacent to the Mario World-themed area, with guests entering Dong Kong Country via a DK warp tube. The expansive Donkey Kong new area is approximately 1.7 times larger than the entirety of the Super Mario Bros area of Super Nintendo World.

The new Donkey Kong Country area will greatly expand the “play experience” established within Super Nintendo World with even higher interactivity. Using Power Up Bands, guests will be able to participate in interactive mini-games and collect the letters K, O, N, and G – just like in the game!

Speaking of interactivity, in addition to being able to use Power-Up Bands from Super Nintendo World can also be used in the new area, new Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong bands will be introduced!

The new Donkey Kong area in Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan draws its inspiration from the “Donkey Kong Country” video game series which debuted in 1994 with “Donkey Kong Country” and has since expanded to include five mainline games. Donkey Kong first appeared in the 1981 arcade classic “Donkey Kong,” which introduced players to the iconic gorilla and Mario.

Universal Studios Japan announced the opening of Donkey Kong Country during a press event on December 5, 2023, attended by USJ LLC President CEO, JL Bonnier, Taku Murayama (Vice President Chief Marketing Officer), and Vice President Chief Creative Officer, Brian Robinson.

We have great confidence in the quality of the new area thanks to our strong collaboration with Nintendo Representative Director Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto and everyone at Nintendo who are talented. Nintendo, which has continued to bring innovation to society, and Universal. In collaboration with Destination & Experience and Universal Studios Japan, we are preparing a theme park experience that will amaze the world. We are looking forward to the day when we can deliver a scaled-up experience to everyone.”
– JL Bonnier, President and CEO of US

Minecart Madness Attraction

Donkey Kong Country will feature Minecart Madness, a state-of-the-art rollercoaster developed in cooperation with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto. The thrilling coaster attraction will transport guests into the game complete with barrel blasts and an innovative track design, creating the illusion of minecart vehicles jumping across gaps.

Universal Creative has developed a new and innovative coaster design that departs from traditional ideas of rides and attractions, offering an unpredictable experience.


Universal Studios Japan has provided a sneak peek at some of the exciting new merchandise coming to the much anticipated new Donkey Kong area. In addition to all the regular merch, there are also new Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong Power-Up bands!

Check out our article where we take a sneak peek at the Japan-exclusive Donkey Kong Country merchandise coming to Universal Studios Japan from December 6, 2023.

For more on Super Nintendo World check out our guide to visiting and watch our massive video below!

Information and photos from Nintendo and Universal Studios Japan.

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s23) Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2023 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
© Nintendo
TM & © 2023 Sesame Workshop
© 2023 Peanuts Worldwide LLC 
© 2023 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. EJ3110902
TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment
TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

More on Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan Guidebook

Are you planning a trip to Universal Studios Japan? If so, you need our digital guidebook! Our guidebook is the most comprehensive resource available, covering everything you need to know about the park, including Super Nintendo World, Express Pass, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shows, seasonal events, and more! With our guidebook, you’ll be an expert on Universal Studios Japan before you even set foot in the park. You’ll know what to expect, where to go, and what to do. You’ll also be able to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time at the park.

TDR Explorer Guide to Universal Studios Japan 2024 Cover


Book Your Flight

I use Google Flights & Momodo to find affordable flights. Another great way is to sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights to get notifications of cheap fares, which happens often in Japan. You’ll sometimes stumble on cheap flights to Kansai International Airport.

Buy Your Shinkansen Tickets (Bullet Train)

Getting around Japan by the world-renowned bullet train, known as the Shinkansen, is incredibly fast, reliable, and affordable for visitors. You can travel from Tokyo to Osaka in just over 2 hours. Get the JR Rail Pass to save a ton of money on the bullet train for your trip.

Book Your Hotel

Universal Studios Japan has affordable accommodations that are steps away from the park and have easy access to Osaka. I recommend checking prices through Booking.com followed by the hotels directly. Sometimes you’re able to score some incredible deals. Here’s a short list of hotels at Universal Studios Japan I recommend.

  • The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan – You’re directly in front of the Park gates and have instant access to Universal CityWalk Osaka. The rooms are gorgeous, with restaurants and even a Lawson (Japanese convenience store).
  • The Singulari HOTEL & SKYSPA – Attached to the train station is a fantastic hotel for those who want a comfortable, clean, and stylish place to sleep. After a long day at Universal Studios Japan, the rooftop sento (public bath) is excellent for unwinding and relaxing.
  • Hotel Universal Port – This is an excellent hotel for the Minion fan in your family, only a 5-minute walk from Universal Studios Japan. It also boasts the largest breakfast buffet in Japan, a must during your visit.

Buy Your Tickets & Express Pass

In advance, save time and stress by buying your tickets and Express Pass for Universal Studios Japan.

Stay Connected

Universal Studios Japan only offers free Wi-Fi at the entrance to the Park. That’s not enough to stay connected and share your day with everyone back home to give them FOMO on Instagram. Here’s how you can stay connected while travelling in Japan.

  • Pocket Wi-Fi – If you’re travelling with a group or have multiple devices, this is your best and most affordable way to stay connected to the internet. Pick up and drop off at the airport. Easy.
  • Japan SIM Card – If you have an unlocked phone and need a Japanese phone number, this is the best and easiest way.

Get Yourself Travel Insurance

While travelling aboard, having travel insurance protects you against injury, cancellations, illness, and other things you can never predict. Whenever I travel, I always budget for travel insurance to protect myself. I’ve used it, and I’m so glad I had it. My recommended companies are SafteyWing and  World Nomads for travel insurance.

Learn More about Universal Studios Japan

Don’t forget to study our in-depth destination guide on Universal Studios Japan for more information on this beautiful park in Osaka.

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