Super Nintendo World Wins Two Thea Awards at IAAPA Expo 2021


Super Nintendo World, which opened this past year at Universal Studios Japan, won two Thea Awards this week. Announced at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the 28th Thea Awards recognize the best new theme park attractions, lands, entertainment, and more.

Super Nintendo World won the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Theme Park Land. The awards stated that the land “raised the bar for high-capacity interactivity.” The awarding body went on to say that “the idea of theme park interactivity has been completely changed and elevated…redefining what it means to give guests agency and immersion within their own, unique story experience”.

Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge also won the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Innovation. This exciting attraction uses innovative AR technologies to let riders experience the thrills of a Mario Kart race. More than 20 patents were granted to the technology and components used in the ride! 

Earlier this month, Universal Studios Japan took home another award at the 2021 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards. “The Crystal Promise,” which held its final performance in 2019, won the Most Creative Christmas Show award. While Universal Studios Japan will not be bringing back this award-winning show, there’s still plenty to celebrate this holiday season at the park!

©Nintendo ©Universal Studios Japan

Congratulations to the teams at Universal Studios Japan, Universal Creative, and Nintendo for creating such an incredible and now award-winning theme park land! Look forward to more exciting thrills in 2024 with the opening of the Donkey Kong expansion!

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

GET YOUR GUIDEBOOK NOW

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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