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

Book Your Flight

I personally 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 a lot to Japan. You’ll sometimes stumble on cheap flights to Kansai International Airport.

Buy Your Shinkansen Tickets (Bullet Train)

Getting around Japan by the world-renown 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 yourself 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 with 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 shortlist 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 and have restaurants and even a Lawson (Japanese convenience store).
  • The Singulari HOTEL & SKYSPA – Attached to the train station is this simple hotel fantastic 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 great to unwind and relax.
  • Hotel Universal Port – For the Minion fan in your family (I’m looking at you Mom and your Minion memes you share on Facebook) this is a great hotel only a 5-minute walk from Universal Studios Japan. It also boasts the largest breakfast buffet in Japan that’s a must during your visit.

Buy Your Tickets & Express Pass

Save yourself time and stress by buying your tickets and Express Pass for Universal Studios Japan in advance. The less time you spend in line buying tickets the more time you have to enjoy everything in the Park!

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 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’re never able to predict. Whenever I travel, I always budget for travel insurance to protect myself. I’ve had to use it in the past and I’m so glad I had it. My recommended company is World Nomads for travel insurance.

Learn More on Universal Studios Japan

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

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