Saturday, August 11, 2012

Checking Out Universal Japan's Universal Wonderland

They bill it as "a new town featuring popular characters where you can have fun all day long," but I'd call it a mega-mash up of character licensing all in one happy place.  Or, you could just go by its real name, Universal Wonderland, which is Universal Japan's new family area that opened this past March.

The opening slipped past me, and we had only covered the announcement of the area here on NPN, and that was pretty vague to be honest.   The area replaced the former Wizard of Oz themed land, but also works in conjunction with the existing Snoopy Studios indoor area.  Seen above is a new Zierer spinner themed to flying Snoopy, aptly named The Flying Snoopy, which now resides just outside Snoopy Studios and next to Peppermint Patty's Stunt Slide.

The Sesame Street Fun World area is considerably larger, and features rides and attractions indoors and out.  Above is Elmo's Bubble Bubble, a mini-flume ride, where guests sit on the back of Elmo's pet fish, Dorothy.  Ha!  The carousel that was in the Oz area has been rethemed to Sesame Street and is now known as Big Bird's Big Top Circus.  Also indoors are several play areas like ball pits and a huge climbing structure themed as Big Bird's nest.

The outddor section of Sesame Street Fun World also has a new attraction, a driving school ride called Sesame's Big Drive.  The kids can get in a car and go driving on replicated streets around New York's Central Park.  Each of the cars is themed as one of the area's characters.

Finally, connecting Snoopy Studios and Sesame Street Fun World is Hello Kitty's Fashion Avenue.  There's an enormous Hello Kitty Boutique that also features a meet-and-greet complete with a slide down a gigantic high heel.  There's also the above attraction which has been added, a spinning turn table ride named Hello Kitties Cupcake Dream.  Again, ha! Pretty fun stuff.

There's a lot more to the new area that can be seen in photos from the official website, the "Private Import Japan Blog" here, and also this huge selection as well.  The next big addition for the park will be their very own Wizarding World of Harry Potter, supposedly scheduled for a 2014 opening.

All photos © Universal Studios Japan