Nintendo

There Are Universal Theme Park Patents That May Be Suggesting Mario Kart & Donkey Kong Themed Attractions

Some new Universal theme park patents were recently shown off. Five patents were revealed, but two of them may very well be of relation to Nintendo-themed attractions. Below is a gallery for two patents, which are drift racers and a boom coasters. The patent description for the drift racer describes it as a “A two-rider, car-based amusement racing attraction with the ability to simulate drifting sensations. Two passengers, who could be in time/points competition with another car, will have control over some aspect of their ride vehicle: The driver would have a steering wheel and an acceleration and brake pedal to control the turning/drifting of the vehicle and speed; the rear passenger would have a control interface with buttons that could control the vehicle or bounce the ride vehicle, provide a boost to the vehicle during the race or affect the performance of another ride vehicle on the track, said the patent. For any Nintendo fan, that description brings to mind the video game company’s popular Mario Kart game series. In one version of the series, called Mario Kart: Double Dash, each car had two racers — including a driver and a rear passenger — who controlled the use of items during the race that could impact their car or others in the race”.

The boom coaster is “This is a unique arm that would attach to a ride vehicle to help enhance rides that appear to be on a track system, but are actually controlled by a separate arm. For example, the arm could be C-shaped connected to a secondary hidden track underneath the track guests see. As a result, rides that have story element breaks in the track — say like an upcoming jump from one track to another — could cause suspense. “Because the passenger may believe that the simulated ride surface controls a path of the passenger vehicle, the passenger may fear or anticipate that the passenger vehicle may crash or otherwise incur damage as a result of the elevated gap,” said the patent. This has many fans thinking it could also be related to Nintendo via the Donkey Kong Country video game series, which features areas with cars traveling through dangerous mines filled with jumps, dips and turns”. So, it’s possible that Mario Kart and Donkey Kong themed attractions may be coming to Universal in the future. Obviously, nothing’s official, but with rumors already circulating about this, it’s interesting nevertheless.

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10 comments

        1. The entire Universal theme park line was started by the Universal Studios lot tour in Hollywood, which has been running consistently since the 60s. It only became a proper theme park in the late-80s (though Orlando got most of the rides first). The purpose of the park is to give you the experience of “riding the movies,” and unlike Disneyland which works to hide the machinery, Universal has consistently been a place dedicated to showing how they accomplished certain effects.

          The effects may be a case of translating animated content to an in-person demonstration, but that principle still applies here. There was a way that these feats were accomplished, and Universal has no qualms in making that information available. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t advertise certain tech like the robotic arm on the Harry Potter ride.

  1. Knew this was the idea for a while from the sites I follow but these patents are still great. I just love what they could’ve come up with for jumping tracks like Donkey Kong :)

  2. The first one definitely sounds like Mario Kart. Second sounds like it could be either Donkey Kong or Super Mario Galaxy-themed, in all reality. Very interesting.

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