Eiji Aonuma gives hope to Zelda theme park at Universal Studios

Eiji Aonuma gives hope to Zelda theme park at Universal Studios
Images via Nintendo | Universal Studios

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

25th Jan 2024 16:26

Have you ever dreamed of a Goron mine ride with Daruk, riding Epona on a merry-go-round, or turning Ganon's castle into a haunted house attraction? We hope Nintendo is taking note because our dreams of a Zelda theme park could be about to go on a roller coaster of emotions. 

Universal Studios has finally cottoned on to the potential of Nintendo-themed attractions, and while its rollout of Super Nintendo Worlds is slower than we'd like, you've got to start somewhere. We recently covered the money-making goldmine of a Pokemon theme park, but that might not be all Universal has up its sleeve.

Fans think Universal Studios Orlando could be getting a Zelda theme park

We can almost hear Saria's Song blowing in the wind, as longtime Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has just sparked hope of a Zelda expansion at Universal Studios Orlando. The Florida-based theme park hasn't even opened its Super Nintendo World yet, but already, fans are excited at what could be coming to the Universal Epic Universe.

Following the opening of Universal Studios Japan's Nintendo park in 2020, it's set to go bananas with a Donkey Kong expansion in 2024. The Hollywood version and upcoming Singapore and Orlando locations are expected to follow suit, but could Orlando break with tradition and cash in on an even bigger IP?

Aonuma has been spotted at the Universal Epic Universe, and while it's possible he's just surveying the park, the fact he's the lifeblood of the Zelda franchise has us naively hoping it'll lead to something more. Sony is working on a live-action Zelda movie, and if Universal wants to top that, a theme park could definitely do it. 

More mischievous than Skull Kid

Shocked Link Zelda Wind Waker
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

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If you're a sceptic who thinks we're making 2+2 into 10, the plot thickens. Aonuma appeared in a behind-the-scenes video about employee life at Universal, but his appearance seems to be accidental, as the post has since been pulled. 

Throwing fuel on the fire, Aonuma was spotted alongside Shigeru Miyamoto. It's not every day you drag these Nintendo legends out into public, sparking hopes that a surprise Zelda reveal has been spoiled ahead of time. Given those rumours of a February Nintendo Direct, things are lining up nicely. 

Of course, there's a long way to go until we'll be riding a Zora's Domain log flume. It's possible Aonuma and Miyamoto are discussing potential future plans for the site or just having a general chat that has nothing to do with a mythical Zelda expansion to Universal Studios Orlando. Either way, you'd better start queueing for the park now. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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