• Epic Universe, Give Us POKEMON!

Epic Universe, Give Us POKEMON!

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Jun 14, 2024

Last Updated: Jun 21, 2024

Epic Universe, Give Us POKEMON!

One year and counting

Who else is excited for Epic Universe in 2025? I'm counting the days too! I don't think the newest theme park will be ready by July 2025, but I'm already planning to buy tickets for early November to try my luck on the newest roller coasters, explore the Ministry of Magic, say hi to Dracula at the Dark Universe, and, of course, relive my childhood dreams (and let's be honest, my adult dreams as well) in Super Nintendo World.

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Yeah, that dragon could just be Charizard - Universal Orlando©

Speaking of Super Nintendo World, this is one of the most anticipated areas for guests from all over the world. Sure, we already have it at Universal Hollywood, but now the people of the East Coast have the chance to try Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge and the newest Donkey Kong Roller Coaster. It’s going to be amazing - oh, and very crowded as well, but that’s expected. In fact, Epic Universe will probably be incredibly packed for the next two years or so after it finally opens its doors.

Two years is a lot of time, but let’s look even further ahead: what can we expect from Super Nintendo World in the future? We know that Universal has already acquired new land surrounding Epic Universe, and they have plenty of space to triple its size if they wish. Expansions are bound to happen, even if they take decades. Islands of Adventure, for example, is much bigger (and better) now than it was in 1999. So, what can we expect from Mario, Yoshi, and friends?

Zelda? Yeah. Metroid? Probably not, unfortunately. F-Zero? Not even Nintendo remembers F-Zero exists when making new games, so I doubt we will see anything related to it in Epic Universe. But there is a franchise that would make a lot of sense in the newest theme park… and make billions of dollars.


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Universal Orlando©

Gotta catch em all! …or just ride some coasters

Pokemon is huge. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone. In fact, Pokemon is the single highest-grossing media franchise in the world, with a total revenue of $88 billion dollars. To put things in perspective, Mickey is at $52 billion and Star Wars is at $46.7 billion. Remember, we are talking about individual franchises, so the “Mickey” there isn’t counting the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh or something like The Lion King. Still, we can’t deny the appeal of Pokemon, and that this franchise makes $80 billion in merchandising alone. 

Pokémon is owned by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. Funny, we were just talking about Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe! Can you imagine the impact a Pokémon Land could have in a brand new, modern, highly anticipated theme park? I find it odd that Universal went with a Donkey Kong Country land instead of putting Pokémon there. I imagine the deal to have Pokémon isn’t as simple as just adding Donkey Kong or Zelda. Pokemon is jointly owned by three companies: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, so maybe the deal isn’t as simple as we imagine.

Okay, stop with the boring company stuff. Let’s talk about the possibilities of Pokémon in Epic Universe. I mean, what can we say about that? They could have any sort of ride they wanted. I remember playing Pokémon Red on my Game Boy, and there were only 151 pocket monsters, but now there are more than a thousand! Funny enough, the classics are still the most popular ones, like Charizard, Bulbasaur, Meowth, and of course, Pikachu.

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Universal Orlando©

A Pokeworld of possibilities

One very cool ride would be something based on Pokemon Snap, a great game on the Nintendo 64 that got a sequel on the Switch. In this game, you go through a set track as your job is to only take pictures of Pokemon as they appear. Sometimes you can throw bait and something else happens - a rare Pokemon appears - then you snap new pictures and your score increases.

Pokémon Snap was made for theme parks, honestly. It could even take the idea of a virtual shooting gallery to the next level. Instead of a laser gun, you now have a camera. You press the button as you aim at the Pokémon animatronics and increase your score. Huh, maybe you could even have a special button on your camera to throw baits, which makes something happen in front of you? I’d love to see animatronics in shooting galleries interacting more with the players, so this could be an excellent time to implement new gameplay mechanics.

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Universal Orlando©

A virtual shooting gallery is just one idea, but anything could work, really. A carousel? Sure, with vehicles being different Pokemon. A roller coaster? Let’s just ride Charizard across the skies. A boat ride? Call Squirtle as we traverse through a jungle and spot Poekomon like Gyarados, Dragonite and even the powerful Mew. 

You know what else could be fun? A family coaster similar to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Something fast and fun that is almost a mix of a coaster and a dark ride. We could explore a dark forest much like we do in Hagrid’s and see a bunch of cool and legendary Pokémon animatronics. Maybe it’s even Pikachu who uses his powers to power up our vehicle and launch us several times in a row. Again, the possibilities are endless.

Oh yeah, let’s also not forget about the restaurants and stores at your disposal. Remember when I said that Pokémon has made 80 billion dollars worldwide in merchandising alone? I’m pretty sure that Universal would be happy to set up a huge store dedicated solely to Pokémon, where you can buy plushies, t-shirts, games, action figures, mugs, pins, phone cases, underwear, toilet paper, and much more based on our favorite monsters.

We're not done with ideas yet! Pokémon is all about collecting monsters and building your Pokédex. Theme parks love the idea of giving guests small games to play while they walk around. This already happens in Super Nintendo World with the Power-Up Band. Now, imagine taking that idea one step further. What if you could walk around Super Nintendo World, spot different Pokémon, and register them in your account? It's like being a Pokémon trainer, collecting different monsters as you explore! Maybe even the popular Pokémon Go game could be updated to interact with Super Nintendo World in a new way. There's so much Universal could do to make Pokémon 100% work in Epic Universe.

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Universal Orlando©

Now we just wait and see

What about you, any ideas you’d love to see in a Pokeland? What kind of rides do you think would be a good match with Pokemon? What about restaurants? Would you like to make a reservation to finally see what a Squirtle tastes like? Wait, I don’t think this would work out quite well for Universal, but there are still millions of ideas that would be a huge success in a Pokemon Land.

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