We've all had that moment when we want to meet our favorite video game characters (especially when we were kids), and some theme parks have made that dream a reality. It's too bad most of these no longer exist in a theme park though!
Sonic the Hedgehog
In the British theme park Alton Towers, Sonic had his own tie-in rollercoaster called Sonic Spinball. The ride was obnoxious, what with it moving and spinning at the same time. You would have thrown up your chili cheese dog, that's for sure.
Aside from the ride, Sonic was a walking character that fans could meet while at Alton Towers, and there was a Sonic-themed room at the hotel with the latest games in the series to play. The partnership between Sega and Alton Towers lasted for six years from 2010 to 2016. You can no longer see the room, go on the ride, or visit Sonic. Thanks to Badnik Mechanic, we still have video footage, however!
According to PC World, Sonic also strolled around the Australian indoor theme park Sega World. Unfortunately, that closed down in 2001 after the short-lived arcade boom of the '90s.
The hero from the Kingdom Hearts series has stepped into our world briefly in Disney parks. According to Disney Dan, a private event was held in Disney Land for the release of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories in 2004, where you could see Sora. He then made his first public appearance at Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party later that year.
Donald and Goofy also had their Kingdom Hearts appearances alongside him. If you take a look at the photos, Sora's face looks super creepy, but Donald and Goofy are fantastic in their alternate get-up. On the other hand, the costume for Sora was very detailed, and came complete with the Kingdom Key, chains, gloves, and clown-like shoes from the first game.
Ever since 2004, Sora never appeared again, likely due to concerns of the Kingdom Key looking like a sword, and the costume having to be licensed with Square Enix. Donald and Goofy last appeared in their Kingdom Hearts suits during the last Not So Scary Halloween Party. But with the series growing in popularity with plenty of merchandise releasing, we'd love to see a live actor take on the role in 2021 after the release of Melody of Memory.
PlayStation's mascot during the PS1 era appeared in Universal Studios theme parks. From what we've read, Crash was around for a limited time in the early 2010s before Activision's acquisition of Vivendi Games. If you were able to meet him, Inside Universal reported that he spun in place, tried to look cool, and would say "WHOA!" just like his portrayal in the game. We can see him having fun with the cast of Universal cartoon characters from Javan Bare's video.
Spyro the Dragon
There is very little information about our purple dragon dropping by Universal Studios to meet guests, but according to ObsessedGamerGirl86, he was a character that could greet you in 2002. Both Crash and Spyro were probably walking around the park to promote the games. Passionfate on Reddit also confirms that he was there.
The Italian plumber will finally be making a theme park appearance at Universal Studios when Super Nintendo World opens in Osaka, Japan, and Orlando, Florida. The themed area dedicated primarily to the Super Mario series will have many Mario characters parading around and meeting guests. The park will include a Mario Kart-themed ride, as well as interactable blocks that are punchable and thwomp blocks that move! We can't wait to explore this area of the park in Universal Studios Japan and Epic Universe.
Unfortunately, video game characters don't seem to last in the theme park world, with Sonic lasting the longest. Hopefully, Mario can lead the charge with video game characters at Universal Studios, and help bring back beloved icons like Crash and Sonic into the theme parks for a longer period of time.
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