New Lottery Decides if Guests Can Enter Universal Theme Park at Night

in Universal Studios

Crowds at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

One Universal theme park is switching things up later this year with a new nighttime event lottery.

It’s a busy time for Universal Destinations & Experiences right now. Not only does Universal’s theme park unit have three new locations in the works (Epic Universe in 2025, Universal Kids Resort (2026), and, potentially, Universal Great Britain at some point in the near future), but it’s also working an exciting slate of other new lands and attractions.

Guests walking into Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

By the end of 2024, Universal will officially open DreamWorks Destination (which is currently undergoing a soft opening) at Universal Studios Florida, as well as a Minions land at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Japan’s much-hyped SUPER NINTENDO WORLD expansion, Donkey Kong Country.

The latter should, theoretically, already be open. However, in April, the park delayed the debut of Donkey Kong Country from spring 2024 to later this year – a timeframe many have assumed to mean early November, once Halloween Horror Nights has ended.

Guests dressed as Super Mario characters with a Team Member at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

What makes this date all the more likely is a new lottery giving guests the chance to enter Universal Studios Japan after-hours for one day in November.

As reported by USJ 1, this will offer 7,000 winners the chance to enter Universal Studios Japan from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on November 30, 2024.

According to USJ 1, 3,000 of these guests will be able to access SUPER NINTENDO WORLD during the event. The land typically has a maximum capacity of 2,000, which suggests that there will be more space to fill – something we would assume is due to the addition of Donkey Kong Country and its resident roller coaster, Mine Cart Madness (which will see riders “jump the track”).

A nighttime view of a large, illuminated castle with multiple spires against a dark blue sky, highlighted by green and orange lights.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Even if Donkey Kong Country isn’t open by November, there’s still plenty for winners to enjoy at the park, such as its existing Nintendo attractions (Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure), The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and iconic coasters including Hollywood Dream – The Ride (which has the option to sit backward) and The Flying Dinosaur.

Guests have noted fewer crowds at Universal Studios Japan since the delay of Donkey Kong Country, with the park significantly less busy than usual during Golden Week. The park has also recently started selling evening passes.

The globe at the Universal Studios Japan entrance
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

The lottery is held in partnership with Itoham, with guests needing to enter via a code printed on the side of the food brand’s products. All entries must be submitted by July 31, 2024, with the winning guests informed in early September. Winners will be able to enter the park from 2 p.m. onwards, with the actual event starting at 7 p.m.

Do you plan on visiting Universal Studios Japan any time soon? Let us know in the comments!

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