Nor Pokemon--Nintendo's cash cow that would most easily translate into a theme park experience. I know GAMEFREAK is 2nd-party, but any non-3rd party franchise that they could get in Smash they should have been able to incorporate here.
I suppose Nintendo developed the concept of each attraction before the franchise-theme that they would attach it to: hence nothing from Kirby or Pokemon came about (I heard Metroid Blast started as a Star Fox attraction).
Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Balloon Trip Breeze, Takamaru's Ninja Castle and Octopus Dance--however fun--were unnecessary and unfairly took away from other, more prominent and deserving Nintendo series such as Pokemon, Star Fox, Kirby and Kid Icarus. Some EarthBound, Fire Emblem, Punch-Out and Golden Sun love wouldn't have hurt, either.
Pokemon, Kirby, and Kid Icarus are all 2nd party games and are thus illegible without having Nintendo pay a lot more money to produce the game. Although I'm sure putting Pokemon in the game would easily break even on those expenses.
Earthbound, and to a lesser extent Fire Emblem, would have been pointless since this is largely a casual game. EB is a little known series that wasn't released outside Japan and NA. I feel as though they are trying to push Takamaru and bring it back.
This. It predates Sakurai's little company by a quarter of a century, and was originally created by the same team as the original Metroid. Albeit in three days after they spent the entire development cycle of Metroid forgetting that they were supposed to be making two games, not one.
The way I understand it, the series were selected because they suited the nature of the games, not the other way around. For example, the ninja star game was originally a tech demo that had nothing to do with Takamaru.
Also, I recall reading somewhere that Metroid Blast was originally intended to be a Star Fox game, but the way the ship handled didn't suit an Arwing. It made a lot of sense for the Gunship though.
Just imagine that you see some really funny quote here.