As Mario would say, “Here we go!”
When Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan in March 2021, plans were already well underway to build similar parks in the U.S. at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. Unfortunately for stateside fans who were chomping at the bit to enter the world of Mario, Luigi and the gang, there was no concrete timeline for when those lands within the U.S. parks would open — until now.
Universal Studios Hollywood recently announced that its Nintendo-themed land would officially open Feb. 17, 2023. When it does, guests will have the chance to become part of a larger-than-life, interactive Nintendo universe. The land’s opening marks Super Nintendo World’s official arrival in the U.S.
What can guests do at Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Super Nintendo World’s headlining attraction puts you behind the wheel of a high-speed, high-stakes Mario Kart race. “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” blends the latest in augmented reality and projection mapping technology with physical set pieces, taking riders on a multisensory adventure through familiar Mario Kart courses on a quest to defeat Team Bowser and win the coveted Golden Cup.
Guests will enter the ride through the towering and terrifying Bowser’s Castle. As you snake through the stone corridors, you’ll see a collection of life-size Mario Kart trophies and learn more about Bowser’s evil plans to defeat Team Mario and snag the Golden Cup for himself.
Just like in the video game, no two rides on “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” will be exactly the same. The variable outcomes give the ride major re-rideability potential.
The land will also be home to Toadstool Cafe, an eatery with themed menu items, including a Piranha Plant Caprese, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger and Princess Peach Cupcakes, and the 1-Up Factory, a one-stop shop for Mario memorabilia.
One item you’ll definitely want to purchase from the 1-Up Factory is a Power-Up Band. A Power-Up Band is an interactive wearable wristband that unlocks Super Nintendo World’s many interactive elements, allowing guests to collect coins (yes, you can punch a real-life question block), interact with characters and track their score as they play throughout the land.
What about Super Nintendo World at Universal Orlando Resort?
We don’t yet have an exact opening date for Super Nintendo World at Universal Orlando Resort, but we know that Super Nintendo World is slated to be just one of the multiple lands at Universal Orlando’s under-construction 750-acre theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe.
Epic Universe was originally slated to open in 2023, but pandemic delays put the project on hold for some time. Work resumed in 2021, and Epic Universe, which will house Florida’s version of Super Nintendo World, is currently scheduled to open in the summer of 2025.
Although the pandemic forced theme parks to hit the pause button on new projects, it seems like they’ve finally removed the cartridge, blown on it a few times and hit the reset button. This is helping us advance one level closer to experiencing Super Nintendo World in the U.S. — both in California in February 2023 and then in Florida likely beginning in 2025.