Just when we thought our theme parks couldn’t get any better, Super Nintendo World decided to set up camp inside our very own Universal Studios Hollywood! Meaning, gamers of all ages and expertise will get to experience an immersive world created around what may arguably be the most recognized video games in the world.
We’ve been teased with images of construction since it was first announced in 2016 with no exact details, but the park has finally announced that it will officially open on February 17, 2023. From January 9 at 11:00 am PT on, Pass Members are invited to RSVP and be amongst the first to experience it before the official grand opening. You can find more details here.
Though information about the new theme park has been pretty scarce along the way, there have been a few glimpses of what’s to come thanks to the opening of the recently-opened Universal Studios Japan.
According to a new teaser video, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood will feature one of the largest interactive attractions in the world, unique merch at the 1-UP Factory, tasty bites at the Toadstool Cafe, and plenty of gameplay throughout this CGI-looking land. There’ll also be fun meet-and-greets with beloved characters like Mario, Luigi and Peach.
As far as rides go, “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge” is hands down the star of the show. This life-size Mario Kart ride is one of the largest attractions of its kind in the world and even has an interactive game in the queue leading up to it. Additionally, there will be more child-friendly options based around Mario’s BFF called Yoshi’s Adventures! Other rides include the Mushroom Kingdom as well as both Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle.
If you were sold at “Mario Kart ride” then there’s a whole lot more you can look forward to. Expect dual tracks that will set up four-person karts to ‘race’ one another alongside your favorite Nintendo characters—be on the lookout for a final showdown against Bowser which will be sure to test your nerves. According to the park representatives, augmented reality headsets will be the force bringing the indoor ride to life, while the route will take riders through a series of classic Mario Kart worlds, passing like Wario’s Castle and Jungle Parkway.
Park-goers will also have the option to purchase a “Power Up Band”, equipped with the same technology as the interactive wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The bands are designed around the beloved Super Mario Bros characters so get ready to rock wearable versions inspired by Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Daisy, and Toad’s wardrobe.
The bands will allow visitors to use their entire body while exploring the park and also present die-hard gamers the opportunity to collect digital points, participate in key challenges and even battle people around them via a smartphone app or Nintendo consoles (yes, you’ll be able to punch blocks IRL!) The mobile app will also serve as a go-to source for finding markers and attractions.
Also published on Medium.