Like a video game, in real life27 February 2023
/ Super Nintendo World, the first attraction in the USA based on Nintendo video games, is now open at Universal Studios Hollywood /
Less than 2 years after the opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, the Mario-themed land has debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood too.
While technically, the land in Japan is a bit larger in square footage, the Hollywood land packs the same punch to guests’ senses: it’s an immersive themed environment where visitors really feel like they’ve stepped into the game and become an integral part of Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach’s universe. All around them are polka-dot mushrooms, question-mark blocks, spinning gold coins and other elements known to Super Mario fans everywhere. They can enter Peach’s Castle, Bowser’s Castle, meet&greet Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and more. And importantly, it’s fun for the whole family, as Mario bridges generations. The park’s design is appealing to kids who have never played a Mario video game, as well as adults who grew up on them.
“This is truly one of the most dynamic moments in the history of Universal Studios Hollywood, and we are very proud of our partnership with Nintendo to bring to life a new genre of highly immersive, next level interactive theme park entertainment,” said Scott Strobl, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Universal Studios Hollywood at the opening ceremony on February 17.
Within the colourful Mushroom Kingdom, the land features Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge, a technologically advanced ride, inspired by the popular Mario Kart video game series, located inside a re-creation of Bowser’s Castle, with lots of Mario Kart fun things to look at as you line up, such as medallions and trophies. Part racing ride, part scoring ride and part video game, Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge is a multifaced attraction as it fuses cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) integrated through head-mounted AR goggles with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a dark ride track. Seated in stadium-style, 4-seat vehicles, racers navigate familiar courses and along the way, they collect coins to score points (just like in the Mario Kart video games), but to win the race against Bowser, everyone in the vehicle must collect at least 100 coins.
The whole visitor experience at Super Nintendo World is gamified using the Power-Up Bands (available for an additional purchase). These wearable wristbands sync with the official Universal Studios Hollywood’s free downloadable app to level-up the guest experience within the land and enhance its many interactive elements. These include, but are not limited to, keeping individual and team scores, collecting digital coins and obtaining gold keys after winning challenges throughout the land. The coins and keys then grant further access to the land, plus interactions with characters.
As for food & beverage, the new land includes the Toadstool Cafe signature restaurant serving delicious themed menus items such as Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger, and Princess Peach Cupcake.
“It’s been a terrific journey with Nintendo over the past 7 years that culminated in the first Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan in 2021, and now we’re opening Super Nintendo World here at Universal Studios Hollywood, but there’s more to come,” said Mark Woodbury Chairman & CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts during the land’s grand opening event. “Soon, we’re going to add another Super Nintendo World to Universal Orlando Resort – the worst kept secret in history.” The location for Super Nintendo World is Epic Universe, the Florida resort’s fourth theme park which is scheduled to open in 2025.
Photos Courtesy: Getty Images, © Bloomberg Finance LP/Kyle Grillot
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