The Mushroom Kingdom has finally hit Los Angeles, as Universal Studios Hollywood prepares to welcome visitors to Super Nintendo World, starting February 17.
Universal has taken diversity Through the warp pipe for a glimpse into Mario Land featuring a restaurant, souvenir shop, meet-and-greet characters, interactive games and a signature ride: “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.”
When parkgoers arrive at Super Nintendo World, located next to the “Transformers” ride, they enter through a giant green warp pipe that leads inside Peach’s castle. Just outside the castle doors is a 360-degree, fully immersive Mushroom Kingdom, complete with POW blocks, pokies and power-ups. Along with the various biomes present in a typical “Mario” game, there is a colorful array of villains from the franchise, from Thwomps to Goombas. There are also small details for avid Nintendo gamers, such as “Super Mario Sunshine” music playing in a seating area under a giant mushroom, or a distinctive Yoshi animation style in the queue for “Bowser’s Challenge”.
The world consists of four interactive games that lead to a boss fight against Bowser Jr. In one game, the player must hit a POW block, causing a spinning Koopa shell to fly up a warp pipe at the right time. In another, they must disable a bunch of alarms before a snoozing piranha plant wakes up.
In boss battles, the player’s silhouette will be projected onto an LED screen as they try to dodge Bob-ombs and throw fireballs. If you win, you’ll retrieve a golden mushroom that Bowser Jr. stole from Princess Peach.
By purchasing a power-up band, visitors can sync with the Universal Studios Hollywood app and keep track of points earned in the park, which can be transferred to Nintendo gaming consoles via Amiibo. Points can be earned by playing games, riding “Bowser’s Challenges” and tapping power-up bands on various markers hidden around Nintendo World.
While waiting in line for “Bowser’s Challenge,” visitors will walk through Bowser’s castle decorated with a giant Bowser statue, trophies and funky titles like “The Art of Balloon Battle” and “Bowser on Bowser.”
When riding “Bowser’s Challenge” (which, unlike some of Universal’s rides, actually runs on a track), guests will be immersed in the world of “Mario Kart” with augmented reality goggles. Steering through cloudtop and underwater courses, riders will compete on Team Mario to defeat Bowser and win the Golden Cup.
1-Up Factory will sell “Mario” merchandise and plush toys, while Toadstool Cafe will offer a menu that includes Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger, Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger, T-Block. and Princess Peach Cupcakes.
Universal and Illumination Studios’ “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opens on April 7, 2023.
Check out a preview video of Super Nintendo World from Universal Studios Hollywood below.