It’s the world’s first Nintendo-themed theme park, and it’s located inside Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka. For the Mario lovers out there, this is the ultimate place to visit this summer!
The park opened on March 18, 2021, and it packs a ton of awesome things to explore in one space inside USJ. This theme park is a first for the video game franchise, and although it opened during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hoping to attract tons of visitors in 2022!
Any wild guesses? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a fully immersive, life-size experience of Nintendo’s Mario game franchise inside the east section of USJ! It includes two rides, an interactive play experience, all your favorite Mario characters, a restaurant, and a merchandise shop!
The park itself is impressive, as it features everything you’d find from any Mario game in the series, like the green warp pipes, Goombas, Piranha Plants, Bowser’s Castle, and even the iconic goal pole!
Take a virtual walkthrough of Super Nintendo World!
If you’ve ever been to Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you’ll get a similar experience in that you’re completely taken to a new universe!
In Super Nintendo World, you can hop on two different rides: Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure!
Koopa’s Challenge is a crazy mix of both physical ride and virtual reality, where you will hop on a four-seater Kart while wearing a VR headset. The physical set design takes a lot of inspiration from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, while the virtual heads up display of the headset makes for a fun and immersive experience where you can feel like you’re part of a Mario Kart Tour!
Mario Fun Fact: Bowser is known as Koopa in Japanese, as he is the King of the Koopa Troopas!
The lead up to the ride may be just as cool! It’s located in Bowser’s Castle, where you’ll be greeted by King Koopa himself atop the stairway leading to the ride. You’ll also see tons of Mario Kart designs like real circuit trophies!
Yoshi’s Adventure is more of a laid back ride, but the whole experience is quite cute! During the slow tour through different areas resembling Yoshi’s Island, you can interact by pressing different colored buttons of Yoshi eggs to make the sets light up. It’s perfect for kids, and fans of Yoshi and Mario in general!
The fully immersive park doesn’t end with the rides! You can wear a Power-Up Band, which is like a wearable wrist strap that allows you to tap it against different items around the whole park, earning you points, completing key challenges, and ultimately letting you face off against Bowser Jr. in the Shadow Showdown!
The Power-Up Band can be paired with a mobile app which allows you to collect stamps, view your ranking, and view the park map!
During your day of Mario adventures, you’ll need to 1-Up on your hunger by checking out all the food options!
Head to Kinopio’s Cafe, the park’s restaurant, to fill up on themed burgers, pasta, salads, pizza, and even a Princess Peach Cake! Kinopio is Toad’s name in Japanese, so the cafe looks just like Toad’s house! Use that handy Power-Up Band and you can earn yourself a virtual prize!
At the back of Super Nintendo World, near where the Donkey Kong expansion is set to open, you will find Yoshi’s Snack Island. Here, you can try a Green Shell Calzone, filled with yakisoba noodles with cheese, or a small variety of drinks!
If you’re looking for a quick snack, head to popcorn stands in front of Mario Kart, where you can get Nintendo-themed popcorn buckets.
As I mentioned above, USJ’s Super Nintendo World is set to open a Donkey Kong expansion in 2024, including a roller coaster, more interactive experiences, merchandise, and food! This expansion will increase the size of the current park by about 70%! What are you most excited about with the world’s first Super Nintendo World? Let us know in the comments!
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