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Universal Epic Universe – Super Nintendo World Revealed

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Years in the making, Universal Orlando is opening the largest Super Nintendo World inside Epic Universe. In this article, we will cover the history of the land, the three attractions found inside including Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, the interactive activities with Power-Up Bands, and dining options featuring Toadstool Cafe. Let’s a go!

What is Super Nintendo World?

Super Nintendo World is the collective name for the themed lands based on Nintendo’s video games. Past the portal the worlds of Mario and Donkey Kong come to life, full of characters and experiences from the iconic video games. SNW for short, the land consists of three rides, one quick service restaurant, snack stands, shops, interactive games, and dozens of Blocks to hit for coins.

Super Nintendo World portal concept art.

Nintendo, Mario, & Universal

Nintendo first met Universal City Studios in court when the “creators” of King Kong sued over the creation of Donkey Kong. Nintendo fought back, pointing out that Universal won a lawsuit the year before claiming Kong was in the public domain… and that Nintendo won. Nintendo has largely avoided outsourcing their characters feeling burned by the terrible live-action 1993 movie.

After the successful Wii and Nintendo DS video game consoles, Nintendo was in an unexpected slump with the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Facing smartphone competition and new competition from Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo had to show their investors they were fully using their properties.

Nintendo and Universal announced a partnership in May 2015 for theme park lands and attractions. Universal Studios Japan opened the first Super Nintendo World in 2021 after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Universal Studios Hollywood opened their condensed land in 2023 as the first North American location for SNW. Now after many delays, Super Nintendo World opens in Universal Orlando Resort in 2025 in Epic Universe.

Differences Between Hollywood, Japan, and Orlando Super Nintendo World

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World has fewer rides and is smaller than Orlando’s.

Super Nintendo World is located in Universal Studios Hollywood in California and Universal Epic Universe in Orlando, Florida, but the two lands are drastically different. Hollywood’s land is smaller in scope – the land is one story tall, features only the Mario Kart attraction, no Donkey Kong, and is missing some interactive activities. Orlando is two stories tall and has Yoshi’s Adventure and Mine-Cart Madness, along with the Donkey Kong section.

Guests who have visited Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World will notice the scope and scale are slightly larger in Orlando but the lands are nearly identical in entertainment offerings.

Overview of Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe

Super Nintendo World Portal.

Super Nintendo World’s Portal is in the Orion section of Celestial Park. Guests enter the warp pipe portal and enter the rotunda of Peach’s Castle. Walking back outside we discover we’re now transported to the second story of Super Nintendo World. We are now in the world of Mario with Mount Beanpole in the foreground and animated characters all around. On the right are moving Yoshi ride vehicles of Yoshi’s Adventure, and on the left a giant metal head of Bowser as the entrance to Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

Super Nintendo World is a two-story land in the middle of the Mushroom Kingdom. Guests will enter through a green warp pipe and travel up an escalator to the second floor of the land. The warp pipe drops guests off in Peach’s Castle where we see Bowser Jr. has stolen the Power Mushroom and we must stop him. Exiting the castle we are on the second floor of the land – Mario Kart and several activities are on the second floor, and Yoshi’s Adventure, Toadstool Cafe, and the warp pipe to Donkey Kong are on the ground floor.

Super Nintendo World is full of animation and action – from the marching Koopas and floating clouds to the exploding Bomb-Ombs in caves and AR binoculars located through the land. Everywhere there are interactive games to discover and objects to interact with, such as finding collectible stamps or hitting music blocks. Super Nintendo World is easily the most interactive theme park land ever built.

⭐️ Meet Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad in the lower levels of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Super Nintendo World Rides

Super Nintendo World has three family-friendly rides – a high-tech interactive dark ride based on Mario Kart, a slow-moving Yoshi ride through animated vignettes, and a Donkey Kong-themed rollercoaster. We are expecting all these attractions to be included in Universal’s Express Pass system.

⭐️ Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

Restrictions: 42 inches, accompanied by a supervising companion if under 48 inches
Ride Time: 4½ minutes

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is a family-friendly dark ride that spins guests around a real-life Mario Kart race course. Guests ride in four-person kart vehicles, each seat is affixed with a steering wheel to steer along with the video game to gain coins. An augmented reality visor that clips to a visor displays digital elements in the guest’s vision like Mario characters racing with you or the various Mario Kart weapons.

Guests walk through the mighty Bowser’s lair and witness his plans to battle Mario for the Universal Cup. Each guest takes a Mario hat-themed visor and enters the preshow room. Inside the pre-race locker room, a non-verbal preshow explains how to play the game – firing shells at the Koopa Kids and steering toward the direction of the arrows. Each ride vehicle seats four guests, two rows of two, and each seat includes a driving wheel and an AR screen that snaps onto your Mario visor. The AR visor is a high-tech unit that creates the illusion of digital characters in a real dark ride space, effortless going between the physical set and digital media.

Guests steer with the ride vehicle and shoot shells at the Koopa Kids to earn coins and the team at the end with the most coins wins. Fire shells by pressing the trigger buttons on the wheel and aim at Koopa Kids with your head. Watch for red arrows in your periphery vision to alert you in which direction to turn your steering wheel to earn coins.

⭐️Yoshi’s Adventure

Restrictions: Guests must be 36 inches or taller to ride, accompanied by a supervising companion if under 48 inches
Ride Time: 4½ minutes

Yoshi’s Adventure is a slow-moving PeopleMover-like ride above the lower level of Super Nintendo World. Guests board two-person Yoshi ride vehicles as they take a leisurely ride on elevated pathways before entering a warp pipe to Yoshi’s Island. Turns out Yoshi Island is being ransacked and all the Yoshi eggs have been stolen! Good thing we’re there with Captain Toad to find the missing eggs. When guests find an egg on the ride, they press a button to spot it for Captain Toad, and at the end of the ride, the Captain himself lets you know how many you found.

⭐️Mine-Cart Madness

Restrictions: Guests must be 36 inches or taller to ride, accompanied by a supervising companion if under 48 inches
Ride Time: 3 minutes (estimated)

Mine-Cart Madness is a family friend rollercoaster that simulates the wacky mine cart levels from Donkey Kong Country. Guests board four-person ride vehicles that appear to hop the tracks, in actuality it is a complex ride system that hides the tracks of the rollercoaster. Along the ride guests are launched out of a barrel, over waterfalls, miss nearly colliding with other mine carts, avoid bad guys, and collect the hidden K-O-N-G letters. Even if you are not a rollercoaster fan we think you’ll enjoy watching this ride zip by.

Super Nintendo World Key Challenges & Interactive Activities

What’s a video game land without some interactive games and features? Super Nintendo World features three types of games for guests to play:

⭐️Collect Coins: Smash blocks and drive well during Mario Kart to collect coins! Coins are tracked on the Universal Orlando app and guests can compete to receive the daily high score!

⭐️Collect Stamps: Secret touch points around the land to unlock reward stamps. Track your collection using the Universal Orlando app.

⭐️Collect Keys: Collect keys by completing mini-games throughout the land and unlock the door to defeat Bowser Jr. and raise the Mario flag!

But all those activities need one thing: a Power-Up Band. The Power-Up Bands are slap-on bracelets with a small digital puck, a little larger than an Apple Watch, to collect data synched with the Universal app. The Power-Up Band is used on attractions and around the land but is not required to experience any attraction except for the Bowser Jr. Challenge.

Interactive elements are optional on attractions and around the land. We advise you to participate in the interactive activities within the first hour the park is open or within the last two hours before the park closes.

Super Nintendo World Food and Beverage

Super Nintendo World is home to fun treats and an unusual take on Italian food that would feel right at home in the Mushroom Kingdom (note: not everything has mushrooms in it). Snack stands around the land sell drinks and small items, including an amazing Star popcorn bucket. The main restaurant of Super Nintendo World is Toadstool Cafe, a quick-service restaurant serving sandwiches, pasta, and salads in fun formats. Unique items include a pizza bowl with a pastry cap, a grilled chicken sandwich with pesto, and a spicy meatball combo with extra spicy sauce. Inside guests will dine among windows featuring the hard-working Toad, who apparently can make all the meals and defeat Bowser.

Toadstool Cafe is one of the hottest dining locations in Epic Universe, we expect mobile dining reservations to fill quickly in the morning. We suggest making dining reservations at Toadstool Cafe within the first hour the park is open or arriving the last two hours the park is open.

Super Nintendo World Merchandise

Super Nintendo World features all the shopping options, from Celestial Park’s Nintendo Super Star Store to the ATMs selling Power-Bands, you won’t find more Nintendo merchandise anywhere but in Epic Universe. Celestial Park features its own Nintendo store, full of amazing merchandise with gorgeous fountains and stained glass windows. Inside the land is several merchandise shops full of all the best Mario items.

Aspiring kart racers should stop by Mario Motors, the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge gift shop. Mario Motors is full of the best Mario Kart merchandise this side of the Mushroom Kingdom like a souvenir Universal Cup trophy, t-shirts, and even a remote-controlled Mario Kart toy.

TouringPlans Touring Tips

  • Super Nintendo World’s rides, interactive elements, and restaurants will be in extremely high demand, we believe it will be the hottest ticket in Orlando.
    • Ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge within the first and last hour the park is open.
    • Ride Yoshi’s Adventure within the first and last hour the park is open.
    • Ride Mine-Cart Madness within the first and last hour the park is open.
  • Make mobile orders for Toadstool Cafe using the Universal Orlando app as soon as the park opens for lunch or dinner – dining spots go quickly for peak dining times.
  • The Power-Up Band activities are incredibly popular during the day, visit them within the first or last hour the park is open.

Are you excited about Super Nintendo World? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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