'Sup gamers? It's a-me, Tad, the gamer and Super Mario fan of the Frog Fam. I'm toadally excited that Super Nintendo World is now officially open at Universal Studios Hollywood. I'm sharing everything I've learned about the new land and its toadally immersive ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. And of course, I'll be making repeat visits to play this real-life video game over and over again! It's been busy since it opened, so we have hoppin' tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Overview of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood
We've had a chance to visit Super Nintendo World a few times. We know you have concerns about getting into the land, avoiding a line at Mario Kart and getting into Toadstool Café. We have all the secrets for doing it all. Consider them your "cheat codes" for navigating Super Nintendo World. Be sure to keep hopping back, as I'll be "leveling up" all the deets as I go back for repeat visits in the Mushroom Kingdom. As Luigi would say, "Let's a-go!"
When did Super Nintendo World Hollywood open?
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood officially opened Feb. 17, 2023.
Where is Super Nintendo World?
The new land is located in the Lower Lot. You can see the entrance to the left of Transformers: The Ride-3D. And get this: Guests will enter this colorful and interactive new land via a warp pipe. Super frogciting!
How can I access Super Nintendo World?
There are several ways to access Super Nintendo World. Although you can just walk into the land on some days, a Virtual Line may be needed if the land gets full. When the Virtual Line is not in place, guests can walk into the land reservation-free. You can use special tickets, such as the Early Access ticket or Express Pass (among other options, such as the VIP Experience) to enter the land. Hop over to our post on all of the ways in which you can access Super Nintendo World. If you have a dining reservation at Toadstool Café, you can use that to access the land as well.
Is Super Nintendo World coming to Florida?
Yes! Super Nintendo World will open with Universal's Epic Universe in 2025.
Rides at Super Nintendo World Hollywood
Let's speed right to my favorite part! The large ride in the land is based on my favorite video game, Mario Kart! Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge is located inside Bowser's Castle. The interactive, moving track ride combines augmented reality (assistance from head-mounted goggles) with projection mapping technology and set pieces. It's said to be one of the most complex rides ever made! You are given a visor to wear right before you board the ride, then you'll magnetically attach a pair of goggles to the area under the visor.
The 4D ride has a height requirement of 40 inches (102 cm). Riders 40-48 inches (122 cm) tall require a supervising companion aged 14 or older. Luckily, a Single Riders line and a Child Swap option are available for this ride.
Riders climb aboard Mario Kart vehicles from the dungeons of Bowser's Castle. Then it's time to attach the goggles, tap your Power-Up Band to the "M" on the steering wheel in front of you, and wait for the "3-2-1-Go!" signal from Lakitu. In the quest to win the Golden Cup, riders steer through courses in the clouds and underwater! They can battle Team Bowser alongside Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach, throwing shells and collecting coins along the way.
The goggles on this ride allow you to see graphics and characters. If you feel motion sick from wearing them, simply take them off during the ride.
When is the best time to ride?
You will find the shortest waits during Early Access and right when the park opens if you head straight there. You can also try to ride close to the end of the night. (Keep in mind that if the ride breaks down at the end of the night, you might not get to ride.) The longest wait times seem to be between 10 a.m. and noon (we saw the wait reach hour hours in that time!), so it's best to avoid the ride then. We had good luck with the Single Riders line early in the day the last time we visited. You must be over 48 inches to ride alone.
If you want to skip the line, the only way is to book a VIP Experience or upgrade to the VIP Theme Park Experience. Both of those options are expensive. The Single Riders line is free! But at peak times, even that can back up.
We visited on a sold-out day. At 9 a.m. (official park opening), we saw the shortest wait of the day listed at 50 minutes. We waited 7 minutes as Single Riders. It jumped to 90 minutes after that and sat at 240 minutes between 10 a.m. and noon. Near the end of the night, it was listed as a 70-minute wait.
Some Ride and Touring Advice
Ride Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge during the early access hour or as soon as the park opens. In the first few minutes after the park, the land and the ride are both flooded with crowds so your best bet is to make it the main priority on your list.
You can also maximize your time by making your Toadstool Café reservation for the afternoon. Leave the land during the peak of the morning, after you ride Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge and go ride the other Lower Lot rides while you wait for your dining time. The wait times for the other Lower Lot lines were each only 5 minutes the morning we visited. After those, you can do the Studio Tour and Upper Lot. Come back later to dine in Toadstool Café and do the challenges. The lines are long for the challenges all day but at least you skipped the lines for other attractions in the park while you could. Lines for the challenges tend to die down at the end of the night.
If you have Early Access, complete the ride and as many challenges as you can before the land officially opens to everyone else. You can get a lot done in that hour!
Interactive Features in Super Nintendo World Hollywood
Imagine you have been transported into a Super Mario Bros. video game, with the ability to bump into Goombas and dodge Venus Fire Traps as you collect coins in the Mushroom Kingdom. In Super Nintendo World, you can do all of that and more! In fact, you can become one of the characters in the game (with some assistance from Power-Up Bands). You are not simply playing the game on a screen. You are living it! You can expect colorful animatronic scenery with spinning gold coins, boxes with question marks and more within the interactive games and quests scattered throughout the land. There are so many cool details — it is a feast for the eyes!
This towering landmark sits at the heart of the land and serves as the entry queue for Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge.
Complete with a sculpture of its powerful namesake, Bowser's Castle is the key centerpiece of Super Nintendo World. Guests navigate the winding corridors and pass through the hall of medallions and trophies to board Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, while learning more about Bowser's plans to defeat Team Mario for the Golden Cup. The queue is extremely detailed and a must-see for Nintendo fans! But it does have a lot of steps, so talk to a team member about taking the elevator if you need it.
This wearable wristband syncs with Universal Studios Hollywood's official app to unlock many interactive elements within the land. These include but are not limited to, keeping individual and team scores, collecting digital coins and obtaining special keys after winning challenges, allowing you to level up your game. Wahoo!
The band also allows guests to have star-worthy interactions with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach!
Power-Up Bands come in six different character designs and are available for purchase within the land, at Super Nintendo World retail shops in the theme park and in CityWalk (at the Super Nintendo Store). The band is a rubber slap band. It tends to curl up on your wrist and fall off, so keep a close eye on it. You may ask for a free lock at shops that sell the bands. The bands run about $40 with tax.
With a Power-Up Band, the possibilities for engaging in real-life gameplay within the land are endless! Many of these activities include punching question blocks to collect digital coins. Discover a new dimension of the land via interactive binoculars that use AR technology. Players can beat the four Key Challenges and collect keys from activities hosted by Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Piranha Plant and Thwomp. Succeeding in all of these mini-games leads to a boss battle with Bowser Jr. Collect three keys in the app by completing challenges before heading to Bowser Jr. Shadow Showdown. Don't froget — you can only access Shadow Showdown if you have a Power-Up Band account with at least three keys. Otherwise, you will not be able to participate in this challenge or enter its queue.
Use Sun Protection
Most of the challenges are outside, and the lines are out in the sun. Wear hats and sunscreen, and stay hydrated when waiting and playing. Character meet-and-greets are also outside.
Character Interactions in Super Nintendo World Hollywood
You can meet Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach in Super Nintendo World! Oh yeah! When meeting them, wear your Power-Up Band for an extra special experience. The characters can talk and move their eyes! It's recommended to hop in line about 30 minutes before their scheduled appearance. Upcoming greeting times are indicated on a sign near their meeting area. Sadly, Mario and his pals do not come out in the rain.
As the queue to meet these toadally awesome characters is usually very long, take advantage of a shorter line if you have an Early Access ticket to the land.
Merchandise at Super Nintendo World Hollywood
Get your Super Nintendo and Mario gear now! To begin the countdown, Universal revamped the Feature Presentation store into a Super Nintendo-themed setting. Mario and Luigi apparel, iconic character hats, plush characters (including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Bowser) and more, are available for purchase there. You can also find more Super Nintendo World items in the character shop in the Lower Lot and the Super Nintendo World Store in CityWalk.
When you exit Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, you'll pass through the 1-UP Factory to purchase a souvenir! The retail shop offers an extensive collection of merchandise, including Nintendo character apparel, iconic hats and headwear, plush characters, bands and more. The Power-Up Bands can be found behind the counter.
Food in Super Nintendo World Hollywood
Some of your favorite Nintendo characters are serving up delicious dishes inside the new land, too! Hop over to our full post on Super Nintendo World food for more delectable deets.
The land's signature restaurant serves a gourmet menu full of fresh food prepared daily. As Chef Toad has perfected his mushroom-esque menu, this restaurant gets crowded very quickly and is accessible via same-day reservations. Purchasing an Early Access ticket is one way to go if you want guaranteed access to this eatery. If you aren't using an Early Access ticket, you can use a link or a QR code to reserve.
You will see QR codes outside the land and in front of the café until reservations are full for the day. Here's the link to reserve. (You do not have to be on-site to reserve.) You can reserve starting around 7:30 a.m. for the same day only. We recommend reserving for the early afternoon because mid-morning is the busiest in the land. Go enjoy the short lines elsewhere in the park in the morning. Keep in mind that you will still have to wait in line to order food when you arrive.
Menu items include Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Tomato Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Mario Bacon Cheeseburger (also available in a vegetarian option), Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs, Bowser's Fireball Challenge, Short Rib Special, ? Block Tiramisu, Princess Peach Cupcake and more. The kids meals include a burger and spaghetti. The full menu, with descriptions and prices, is accessible on the Universal Studios Hollywood app. (And be sure to visit our food post for more photos and descriptions!)
We tried every dish! Our frog squad's favorite is the Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger. The pasta was pretty good too (but a bit spicy), and we love the seasoned fries. The short rib is tasty! Out of the soups, we prefer the mushroom soup. The kids meals come with a ? mark box, containing a coin cookie inside. It is an Oreo-like cookie dipped in yellow chocolate.
Fun beverage items include the Super Star Lemon Squash and all of the collectible drink sippers. You can also find more fruity cream sodas, popcorn and sippers just outside the land. The stand offers Princess Peach's Peach Soda, Mario's Strawberry Soda and Luigi's Green Apple Soda.
Here we goooooo! What are you most looking forward to at Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood? What do you most want to know? Let us know in the comments below.
Related: How to Navigate Virtual Queues at Universal Studios Hollywood
Related: How to Use Super Nintendo World Power-Up Bands at Universal Studios Hollywood