UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD: I Took a fantastical trip to Super Nintendo World, and I was amazed. It is Super Fun, Super Immersive, and full of Super Nintendo goodness. You enter Universal’s new land through a green warp pipe, which drops you into Princess Peach’s castle. And from there, you step out the front door into a video game world. Everywhere you look is colorful, alive, and very familiar. So its no surprise when Mario, Princess Peach, and Luigi show up. And the character’s talk too. Which is unusual for Theme Park Characters.
Super Nintendo Land has one major attraction, which allows you to ride in your own Mario-Kart. You enter through Bowser’s castle, which is themed-throughout, and quite impressive. Then, through a mix of video game themed set pieces, screens, and augmented reality goggles, you are in a race with Bowser, Mario, Luigi, and the Princess. As you try to beat Bowser to the finish line, scoring points along the way. It’s like you’re in the video game, which is what the entirety of Super Nintendo Land feels like. And here’s a tip from me: Pay attention to pre-show video, which is entertaining and informative. It lays out the rules of the road. Information you’ll need to score big on the ride. I didn’t pay attention my first time through and paid the price… BOWSER WON! But I redeemed myself on my second ride.
But that’s not all there is to the land, there is so much more. There are four game challenges for you to complete, and a Bowser Jr. challenge that you can only enter into once you’ve won three of the game challenges. And this was one of my favorite things in the land. Because in the Bowser Jr. Challenge you are literally in a video game. You are jumping, powering up, throwing fireballs, ducking rockets … It’s a blast, and you are playing against other park guests. I won on my second go-around on Bowser Jr…. I was number one baby! And I suggest you do your best to win three of the game challenges so you can face off against Bowser Jr, and other park guests.
Do you need to buy an interactive power band? Yes you do. Because Super Nintendo Land is an interactive playground. And you need a power band to activate the games, collect your points, coins, stamps. And you need a band to enter the Bowser Jr. Challenge. Where do you get the coins? There are question-mark boxes all over the land that you an tap with your band to get the coins, just like Mario does in the games. You can even get a boost when you enter Toadstool Cafe. And the stamps? You have to look for clues to those throughout, also activated with a power band. THE BANDS DO ALOT! And while you do not need a power band to ride the Mario-Kart ride, if you have one and sync it to your kart, you get more points… So yeah, you need to get one.
Also, everything is moving and alive around you in the land. Yoshi is jogging around his tree, Piranha Plants are on the lookout for their next meal, Thwomps are Thwomping, and so much more. You definitely need to check it all out for yourselves. Super Nintendo World opens today, February 17th, at Universal Hollywood. BUT CHECK THE UNIVERSAL STUDIOS WEBSITE! Because this new land is going to be popular. So there are different ways to ensure you can get in. Just buying a ticket to the park and showing up doesn’t cut it. Do your homework or you may be disappointed.
(And just for you nitpickers, these photos were taken on February 17, 2023. My camera’s date indicator malfunctioned.)