Universal Studios Hollywood has set a Feb. 17, 2023, opening date for Super Nintendo World, the highly-anticipated addition themed around Nintendo’s Mario franchise.
The new land had previously been rumored to be open March 10 (likely based around “Mar 10” looking like “Mario”).
It will be located on the park’s Lower Lot, with guests entering through a signature green Warp Pipe before going through Peach’s Castle. True to its video game roots, Super Nintendo World will emphasize interactivity, with guests able to collect digital coins by tapping another Mario stape, question mark blocks, and tracking their progress with a wristband called a Power-Up Band. It all culminates in, of course, a boss battle.
“Guests can beat the four Key Challenges and collect keys from Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Piranha Plant and Thwomp interactive activities to ultimately allow access to the culminating boss battle with Bowser Jr,” Universal said in its press release. “These energetic, familiar and fun interactive games will further enhance the entire kinetic experience within the land and immerse guests into the unique world of Super Mario.”
The only ride in the land is Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, a dark ride enhanced with augmented reality goggles. After meandering through a queue that takes guests inside Mount Beanpole and Bowser’s Castle, passing by various medallions and trophies collected by Mario’s archnemesis, guests will step into “four-seat vehicles as they navigate familiar courses through the creative use and integration of head mounted AR goggles.”
Along with the interactive experiences and Mario Kart, guests can visit the Toadstool Cafe, whose menu includes items such as Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, and the Luigi Pesto Chicken Burger. The land also features a new Nintendo store called the 1-Up Factory.
Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World is a slimmed-down version of the original land that opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2021. A larger version is already under construction for Universal Orlando’s Epic Universe theme park and is set to open in 2025, featuring a Yoshi’s Adventure dark ride and a Donkey Kong-themed coaster that are not present in Hollywood.
Despite being the smaller version, the land in Hollywood is the first that most Americans will get to see of the Universal-Nintendo partnership that was announced more than seven years ago.
Universal’s announcement did not include details on any soft openings or special annual passholder previews of the land. A recent update to its annual pass sales indicated that Universal Studios Hollywood will manage crowds with a timed-entry reservation system, similar to what the park used when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2016.