Are you wondering if the new Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Hollywood is worth the hype? We just got back from a trip with our kids to check it out for ourselves. Keep scrolling for our honest opinion.
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My kids and husband are huge Nintendo fans! They love playing Mario Kart at home.
When we heard about Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood opening up in 2023, we knew we needed to do a quick visit during Spring Break.
The timing was perfect because we were able to see the Super Mario Bros movie right before the trip! It was fun to immerse ourselves in the Mushroom Kingdom and see Princess Peach’s castle on the big screen!
Now that the park has been officially open for several weeks, we kicked off our day at Universal Studios Hollywood with some time exploring everything at Super Nintendo World Universal Studios Hollywood.
Keep scrolling for our personal tips and tricks.
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Universal Studios Hollywood blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Universal Studios with kids.
Where to Stay at Universal Studios Hollywood
- Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City (we’ve stayed here twice and it’s the closest hotel to the park)
- Sheraton Universal Hotel (it’s right behind the Hilton and still within walking distance of the park)
- The Garland (this is a 5-minute drive from the park and has a boutique vibe)
How to Get Discount Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets
Want to Rent a Car in California?
One of the best places to rent a car in California is Discover Cars because they usually have the cheapest rates and fantastic customer service.
Universal Studios Hollywood Super Nintendo World Tips for Families
You’ll Probably Need a Virtual Line Reservation
If you have regular Universal Studios tickets or are annual pass holders, you’ll need to make a virtual line reservation in order to access the area.
You’ll do this on the Universal Studios Hollywood app as soon as you enter the park. This is for one entry. Once you leave Super Nintendo World, you won’t be able to re-enter. And you can’t make another reservation for the same day.
Get the Early Entry Pass
If you really want minimal crowds, get the early access pass online a few weeks before your trip. It costs $20/person and it will get you into Super Nintendo World a full hour before the park opens.
I thought we had purchased it weeks before our trip but I guess the sale didn’t go through. It sells out and it’s usually not available when you get to the gate.
Another Option is the Unlimited Express Pass
If you aren’t able to get an early entry pass and you aren’t on a tight budget, get the Unlimited Express Pass. This allows you to enter Super Nintendo World as many times as you like (in case you want to leave and get food).
You don’t have to make a reservation and you can come and go as you please.
Get the Power Up Bands
It’s always annoying when places have upsells, and this is one that your kids will probably beg you for.
You’ll need the Power Up Bands to play the interactive games inside Super Nintendo World. Since there’s just the Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge ride, the only other thing to do is play mini games.
The cool thing is that they can also be used at other Super Nintendo Worlds and you can keep reusing them at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Where to Get Power Up Bands
I suggest purchasing your Power Up Band either in Universal CityWalk the night before (if you’re staying at one of the nearby hotels) or getting it at one of the gift shops as soon as you enter the theme park.
They do sell them inside Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood, but the lines can be long there.
Make Sure to Link Your Power Up Band to the App
One thing that was not clear before our trip is that you’ll need to scan your Power Up Band to the Universal Studios Hollywood app in order to collect digital coins.
You’ll earn digital coins on Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge and when you play mini games.
Grab Food BEFORE You Enter
The only place to get food inside Super Nintendo World is at the Toadstool Cafe, which requires a reservation. You can only make a reservation once you enter the Mushroom Kingdom and scan the QR code.
I suggest getting food elsewhere in the park or bringing in snacks. We saw a LOT of hungry families who were disappointed about the lack of non-reservation food.
Make a Beeline for Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge
There is only ONE ride inside Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood. The line is often 2-3 hours long.
We got in line about 15 minutes after the park opened (we rushed down) and we were only in line for about 45 minutes.
There are plenty of things to see inside Bowser’s castle and the time honestly flew by.
Take Note of Character Meet and Greets
There are photo opportunities with Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi throughout the day. There is signage that says when they will come out.
We really wanted to meet Mario and Luigi, but they were slated to come out about 3 hours later. So we just met Princess Peach.
You Can Skip the 1-UP Factory if You Visit Other Shops
We found that the shop inside Super Nintendo World was sold out of a lot of items they featured at the grand opening. I really wanted to get the boys Mario and Luigi sweatshirts, but they hadn’t received any since the grand opening.
We also didn’t notice any items that were exclusive to Super Nintendo World that we didn’t already see at CityWalk or in the store near the theme park entrance.
What to Wear to Super Nintendo World
I think part of the fun of visiting theme parks is dressing the part! Of course, I had my family wear coordinating Super Mario Bros shirts that I found on Etsy.
I was sort of kicking myself for not having the boys wear overalls with red and green shirts underneath because I saw a few families do that. We also saw some boys with fake mustaches that were pretty cool!
Is Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge a Roller Coaster?
Nope! I’m a total scaredy cat and I had a hard time finding out information about the ride before our trip. Thankfully, my friend went a few weeks ago and called it “cute.”
Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge is a Mario Kart-themed dark ride located in Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood.
It is a multi-sensory experience that allows guests to race through iconic Mario Kart courses, collect digital coins, and throw items at opponents.
The ride uses augmented reality (AR) technology to create a fully immersive experience that puts guests in the middle of the action.
What Happens During the Ride?
The ride begins with guests entering Bowser’s Castle. The queue winds through the castle where you’ll see tons of Nintendo items and walk through a warp pipe.
You’ll get a visor and a face shield that will let you experience the augmented reality technology.
Then you’ll board a kart and be transported to one of four different courses: Mario Circuit, Rainbow Road, Yoshi Valley, and Bowser’s Castle.
Everyone is automatically on Team Mario.
As you race through the courses, you can collect digital coins and throw items at your opponents to try to defeat Team Bowser. The first guest to cross the finish line wins the race.
Is it Worth Making a Reservation at the Toadstool Cafe?
Honestly, this was the most disappointing part of Super Nintendo World. Even with a reservation, you’re herded into a line where you’ll order your food at a counter (like at Hogsmeade).
You’ll get your drinks on a tray and then someone will walk you to a table (which was actually a great feature).
But, the food itself was really disappointing. The best way to describe it is school cafeteria quality.
Toadstool Cafe Menu Options by Chef Toad
- Yoshi’s Favorite Fruit & Veggie Salad
- Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots
- Tomato Soup in Super Mushroom Bowl
- Super Mushroom Soup
- Piranha Plant Caprese
- Super Star Chicken Salad
- Mario Burger (Bacon, Mushroom & Cheese)
- Luigi Burger (Pesto Grilled Chicken)
- Fire Flower Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Chef Toad’s Short Rib Special
- Bowser’s Fireball Challenge
- Mt. Beanpole Cake
- ? Block Tiramisu
- Princess Peach cupcake
- Mario Mini Burger Adventure Set (Cheeseburger, truffle French fries, corn on cob, broccoli and a coin cookie)
- Power-Up Spaghetti Marinara (Spaghetti with marinara sauce, Power-Up parmesan crisps, Toadstool cheesy garlic knot and a coin cookie)
- Super Star Lemon Squash
- Super Mushroom Collectible Drink Bottle
- 1-Up Mushroom Collectible Drink Bottle
- Fountain Soda
- Premium Water
- Hot Tea
- Fresh Brewed Coffee
- Hot Chocolate
What Items Did We Order?
My husband and kids ordered burgers and it looked like the patties were steamed. Actually, my husband ordered a salad and they informed him they were out of it as they delivered the rest of our food. So he got a consolation budget.
We also got garlic knots and the short rib special. And we shared two Super Star Lemon Squash drinks.
It took about 45 minutes for it to come to our table after we ordered it. And my food was cold.
If you’re going just for an Instagram photo, get a soup because it’s served with an adorable mushroom lid.
The only really cool thing about eating at Toadstool Cafe is that there are video screens all around where you can see Nintendo characters moving around.
Key Challenges at Super Nintendo World
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood has a variety of interactive games that guests can play.
Koopa Troopa POWer Punch
It is a timed challenge where guests must punch a POW Block at the right moment to send a Koopa shell flying through a series of pipes and hit a target.
Goomba Crazy Crank
The goal of the game is to spin a crank as fast as you can to knock a Goomba off a platform. The faster you spin the crank, the higher the Goomba will fly. If you can knock the Goomba off the platform, you win the game.
Piranha Plant Nap Mishap
The goal of the game is to wake up a sleeping Piranha Plant by throwing fruit at it. The more fruit you throw, the faster the Piranha Plant will wake up. If you can wake up the Piranha Plant before it gets too angry, you win the game.
Thwomp Panel Panic
The goal of the game is to flip all of the panels in a room to yellow before a Thwomp crushes you. The panels are blue when you start the game, and you can flip them to yellow by stepping on them.
However, be careful not to step on the same panel twice, or it will turn back to blue. If you can flip all of the panels to yellow before the Thwomp crushes you, you win the game.
Bowser Jr. Shadow Showdown
If you collect at least 3 keys with your Power Up Band, you’ll get the chance to confront Bowser Jr to recover the stolen Golden Mushroom in a final Shadow Showdown.
How to Navigate Super Nintendo World
To be frank, Super Nintendo World is SUPER chaotic. the land is sort of a bubble that is crammed with stuff and it can be a bit disorienting.
Guests enter on the Lower Level near the Transformers ride. There is some cute signage in front that makes for a nice photo op (I’m bummed we didn’t get a chance to do it).
You’ll “walk through” Princess Peach’s castle (it’s just a tunnel), and see some games to your left, and Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge straight in the back.
Guests exit through a warp pipe in the back left.
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood FAQs
When does Super Nintendo World open at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17, 2023.
What rides are there in Super Nintendo World?
Super Nintendo World features two rides: Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure.
Is Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge wheelchair-accessible?
Yes it is!
How long is Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge?
The ride is about 4 minutes long.
How much do tickets cost for Super Nintendo World?
Tickets for Super Nintendo World are $109 for a 1-day ticket and $129 for a 1-day ticket purchased at the gate. You can save money by purchasing a multi-day ticket or an annual pass.
What is the best time to visit Super Nintendo World?
The best time to visit Super Nintendo World is during the week, when the park is less crowded. You can also try to visit early in the morning or late at night, when the lines are shorter.
How long does it take to see everything in Super Nintendo World?
We spent about 2 hours exploring it in the morning and then we came back in the afternoon for our Toadstool Cafe reservation and spent another hour walking around.
What is the best way to get to Super Nintendo World?
The best way to get to Super Nintendo World is by car. You can also take public transportation, but it will take longer.
Where can I stay near Super Nintendo World?
There are many hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood. You can also stay at one of the Universal Studios Hollywood hotels, which offer perks like complimentary transportation to the park.
What food is there in Super Nintendo World?
Super Nintendo World has a variety of food options, including pizza, pasta, burgers, and ice cream. There is also a Yoshi’s Snack Island, which serves Yoshi-themed snacks.
Does Toadstool Cafe offer vegan or vegetarian options?
Yes! The vegetarian options include Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Yoshi’s Favorite Fruit and Veggie Salad, Power-Up Spaghetti Marinara, ? Block Tiramisu, Mt. Beanpole Cake, and Princess Peach Cupcake. The vegan option is Tomato Soup in Super Mushroom Bowl.
What merchandise is there in Super Nintendo World?
Super Nintendo World has a variety of merchandise, including clothing, toys, and souvenirs. You can also purchase a Power Up Band, which allows you to interact with the rides and attractions in the park.
Is Super Nintendo World kid-friendly?
Yes, Super Nintendo World is kid-friendly. There are rides and activities for all ages, and the park is designed to be family-friendly.
Is Super Nintendo World worth it?
Whether Super Nintendo World is worth it is up to you. The park is expensive, but it is a unique and immersive experience that fans of Nintendo will love.
Is Universal Studios Florida getting Super Nintendo World?
Yes, Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios Florida. It is scheduled to open in 2025 as part of Universal’s Epic Universe, the company’s fifth theme park in Orlando.
The area will feature a variety of rides, attractions, and shops themed after the popular video game franchise.
Is Super Nintendo World a part of Universal Studios Japan?
Yes, Super Nintendo World is a themed area located at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. It opened on March 18, 2021, and it is the first permanent land dedicated to Nintendo.
The area is themed after the Mushroom Kingdom, and it features two rides, a variety of interactive experiences, and themed shops and restaurants.
Universal Studios Hollywood Super Nintendo World Wrap-Up
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is an immersive and interactive theme park experience that fans of Super Mario Bros and the larger Nintendo universe will love.
The innovative projection mapping technology will make visitors will feel like they’ve stepped into a real-life video game.
The park’s interactive elements, such as the Power-Up Bands that allow guests to collect coins and participate in challenges throughout the park, add an extra layer of engagement and fun.
I highly recommend planning a trip to check it out!