Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood Welcomes Fans Into Mushroom Kingdom

Super Nintendo World officially opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 17th, 2023, however soft openings and pass holder previews are already taking place. This land is not just for those who love Mario and Nintendo. However, those who do love the plumber brothers and their games will be completely blown away as they are welcomed into Mushroom Kingdom.

While the area is quite small, like most things at Universal Studios Hollywood, it still offers a lot for guests. There are character meet and greets, restrooms, a restaurant, a shop, a ride, and several places where you can use your Power-Up Bands to earn coins for your team.

Guests enter the land through a pipe that makes the classic noise and displays lights as you walk through. Super Nintendo World is located on the lower level, with the entrance next to the Transformers ride.

Everywhere you look is another detail that makes you feel like you are inside of a Super Mario Bros. game. From goombas, to Piranha Plants, to spinning coins, the team behind Super Nintendo World has thought of everything.

Meet and Greets

Get ready to meet Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach at Super Nintendo World. Don’t miss out on capturing the moment.

Capture a fun photo with Mario and Luigi to remember your visit to Super Nintendo World. Get your picture taken with Princess Peach in her lovely gazebo.

While meet-and-greet interactions with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach are accessible to guests visiting the land, the Power-Up Band may provide an enhanced experience with the characters.

Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge

There is only one ride inside of Super Nintendo World, but it is an incredible one. The queue is packed with Mario Kart references, including trophies and racing outfits. Guests will tour inside Bowser’s iconic castle as they wait for their turn to get on the ride, and will see that he has challenged Mario to a race.

Mario Kart Ride SNW at USH logo
Image Credit: Universal Studios Group

Riders put on special goggles and battle Team Bowser alongside Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach on Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. You’ll steer through underwater courses and courses in the clouds, collecting coins and throwing shells to win the Golden Cup.

Everywhere you look you’re in the game on this groundbreaking ride with cutting-edge technology. Compete as an individual and as part of a team while you play along with your favorite Super Mario characters.

Multiple outcomes and the chance to raise your score mean Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is more fun each time you ride!

The layout of this ride is incredible. Riders will see the other Karts that they need to throw shells at through their goggles, but it isn’t all virtual reality. Their Karts are actually moving through some of the most popular Mario Kart courses, which honestly makes it a bit hard to concentrate at times because there is so much to take in.

Shooting the shells is easier than anticipated, as you simply look at where you want it to go and press a button. Be sure to steer your Kart in the indicated directions to avoid obstacles.

When riding Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, guests are encouraged to tap their Power-Up Band on the ride vehicle’s steering wheel. By doing so, they can track digital coins collected as well as gauge their ranking against friends and family.

Power-Up Bands

So what are these special wristbands?

SNW PowerUp Band 1
Image Credit: Universal Studios Group

Power-Up Bands are wearable wristbands that sync with Universal Studios Hollywood’s official free downloadable app and function as a complement to the land’s many interactive elements. The Power-Up Band is available for purchase in six design options with character themes — Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad and Princess Daisy. Choosing a particular character also defines which “Team” you will be a part of.

With the use of a Power-Up Band, you compete against other teams to achieve the highest score throughout the day by collecting the most digital coins. To see who is in the lead, simply check by linking the Power-Up Band to the app or by referring to the Checkpoint Screens located in between the 1-UP Factory and the restrooms.

The Power-Up Band also unlocks additional gameplay activities and experiences, such as collecting digital coins and stamps when completing milestones within the land. Guests can also amass keys after winning Key Challenges from Goomba Crazy Crank, Koopa Troopa POWer Punch, Piranha Plant Nap Mishap and Thwomp Panel Panic – collecting at least three of them will ultimately allow access to the final boss battle with Bowser Jr.

While the Power-Up Bands are certainly not required, if you plan to come back to Super Nintendo World, they offer some additional fun. The bands cost $40 and can be purchased inside Super Nintendo World. The Annual Passholder discount is not accepted at this time.

Toadstool Cafe

Inside the Toad House is Toadstool Cafe. Indulge in tasty dishes crafted by Chef Toad and watch playful scenery of the Mushroom Kingdom through the windows. Chef Toad’s menu even offers gluten-free and vegetarian options.

The Mario Burger has bacon, mushroom, and cheese, while the Luigi “burger” is actually a pesto grilled chicken sandwich. The Fire Flower Spaghetti and meatballs offers a choice for those who don’t want a burger.

SNW Group Food Photo
Image Credit: Universal Studios Group

If you aren’t super hungry, you can go with a starter or salad. These are Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots, Piranha Plant Caprese, Yoshi’s Fruit & Veggie Salad, or a Super Star Chicken Salad.

Kids can enjoy a Mario mini burger meal that comes with corn on the cob, broccoli, french fries, and a gold coin cookie. The other kids meal option is power-up spaghetti that is accompanied by a garlic knot and gold coin cookie.

Besides the normal beverages that you find throughout the park, guests can purchase a Super Star Lemon Squash which is honey lemon soda with mango stars and tropical bobas. There are also collectible sippers that come in either Super Mushroom or 1-Up Mushroom.

As for desserts, there are three to choose from. A ? Block Tiramisu, Mt. Beanpole Cake, and a Princess Peach cupcake. All of which are a delicious sweet treat option.

While the food is delicious, be prepared to wait a while — at least when Super Nintendo World first opens. If it gets too busy, you will need to put your name on a list and receive a text when Chef Toad is ready for you.

The burgers are similar to other burgers you can get in the park, but the toadstool cheesy garlic knots are worth the wait time alone. As for the pasta, it is just fine. We highly recommend the caprese and / or a salad.

1-UP Factory

This super fun store is where you can find all sorts of items from the Mushroom Kingdom! Browse souvenirs and wearable merch to level up your experience at Super Nintendo World.

Do You Need A Reservation For Super Nintendo World?

Warp into the land by making a Virtual Line reservation* in the Universal Studios Hollywood app after buying your park ticket and arriving onsite. Reservations are not always required to enter the land, but it’s important you check on the day of your visit so you don’t miss out.

*Depending on crowd conditions, you may be able to enter the land without making an entry time reservation via the Virtual Line reservation experience.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Tessa Smith owns and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.