Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Theme Park That's Like A Nintendo Game In Real Life

Nintendo has played an integral role in people's lives for generations now. The company gave us the likes of Super Mario and Pokémon, providing hours of entertainment as friends gather in each other's living rooms to see who comes out on top in Super Smash Bros. For years, Nintendo properties have been confined to the virtual realm, but very soon, fans will be able to live out their video game fantasies in real life when the Super Nintendo World theme park opens in Japan and other locations around the globe. 


The first of these theme parks is set to open in Universal Studios Japan with subsequent attractions to open over the coming years in California and Florida. Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the opening of the park, but guests could file in as early as 2021 in Japan. While much has been kept under wraps, there are some aspects we know about — and for video game enthusiasts, there are plenty of reasons to get excited. 

There will be a Mario Kart ride

When you think of a Nintendo theme park, there's one video game that instantly comes to mind that would make for an excellent thrill ride, and it appears as though Super Nintendo World will, indeed, include a Mario Kart attraction (via Secret Manchester). Rumors state that the ride will feature dual tracks, with each kart holding four people. Two karts will "race" against one another, and you'll also compete against famous Nintendo characters, leading to an ultimate showdown with Bowser. 


The ride will be enhanced via augmented reality headsets so that you really feel like you're driving through various courses that have been popularized across the series, with power-ups virtually bouncing around before your eyes. It's expected that Nintendo fans will race through Jungle Parkway and Wario's Castle, although official word from Nintendo and Universal will reveal more of what fans will get into. It's also unclear as of now whether the attraction will take a cue from Disney's Star Tours and send racers through a different course each time they ride. Whatever the Mario Kart ride may have in store, it's fantastic news for anyone who's always wanted to throw a red shell in real life.


You'll get a chance to ride a Yoshi

In addition to playing a real-world version of Mario Kart, guests will have the chance to ride on top of everyone's favorite green dinosaur, Yoshi. One of the other opening attractions available at launch will be Yoshi's Adventure (via Orlando ParkStop). The omnimover ride will be a family attraction that puts you on top of a Yoshi as you go on a whimsical adventure throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. 


According to reports, there will be 40 vehicles moving on the track at any one time. Guests will continuously be loaded onto the ride from a turntable platform, not unlike the loading area for Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Two passengers will be able to get into a single vehicle, which will look like a Yoshi.

While this is speculation, it's likely the ride will take you through Peach's Castle as you come across various scenes from Mario's adventures. Expect to see the likes of Bullet Bill, Piranha Plants, Koopa Troopas, and more in the fun ride that'll be a great time for kids and adults alike. 

Guests will enter a fully immersive world, complete with Power Up bands

As with any other theme park based on a famous property, the experience doesn't end with rides. Super Nintendo World will also come with restaurants, shops, and all kinds of fun Easter eggs to fully immerse you in the Mushroom Kingdom. Guests will want to have their smartphones at the ready, because visitors will be able to engage with interactive gameplay as they walk throughout the park, meaning there will always be something to do (via BlooLoop).


The theme park will be where the real world meets video games. You'll be able to wear a wristband, known as a Power Up band, that you can link to your phone via an app. Naturally, you'll have to purchase this wristband separately at the park, but considering all you can do with it, a lot of Nintendo fans will likely find that it's worth it. Plus, different styles are available based on the likes of Mario, Princess Peach, and Yoshi, so you can get the one that represents the character you love most.

Question Blocks will be physically located around the park, allowing you to jump up, hit them, and collect virtual coins. The wristband also permits you to compete in challenges and rack up points. This includes "Boss Battles" that will pit you against characters like Bowser, and maybe even Waluigi. 


If you live in Japan, you'll hopefully get the chance to see all of this by the summer of 2021. The land is expected to arrive at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2021 or 2022, and it's currently projected to open in Orlando at Universal's new Epic Universe park in 2023.