Food Concession Trailers
JKJ Workforce
CHANGE SECTIONS: Carnivals & Fairs Amusement Parks



Food Concession Trailers
JKJ Workforce
Berk Concession Supply
Advertise Here
Advertise Here

Amusement Park News

Read Carnival Industry News

Magic Money
Super Nintendo World Comes to Universal Hollywood
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
A big first for Universal Studios Hollywood has come to fruition. The movie studio lot/amusement park that has long featured rides and attractions culled from the big screen has entered the world of video gaming with the colorful Super Nintendo World.

While other parks have eagerly embraced comic book themed rides - which also have their own films behind them, from Wonder Woman to Batman, Super Nintendo World is the first video-game themed land in a major American theme park. A larger Nintendo Land opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2022. There, Nintendo World is physically far larger than at Universal Hollywood, and includes two rides, one that is still being constructed.

Opening February 17th, Super Nintendo World in Hollywood is not just unique for Universal in terms of its non-movie themes, but due to its interactive nature with park guests. Riders will experience a mission to retrieve Princess Peach’s stolen golden mushroom in the area’s centerpiece, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

The ride will mix elements of AR, or augmented reality, with a dark ride experience in which guests ride cars along a track. On their journey, along a brightly colored path, riders will steer the vehicles and be able to press a button that will allow them to aim and throw as well as direct their vehicle. Riders receive special AR goggles to wear as they move through the physical scenes that take place along the ride track. Projected elements add to the fun.

It’s a family ride, but a sophisticated one. Not a thrill ride or a coaster, instead, the ride involves gaming, effects, and a classically Universal Studios attention to immersive detail. Riders will be placed four in each car, engaging in a race with Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach’s nemesis, Bowser, an evil dragon/turtle creature with an obsession for the princess.

Before boarding the ride, guests will pass through an indoor queue line featuring wonderous fantasy forests on its first level, before heading upward into Bowser’s castle home. There, riders will pass ominously towering pillars that sport portraits of Bower’s spiked visage. They’ll see projected images visible behind castle windows, revealing ghosts in residence.

But the Super Nintendo Experience begins outside the ride itself, as park guests can enjoy a vividly candy-colored land depicting a variety of Super Mario Brothers scenes and characters, with each scenic area offering telescopes that provide augmented reality viewing.

Super Nintendo World itself is entered through another Mario-iconic setting, a bright green pipe. Along with the AR options on hand, the land is vibrant, colorful, and motion-filled, with elaborate, visual fun like hungry piranha plants and springy mushroom-like Goombas. There are sliding platforms, multiple levels, and bright red flags. And, throughout the land, park guests can play in four different multi-player games, entering individual challenges that culminate in the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride.

From spinning gold coins to the turtle creatures called Koopas, no iconic Mario gaming element has been overlooked. Guests, become participants, both virtually and through real-life-sets, in a well realized video game. While different that the typical Universal Studios movie-experience themes, which makes Super Nintendo World unique, the land is not much different in its mandate than any other aspect of the theme park. The goal is still to immerse guests in a fantasy world, whether it’s inspired by a movie or a video game. The real difference: here is the guests are also interactive participants.

Universal has already dipped its theme park toes into interactive elements. In the park’s World of Harry Potter, guests could create “magic” through the use of purchased wands, using them as if they were the wands used by characters in the Harry Potter books and films.

In Super Nintendo World, interactive wrist bands are available instead of wands. The wristbands are a $40 upgrade for attendee/players. They’ll connect to an app allowing guests to collect virtual gold coins, keep track of scores, and view the steps they’ve made and progress achieved along the journey to rescue Princess Peach’s golden mushroom.

The wrist bands will also encourage wearers to play the games located throughout Super Nintendo World, most of which require group participation among different guests, making the experience interactive in more ways than one. The games are varied in nature, from puzzles to a game in which its players will overturn digital blocks.

While video games and theme parks may not seem like an easy mix, it’s certainly ready to be undertaken. The interactive nature of games is a direction that Disney has also gone with attractions such as the interactive Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. An earlier such attraction was the 2008 Toy Story Midway Mania, located at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim. While not based on a video game like Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, it features a game framework positioned on a dark ride with a track and immersive sets.

Universal Studios Florida has tried some game-like attractions as well, such as escape rooms along its City Walk location, one featuring a Back to the Future theme, and the other Jurassic Park.

In each of these different attractions, the main effect of the experience is to create a real world out of a game, while still allowing it to be played. Even the small AR game experiences in Super Nintendo World are set up in real-world locations. They’re accessible through twisting paths or around nooks and crannies, not located in obvious “player station” settings. And, despite the fun of the games, the land’s focal point remains Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, and climbing into the riders’ cars, which invite guest participation in the experience.

While the interactive capabilities of both the ride and Super Nintendo World itself are unique for now, video games and video gaming franchises appear to be a direction in which theme parks may continue to turn, providing new and recognizable worlds for park guests to enter.

And in a final “plot twist,” rather than offering an experience based on a movie with this new land, Universal will be basing a movie around an experience. Later this year, Universal plans to release a film based on the Super Mario Brothers game.
Amusement Warehouse Magazine - Subscribe Today
Related Photos
1998-2022: Company | Web site developed by Matt's Web Design, Inc.