Like many kids, I grew up following Super Mario World (and participating in!) the Adventures of Mario and Luigi, Daisy, Peach, Bowser, and so many more characters from the Nintendo Universe. I still remember the Christmas I got my Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Mario Bros. Super Nintendo soon followed. Super Mario World was my video game of choice. In college, you were much more likely to find me playing Mario Kart 64 with my dorm mates than you were to find me hanging out in some bar. And even to this day, I can’t seem to pick up my phone without playing a few rounds of Super Mario Run or Mario Kart Tour. So it goes without saying that I was thrilled in 2015 when Universal announced a new partnership that would bring Nintendo-themed lands to its theme parks.

What is Super Mario World?

Let’s start with a bit of clarification. There technically isn’t a land or theme park called Super Mario World. But, there will soon be a Super Nintendo World section in several Universal theme parks all around the world. Each of those Super Nintendo Worlds includes an extensive set of rides, shops, and dining themed to the Mario franchise (along with other Nintendo franchises). We’ll talk more about the attractions, restaurants, and stores later in this article. But first, let’s talk about the land as a whole.

You can tell from the moment you walk into the land that you’re in the world of Nintendo. You’ll see Thwomps, Koopas, and Goombas in the distance; digital coins dance overhead; and, of course, Bowser’s castle. So who better to lead us on a tour than Nintendo legend (and Mario’s “Dad”) Shigeru Miyamoto?

As you might have noticed in the above video, Super Nintendo World makes heavy use of interactive technology via so-called Power-Up Bands. Like Disney’s MagicBand+ or Universal’s Harry Potter wands, these wristbands allow Nintendo fans to interact with parts of the park scenery and trigger special effects such as collecting coins from Question Blocks.

Power-Up Bands and App from Universal Studios Japan

Power-Up Bands and App from Universal Studios Japan | Image © Universal/Nintendo

You can also link the bands to a smartphone app to track your progress. Complete enough special tasks, and you can battle Bowser Jr. as part of the Power-Up Band Challenge activity!

Which Parks Have a Super Nintendo World?

You’ll find Super Mario World / Super Nintendo World in four Universal theme parks:

  • Universal Studios Japan (Osaka, Japan) — Opened March 18, 2021
  • Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, California) — Opening February 17, 2023
  • Universal Epic Universe (Orlando, Florida) — Opening 2025
  • Universal Studios Singapore (Sentosa, Singapore) — Opening 2025

As you can see, only one of the locations — Japan — is currently open to the public. So, for now, you’ll need a plane ticket and a passport to jump through the warp pipe and visit the Mushroom Kingdom. But, if you can wait until February 2023, you’ll be able to visit the stateside in California. Orlando’s version opens in 2025 as part of the brand new Universal Epic Universe theme park. Singapore’s version is also expected to open in 2025.

Is There a Super Mario World at Disney?

You won’t find Super Mario World at Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland in California, or Walt Disney World in Florida. Instead, the Mario-themed rides and attractions are only at Universal theme parks — currently only in Japan but eventually in California, Florida, and Singapore.

The closest thing you’ll find at Disney is inside the Mistukoshi Department Store inside the Japan pavilion at EPCOT’s World Showcase. Unfortunately, there are no Mario-themed rides or dining. Still, you’ll usually find a nice selection of Nintendo-themed merchandise in the store’s modern pop culture section.

If you just can’t wait to visit Super Nintendo World, reach out to the expert vacation planners at The Vacationeer! Though it will be quite some time before Super Nintendo World opens in Orlando, The Vacationeer can help you plan a trip to Universal Hollywood (and Disneyland) in the meantime.

And, of course, they’re happy to book your Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando vacation at any time, Mario or not.

The Vacationeer is our official travel agency partner and one of the best Universal Travel agencies. Why? Their agents take the time to get to know your family and vacation needs, and they never charge any fees to use their planning services! They’ll make your hotel and dining reservations, secure theme park tickets and express passes, and even arrange ground transportation!

Rides in Super Nintendo World

We don’t yet have a complete list of all the rides and attractions for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Epic Universe in Orlando. Still, we can make strong, educated guesses based on what’s already operating in Japan’s version and other sources of information.

Iconic Mario Kart Courses: Bowser’s Challenge

One of the most popular rides at Universal Studios Japan is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. We know the Koopa King as Bowser here in the States; the ride’s name will be changed accordingly when the ride opens in Hollywood. The Bowser name is also expected to be used when Florida’s version eventually opens.

The innovative ride system uses Augmented Reality to add 3D characters and elements to the real-life scenery you pass in your kart — you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of a MarioKart race, steering your kart, throwing (and dodging) shells, all while jockeying for position to help Team Mario win the race!

For a full look at the ride and iconic Mario Kart courses (including lots of spoilers), check out this video from Japan’s version:

If you only want a small preview that doesn’t reveal too many secrets, you might find this short video from Hollywood more to your liking:

Complete information for the American versions has not yet been published, but we do know that the Japan version has a height requirement of 122cm (about 48 inches) or taller to ride on your own or 107cm (about 42 inches) to ride with a supervising companion. The Japan version also participates in the Universal Express Pass program. Each ride vehicle holds four people (two rows of two people each). The ride is about five minutes long.

We expect that it will quickly join the ranks of the best Universal rides when it opens here in the States.

Yoshi’s Adventure

If you have kids in tow or just want something that’s not quite so frantic, then Yoshi’s Adventure is for you. It’s a slow-moving family-friendly ride that uses the Omnimover ride system (meaning the vehicles never really stop moving, similar to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion or EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth).

Based on what’s already been revealed in Japan, we expect that during the ride, you’ll hop on Yoshi’s back and set out on an adventure; along the way, you’ll try to spot eggs of different colors as part of a fun treasure hunt while seeking out Captain Toad. As a bonus, you get a spectacular view of the Mushroom Kingdom from Mount Beanpole.

Full specs for the stateside versions are not yet known, but the Japan version has a height requirement: 122cm (about 48) or taller to ride solo or 92cm (about 36 inches) to ride with a supervising companion. The Japan version also participates in the Universal Express Pass program. Each ride vehicle holds two people (one row of two people). The ride lasts about five minutes.

A thrill ride, it is not. But for younger kids — or those of us who grew up with the young dinosaur named Yoshi in the Mario game — it’s a really kawaii (cute) addition to the land. Note that we do not expect the Yoshi ride to be included in the Hollywood version of this land, so for now, you’ll need to either head to Japan or wait for Florida to open.

Donkey Kong Mine Cart

A new roller coaster based on Donkey Kong is not yet operating at any of the parks but is under construction in at least two. Of all the attractions at Super Nintendo World, details on this one are the most speculative because there’s just not that much-verified information out there.

That said, the fan community has been sleuthing around, and we think we have a good idea of what this attraction will look like. We expect you’ll board an individual mine cart with a unique roller coaster-style track system, giving you the sensation of jumping gaps in the track (while remaining safely attached).

Here’s a good rumor roundup assembled by Orlando Park Stop; again, we caution that this is unverified information (that’s also chock full of spoilers).

We expect there will be an entire mini-section of Super Nintendo World that’s dedicated to Donkey Kong characters.

Dining at Super Nintendo World

It’s not yet confirmed what dining options will be included in the U.S. versions of the themed land, but here’s what’s offered in the Japan version:

Note: there’s a strong possibility that the U.S. food offerings and menu items could be significantly different than those in Japan, owing to cultural differences in cuisine. But we hope that at least some of the existing offerings make the trip across the Pacific because they look amazing!

Kinopio’s Café (AKA Toadstool Café)

The house of Kinopio (better known to Americans as Toad) has been transformed into a restaurant, and the menu features items that are truly fit for the Mushroom Kingdom. In Japan, it’s called Kinopio’s Café, but here in the States, it is known as Toadstool Cafe.

Here, you’ll find menu selections that are a sort of fusion between U.S., Italian, and Japanese cuisine — and are frankly pretty heavy on mushrooms. This is the primary dining location at Super Nintendo World and features counter-service meals.

Try the Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl, featuring tomato Sauce, bacon, and mushrooms, capped with a crispy mushroom pizza crust that makes for an adorable presentation.

Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl

Super Mushroom Pizza Bowl | Image © Universal/Nintendo

Looking for something a bit lighter? The Piranha Plant Caprese salad features tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil — but it looks just a bit more menacing than your typical salad.

Super Nintendo World - Food - Piranha Plant Caprese

Piranha Plant Caprese | Image © Universal/Nintendo

For dessert, consider the Question Block Tiramisu, a rich truffle tiramisu in the iconic “?” A block design was made famous in the earliest Mario games. And just like the game, this one has an item inside (in this case, a sweet “mushroom”).

Super Nintendo World - Food - Question Block Tiramisu

Question Block Tiramisu | Image © Universal/Nintendo

Other menu items include things like mushroom soup, a Bowser shell hamburger steak, a bacon cheeseburger, teriyaki chicken with superstar rice, fire flower spaghetti with meatballs, goal pole cake, and Princess Peach cake.

Menu items are always subject to change, but here’s a complete eat-through from around 2021.

Yoshi’s Snack Island

This location includes snack favorites inspired by Yoshi and friends.

Among the menu items is a calzone that looks like a Koopa shell, complete with tasty savory fillings such as yakisoba and cheese.

Super Nintendo World - Food - Green Shell Calzone

Green Shell Calzone with Yakisoba & Cheese filling | Image © Universal/Nintendo

You can also quench your thirst with Yoshi’s Lassi, a yogurt-based drink with fruit such as cantaloupe or mango and topped with whipped cream.

Pit Stop Popcorn

Need a quick refuel? Drop by Pit Stop Popcorn, home to the fun-flavored popcorn, a tremendously popular snack in Japan’s theme parks. Some sample flavors include Mushroom Popcorn as well as Caramel Peach Popcorn.

They also sell cleverly themed souvenir popcorn buckets shaped like a MarioKart vehicle and a Super Star.

Shopping at Super Nintendo World (Universal Studios Hollywood)

Super Mario Bros and Friends Merch

Japan’s park has two stores inside Super Nintendo Land: 1UP Factory and Mario Motors. Both sell a wide array of merchandise featuring Mario and friends, including themed shirts, hats, gloves, plushes, and even glasses with attached Mario/Luigi mustaches.

Super Nintendo World - Merchandise

Merchandise includes shirts, hats, and novelty glasses | Image © Universal/Nintendo

You’ll also find a cart selling Power-Up bands, so you can quickly purchase one and start playing the interactive games in the land.

Universal Hollywood has already opened a Super Nintendo World store at its CityWalk and is selling Nintendo merchandise at other stores on-site well in advance of the new land opening.

Can You Meet Mario and Other Characters at at Super Nintendo World?

It wouldn’t be a theme park experience without character greetings. You can meet and snap a picture with Mario, Luigi, and Peach during your visit. Be sure to wear your Power-Up band for an enhanced photo experience!

Will There Be a Hotel at Super Mario World?

While we don’t expect a Universal hotel to be located directly inside Super Nintendo World, we do know that Universal Epic Universe in Orlando will have one to three on-site hotels. So even though you won’t be able to stay in the Waldorf-Koopa, you should be able to get a room within walking distance of the land.

How Much Are Tickets to Super Nintendo World?

There is no separate admission charge to enter Super Nintendo World; it’s included in the cost of your Universal theme park ticket.

A one-day adult ticket to Universal Studios Japan, where the land is already operating, starts at ¥8,400 (convert to U.S. dollars).

A day ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood was $109+ as of February 2023, but it’s not clear if pricing will change when Super Nintendo World opens there this year.

Universal Orlando Resort one-park tickets also start at $109 as of February 2023, but we dare not predict what the ticket price will be once the resort area adds a third theme park in 2025.

Similarly, a ticket to Universal Studios Singapore is currently around SGD 61 (convert to U.S. dollars). Still, it remains to be seen what pricing will be in 2025 when the new section opens.

Do You Need an Express Pass for Super Nintendo World?

With the same caveat that we’ve given before — we don’t know exactly how things will work once the U.S. versions of the land open — we do know that Japan’s version of Super Nintendo World currently uses a timed entry system to manage demand during peak periods.

There, guests can obtain an Area Timed Entry Ticket: Advance Booking or purchase a Universal Express Pass with an Area Timed Entry Ticket: Advance Booking to arrange their visit ahead of time; otherwise, they must use the official Universal Studios Japan app on the day of their visit to obtain an Area Timed Entry Ticket. Inside the land, the attractions themselves also honor Universal Express Passes.

We presume that a similar structure will be in place once the land opens in Orlando and Hollywood, but we don’t know for certain.

Final Thoughts

Based on everything we’ve seen so far from Universal Studios Japan, the new Super Nintendo World will be a Mario-lover’s dream, bringing the same level of “I can’t believe I’m actually standing here” awe that Harry Potter fans experienced when they were finally able to set foot in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.

Everything about the land, from its attractions to its food to its scenery, places you right in the middle of Mario’s adventures. For those who grew up with these characters and Super Mario games, it’s a must-visit.

We can’t wait for it to open here in Orlando!

Super Nintendo World and the rest of Epic Universe promise to be the most-anticipated theme park opening in Orlando since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But when it’s time to plan your trip to Universal Orlando, don’t leave it to chance! Instead, rely on the services of a travel professional such as The Vacationeer.

These Universal-focused travel agents provide free help planning your trip, helping you secure hotels, dining, tickets, express passes, and transportation. They can also help you pick the best time to go to avoid the worst crowds at Universal.

Your trip won’t cost any more than if you’d booked it yourself — and it might even cost less! That’s because they know all the current discounts and the greatest money-saving tricks, such as which hotels to stay at to get a free Express Pass!

So contact The Vacationeer to get your free, no-obligation quote today!