Like many kids, I grew up following (and participating in!) the Adventures of Mario, 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, with Super Mario World being my 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; coins dance overhead; and of course there’s a castle. 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 a so-called Power-Up Bands. Similar to Disney’s MagicBand+ or Universal’s Harry Potter wands, these wristbands allow you to interact with parts of the park scenery and trigger special effects such as collecting coins from Question Blocks.

Super Nintendo World - Power-Up Bands and App

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 2021
  • Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, California) — Opening early 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. If you can wait until 2023, you’ll be able to visit 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 at Walt Disney World in Florida. 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. There are no Mario-themed rides or dining, but you’ll usually find an 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 no.

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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, but we can make strong educated guesses based on what’s already operating in Japan’s version and other sources of information.

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge

At Universal Studios Japan, one of the most popular rides is Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. We know King Koopa as Bowser here in the states; the ride’s name will be changed accordingly when the ride opens in Hollywood and 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 (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 Yoshi in the Mario games — 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

Not yet operating at any of the parks — but under construction in at least two of them — is a new roller coaster based on Donkey Kong. 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 which uses a unique roller coaster style track system which gives you the sensation of jumping gaps in the track (while actually 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 Cafe (AKA Toad’s Cafe)

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. Here, you’ll find menu selections that are a sort of fusion between US, 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 Nintendo World - Food - 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 that 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 “?” Block design 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 super star 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 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 that’s a tremendously popular snack in Japan’s theme parks. Some sample flavors include Mushroom Popcorn as well as Caramel Peach Popcorn.

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

Shopping at Super Nintendo World

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 Characters at Super Nintendo World?

Presuming what we’ve seen in Japan holds true here in the states, you should be able to meet and snap a picture with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad during your visit.

Will There Be a Hotel at Super Mario World?

While we don’t expect there to be a Universal hotel located directly inside of 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 for 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 US dollars).

A day ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood was $109+ as of November 2022, but it’s not clear if pricing will change when Super Nintendo World opens there in 2023.

Universal Orlando Resort one-park tickets also start at $109 as of November 2022, 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 US dollars), but 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 for sure 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 games, it’s a must-visit.

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

Super Nintendo World, along with the rest of Epic Universe, promises to be the most-anticipated theme park opening in Orlando since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When it’s time to plan your trip, don’t leave it to chance! 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!