Super Nintendo World News Update – Universal Hollywood Reveals Details, Donkey Kong in Japan and More

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is finally getting some official details. Along with the announcement of the name for the Mario Kart ride, the company also clarified some of the questions we’ve had about this iteration of the land.

Let’s go over the new details, what’s happening at all of the Super Nintendo World lands around the world, and what else the future holds the Hollywood park in today’s news update. Check out the video version of this story below for additional visuals.

Universal Studios Hollywood has officially announced that Super Nintendo World will have its grand opening in “Early 2023.” An exact date has not yet been revealed, but construction has been ramping up on the area in recent months.

The official name for the land’s main attraction was revealed to be “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.” This is what we expected, as it is similar to the ride’s name in Japan, but instead of Koopa’s Challenge, as that is what they call him in Japan, ours uses the Bowser name.

Official image for “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge,” Image: Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal, in their official press release said the ride “seamlessly fuses augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track to debut a ride that’s unparalleled anywhere within the theme park industry.”

Nintendo themed merchandise featuring Super Nintendo World branding can already be purchased from the Feature Presentation store in the park. And with this announcement for the official ride name, new Mario Kart items have debuted as well.

Screenshot from new commercial showing AR graphics on top of reality

The announcement came with the ride’s first American commercial, which shows some of the attraction’s dark ride show scene sets.

Riders wearing augmented reality goggles in new commercial

It also shows off riders wearing the Augmented Reality goggles. The commercial also shows a composited visual representation of how the animated characters appear on top of reality when wearing the AR goggles for the ride.

Construction at Epic Universe showing Yoshi’s Adventure future entrance, Photo: Bioreconstruct

While Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World has an official opening time frame, Epic Universe in Orlando is still vaguely set to open by summer 2025 “at the latest.” Construction has been moving at a breakneck pace for the new park, located about 2 miles south of the existing Universal Orlando Resort, with the Nintendo area making the most progress. In fact, in recent photographs, we can spot the entrance to the Yoshi ride taking shape!

Donkey Kong construction at Epic Universe with coaster footings and foundations, Photo: Bioreconstruct

Construction on what we believe will be a Donkey Kong Country area and roller coaster attraction for Epic Universe’s Super Nintendo World is also moving along quite quickly. Coaster footings and show building foundations are looking more and more complex by the day at the busy work site.

Donkey Kong construction seen from the park, Photo: LCASTUDIOS_USJ via

In Universal Studios Japan, where the first Super Nintendo World is already open, construction for the land’s Donkey Kong Country expansion can now be seen rising above park areas.

This construction is for Donkey Kong temple facade, Photo: LCASTUDIOS_USJ via

This new Donkey Kong area is officially set to open in 2024, and will feature a roller coaster attraction.

Official announcement art for Donkey Kong expansion, Image: Universal Studios Japan

Universal Japan was set to debut their first parade featuring Nintendo characters earlier this year, but it has been reportedly pushed back to later this year, at the earliest. The “NO LIMIT! Parade,” as its called,” would also be the first joint project between Universal Parks and The Pokemon Company, as it is set to feature characters like Pikachu in the parade.

Officially concept art for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Singapore

A version of the Super Nintendo World land is also expected for Universal Studios Singapore, although movement on their version has been slow. It is still expected to open in 2025, at least currently. The park’s Madagascar area did close and is being cleared now for expansion, which will also include a new Minions themed area.

Super Nintendo World recent construction in Hollywood, Image: Theme Park Shark

Getting back to Hollywood, the layout here is a bit different, placing Bowser’s Castle directly across from the land’s entry warp pipe, which unlike Japan’s layout, is on the lower level.

Recent construction in Universal Studios Hollywood, Photo: Theme Park Shark

Much of the upstairs areas are expected to be set aside for queue for the Mario Kart ride, which has some fans worried Hollywood will be receiving the Power-Up Band interactive activities seen in Japan.

Screenshot from new commercial, showing Power-Up Band being used

The good news is, the new commercial does show someone using a Power-Up Band. Plus, the official press release mentions that the land will contain “interactive areas, to be enjoyed by the whole family, along with themed shopping and dining.”

Construction photo with Mt. Beanpole on left, Image: Theme Park Shark

Hollywood is only getting the one Mario Kart ride, and is not opening with the Yoshi ride, or the Donkey Kong attraction. Despite not getting the Yoshi’s Adventure family ride, Mount Beanpole was still constructed, and there are rumors that part of that structure may contain some sort of interactive game.

Super Nintendo World in Japan features interactive games you can play with a Power-Up Band

Rumors for something featuring Yoshi and Captain Toad were floating around the internet after crates for Yoshi components were supposedly spotted in a staging area of the parking garage, and other photos shared on social media apparently displayed these characters being fabricated for use at the park.

Whether those elements are just for show, for an interactive game exclusive to Hollywood, or even an elaborate animatronic Yoshi character meet and greet, remains to be seen.

Universal Studios Hollywood welcoming Mario to the red carpet

Super Nintendo World at Universal Hollywood will be officially opening early 2023, but many still believe the new area may open by late 2022. This could be for annual passholder and other special previews, like Japan held in the month leading up to its grand opening, or, it could simply be a soft opening in December 2022 before the land opens officially in the new year.

Rumored location for new roller coaster to be built at Universal Studios Hollywood

But this won’t be the end for new attractions at Universal Hollywood. In fact, it may only be the beginning as the park ramps up for the 2028 Olympics in L.A..

Our recent story from Hollywood talked about the rumored Fast and Furious roller coaster, which is expected to be manufactured by Intamin and be built with its entrance and queue on the upper lot— with coaster track zooming all the way down to the lower lot, just to launch back up at Fast and Furious speeds—with a possible opening date of 2024.

The Bourne Stuntacular show at Universal Studios Florida, Photo: Universal Orlando

It’s not out of the realm of possibility to expect another attraction for 2025 after that, perhaps a west coast version of The Bourne Stuntacular show, which originally debuted in Orlando in 2020. There is talk for additional offerings to be added to the park in 2026 and 2027 as well, plus major changes to infrastructure to allow for these additions and more.

Universal Studios Hollywood has received some love in recent years with things like The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash and the Jurassic World conversion for the Jurassic Park ride, but Super Nintendo World may represent the beginning of much bigger changes yet to come.

Super Nintendo World officially opens early 2023, Image: Universal Studios Hollywood

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