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.
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.
The announcement came with the ride’s first American commercial, which shows some of the attraction’s dark ride show scene sets.
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.
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!
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.
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 new Donkey Kong area is officially set to open in 2024, and will feature a roller coaster attraction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That’s all for now, but if you’d like to bring a piece of the parks home, Souvenir Scents has candles and wax melts that smell like the the ET ride, Butterbeer, and even HHN houses. Save 15% off every order with my promo code PARKSTOP at SouvenirScents.com.
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