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A review of Super Nintendo World

Art by Rose Ramirez

On February 4th I had the opportunity to go to Universal Studios and get a sneak peek of the new Super Nintendo World. When I went, this addition to the park was not yet open to the general public. Instead, it was filled with pass holders who had reserved a time slot to experience the place. Modeled after the Super Mario games, this section of the park is a detailed, fun, and overall visually stunning experience. Super Nintendo World may not be as big as Harry Potter World, but there is so much to do, and many hidden activities to find! There is a new thing to see at every corner.

Now, my description sounds exciting, but is it actually worth going?

The Design
All photos by Victor Pack

Ditching the commonplace door, you enter Super Nintendo World through a pipe, just like in the games. Once you emerge, you arrive in a land full of color and animatronics, resembling the many maps and characters of Super Mario. You could say this place is like a massive-scale Disneyland ride; I hate to compare Universal Studios to Disneyland, it’s like wearing a Disneyland shirt to Universal Studios. Don’t be one of those people!

Something new that this part of the park brings with it is interactiveness, and a wristband. For the low price of $40, you could bump question blocks and bricks to collect coins and stamps, marking different goals you can accomplish throughout your Mario experience. Not only that, but the park features different mini-games which you can play to earn a virtual key; once you collect three keys from the three different mini-games, you unlock another attraction called Bowser Jr’s challenge. Now, I’m not entirely sure what it is, as I didn’t do it, but I’m guessing it’s a larger-scale “mini-game”.

Throughout the park, you will see little characters moving around, power-ups floating about, and hear the repetitive dings caused by the question blocks. Honestly, the sound got quite annoying. Overall though, the design is awesome and it truly gives justice to the games. It’s like you’re in a real-life Mario level! And, as I said earlier, there is a new thing to see anywhere you look.

The Ride

The ride at Super Nintendo World, Bowser’s challenge, is really cool. It’s like you’re playing Mario Kart in real life! First of all, the line queue is decorated to resemble different Mario worlds and it features many life-size items found in the games. This includes shells, Mario Kart trophies, and even tires! For anyone who loves Mario Kart, this place is basically heaven. After the line, which will be extremely long if you’re going right after it opens, you enter an instruction room, as this ride is more of a game than a real roller coaster; almost like a Toy-story mania (sorry for the Disney comparison again). Having these more “game-like” rides is newer to Universal, as all the other ones are a “sit back and relax” type of thing. The object of the game is to collect coins as you speed through the Mario Kart maps.

When you get to the actual ride, you enter a real-life Mariokart that seats 4 people. There are 3D goggles you receive so you can keep track of the coins you earn and also the shells you accumulate. Now, shells are very important as you use them to topple your enemies and earn more coins! When the ride starts, you are refreshed with the instructions so you can play the game to the best of your abilities. Then, you take a tour through the Mario Kart universe passing through Cloudtop Castle, Dry Bowser Ruins, and even the famous Rainbow Road.

The ride is awesome, and you can keep track of your scores with your wristband! All in all, this is the ultimate expe