Nearly two years after Universal Studios opened its first Super Nintendo World park in Japan, the second one will debut in the US as promised at Universal Studios Hollywood next February. When it opens, there will only be one ride, the augmented reality-enhanced Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.
When we tried out the version in the Japan park, we experienced “an AR action game set on a go-kart track, where you’re drifting through the virtual course and firing virtual shells at virtual opponents — as the kart moves through the track in real life.”
According to Universal Studios, it’s built to be a repeatable ride with plenty of interactivity and “a variety of outcomes.” It doesn’t appear that the other ride in the Japan park, a Yoshi’s Adventure train ride, will make the jump ahead of this park’s opening.
Super Nintendo World™ takes you into the world of Super Mario™. Battle Team Bowser on the groundbreaking Mario Kart™ ride, dine at Toadstool Cafe™, and level up with themed merch.
Other than Mario Kart, the park, like its Japanese counterpart, has one other main hook: the Power-Up Bands attendees wear on their wrists to keep track of scores, either individually or as part of teams, and unlock keys by completing challenges in the park. There’s also Toadstool Cafe where you can grab a Mario-themed bite to eat and other merchandising elements centered around Bowser’s Castle, which contains the Mario Kart ride.
You can experience it all yourself when it opens on Friday, February 17th.