close
close

New Nintendo theme park comes to Orlando, unveiling rides, lands and more

Players of all ages get a first look at the rides and locations at Super Nintendo World, a new themed area coming to Universal Orlando Resort next year where guests can play with Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong.

It is the most anticipated attraction at Epic Universe, the new theme park currently under construction in Orlando and scheduled to open next year. Universal already has Nintendo-themed worlds at its theme parks in California and Japan, and credits the fan base for big increases in attendance at those parks.

Super Nintendo World is one of five lands coming to the Universal Epic Universe. Other areas in the park are dedicated to Harry Potter, the How to Train Your Dragon films and classic monsters.

In Universal's Epic Universe, park visitors enter Super Nintendo World through the classic video game's iconic green tube, emblazoned with one of Mario's many catchphrases: “Here we go!” [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

Each of these countries can be accessed through its own portal. In a cinematic splendor, the park designers created elaborate tunnels at the land entrances through which visitors pass and reach the themed world on the other side. For Super Nintendo World, the tunnel looks like the green pipe that Mario and Luigi have used to complete gaming challenges since the early 1980s.

“As guests step out of the tube, they will be surrounded by vibrant scenery and exciting kinetic energy as they are greeted by the familiar sights and sounds they have experienced on their Nintendo gaming consoles – the towering Mt. Beanpole and the from the majestic Peach's Castle to the swaying Piranha Plants, Goombas pacing, spinning coins and more,” Universal's announcement said Thursday.

Visitors are made to feel like they're being thrown in front of the gaming screens of their childhood, with towering, multi-story walls teeming with familiar characters from the Super Mario and Mario Kart game series.

Yoshi's Adventure will make its US debut on Universal Epic Universe.  The family-friendly ride offers views of Super Mario Land as they join Yoshi and travel through the landscapes of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Yoshi's Adventure will make its US debut on Universal Epic Universe. The family-friendly ride offers views of Super Mario Land as they join Yoshi and travel through the landscapes of the Mushroom Kingdom. [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

It will include two sections: Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong Country. There will be two rides in Super Mario Land.

  • Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge is a real-world Mario Kart game with a mix of physical sets, projection mapping and augmented reality. Drivers wear special visors that project video game characters into your line of sight no matter where you turn your head. As you glide, the real sets interact with the animated computer characters in your glasses, as if you were moving in a video game.
  • Yoshi's Adventure, making its U.S. debut in Orlando, offers guests a look at Super Mario Land as they ride the dinosaur Yoshi in search of glowing eggs. You travel through the Mushroom Kingdom and meet familiar characters along the way.

Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, an attraction inspired by the spin-off racing game, will be one of the rides at Super Nintendo World at Universal's new Epic Universe theme park.  The racing attraction combines augmented reality, projection mapping technology and elaborate environments.
Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, an attraction inspired by the spin-off racing game, will be one of the rides at Super Nintendo World at Universal's new Epic Universe theme park. The racing attraction combines augmented reality, projection mapping technology and elaborate environments. [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

Explore the sights and attractions of Tampa Bay

Subscribe to our free Do & Dine newsletter

We serve the best sights and the latest restaurant news every Thursday.

You are all registered!

Want more of our free weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let's begin.

Discover all your options

Donkey Kong Country will be set on the edge of Super Mario Land and will feature the Mine-Cart Madness ride to tour the area immersed in the game's tropical landscape, from waterfalls to landmarks such as the Golden Temple, throughout you jump over seemingly broken parts of the country rail.

“Using a unique roller coaster design, Mine-Cart Madness sends riders on a thrilling adventure experiencing the breathtaking maneuvers seen in Donkey Kong and the mine carts in the video games,” Universal said.

Donkey Kong Country includes the Mine-Cart Madness ride, which lets you explore the area amidst the game's tropical landscape with waterfalls and landmarks like the Golden Temple.
Donkey Kong Country includes the Mine-Cart Madness ride, which lets you explore the area amidst the game's tropical landscape with waterfalls and landmarks like the Golden Temple. [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

Donkey Kong Country will also offer food and merchandise. Elsewhere in the country, Toadstool Café will feature themed dining, with a fun menu including Mario and Luigi-style burgers, Super Mushroom Soup and Piranha Plant Caprese.

There will also be gift shops and meet-and-greet opportunities with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad.

Toadstool Café will offer themed food at Super Nintendo World Universal's new Epic Universe park.
Toadstool Café will offer themed food at Super Nintendo World Universal's new Epic Universe park. [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

And like its counterpart in Hollywood, California, this park will sell a Power-Up Band, a special add-on souvenir that adds games to your day and triggers sounds and chimes when you tap a power box with your wrist. You can also use it to collect points. You can track your progress on public screens set up around the country to compare your scores with other visitors.

The bands sell for $42 in Hollywood, and at times lines and reservations were required to give players the chance to play games like Goomba Crazy Crank, in which you tap your band and crank as quickly as possible spins to throw off the Goomba.

The Power-Up Band allows guests to collect digital coins by holding their bracelet to blocks and playing interactive activities.  You can earn digital keys to unlock surprises and experiences.
The Power-Up Band allows guests to collect digital coins by holding their bracelet to blocks and playing interactive activities. You can earn digital keys to unlock surprises and experiences. [ Universal Orlando Resort ]

Anyone can take part in the Bowser's Challenge without spending any additional costs, but only people with the wristband can save their progress and add to it across multiple visits using the Universal Theme Park app, opening up more experiences as they earn points.

“Super Nintendo World's additional fees may technically be optional, but if you don't pay them your experience will be limited,” said Jason Cochran, editor-in-chief of travel site Frommers.com.

Anna Harden

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *